The movie's protagonist, a young reindeer whose glowing red nose makes him the subject of ridicule. Despite this, he dreams of becoming one of Santa's Flyers.
- Heroic BSoD: After getting the (mistaken) idea that his dad is ashamed of him, Rudolph runs away from home. Into miles and miles of arctic wilderness.
- Hero Worship: His dad is Blitzen, so naturally Rudolph admires the Flyers a great deal.
- Homeschooled Kids: Implied. After his first day at school, in which everyone in his class (except for Zoey and their teacher) publicly mocks him, he runs out sobbing and it's never shown if he returned. Every interaction with his peers after that is during public festivals or sporting events.
- Inexplicably Awesome: It's never explained why his nose glows, though the fairies say there have been others like him.
- Power Incontinence: During times of high emotion, his light brightens. He can't even turn it off at will, initially.
- Situational Sociability: Away from the tight-knit society of the North Pole, he is much more willing to open up. This is because most Pole inhabitants are either part of Rudolph's problems or people he desperately wants to impress.
- Tuft of Head Fur: He has a huge tuft of fur that makes him look adorkable and youthful.
Rudolph's love interest. Her disastrous attempt to find him and subsequent imprisonment by Stormella form the movie's dramatic climax.
- Determinator: After searching miles of empty snow, she trespasses on Stormella's property just because Rudolph might be there.
- Expy: Of Clarice from the Rankin/Bass Christmas Special. She was supposed to be Clarice, but the rights couldn't be given.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Zoey's plan to find Rudolph after he runs off alone into the wilderness amounts to doing basically the same thing as he did. It doesn't work out.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Zoey breaks up with Arrow by explaining that Rudolph actually has the qualities necessary to be a flyer, unlike Arrow, and Arrow is shallow on top of that if he can't see Rudolph's positive qualities just because Rudolph has a red nose.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Single doe in this case, but Zoey falls in love with Rudolph because of Rudolph's positive qualities.
- Token Good Teammate: She basically exists to show that not all the reindeer Rudolph's age are bullies.
- What Does She See in Him?: In Arrow. He eventually goes too far, so she breaks up with him.
A reindeer Rudolph's age who bullies him because of his red nose. The other reindeer make fun of Rudolph as well, but Arrow is Rudolph's primary antagonist until Stormella's plan goes into motion.
- Batman Gambit: During the sleigh race, Arrow tells Rudolph a lie about Zoey, that Zoey only likes Rudolph because she feels sorry for him. Rudolph knows this isn't true, but Arrow talking about Zoey that way causes Rudolph's nose to glow in anger and blind Arrow, resulting in Rudolph's disqualification and Arrow winning by default.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Arrow is jealous of Rudolph because despite Arrow and Zoey dating, Zoey is developing feelings for Rudolph. As a child he interrupts a mistletoe-kiss between Zoey and Rudolph, and when they're older he attempts to remove the competition by getting Rudolph disqualified. But this just results in Zoey breaking up with him instead.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He successfully gets Rudolph removed from the sleigh competition, but because Zoey saw the underhanded way he did it, Zoey breaks up with him. Also, while the referee didn't see that Rudolph's nose only glowed due to Arrow's provocation, Santa himself did, and of course Santa never does pick Arrow to be on his team.
- Karma Houdini: A minor example; the referee never finds out that Rudolph's nose only blinded Arrow because Arrow provoked him, so Arrow gets away with it and is declared the winner. However, Arrow does face other consequences: his then-girlfriend Zoey breaks up with him over it, and ultimately he never does get to be on Santa Claus's sleigh team.
- What Does She See in Him?: On both the receiving and giving end. On the receiving end, the movie never makes it clear why Arrow and Zoey are dating to begin with. On the giving end, Arrow can't understand how Zoey could possibly like Rudolph, because after all, "he has a red nose!" Zoey's response is to call Arrow "shallow" and refuse to be his doe-friend anymore.
Boon and Doggle
A pair of elves who deliver mail. They accidentally destroy Stormella's garden in a snowmobile accident.
- Butterfly of Doom: In response to their "vandalism", Stormella forbids anyone from going on her property, which leads to Zoey getting imprisoned, which leads to the heroes confronting Stormella, which means that Christmas is almost cancelled (because none of the reindeer at the Pole can navigate the blizzard surrounding it). Boon and Doggle knew the consequences of their actions would be bad, just not how bad.
- Nice Guy: After they lose a race, Doggle apologizes to Rudolph even though the loss wasn't his fault. He just wants to make Rudolph feel better.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After crashing their snowmobile into Stormella's garden, they flee. This makes them even look more suspicious to her.
- Those Two Guys: They're more or less interchangeable and mostly exist to deliver exposition.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Boon and Doggle accidentally wreck Stormella's ice garden, and then flee the scene. Then, when Santa Claus won't allow Stormella to punish them (because Stormella strongly implied the punishment would be lethal), Stormella responds by plotting to ruin Christmas with a huge storm. So Santa was almost unable to make his sleigh deliveries all because Boon and Doggle weren't careful with their snowmobile.
Mitzi and Blitzen
Rudolph's mother and father.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Blitzen. In the Rankin-Bass special, Rudolph's father insisted that Rudolph cover up his nose so Santa wouldn't object to him. But in this movie, Blitzen refuses to be ashamed of his son.
- Good Parents: Mitzi is fiercely proud of Rudolph and doesn't care about his nose. Blitzen is initially hesitant, but after Mitzi scolds him, "Embarrassed by your own son?", Blitzen also becomes fiercely proud of Rudolph, even willing to argue with the referee of the sleigh race on Rudolph's behalf.
- Happily Married: Mitzi and Blitzen may argue, but they clearly love and respect each other.
- Morality Pet: Mitzi convinces Blitzen to not worry so much about what his friends will think of Rudolph.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Unfortunately, Blitzen standing up to the referee backfires due to a poor wording choice: he tells the referee, "that nose of his was an accident". He meant that Rudolph couldn't control when his nose glows so Rudolph had no actual intention of blinding Arrow, but when Rudolph overhears this, he thinks it means his father thinks he's an accident, so Rudolph runs away.
A fox who lives in a cave outside the North Pole.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: His attempt to attack Rudolph ends badly. It helped that Rudolph was about four times Slyly's size.
- Hypocrite: He claims that "love is for suckers", in the same breath as he empathizes with Rudolph because of that 'fact'.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He cheats people less out of malice than the genuine belief he can't trust anyone to help him. After befriending Rudolph and Leonard, he gradually gets better.
- Nerves of Steel: Slyly remains calm even while pickpocketing Stormella, a sorceress who could easily crush him.
- Unmanly Secret: He steals a stuffed toy of Rudolph's so he can cuddle it while sleeping. Rudolph later gives him one of his own as a Christmas present.
Spirits of the Northern Lights.
- Light Is Good: They believe strongly in this. They say that Rudolph's power reflects the light in his heart, and that only a few creatures are "lucky" enough to have their emotions reflected physically.
- Meaningful Name: Each of their names relates to light in some way.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Tiny, rare, and colour-themed.