THE CLASSIC HOLIDAY SPECIAL "RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER" CELEBRATES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY BROADCAST,
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
Let the reindeer games begin! RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, the longest-running holiday special in television history, celebrates its 40th anniversary broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Originally broadcast on CBS 12/8/72 after an eight year run on another network.)
Since 1964, millions of families have tuned in to watch Rudolph and his friends, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and the Misfit Toys, save Christmas. This classic �Animagic� special features a world-renowned musical score from Johnny Marks and the voice talent of legendary performer Burl Ives (Sam the Snowman).
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER recounts the tale of a shy, young reindeer whose Christmas spirit is dampened because his shiny red nose has made him the laughing stock of all Christmasville. Frustrated by their inability to fit in, Rudolph and his friend Hermey, the Elf who wants to be a dentist, set out on their own. However, they soon find themselves pursued by the Abominable Snowmonster. They flee to the island of Misfit Toys in the Arctic wilderness where Yukon Cornelius, a prospector they meet along the way, comes to their rescue. Returning to Christmasville, they learn that bad weather may cause Christmas to be canceled. But Rudolph's headlight -- his illuminated nose -- saves Christmas by serving as a beacon to guide Santa's sleigh.
Marks composed seven memorable songs for the special: "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Silver and Gold," "We Are Santa's Elves," "We're a Couple of Misfits," "Jingle Jingle Jingle," "There's Always Tomorrow" and "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year."
In 1998, the special was digitally re-mastered. At that time, two of the musical numbers were restored to their original form after being significantly altered in prior years. The enhanced numbers are "We Are Santa's Elves" and "We're a Couple of Misfits," a duet between Rudolph and his newfound friend, Hermey the Elf.
The digital re-mastering also addressed the fading and degeneration of the print over the years that caused it to take on a reddish hue that differed significantly from the bluer tones and starker contrasts of the original. Now, a new generation of television viewers can appreciate the special's original visual texture and rich palette of colors. Santa's elves now have their blue suits back after years of wearing faded green.
The scene restorations and color correction process for RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER were completed by Golden Books. The special was produced by "Animagic" pioneers Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass and directed by Larry Roemer. Romeo Muller wrote the television adaptation from a story by Robert L. May.