On Tuesday night we get our first airing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer this Christmas season. Lucky you if you own it and have gotten a jump on the rest of us. It’ll be the first time I’ve watched it this year, but I’m going to be honest, with each viewing I find myself more and more confused by the beloved holiday classic. I try to keep my comments to myself because quite frankly, My Darling Wife would sometimes prefer it that way, but even at my most polite and supportive, I can’t help myself. The movie has some issues and while the issues aren’t as disturbing as those in another holiday classic Home Alone, there are still enough there to be considered somewhat troubling.
If for some reason you’ve never seen the movie or it’s been ages since you have, let me quickly refresh you.
Two reindeer have a baby reindeer. The baby reindeer is born with an illuminated schnoz, making him an embarrassment to the family. They hide it, but the truth eventually gets out and the baby reindeer with the illuminated beak, Rudolph, peaces out. At the same time, this little elf dude announces his desire to be a dentist and not a toy making slave. He is also cast out of the North Pole.
The two end up teaming up, eventually running into a burly looking dude who routinely licks his ice pick and is out mining for gold. They run away from a snow monster with googly eyes and come across the Island of Misfit Toys, which is down river from the Island of Inept Toy Makers. Yadda, yadda, yadda they all return and it takes a massive snow storm and the threat of Christmas being cancelled for people to realize Rudolph has value and then they all live happily ever after.
It’s heart-warming story, albeit a problematic one, and I will now lay out some of my issues with the movie.
Issue 1: Why are reindeer such dicks?
No, really. Why? You work one day a year and I’m assuming you get free-housing, so you’d think they’d be in better spirits. But they were all straight up a-holes to Rudolph. Also, male reindeer are incredibly chauvinistic, which is totally not cool.
Beyonce taught me women have value too. Beyonce wouldn’t put up with these male reindeer acting the way they do and she wouldn’t be cool with the females letting their behavior slide.
Maybe male reindeer should also listen to Beyonce and then re-think their stance on women. The ladies should listen to Beyonce too.
Actually, pretty much everyone should listen to Beyonce. It’s for the best.
Issue 2: On a related note, we have to hope that the North Pole is more progressive and open to the changing roles of women these days, right?
Hopefully. Although it seems true change will only come when one of Santa’s eight reindeer are a female. We’ll get there ladies. #Imwithher
Issue 3: How did no one not think that a reindeer with a headlight for a nose would be an asset?
Think about it, you’re flying a sleigh around the world. You are flying at night and in addition to that, in at least half of the area you are traveling in, it’s winter. It would then be safe to assume that climate change or not, it’s bound to be snowing somewhere during your travels.
Now I may be but a simple commoner, a man not all that familiar with aerial sleigh travel and the visibility restrictions that may or may not come with it, but I would think that if a reindeer were to be born with a built in headlight, that reindeer would be one heck of a catch. That reindeer would be sought after, recruited and coached up like a five star recruit from the great state of Texas. That reindeer was born with a God-given gift. Remarkable.
So tell me, Santa, other people of the North Pole, how can you not see how much of an asset that is?
Dude, these people are idiots.
Issue 4: Isn’t it kind of lame that people only started being nice to Rudolph once they needed him?
Uh, yes. That’s no way to treat people or reindeer. Rudolph should have told them to pound sand when they came calling because they needed him and only then fully accepted him. At the very least Rudolph should have held out for a raise or something. Get out of the cave and into a crib with some heat, choice furnishings and a nice view of dancing penguins and the Northern Lights.
Rudolph caved way too easily.
Issue 5: What the hell is up with the lion with the wings?
Oh, King Moonracer?
Well here’s the thing, drugs are weird.
Issue 6: I’d think that if an elf wanted to be a dentist, he’d be encouraged to do so given the heavy candy intake of the other elves.
Studies have shown that the only thing elves eat is candy and candy contains sugar. You know what sugar does, kids? It rots your teeth out.
Man, if only there was a dentist around to help these poor elves out.
Oh yeah, there was, but you all routinely dumped on him and sent him packing because he didn’t want to build stuffed animals. I get it, making toys is a top priority in the North Pole. Maintaining the sleigh is probably number two on the list. But I’d think that the long-term sustainability of the work force and the well-being of said work force would be close behind. Bringing in a nutritionist, physical therapist and yes, a dentist would be incredibly beneficial to not just the elves, but the higher ups. Keeps the risk of injury down, helps with insurance premiums and ensures that team morale never falters or falls off cliff.
This makes sense to me and come on, they had a dentist right there in front of them! There’s probably an elf or two also interested in nutrition and physical therapy, but they’re too afraid to say anything. They saw how Dentist Elf was treated when he announced his intentions to become a dentist and were justifiably afraid that they’d get the same kind of response if they made their desire to be a physical therapist known. That’s no way to run a business, foster a community and create a culture of acceptance.
Come on North Pole.
It’s called inclusion. It’s pretty sweet.
Issue 7: How long was Rudolph roaming in the wild after bailing on Dentist Elf and Yukon?
While they’re at the Island of Misfit Toys Rudolph decides he needs to strike out on his own. It’s a little bit of a martyr move, but whatever. He roams the North Pole for…uh, how long exactly? That part is a little unclear.
Now to be fair, I’m not all that familiar with the aging process of a reindeer, nor do I have any idea how long it takes for antlers to grow. But I would think it would take at least a year for antlers to fully form. Yet they make it seem like he was only out there for a few days just kicking around, growing up, getting buff, growing hair in weird places and having his voice change.
Here he is when he leaves:
And then we finally emerges from the wild:
Seems fishy to me, as if a place where toys talk and reindeer fly might not be on the up and up.
Issue 8: I’m sorry, but Santa gaining what looks like at least 100 pounds in less than a day doesn’t seem healthy.
The threat of a snowstorm and the potential of Christmas being cancelled has ruined Santa’s appetite and he’s looking rather svelte. Yet upon realizing that Rudolph isn’t actually a weirdo, but a valuable addition to the team, Santa switches gears and in like, a day, packs on at least 100 pounds.
I don’t care what kind of magical world you are living in, that kind of rapid weight gain is simply not healthy. I think Santa is taking his immortality for granted if you ask me. The real shame would be if there were an elf among the ranks who harbored dreams of becoming a nutritionist.
There probably is, but that elf isn’t about to come out and say it anytime soon.
But hey, happy holidays.