Robbie the Reindeer
is a reindeer character who made his debut in the 1999 Christmas Special Hooves Of Fire
In the first one, Robbie, the son of Rudolph arrives at the North Pole in August to become the leader of Santa's sleigh. Unfortunately, he's out of shape and not particularly dedicated. Blitzen in particular is angered at the lazy reindeer, who also is in love with Blitzen's girl. Robbie gets kicked off the reindeer team and has to work humiliating odd jobs, but he can't even do those
right and thus considers himself a failure until Donner convinces him to participate in the Reindeer Games.
Robbie is then coached by Old Jingle, whose mental faculties are in question. Although he does get shaped up somewhat, Robbie ends up lagging in the race after having to rescue Old Jingle from his falling house. After a kiss from Donner, Robbie then starts breaking records in all of the Reindeer Games events. It comes down to a photo finish; Blitzen won by a nose, but is disqualified for taking drugs, so that means, of course, that Robbie won!
The first special was well received in the UK, where it's a Christmastime staple on the BBC
. It was comparatively unknown stateside until 2002, when CBS
re-dubbed the entire special with American voices (and of course, a few dialogue changes). Ben Stiller
took the title role, and other celebs who particpated include Brad Garrett
, Britney Spears
, James Belushi
, Hugh Grant, Dick Enberg and Ben's dad, Jerry Stiller. The Americanised dub has been fairly popular in its own right and has re-aired several times through CBS.
Two sequels have followed: Legend of the Lost Tribe
(2002) and Close Encounters of the Herd Kind
(2007). In the former, Robbie discovers a tribe of lost Vikings, and in the latter, Donner is kidnapped by aliens. Clearly, neither special was Christmas-oriented.
Tropes present in Hooves of Fire:
- And This Is for...: Blitzen pushes Robbie with a reasoning of "this is for you", then moves one of the race obstacles while saying "and this is for daddy!"
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: A variant; the female reindeer clearly have breasts and presumably nipple-hiding fur á la Sally Acorn.
- Betty and Veronica: Donner and Vixen.
- Christmas Special: Duh.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Old Jingle.
- Dartboard of Hate: Blitzen has one with Robbie's picture on it.
- Disney Death: Parodied. Robbie's mentor, Old Jingle, appears to die tragically in his arms. Then Jingle starts snoring.
- Eccentric Mentor: Old Jingle.
- Exposed Animal Belly Button: Robbie and Prancer.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Present in the original dub but removed from the CBS version:
Vixen: I'm chilly. I wish someone would stoke my fire.
Blitzen: My my. Looks like Christmas has come early.
- Gilligan Cut: With Old Jingle: "I'd have to be raving mad to push my house up the hill." Guess what he does in the next shot.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Shows up during the Reindeer Games; Vixen, Donner, and Robbie are all wearing only shirts.
- Hartman Hips: Every female reindeer.
- Humanlike Foot Anatomy: Averted; they have relatively normal hooves. Their hands, however...
- Inksuit Actor: Or possibly typecasting - Santa (in the British version) is voiced by Ricky Tomlinson, who is in fact a big fat man with a beard.
- Jerk Ass: Blitzen really has it out for Robbie.
- Love Triangle: Robbie and Blitzen are both in love with Vixen. Robbie falls in love with Donner at the end though.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: British sportscasters Alan Hansen and Des Lynam are caricatured as Alan Snowman and Des Yeti.
- Pop-Star Composer: Mark Knopfler did the music.
- Rasputinian Death:
Blitzen: Let's crush him, trample him into dust, then throw the remains of the dust to the wolves, then blow up the wolves!
Prancer: You don't like him, do you?
Blitzen: Not especially, no.
- Same Language Dub: The CBS dub.
- Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus: Even she has a beard.
- The Scottish Trope: One Running Gag involves Blitzen preventing anyone from saying Rudolph's name (due to copyright issues).
- "Shut Up" Kiss: Between Donner and Robbie near the end.
- Standard Snippet: "Chariots of Fire" in one montage.
- Stealth Pun: Seal, the musician, as a singing seal.
- Stop Motion: Yep.
- Through a Face Full of Fur: Happens to Robbie when Donner kisses him for the first time.
Tropes present in Legend of the Lost Tribe:
- Amusement Park of Doom: Blitzen's Reindeer World theme park.
- Hair-Raising Hare: Long-Eared Jack and his rabbit thugs.
- Horny Vikings: Subverted; the Vikings aren't terribly interested in pillaging.
- Master of Disguise: Parodied with Long-Eared Jack, who is supposed to be one and has a succession of Latex Perfection masks that all look exactly the same. Until it turns out he's actually Carlos the Hamster.
- Mid-Battle Tea Break: While Robbie is fighting Blitzen, Donner complains to him about how she feels he doesn't appreciate her, and Robbie just tells her they'll talk later. Finally, tired of hearing them quarell during the fight, Bltizen ends up pausing the battle to settle things between them.
- Planet of Steves: The vikings are all called Magnus. Even the women.
Tropes present in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind: