If you’re a person who celebrates Christmas, or simply owns a television, you’re no doubt well-acquainted with the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special. But you may be less familiar with the countless other animated specials that followed in Rudolph’s red, shiny wake. The producers and directors of Rudolph’s first adventure, Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass, produced well over a dozen follow-up animated holiday specials, and most of them were brain-breakingly bizarre. The Abominable Snow Monster and the Island of Misfit Toys are just the tip of the insanity iceberg.
So, here’s the top 10 Rankin-Bass holiday specials, ranked not by quality, but by how crazy they are. Hold onto your sugarplums, because things are about to get weird…
10) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
The Unembellished Plot
Rudolph is born with a red lightbulb for a nose, which results in a constant stream of abuse from his fellow reindeer. Even Santa himself cruelly casts him aside. Rudolph is all “nuts to this” and runs off with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and encounters a wacky prospector, an island of misfit toys and the Abominable Snow Monster himself. After Rudolph defeats said Snow Monster, the other reindeer begrudgingly accept him, and Santa lets Rudolph on his sleigh team once he realizes his nose could be useful. We’re all used to this one, but when you think about it, it’s still pretty odd stuff.
The Defining Moment of Insanity
The water pistol that shoots jelly.
Moral of the Story
Respect is hard-earned if you’re born different.