I was surprised to learn that Rankin-Bass was not the first company to make a Rudolph cartoon that wasn’t what we would call a “music video” today. Sure enough, Fleischer Studios (more famous to me for the early Superman cartoon and the only watchable Popeye cartoons of the past–I really need to get into that Olive Oil rant once Christmas is over) made their own Rudolph cartoon. I also learned someone made a brand new one recently that most likely ignores the Rankin-Bass Rudolph, which is a classic and produced a few spin-off, including a CGI direct sequel and two RB produced sequels (Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and a Frosty team-up, both of which can be seen on ABC Family this year). Not bad for a mutant reindeer.

The most interesting part about it is the big red nose light, which I assume had to have been official by 1948, the year Matinee at the Bijou (hoster of this video on You Tube) says the cartoon was made. Since this whole Christmas Spotlight thing was a last-minute decision of mine, I didn’t look as far back as I should have. Hopefully I’ll be more useful next Christmas.

[EDIT on 12/18/08: An article at Brooklyn Daily Eagle about Max Fleischer. Link posted today at Toon Zone.]

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About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

3 responses »

  1. Bob Campbell says:

    Hey BW,
    Thanks for the update on Rudolph – and for sharing it with the world! Getting our cinematic heritage widely circulated is one of our top goals here at Matinee at the Bijou. Max & Rudolph were featured in last years Chistmas Mini-Matinee, and this year we are featuring Otto Soglow’s Little King character. Part one is here – http://matineeatthebijou.blogspot.com/
    Part two begins Friday with five terrific cartoons from the series. Here are links to last years Bijou Christmas ~~~
    http://matineeatthebijou.blogspot.com/2007/12/mini-matine-10-santa-claus-film.html

    http://matineeatthebijou.blogspot.com/2007/12/mini-matinee-9-guess-theme.html

    Have a great New Year!

    The Bijou Team

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  2. ShadowWing Tronix says:

    I’ll have to check them out. The Spotlight is as much about showcasing good media as pointing out the mistakes. (All in my opinion, of course, but who’s blog isn’t?) And I’ve been a Flescher fan since I saw their Superman cartoons. Plus I love a good Christmas story.

    By the way, any connection the same named PBS show from back in the 80’s? They used to have old movies, with a cartoon to start it off.

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  3. urdead2me says:

    RIP – Billie Mae Richards, 88, was not such a misfit. Since TV had killed off US most radio talent, the NYC producers of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer looked to Canada. When it came to the little boy reindeer – Richards was cast! http://urdead2me.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/rip-billie-mae-richards/

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