Rudolph's Shiny New Year
[Part 1 | Part 2]
Some time ago I reviewed the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Christmas special. Well did you know Rudolph saved more then one holiday? Of course you didn't.Well today I have a treat for you, it's a review of the first Rudolph sequel, Rudolph's Shiny New Year. It isn't a very well made holiday special, but that just makes it easier for me to make jokes. Hurray!!!
The special starts with Red Skelton singing a version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with forced lyrics about Rudolph saving New Year's as well. Luckily, it's only about five seconds long so it is less tortuous than some of the other songs in this special. Most of the songs in the special seem to have no relation to each other or the plot. I think the entire special may have come to fruition because Rankin-Bass wanted to use these songs in something and had to come up with a plot that could incorporate all these different elements.
The action starts out with an elf (who looks nothing like any of the elves from the last Rudolph special) giving Santa a letter. The letter is from Father Time who says that Happy, the new baby New Year, is missing. Santa goes on a speech explaining that if the year ends without the baby New Year present then the old year wil continue forever, without it ever progressing past December 31st. That elf nods blankly because it would have been too expensive to make a model that could speak or express emotion. We just have to assume he is as upset as Santa. Santa decides to send out a search party.
Oh snap! Nobody can go out in this blizzard! It's not fit for man or beast out there, although I'm guessing it's actually mild for conditions in the Artic. There really isn't all that much snow out there. The U.P. looks like that for about half the year. Santa ponders about what he'll do before remembering that even though this special came out 13 years after the original, it's still the same night as when that one ended, meaning Rudolph led him through this very storm a few hours ago.
Rudolph somehow got younger since his last adventure, see…
This is what he looked at the end of the other special. I guess mating season ended sometime during the sleigh ride and Rudolph shed his antlers. Clarisse is probably not pleased at this development. Luckily she doesn't make any kind of appearance so she will never know Rudolph's shame. None of the characters we came to love from the original special show up either. Come to think of it, that establishing shot of Santa's house is clearly not the castle from the first special either. Disappointments about the continuity of this sequel are popping up quicker than a gopher on Viagra.
After a lengthy title sequence and commercial for Wildfire, an ABC Family original drama series you have never seen since you probably aren't a 12 year old girl, we get back to the story. Rudolph seems to have decided to walk instead of fly for some reason. The narrator rehashes the story so far, even though we are only five minutes into the special. He doesn't think highly of the viewers.
How does the narrator know what is going on? Because he is Father Time, of course. What does Father Time do? He makes sure that time goes by without any major problems. He also carries around a huge scythe for no apparent reason. Somebody at Rankin-Bass had Father Time mixed up with The Grim Reaper.
This might sound a little abstract, but I think if you ignore the beard, Father Time looks like Conan O'Brien. I wish he acted like Conan O'Brien. As the recent writers strike has shown when left to come up with his own material, Conan O'Brien makes his show the funniest show ever. I hope the writers never come back and Conan can continue to run free.
Meanwhile, Rudolph is on a camel in the desert being pursued by a giant vulture. Yeah, whoever wrote this special was on drugs. You might think this is one of those times where I skip a few scenes and pretend I didn't so that it looks like the special jumps around a lot and is crazy, except I really didn't skip past much. Father Time basically says Rudolph met with a clockwork soldier who decided to accompany him, and then Rudolph met the camel. The desert apparently shares a border with the North Pole. Rudolph decided that riding a slow moving camel would be a better way of traveling then flying.
The bird's name is Eon the Terrible, and he isn't interested in Rudolph and the gang. The camel and soldier surmise that he must be out looking for Happy, the baby new year. The camel explains that Eon can only live for one eon and Eon's eon is up at the end of that year. He wants to catch the baby New Year and prevent time from continuing so that he lives forever, rather then turning into ice and snow when his eon ends.
Man, the 70s had some sweet ass drugs apparently.
The crew gets to Father Time's pad. Father Time has a ticker on his castle which I am sure was very very impressive for whenever the special is suppose to take place. I'm pretty sure it's sometime before the 60s so they didn't just have these things all over the place. Father Time doesn't really use it to display important messages. He should have something on there about the missing New Year. Instead it says that Jimmy Shwartz has caught a cold (or maybe it said colt, it's hard to read) and that a baby kangaroo was born in Australia. Who cares? Maybe if a baby kangaroo was born someplace other then where kangaroos live it would be note worthy, but I'm sure it is a common event in Australia.
Inside, Father Time makes snide remarks about Rudolph's nose and how it use to be as red as his hair back in the days when he was known as "Old Red Head" That is the least creative nickname ever. Even the people who nicknamed me Johnny Dangerfag were more creative then that.
I hate those fuckers.
Father time tells the story of Happy, who is not happy because he has big ears which everybody laughed at. I don't care if a kid looks funny, you don't laugh at them right to there face until they are forced to run away. I've seen much funnier looking kids then that but did I laugh at them? No! I waited until later when they weren't present to laugh at them and make mocking jokes, like a decent human being.
Father Time says that Happy is most likely is hiding out on that Archipelago of Last Years. Rudolph doesn't know what an Archipelago is, which is acceptable since he has only been alive for less than 12 months. How much did you know when you were less then a year old? Not much and if you say otherwise then you are a filthy liar.
Father Time explains that an archipelago is a group of islands. Can you say archipelago? Sure you can. The Archipelago of Last Years is where all the past years go to live when their year is over. On this island time stands still at that year for the rest of time. As you can see by the map there are upwards to seven islands, which means the majority of past years did not take advantage of this offer. They instead took the cash value of the island and moved to Vegas.
Rudolph's mission is to go to the end of the sand's of time, stand on a sundial, point his glowing red nose the direction the sundial points and he will find the way to the Archipelago of Past Years. I'm pretty sure I had to do something like that in a Super Nintendo RPG. Rudolph doing this is underscored by a catchy ragtime song about enjoying the past.
Despite all the hub bub about the sundial Rudolph has to take a boat which is moored nowhere near the sundial. He probably could have figured out which way to go simply by looking at the water and realizing he would have to sail in the opposite direction of the land. The sail on the boat is a calendar page for 1928. Could it be a clue of when the Rudolph story takes place? Probably not.
Along the way Rudolph is attacked by Eon the Terrible. I was going to include a picture of that, but Eon kept going sasquatch on me and the screen caps were all blurry. Eon is about to teach Rudolph a few lessons about pain when a whale named Big Ben comes to his rescue. I hate to sound like a broken record, but drugs. Big Ben tells Rudolph to get in his mouth
I said mouth, not belly. Inside Rudolph is safe from attack but in danger of being swallowed, so he suggests he ride on top of Big Ben. Eon meanwhile is flying around making vague threats but is too scarred to directly attack Big Ben because Big Ben is a water type and as a flying type he has a natural weakness against water attacks. Eon flies away intent on finding Happy.
Rudolph starts his search at one of the oldest islands, One Million B.C. Hear that Christian folk? The earth is not as young as you think. Stuff that up your Jesus hole.
Rudolph meets One Million BC or O.M. as he calls himself for short. The conversation of O.M. explaining his nickname confuses Rudolph because O.M. is clearly insane, after spending millions of years alone. He also sounds a little Jewish.
Rudolph admits that he is worried that he won't find Happy in time. O.M. tells Rudolph to "Stop with the don't thoughts and start with the do thoughts" which leads into the song "Its Raining Sunshine" in which they say "It's raining sunshine" about one million times. The only bright spot is that dinosaurs kind of dance around and dinosaurs make anything better.
Rudolph says he will find Happy to which O.M. responds "Everybody is happy." The "Who's on first" rip off over, O.M. reveals that Happy had been on the island and had been accepted by the residents, but then his hat fell off which of course forced everybody to laugh at him because he is a freak. It's not easy to make a dinosaur laugh either. Happy is just that goofy looking. Instead of dealing with the humiliation through cutting like other kids, Happy left the island on a boat made out of a conch shell.
He he, conch shell sounds kind of dirty.
O.M. joins the search and they go off and explore several islands without incident. Rudolph states that 1492 was too busy discovering things to talk to them and 1965 was too noisy.
Take that you damn Beatles!
Rudolph and the gang go to the island of 1023 in hopes of finding Happy. The physical manifestation of that year is a knight with a big beard who sounds like Helmet from the Home Movies episode "Renaissance."
Looks a little like him as well. Quiet obviously Rudolph's Shiny New Year rips off Home Movies. For shame Rankin-Bass, for shame.
[Part 1 | Part 2]