Fireball is a minor character in the 1964 Rankin/Bass television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. According to the 2017 tie-in storybook T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games, he is the son of Blitzen.
A yearling buck, Fireball attempts to befriend the title character before the start of the "reindeer games." Shortly after introducing himself to Rudolph, Fireball playfully tells Rudolph (whose glowing red nose is hidden by a false nose) of the attention he immediately receives at a distance from Clarice, a yearling doe.
Told by Clarice that he was "cute," Rudolph is overcome with joy and leaps into the air, flying farther and faster than any other yearling in the reindeer games. A playful tussle with Fireball ensues and the false nose that has hidden Rudolph's unusual nose falls off, causing the terrified Fireball to recoil in fear at the sight and ending their friendship. When he, the other yearling bucks and coach Comet recover from the initial shock, the group led by Fireball mercilessly torment Rudolph by calling him names, ending with Comet's proclamation that Rudolph is being banned from reindeer games.
Upon Rudolph's return to Santa's workshop later in the special, he is met by three other young bucks, one of whom loudly proclaims the return of "Old Neon-Nose;" though not named, it may be presumed to be Fireball since he was the only buck that age with whom Rudolph had made contact both before and immediately after the false nose incident, but he has a different voice than Fireball.
It may also be presumed that Fireball is among the group of young bucks inside the workshop who cheer Rudolph for saving Christmas by lighting the front of the sleigh through the foggy weather ahead.
The voices of all of the jeering reindeer were provided by voice actor Alfie Scopp.
- It is possible that Fireball is the inspiration for Arrow in the 1998 film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie; both characters have blonde hair and they both oppose Rudolph, though in Fireball's case he originally started out as Rudolph's friend.
|Santa's team|| Dasher • Dancer • Prancer • Vixen • Comet • Cupid • Donner • Blitzen • Rudolph (Rankin/Bass / Other Adaptations)|
|Others||Annabelle • Arrow • Barnaby • Blizzard • Clarice • Clarice's father • Dart • Delphi • Fireball • Fred • Frost • Gargoff • Grandpa • Grandsanta's pet reindeer • Holly • Jonni • Leader • Lenni • Lightning • Mitzi • Mrs. Donner • Mrs. Prancer • Niko • Old Jingle • Olive • Oona • Prancy • Robbie • Roger • Rusty • Saga • Santa Claus's reindeer's great-great-grandchildren • Scratcher • Schnitzel • Sparkle • Sven • Tapir • Thrasher • Tobias • Zoey (her father/mother)|