Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Life Lessons From Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

When Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer premier during the 1964 holiday season on NBC, Rankin-Bass had a hit on their hand.  Based on a song (which was based on a poem), the used the technique of stop-motion animation and it captivated kids.  But past the sweetness of the story and the adorability of the characters, there are life lessons from Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer.

The Fresh Toast – Who guessed the life lessons from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer would stand the taste of time and help kids and adults today

Being Different Is OK


For kids being in school, being different is hard.  Whether you are maturing early, wearing glasses, or a myriad of other things which separate from the mainstream, it is tough.  Rudolph leaves and makes his own way, finds friends, and ends up finding value in his difference.

In the land of Misfit Toys, Dolly’s only apparent “flaw” is showing persistent sadnes, a sign she’s likely suffering from depression. The other toys accept her and Santa, belatedly, realizes she can be loved and finds her a home.

Sometimes it comes from unexpected quarters.  “You’ll be a normal little buck, just like everybody else,” Rudolph’s dad tells him, minutes after the kid is born. It’s downhill from there for Rudy’s self-esteem. “For the first few years, the Donners did a pretty good job hiding Rudolph’s… ‘non-conformity,’” the snowman narrator says. The idea of non-conformity truly started in the 50s and60s. First with rock n roll then punk-rockers and a wide variety misfits for the next 50 years and counting. 

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Meaningful Work Is Crucial

Herbie knew he was a misfit, but also felt he had a purpose.  He know he could make his team better, if people understood. He was not content to stay on the assembly line at a job he hated and took the risk to strike out for something he loved.  Discovering who you are and what are you talents can be scary, but pays off in the long run. Ultimately, Herbie has the chance to open his much needed practice.

Keep An Open Mind

Despite emotionally abusing his son for his entire childhood, Rudolph’s dad demands to be the only one to look for him when the kid runs away from home. He tells Ms. Donner she can’t come along, because it’s “man work.” As soon as the old bastard is gone, however, Rudy’s new girlfriend appears, and the ladies set off on their own journey to find him.

Fitting In Isn’t Everything


When his nose is revealed as being different, all of the reindeers in training, including the coach, join in to mock Rudolph. For millions of kids who watch the show, Rudolph gave hope for those being bullied. It is tough, but the hero bucks it up and decides to stand alone and be himself.

Everyone Can Contribute

Social outcasts including spotted elephant, a train with square wheels, and a gun that shoots… jelly? …are the new squad Rudolph finds. Alright, cue the Twenty One Pilots song.

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It’s Never Too Late To Change


The Abominable Snowman spends most of his time terrorizing the creatures of the North Pole, sending them hiding whenever he casts a shadow. But by the end of their journey, ol’ Abominable’s heart has grown three sizes—and all he wants is a job decorating Christmas trees.

Sometimes, You Don’t Have The Whole Story

Ever notice how the miner, Yukon Cornelius, is constantly licking that pickaxe in a really weird way? Well, there’s more to that than a weapons fetish, as Snopes reported. In a deleted scene, Yukon says he’s been looking for peppermint mines all along.

Also, the 1964 showing did not have Santa picking up toys from the Island of Misfit Toys at the end. A letter-writing campaign ensued and the new ending was added in 1965. Also in 1965, sponsor General Electric insisted on replacing the song “We’re a Couple of Misfits” with “Fame and Fortune”, a change that lasted until 1998, when “Misfits” was put back in.



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