The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special has been airing for decades. For many families, it’s a tradition that starts out the holiday season. Last year, people decided that they were going to get offended at the song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Now, they’re taking shots at one of Santa’s helpers.
The TV special has been making quite a bit of waves because the 1964 classic is being critiqued using present-day standards. Some of the characters and scenes have been identified as ‘disturbing.’
Just about everyone knows the story of Rudolph. The red-nosed reindeer is an outcast. He’s called names. However, it’s his bright red nose that allows him to come to the rescue and guide Santa’s sleigh. Then, all of the other reindeer accept him.
It’s not just Rudolph in the show that people are sparking debate about. There’s also Hermey (an elf), the Island of Misfit Toys, and even the Abominable Snow Monster.
For a 30-minute special, it has sparked more controversy than one would think possible. Some of the questions that people are raising are jaw-dropping to say the very least.
Let’s start with Hermey, a little blonde elf who dreams of being a dentist. While most would say that it’s good to have goals, Cinablend says that he’s a “sadistic psychopath” because he had a “creepy” obsession with wanting to be a dentist. This also raises the question about where the teeth came from that was used for the dolls. Most people don’t put that much thought into the movie. They simply watch it because it’s a holiday classic. This generation overanalyzes and ruins the tradition, though.
Then, there’s the relationship that Rudolph had with Clarice, his girl crush. Some argue that it was a shallow relationship, with Cinablend saying that the red-nosed reindeer needed to “slow his roll” because he was showing too much affection. This is one group’s interpretation, of course, but they’re reading more into it than there really is. They want to make it an issue of consent and showing too much affection when they really don’t have enough backstory to go on.
There have been plenty of people sounding off on Twitter about the special, too. With the #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer it’s incredible to see what people have to say about this decades-old special. People reference themes of bullying and are in mock horror that Santa would condone such things. What they fail to remember is that this movie was made over 50 years ago. There was a different level of sensitivity. Netflix, Disney, and others allowed movies from decades ago to be aired. They simply included a little notice so that people knew that there are differences in acceptable behavior.
Sure, Rudolph was bullied. Sure, the other reindeer only liked him after they learned that Rudolph had something to offer. However, it was different back when it was made. We have learned a lot about bullying and what’s considered socially acceptable. That doesn’t mean we forget about the history. That’s like saying that we would take slavery out of the history books because slavery was wrong. It may have been but it’s still a part of our history – and so is Rudolph.
Not everyone is upset about Rudolph, either. Plenty are talking about their fond childhood memories watching the movie. They don’t want to hear about the critics and what they have to say about Rudolph. The reindeer has been an icon of the holiday season for a long time. These are the people who aren’t going to get rid of their Rudolph decorations nor are they going to stop playing the song. They’ll encourage their kids to sing the song, too, because while bullying isn’t okay, the song isn’t exactly condoning bullying. They’re just saying that it happened – and you can’t change history.
Too many songs have been removed from the air because, although they were classics, they don’t fit what society wants to hear anymore. There have even been artists who have tried to change the songs in order to be more socially appropriate. There’s nothing more cringe-inducing than hearing a politically correct version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Similarly, no one wants to see the TV special of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer remade. Some people actually like to see the Abominable Snowman. Plus, it might be entirely possible that the cheerful little elf named Hermey wanted to grow up to be a dentist without being a psychopath. Perhaps the people with the issue about this TV special have more issues of their own.