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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Fun Facts!

How much do you know about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Check out these fun facts and don't miss the opportunity to see Rudolph, Hermey, Bumble, and everyone else in person when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical takes the State Theatre stage on December 18 at 3pm and 6pm!

  1. While there are many reindeer in the North Pole, there is only one red-nosed reindeer, Rudolph.
  2. Sam the Snowman’s pocket watch never changes time throughout the show.  It always reads 2 o’clock.
  3. Yukon Cornelius discovers the peppermint mine on his third prospecting attempt.
  4. All of the human characters in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have four fingers.  It seems four was the magic number.
  5. Yukon Cornelius’s sled is pulled by a Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel, a Saint Bernard, a Dachshund, and a Collie.
  6. In 2008, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was restored for Blu-ray.  Enhancements were made to both the audio and picture, including the removal of scratches and artifacting.
  7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features seven original songs that were written for the special.
  8. The Santa puppet stood eight inches tall.
  9. Santa’s sleigh is pulled by seven reindeer at the end of the special.  According to the song, there are usually 9 reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph.
  10. In 2006, the original Rudolph and Santa figures were featured in an episode of Antiques Roadshow.  Pre-renovation, they were valued at $8,000-$10,000.
  11. There are 11 voice actors credited for all the voices in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  12. Rudolph’s red nose was originally created using a 12v light bulb painted red.
  13. In 1998, a deleted scene was uncovered featuring an instrumental break in “We Are Santa’s Elves.” It has been included in the special ever since.
  14. Though he appears quite large on screen, the Bumble figure stood 14 inches tall.
  15. Janis Orenstein was only 15 years old when she recorded the voice of Clarice.
  16. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has been recorded by Bing Crosby, The Jackson 5, The Wiggles, The California Raisins, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Simpsons, to name a few.
  17. In the 1965 broadcast, the song “We’re a Couple of Misfits” was replaced with a new song, “Fame and Fortune.”
  18. Production for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer took place in The United States, Canada and Japan.
  19. Rudolph did not revisit The Island of Misfit Toys in the original broadcast.  The scene was added a year later after a letter writing campaign.
  20. There are 20 bells that make up Donner’s jingle bells.
  21. Hermey is the only elf without pointed ears.
  22. 22 sets were built for the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer production.
  23. Sam the Snowman was voiced by the legendary Burl Ives.  By 1964, Burl had 23 film and television credits to his name.
  24. It takes 24 frames to create one second of filmed animation.
  25. All of the characters in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were built with joints so that any part of their body could be moved, including their eyes, mouth and ears.
  26. The song “Silver and Gold” was originally intended to be sung by Yukon Cornelius (Larry D. Mann) before Burl Ives was brought on board to play Sam the Snowman.
  27. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was recorded in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Japanese.
  28. The first draft of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer screenplay was finalized on October 28, 1963.
  29. The same actor provided the voices for both Donner and Coach Comet.
  30. There are 30 teeth in the Abominable Snow Monster’s mouth.
  31. In one of the original drafts of the story, a stork delivered Rudolph to his parents.
  32. Screenwriter Romeo Muller also penned scripts for many other Rankin/Bass holiday classics including: The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Frosty the Snowman (1969), and Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970).
  33. Rudolph’s signature nose glows in 33 shots in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  34. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally shown as a part of the General Electric Fantasy Hour.  At that time, Rudolph characters were also featured in GE commercials.
  35. Producers Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass worked together for 35 years and were responsible for many hit specials including: Mad Monster Party (1967), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Frosty the Snowman (1969), and The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974).
  36. An instrumental version of “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” can be heard during the Reindeer Games scene.
  37. The opening sequence features newspaper headlines from: New York Herald Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Mail, Daily News, and San Francisco Chronicle.
  38. The voice for Boss Elf changes dramatically in the Elf Practice scene.  It is believed that a line was added late in production and voiced by a different actor.
  39. Jon Favreau, the director of the 2003 film Elf, took different inspirations from Rudolph, most notably, with Buddy the Elf’s costume design.
  40. Originally, Sam the Snowman was envisioned as a roly-poly Nicely Nicely Johnson-type character.  Sam became a more “folksy” narrator when Burl Ives came on board.
  41. Gene Autry was 41 years old when his single for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” first hit the charts.
  42. There are 42 creatures featured in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: one Abominable Snow Monster, one fish, two rabbits, two raccoons, two owls, two squirrels, three birds, three polar bears, three seals, five dogs and 18 reindeer.
  43. Rudolph is actually voiced by a woman, Billie Mae Richards, who was 43 years old when she helped bring young Rudolph to life.  Her name is misspelled as “Billy” in the end credits.
  44. The yearly broadcast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer runs 44 minutes long.
  45. During the end credits, the Misfit Train is dropped out of Santa’s sleigh without his signature “caboose with square wheels.”
  46. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer holds the record as the longest-running Christmas television special.
  47. The “Misfit Bird Who Doesn’t Fly” actually learns to fly during the end credits.  He can be seen flying out of Santa’s sleigh without an umbrella parachute.
  48. Rudolph’s name is mentioned 48 times in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  49. Inspiration for the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special came from the story by Robert L. May and the song by Johnny Marks.
  50. As of 2014, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been broadcast on television for 50 years!  The original airing occurred on December 6, 1964 at 5:30pm. 
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