Rudolph's Shiny New Year
On New Years Eve, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is sent to find Happy the Baby New Year, who must be present when the clock strikes midnight or else it will be December 31 forever.
If you’ve never heard of this film, then you’ve never seen this movie as the last film in a DVD set of Christmas classics starting with Santa Claus is Coming to Town and ending with this, preceded by none other than Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. You know, Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey? Oddly enough that’s not the most obscure Christmas movie from Rankin/Bass. Pinnochio’s Christmas exists, and will be saved for next year. Basically, this is Rankin/Bass’ take on the New Years movie genre, a genre that very much doesn’t exist, so props to them for making it happen.
This entire concept must’ve been the result of a bad acid trip. And that isn’t necessarily a fault of the movie, it just has a lot of unexplained details that are much more sinister when viewing it from an adult lens. Take Happy the Baby New Year, for example. Does he only live one year? Does Father Time have to watch all of his children die? Why is Eon the Terrible so terrifying? This is similar in feeling to old Doctor Strange comics except for kids. It’s very trippy, but in a good way.
After all, Benjamin Franklin makes an appearance in this movie with a caveman and the Three Bears: as in Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. Father Time and Santa Claus are friends, and our main character is a reindeer. How does any of this make sense? You just have to watch and see.
There were more diverse settings compared to a lot of the other Rankin/Bass offerings. You see the characters go through desserts, jungles, and rocky hellscapes, each of which, while cheap, are strangely beautiful and cinematic.
You also see one of the most terrifying Rankin/Bass villains of all time. The Winter Warlock pre-melting looks like a puppy compared to Eon the Terrible. Not only does he look scary, he sounds scary. He has this horrible squawking noise that you would not want to hear in a dark alley. He’s if a vulture were dragon-sized. If I saw him in real life I’d pee myself. No thank you.
As far as the quality of the movie as a whole is concerned, it’s pretty standard for Rankin/Bass productions. It’s cheaply made, the writing is simple, the acting is standard, but it does it’s job and it does it’s job well. It’s a holiday movie.
The one way in which it doesn’t meet its standard is in the music. Compared to the other Rankin/Bass classics this isn’t as good. It feels like they just didn’t care at all about the soundtrack.
I genuinely don’t know what else to recommend you for this holiday. Usually people don’t need New Years movies because they drink. This year is going to be a little different, so you might as well break out the only New Years movie currently in existence and engross yourself in the madness.
Overall, this is an interesting and wacky New Year’s Movie option for you.
Rudolph’s Shiny New Year: Odd But Entertaining
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 6/106/10
Production - 7.5/107.5/10
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