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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a short story by Robert L. May that has been adapted over time in various forms.


Rudolph, a youthful reindeer buck (male) who possesses an unusual luminous red nose, is mocked and excluded by his peers because of this trait. Rudolph manages to prove himself one Christmas Eve after Santa Claus catches sight of Rudolph's nose and asks Rudolph to lead his sleigh for the evening. He is finally treated better by his fellow reindeer, for his heroism.


This short story has been famously adapted in many forms of media for decades. In 1948, Max Fleicher made a cartoon version of the story that briefly included the title song written by May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks. Gene Autry and other singers since 1949 have made it a holiday staple every year.

In 1964, a stop-motion television special by Rankin/Bass Productions recreates the story and introduced Rudolph, voiced by Billie Mae Richards, to a another generation. Instead of fog, a blizzard is what causes Santa to ask for Rudolph's help. The special was well received and continues to air at least once every Christmas. Rankin/Bass created sequels from this version with Rudolph's Shiny New Year, and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July with Richards reprising the role each time.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie, released in 1998, was made with another story different from the original. It is a traditionally animated film with a different backstory for Rudolph and new characters. The company responsible, GoodTimes Entertainment made a sequel, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Island of Misfit Toys, with CGI animation and the likeness of the Rankin/Bass special instead the previous material.

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