Keeping with the Christmas spirit, this week my friend Katelynn E (who writes semi-regularly at Duchess Thoughts) and I sat down at our kilometres-apart computers and watched the Rankin and Bass stop-motion classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together. Our chat feed was not silent.
DL: Let's be on our merry way!
On introductions and snowman mobility.
DL: Ahhhh,, this music.
How is [Sam the Snowman] moving. He is just butt shuffling.
It's weird, but because of this special I was used to the idea of Santa being thin.
Rudolph, the German Reindeer
On reindeer neurochemistry.
KE: i want to know how that nose lights up. like, biologically.
but then...i guess that would lead to questions of how reindeer fly
DL: IT'S THE POWER OF CHRISTMAS
Our heroes rally around the family with a pocket full of shells.
KE: supportive parents. male reindeer are dicks
DL: Ahhh reindeer racism.
"Non-conformity." FIGHT THE POWER
KE: Rudolph and Hermie clearly need to be counter-cultural figureheads
DL: Arctic hipsters.
KE: I want to see Rudolph in hipster glasses. $10 its fucking adorable
DL: And a scarf!
I think I know someone with Hermie's haircut.
KE: FIGURE OF THE COUNTERCULTURAL REVOLUTION
oh my god...do you mean Conan O'Brien?!
DL: No, someone I know personally, but the comparison is apt.
Now I want to hear Conan redub all of Hermie's lines.
On elfin music.
KE: i didn't realize that being an elf led to such limited career choices. I feel like elves and English majors have many similarities
i love how much Santa hates this song
DL: Santa needs someone to drop the bass.
KE: he needs a beer
that'll fatten him up right away, if that's what the missus is worried about
also, do these elves have issues with identifying their siblings and significant others? is that a thing that even exists?
DL: I like to think they're a hivemind.
KE: Santa is delightfully erratic. he's like a manic pixie dream girl
right now he's out dancing in the snow and naming the individual flakes
DL: Zooey Deschanel IS Santa Claus.
KE: her middle name is Claus. fact
DL: I am really disappointed to discover that isn't fact.
DL: "Awww shit, does. Be my wingman, Rudolph."
KE: cue pick up line involving "horny"
DL: "Even though I'm your instructor, but I want to be your pal." Someone call the reindeer cops.
KE: i love their eyes when they go all wonky. best is the reaction when Rudolph loses the fake nose
DL: "What's so funny about the way I talk?" "Dunno, you just sound like prepubescent Robert DeNiro."
KE: i was going to peg him for Ryan Gosling's weird Brooklyn accent thing hahah
DL: Rudolph has more game than I have.
KE: people didn't give Rudolph nearly enough credit for his social skills, in my humble opinion
LOOK AT HIS EYES
DL: Those reindeer are freaking the fuck out.
KE: "LOOK AT THE BEAK"
DL: Man Santa is like super nose-racist.
KE: Santa is seriously judgemental. I'm trying to decide whether this makes him more or less qualified to compile a list of Good and Bad
DL: Santa: basically bearded Hitler.
Our hero makes some moves.
DL: I love how little girl reindeer sounds like a full grown woman.
KE: girl reindeer mature faster than boys. fact
DL: Perhaps the only way in which this special is in any way scientifically accurate.
KE: my entire life is spent in defying science. might explain my obscene love for this thing
DL: I just like creepily jerky animation.
Our hero meets another hero.
KE: Rudolph just makes friends so easily. Look at him go
DL: Man, this becomes really sophisticated if you think of Rudolph as an analogue for African-Americans and Hermie is a gay dude trying to make it in repressed early sixties culture.
KE: this is so much more than a Christmas tale. its all empowering to eccentric children
Our heroes happen across JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS THAT THING.
DL: Okay, real talk: I was so afraid of the abominable snow monster as a child I would hide BEHIND our TV, so I would be out of his line of sight.
KE: hahaah i could never take him seriously, because our favourite line was about Bumbles bouncing
Our heroes meet a prospector.
Yukon Cornelius, distant cousin of Goldmember.
On the plight of the gold-fed squirrel.
KE: squirrels are clearly superior to humans, they have no sense of the material worth of that gold. they're just pissed cause they're now going to starve to death
DL: "Guess we'll have to eat the children again."
KE: they're going to live on a liquid diet cause they broke off their teeth trying to eat gold
Our heroes reach the Island of Misfit Toys.
KE: "NO CHILD WANTS TO PLAY WITH A CHARLIE IN THE BOX"
DL: I would. Actually some of those toys look pretty neat.
KE: i want that elephant
DL: Oh that jelly bit was dirty.
KE: THE OSTRICH COWBOY IS THE BEST ONE
I would literally adopt all of those misfit toys
i always picked the Beanie Babies that nobody wanted
DL: "How do you like that? Even among misfits you're misfits!" "Yukon, shut the Hell up."
KE: hahaah Yukon tells it like it is
DL: King Moonrazor is the real hero.
KE: Bumbles have manboobs
that laugh is...quite sinister, i must say
DL: And how!
KE: i didn't think he had it in him to be so diabolical
DL: I wish one of those dogs was a corgi.
KE: those little legs wouldn't fare well in all that snow
DL: Christmas corgi!
I was thinking of the hipster allusions, and now I want to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Hermie in a live action remake.
Hermie cold ripped out that thing's teeth.
KE: hahahaah the cold of the North would numb his bumble gums
KE: lord, i'm so unintentionally witty
DL: "Now that you've helped out, we don't hate you for your appearance as much."
KE: Santa puts himself on his own Naughty List this year
DL: Santa is the real villain.
Bumble wants a job. He isn't a parasite.
AYN RAND'S RUDOLPH
KE: He's reformed!
KE: THE CHILDREN DON'T EVEN SEE SANTA WHAT THE HELL DO THEY CARE?!
HE'D FIT DOWN THE CHIMNEY BETTER SKINNY
THE LOGICAL FLAWS
Now I just feel like a dick for being hypercritical of this beloved classic
DL: "I knew that nose would be useful someday, I knew it all along." NO YOU DIDN'T, YOU HORRIBLE FATHER.
KE: i love that the reindeer are useless. just standing around chatting. because they're deer and don't have hands
DL: "All I want for Christmas is opposable thumbs."
KE: HOW DID HE PUT THAT WEIGHT ON IN 5 MINUTES
WHAT HO, WHAT IS THAT DEMONRY!?
also, "thanks mama". their marriage is dead. like...they're roommates now
DL: I bet Santa is into some freaky shit.
KE: Cornelius on the other hand...
DL: He can't finish unless he's covered in gold paint
Wait... yupp. That is the worst thing I've ever written.
KE: I can't even respond to that hahaha
DL: "I haven't even dreams left to dream." emoooooo
KE: NOOO no dreams left to dream!! that's the saddest line of the whole movie
new idea; i want the bear on the bicycle
DL: Square-wheeled train for me.
KE: I LOVE THAT THEY GIVE THEM UMBRELLAS
impractical. but adorable
DL: Except for the bird, who could fly all along.
Oh my God, he was faking his misfitness.
KE: cause he knew that being a misfit was going to be super cool in the end
misfit before it was cool
You can find more of Katelynn's work at Duchess Thoughts.
You can find more of Katelynn's work at Duchess Thoughts.