Remeber when I told you there aren't many animated Christmas movies around? Turns out it's true and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is pretty much all there's left for me to watch and since it looks like quite charming, I decided to give it a try.
Through Sam the Snowman (Burl Ives), the film tells the story of Rudolph (Billy Richards) before he became Santa Clause's (Stan Francis) most iconic reindeer. Born with a shining red nose, Rudolph was actually ostracized by the other reindeer and looked down upon by his own father (Paul Kligman). So he runs away and that's when he meets another misfit, Hermey (Paul Soles), the elf who wants to be a dentist, and together they leave the North Pole. On their journey, they meet up with Yukon Cornelius (Larry Mann), a prospector obsessed with silver and gold. Together they discover the island of Misfit toys and they must face the Abominable Snowman.
I didn't know the story (yeah, I know, shame on me), but it was very simple and predictable and yet it's very engaging. It's your typical outcast story that tells its audience to never let others pick on you about your differences and to be yourself instead of trying to fit in. But it's got so much heart and warmth, you'll forget about the clichés and all the rest.
Also very sweet and likeable are the characters. Rudolph is so adorable, I wonder what kind of person would not enjoy seeing him overcome his fears and achieve his dreams. Hermey the elf is very charming (and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn if he's gay) and Yukon Cornelius is so funny, especially when he licks his ax to detect minerals. The guy is tough and ambitious but also quite indecisive as he can't always decide what he wants (one time he wants gold, the other silver) which makes him the easiest to emphasize with. The other characters are nice too. And the voice work is quite impressive.
I wasn't crazy about the songs but I gotta admit they were kinda catchy and full of energy, and they are nicely performed. I did like two tough, Why Am I Such a Misfit and especially There's Always Tomorrow. The latter is quite touching.
The greatest aspect of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the animation. Although at times it's a little bit clunky and bizarre and it looks dated, it's still very charming.