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Directed by Kizo Nagashima + Larry Roemer
USA
1964

 

Burl Ives narrates and sings Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  - an iconic 60's Christmas tale about uniqueness, conformity and acceptance. Rudolph and his electric proboscis team-up with show-stealing Hermey (a wannabe Dentist) and larger-than-life, protective Yukon Cornelius. They battle the 'Abominable snowman' (called a 'Bumble' by our friend Yukon) in a search for a place to live without rejection... but instead we, the audience, find some real spirit and meaning in Holiday season. 'Magnificent' is an understatement.

***

This classic 1964 television special featuring Rudolph and his misfit buddies set the standard for stop-motion animation for an entire generation before Tim Burton darkly reinvented it in the early 1990s. Burl Ives narrates as Sam the Snowman, telling and singing the story of a rejected reindeer who overcomes prejudice and saves Christmas one particularly blustery year. Along the way, he meets an abundance of unforgettable characters: his dentally obsessed elf pal Hermey; the affable miner Yukon Cornelius and his motley crew of puppies; the scary/adorable Abominable Snow Monster; a legion of abandoned, but still chatty, toys; and a rather grouchy Santa. In addition to the title song that inspired it, this 53-minute tape is crammed with catchy tunes such as "Silver and Gold" and "Holly Jolly Christmas." Those who grew up looking forward to watching Rudolph every Christmas season will undoubtedly be able to recite the quotable quotes ("I'm cuuuute. She said I'm cuuuute." "Hermey doesn't like to make toys.") as well as any Casablanca cult audience.  

Excerpt from Amazon located HERE

Book Panel promos

Television Premiere: December 6th, 1954

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Comparison:

Classic Media - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Classic Media - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Classic Media - Region 1 - NTSC Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

The Blu-ray is also available in The Original Christmas Classics Giftset which includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus is Comin' to Town / Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns - all in Blu-ray.

         

Runtime 51:52  0:51:45.560
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.98 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 14,655,809,492 bytes

Feature: 14,234,769,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2833 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2833 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Classic Media

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

Introduction by Arthur Rankin (10:46)

Rudolph Trivia game
'Fame and Fortune' Song (2:16)
Original TV promo (:58)


DVD Release Date: September 24th, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio:
Classic Media / Vivendi

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 14,655,809,492 bytes

Feature: 14,234,769,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:
none

Blu-ray Release Date:
October 12th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 27

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - October 2010: There isn't much to say here. My 2002 DVD is single-layered and interlaced (see sample). The new Blu-ray by Vivendi (Rankin/Bass sold the rights a few years back) may be bare-bones but the image is cleaner than the DVD and colors come to life. Yukon Cornelius' coat moves from blue to green and, important, reds brighten up notably. Every visual facet is improved (less artifacts and speckles, smoother in-motion etc.) with the 1080P Blu-ray providing a vastly superior presentation.

Audio also improves with a lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2833 kbps. There isn't a lot sharp separation but everything is more dynamic (the DVD often sounded hollow) and the music is a giant leap forward. There are no optional subtitles on the new format transfer (there are on the DVD - see sample) and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

On the extras front - we lose the 10-minute Rankin introduction, Trivia game and TV promo. The Blu-ray has no supplements at all. There is some griping on the web about no commentaries etc. and this is a valid complaint with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer being a short enough feature (less than an hour) that something like that should have been included - especially at the price offered.

The 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, for many, IS Christmas. I worked with a gal who actually had the little figurines on her desk year round. The underlying theme of acceptance is universal and I'm very happy to have this disc ready for my kids in late December after building a snowman, hot chocolate and a fire roaring in the fireplace! For 51-minutes, methinks, this is as good as life can get... 

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Classic Media - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Classic Media - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Classic Media - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


Classic Media - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Classic Media - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Classic Media - Region 1 - NTSC Classic Media (Vivendi) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

The Blu-ray is also available in The Original Christmas Classics Giftset which includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Santa Claus is Comin' to Town / Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns - all in Blu-ray.

         



 

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