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Built on the back of the titular code red Ear Worm and its resonant "misfits have their place in the great scheme of things" message of seemingly infinitely applicable allegory, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a strange, and sometimes inexplicably charming, beast. It's Rankin/Bass, so inevitable drawbacks such as awkward animation and nonsensical plot elements abound, but the good tends to outshine the bad most of the time. You can tell they set out with good intentions at heart at least.
Rather surprisingly though, this ain't all schmaltzy sentiment and harmony. Rudolph's dad, for one, (One of Santa's reindeer... Doucher or something?) is verging on the type of borderline-inhuman (in-reindeer?) monster who spurns his own child for being born "different"... in this case, being blessed with a bulbous, bright red proboscis not wholly unlike that of your great-uncle Charley after approximately 15 cups of nog too many. And Santa is also an unlikeable workaholic asshole that often seems to view his reindeer like a sweatshop owner views his workers. It's nice to have a break from goodwill towards men and all that, but Jesus Christ, these guys belong in a mean-spirited Family Guy parody or something.
And holy shit is that blonde elf dude annoying. His grating voice, his ceaseless self-pity... I mean, who in the name of the abominable snowman's ulcer-infested anal cavity wants to be a dentist? Fuck Secret Santa, how about Secret Sadist? This guy'd get on like a house on fire with Orin Scrivello, DDS! (No offense to any prospective dentist tropers out there. Still though, you'll get yours in Hell.) I kinda want to strangle him with an oversized Christmas stocking.
No, the one truly great thing to be found here is Burl Motherfucking Ives. Acting as the pleasant narrator and occasional time-filler in the form of surprisingly heartwarming and awesome songs (Gene Autry, eat your heart out!), his Pringles-alike snowy visage is the stuff Christmas dreams are made of. I kinda want to grind him into powder and snort his unfiltered Christmas goodness. It's not often blatant padding steals the show but goddamn, how about you give this guy his own special, huh? I can see it now... "Rankin/Bass presents Burl Ives Shaves Christmas!"
That'll do, reindeer. That'll do.
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