Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie is a 1998 direct-to-video animated film, based on both the story and the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". It was presented by Goodtimes Entertainment, in association with Golden Books Family Entertainment, and produced by the Cayre Brothers, founders of GoodTimes, with Tundra Productions, Inc., animated in China by Colorland Animation.
One night at Santa Claus's Village, the Sprites of the Northern Lights, a group of singing sprites who can be seen flying all around the North Pole, named Aurora, Sparkle, Glitter, and Twinkle, put on a special light show to celebrate the birth of Rudolph, a newborn buck born to Blitzen and his wife Mitzi. After he sneezes, Rudolph's red, shiny nose lights up; his mother's only word on the incident is "Bless you." The next day, Rudolph is given a tour of Santa's Village by his parents, and prances merrily around in the snow; his nose lights up once again in the exuberance. When Rudolph's uncles - Comet, Cupid, and Dasher - come to see him, Blitzen tries to hide him, but then reveals Rudolph to them. Cupid tickles Rudolph on his chin and tummy until Rudolph's nose starts glowing red again. Before long, all the residents of Santa's Village, reindeer and elves alike, find out that Rudolph has a glowing nose, and they all laugh at him, leaving him humiliated.
Meanwhile, two mail delivery elves, Boone and Doggle, are delivering mail in hopes of a promotion for the two of them (they dislike their current job and wish to be promoted to the factory floor of Santa's Workshop). But as they cross the bridge made by Stormella the evil Ice Queen, Boone loses control of the sled vehicle, inadvertently crashing into, and in turn destroying, Stormella's ice garden. The two elves make a dash for it, but in the process, Doggle loses his hat.
Rudolph is shown Santa's toy factory and is given a teddy bear. Work, however, is cut short as Stormella bursts in with both her penguin butler, Ridley, and her Arctic wolves, demanding justice. She explains that her ice garden has been wrecked, and she knows one of Santa's elves was responsible, displaying Doggle's hat that she found at the "scene of the crime." Boone and Doggle plead for mercy, not wanting to go with Stormella, so Santa refuses to turn them over. Stormella, outraged, threatens to close down her bridge over Grand Chasm to the public, but Santa, who knows how important it is for his Christmas trip, still refuses to surrender Boone and Doggle to her. With that, Stormella closes her bridge, saying that if anyone crosses it, she will conjure a storm so big and powerful "it will knock [their] thermal socks off."
The following year, Blitzen and Mitzi send Rudolph, now a little older and stronger, off to school. There, he meets Zoey, a pretty and kind young doe who he develops romantic affections for, but starts a rivalry with his cousin Arrow. At school, Rudolph's nose is laughed at by Arrow and everyone in his class, except for Zoey and the teacher Mrs. Prancer, and Rudolph leaves the school in tears. Rudolph meets up with Santa, who tries to convince Rudolph that his nose is not really something to laugh at as it makes him special.
Later, on Christmas Eve, Santa and his reindeer take off and start their annual journey around the world whilst Rudolph constantly tries to get a better view due to the crowd being in his way. After Santa's sleigh takes off into the sky, Rudolph finds himself alone and plays out a pretend acceptance speech for if he was just named the newest Flyer for Santa's team, thanking his parents, Santa, and especially Zoey. Little does he know, Zoey is listening in on his speech and makes a not-so-subtle giggle, startling him. But Zoey says she likes his speech and tells Rudolph that she wants to be his friend and that his nose is as unique as he is. However, the moment is interrupted when Arrow (who is Zoey's boyfriend) arrives unexpectedly, ordering Zoey to come with him. To avoid Arrow becoming jealous, Zoey reluctantly follows him, but gives Rudolph a smile. Rudolph dances happily, knowing that his dream doe is his first friend.
A year later, Rudolph is now an adolescent, complete with budding antlers, and is competing in the Junior Reindeer Games. Zoey, now his best friend, gives him her locket to bring him good luck, and also gives him a kiss on the cheek. However, at the starting line, Arrow is angry to see Rudolph wearing Zoey's pendant and reminds him that she's "his doe." Rudolph tells Arrow that Zoey is not a trophy and should not to be treated like one, but Arrow ignores this.
The first game in the tournament is the "Sleigh Race", in which the young reindeer practice pulling their elf drivers just as Santa's famous reindeer pull his sleigh (as an incentive to win, Santa sometimes picks future reindeer Flyers to pull his sleigh from the best in the competition). Shortly after the event starts, the dishonorable Arrow starts cheating, hoping Santa will pick him in pulling his sleigh, and Rudolph tries to avoid him. However, when Rudolph is in the lead, Arrow takes advantage of Rudolph's feelings for Zoey by claiming that she is only nice to Rudolph because she feels sorry for him. Rudolph denies this, but Arrow insists that Zoey told him so. Despite not believing a word of it, Rudolph becomes so angry at Arrow's taunts that his nose shines brightly, blinding Arrow and his carriage's elf driver and inadvertently making them crash, causing Rudolph and Doggle, his elf driver, to win. Unfortunately, a paranoid elf referee disqualifies Rudolph and makes Arrow the winner by default.
Zoey confronts Arrow on his cheating, telling him that he is no Flyer. When Arrow then says that Rudolph's red nose makes him unworthy to be a Flyer, Zoey calls him shallow and breaks up with him, to which a disappointed Arrow simply turns his back on her. Blitzen, meanwhile, is outraged about the race results and tries to get the referee to change his decision, but the referee tells him that the decision is final. Blitzen explains that "the nose problem isn't his fault, he was born that way! That nose of his... was an accident." But Rudolph, overhearing and misinterpreting Blitzen's explanation, thinks his father is ashamed of him. Feeling unwanted, Rudolph vows that he will make his father proud someday and runs away into the Arctic.
Rudolph's parents discover a note that Rudolph left, informing them of his departure. And when Zoey, who came by wanting to visit Rudolph, learns that he ran away, she decides to go look for him. However, she goes too far when she crosses Stormella's ice bridge over Grand Chasm, which she had closed off when Santa refused to surrender Boone and Doggle to her. Shortly after being chased by Stormella's wolves, the evil ice witch imprisons Zoey. In the meantime, Blitzen and Mitzi, along with Zoey's parents, go to Santa, asking him to help find their children. Santa assigns Boone and Doggle to go out and find them, giving them a second chance.
Meanwhile, after Aurora, the leader of the Sprites of the Northern Lights, secretly guides him with her magic powers, Rudolph finds a cave where he befriends an arctic fox named Slyly. The next morning, an avalanche causes the cave to collapse, and the duo are forced to find another home. They come to a home owned by a polar bear named Leonard, and trick him into leaving by saying the cave is in danger of collapsing. When he returns in anger at being tricked, Rudolph apologizes, and after they explain everything, Leonard accepts his apology and lets the duo stay. That night, Rudolph has a nightmare, including memories of previous events back at the North Pole, and then goes outside for some air. There, Aurora and the other sprites reveal themselves to him and tell him they are big fans of his "wondrous" nose. They then tell him that Zoey is in trouble and teach him how to use his light, allowing him to gain better control of it. Rudolph wakes up Slyly and Leonard, and the three of them walk towards Stormella's fortress.
When the three reach Stormella's bridge, Rudolph and Leonard go on, while Slyly stays behind in fear of Stormella's wolves. Using his nose, Rudolph finds his way into the fortress without getting caught despite an alarm going off as the light of Rudolph's nose makes Stormella think it is a glitch. Rudolph finds Zoey when he hears her singing "Show Me the Light", but before they can free her, Stormella arrives and locks them up with her, telling them her plan to ruin Christmas by creating the storm of the century.
After Stormella creates the storm, Slyly finds the others all locked up in the dungeon. He then goes up to Stormella's bed chamber and grabs the keys from her neck. Once Slyly releases them, they make their escape, only to be caught at the edge of a ledge by Stormella. When she threatens to harm Zoey, Rudolph blinds her with his light and she nearly falls off the ledge. With the help of the others, Rudolph saves Stormella, who grants him one wish in return for saving her life after being reminded of the rules of the North Pole. Instead of wishing for a normal nose, he wishes for her to be nice. She does as he commands, but she cannot stop the storm as it has to run its natural course once she casts it. However, she reopens her bridge to allow them access back to the North Pole; Rudolph and the others then leave for home. Boone and Doogle find them and bring them home, where they are heartily welcomed and Rudolph and Zoey reunite with their respective parents.
Santa gets an idea on how he can still deliver Christmas gifts despite the storm, and asks Rudolph if he can guide him with his light, which he of course accepts. Just before take-off, his friends wish him good luck and Zoey gives him a kiss on the cheek. Santa also awards Rudolph his own medallion to confirm he's the newest Flyer on the sleigh team. Blitzen says, "I'm proud of you, son" just before they start flying off. The next day, Stormella is shown by Ridley that Santa gave her an ice sculpture of herself to make up for the statues that were broken. Meanwhile, Slyly and Leonard find gifts Rudolph left for them under the tree. Leonard got Rudolph's red scarf while Slyly got Rudolph's old teddy bear. As Rudolph and the rest of the team return with Santa, the movie ends with everyone, even Arrow, singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".
|Song title||Music & Lyrics by||Performed by|
|"Rudoloh the Red-Nosed Reindeer"||Johnny Marks
Tom Scott (arranger)
|"What About His Nose?"||Al Kasha
|Cast featuring Debbie Reynolds|
|"Christmas Song"||The Pointer Sisters|
|"Santa's Family"||John Goodman|
|"Wonderful Christmastime"||Paul McCartney||Wings|
|"Show Me The Light"||Al Kasha
|"It Could Always Be Worse"||Eric Idle|
|"I Hate Santa Claus"||Carmen Twillie|
|"We Can Make It"||Johnny Tillotson|
|"The Sprites' Songs"||Al Kasha
- John Goodman would portray Santa Claus again in the live-action The Year Without a Santa Claus and the SpongeBob SquarePants "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!", as well as voicing the Robot Santa in the first Futurama Christmas episode, "Xmas Story".
- Kathleen Barr (Teenage Rudolph and Twinkle) and Matt Hill (Teenage Arrow and Donner) would co-star alongside each other again in the Cartoon Network original series Ed, Edd n Eddy, with Barr voicing Marie Kanker and Kevin, and Hill voicing Ed.
- In the movie, only the male reindeer have antlers whilst in real life, both male and female reindeer have them. In the film, the male reindeer are called bucks and the females does, but in real life, males are called bulls and females are called cows.
- Ridley the penguin is shown to live in the North Pole, but in real life, penguins are native to the South Pole. This is either a mistake or Ridley might have lived in the South Pole, but moved to the North Pole prior to working for Stormella.
- Both of Stormella's voice actresses were involved in The Lion King, with Goldberg (the speaking voice) as the voice of Shenzi and Twillie (the singing voice) involved in the English-language vocals for "Circle of Life".
|Kathleen Barr||Rudolph (adolescent; speaking)|
Twinkle the Sprite (speaking)
|Michael Lloyd||Rudolph (adolescent; singing)|
|Eric Pospisil||Rudolph (younger)|
|Myriam Sirois (speaking)
Debby Lytton Lloyd (singing)
|Vanessa Morley||Zoey (younger)|
|Whoopi Goldberg (speaking)
Carman Tillie (singing)
|John Goodman||Santa Claus|
|Debbie Reynolds||Mrs. Claus|
|Myriam Sirois||Glitter the Sprite (speaking)|
Schoolroom Doe #1
Milo the Elf
|Christopher Gray||Arrow (younger)|
|Matt Hill||Arrow (adolescent)|
|Elizabeth Carol Savenkoff||Aurora the Sprite (speaking)|
Elf Crowd Member #3
|Cathy Weseluck||Sparkle the Sprite (speaking)|
Elf Crowd Member #1
|Tyler Thompson||Schoolroom Buck|
|Debby Lytton Lloyd||Sprites of the Northern Lights (singing)|
|Unknown||Schoolroom Doe #2|
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie at the Internet Movie Database
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Wiki: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie
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