Plot: Rudolph the plot you already know. I know that you’ve heard the song. And if you haven’t by now, I’m gonna break your knees with tongs. All of the other reviews have this same redundant joke. I can’t think of anything clever, so sit back and drink a coke!
Breakdown: Hey, 2001! You’re looking awful down in the dumps.
2001: “Well….yeah, it’s…been a rough year.”
That’s a shame. Hey! I know what you need! Some Christmas cheer!
2001: “That might help, actually.”
A day before Halloween!
You relax, and I’ll whip up a nice movie. Hey, do you remember Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?
2001: “Yeah, of course! That’s a Christmas classic!”
Good! You sit tight and I’ll whip a sequel!
2001: “That grea—what?”
2001: “A sequel to a stop-motion Christmas special made in 1964?”
2001: “Wait, are you sure you’re not confusing this as a sequel of the 1998 movie?”
Nope. Same company – different continuity!
2001: “How does that even happen?”
Don’t worry. We’ll make it in some of the worst CGI we can create, rip off the character designs just to hook in nostalgia whores and fill it with B-list celebrities!
2001: “What the—that sounds terrible…..Wait. I know you! 1998 warned me about you!”
And you wanna know something else?
2001: “He said something about a poorly animated retelling of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and saying I’d have it worse.”
Rick Moranis, who himself proclaimed he was not retired but was ‘picky’ about what movies he’d be in, chose this as his first movie to perform in after his hiatus in 1997.
2001: “Is that good?”
Not really! 😀
2001: “That poor man.”
2001: “What—you made the movie already?”
I’m a demon from the future!
2001: “I actually believe you….”
2001: “Not partic–”
It’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys!
We start off with the song because of course we are, but, interestingly, the elves are ‘singing’ it (A unlisted singer is actually singing it, but in the scene the elves are meant to be singing it)…right in front of the other reindeer…and Rudolph. Just seems a bit awkward to go ‘You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?’ as we pan over all of the reindeer.
Like, yeah, thanks for reminding us that we’re not as special as Rudolph. And why do you not question if everyone knows us but you question if they recall the most famous reindeer of all? Do you not know what famous means? At least one of us always gets forgotten when most people recite the song. You don’t see people going ‘Uh, is it Ralph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?’
What’s even weirder is that the animators remembered to put Comet in his signature coaching hat, but forgot to color or design Donner any differently than the other reindeer. I know I don’t like Rankin/Bass Donner, but he’s Rudolph’s dad, at least change his coloring a bit.
Then you include the guilt-trip part of the song ‘All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.’
And I don’t know about anyone else, but wouldn’t you feel awkward if you were Rudolph? I don’t like being sung to as it is, but if someone’s literally singing my praises, especially above others, I think I’d feel really embarrassed.
This rendition of the song, by the way, is one of the most boring renditions of it I’ve ever heard. Like a good chunk of the music in the movie, the melody sounds like it’s being done on an old Casio, and like they’re actively trying not to make it sound fun.
They light the Christmas tree, but it trips the breaker. Santa uses Rudolph’s nose to light the way to the basement so he can reset the breaker and start the lights back up. That scene literally had no other purpose whatsoever other than to remind us that Rudolph’s nose can be useful. No flashlights anywhere, Santa? Not even a lantern?
The movie, like the original, is being narrated to us by a snowman. But instead of Sam the Snowman, voiced by the late Burl Ives, we’ve got Scoop T. Snowman, voiced by Richard Dreyfuss. His design is nightmare inducing, and he spoils the movie at the very start by telling us that he’ll tell us the story of how Rudolph and his friends defeated the evil Toy Taker and saved Christmas.
But forget nightmare snowman – we’ve still got Bumble around! And boy howdy this CGI is not doing his character design any favors. Have you ever seen those production error versions of Sully from Monsters Inc.? They seem to have kidnapped that for this design. Seriously, guys, if you can’t do long fur, don’t try. It’s like he’s been stabbed with a million white wires.
At least his deafening screech is gone – replaced by what I can only so lovingly refer to as a complete moron voice. Lots of ‘Duhh’s and ‘Gaah’s and whatnot.
Yukon is also here, sticking his dirty pikaxe in the eggnog and licking it. Mmm sanitary.
Something you’ll notice about Rudolph almost immediately is that he no longer has proper adult antlers. He has very small antlers like a spike now. I have no clue why. This movie is supposed to be a direct sequel to the Rankin/Bass special, meaning he should still be an adult. If we want to apply real reindeer logic to this, reindeer do shed their antlers and regrow them, but male reindeer do this in winter or spring, meaning Rudolph’s head should either be bare (winter) or be fully back by now (spring).
Then again, if we’re applying real reindeer logic here, Clarice should also have antlers since most female reindeer have antlers. In fact, there’s a theory that Santa’s reindeer are actually females because female shed their antlers in summer and have them fully grown back by winter, which is when most males lose their antlers…….So I’m stalling. Sue me. The next scene has a song break, have some mercy.
The song break in question is a brief love song for Rudolph and Clarice called Beyond the Stars. It is probably one of the most generic love songs I’ve ever heard – loaded with every love song buzzword you can think of. And what better way to end the segment than cutting to another scene while the song is still going and said scene including a nightmare fuel kite with a face?
Rudolph is feeling sad because now he’s sick of the attention he’s been getting – mostly because now everyone’s focusing on his ‘heroics’ instead of letting him be a normal reindeer like he wanted in the first place. They even make him do tricks with his nose, like shining his light on the disco ball. Also, apparently now Rudolph’s nose can be focused beams of differing size. Earlier, it was like a flashlight and now it’s like a laser beam.
So now Rudolph’s back to calling himself a misfit and whining for a normal nose. Congratulations! You’ve now nullified the message of the previous movie! WHOO!
But don’t worry – over the course of a song break, We’re Perfectly Fine, Rudolph’s happy again. The song’s chorus melody is catchy, but the rest of it is just difficult to listen to. Rudolph and Hermey keep singing over each other and the melody gets too muddled.
Also, the ending is incredibly jarring. One second they’re on an iceberg nowhere near the toothmobile, the next millisecond after the last note of the song and we see them closeup having a conversation in the toothmobile.
Hermey and Rudolph were alerted by a kite that King Moonracer is in desperate need of a dentist, so they’re traveling to the island of misfit toys to treat him.
We get another song break, because it’s been all of a minute and half since the last one, explaining the island of misfit toys, which is pointless because we should already know that and the previous movie had a song about it. For anyone about to bring up the time gap between the release date of the first movie and this one, remember, the writers expect you to not ask who the burly mountaineer who licks his pikaxe and the yeti with no teeth are.
This song, The Island of Misfit Toys, is just terrible. It’s infuriatingly annoying, especially the chorus. If it went on for any longer, I was going to start chewing on my computer screen.
Also, there’s ANOTHER Jack in the box who’s not named Jack and ANOTHER train with square wheels. If I’m not going to bring up the continuity thing, I’ll just have to chalk this up to pure laziness.
We get a joke that actually works pretty well when we see one of the misfit toys is a depressed phone who keeps getting people calling only to have them hang up. Kite says ‘he’s a telephone with hangups’ I almost legit cracked a smile at that one.
Despite the song explaining what’s wrong with these toys, we then get a scene with the toys explaining what’s wrong with them. I will give this movie one thing, though. These misfit toys have far more significant problems than the toys from the last movie. A piggy bank with no coin slot, a kite that’s afraid of heights, a phone that keeps dropping calls, a boomerang that won’t come back, binoculars that can’t see well, a bouncy ball that doesn’t bounce (though I’m convinced they just didn’t want to go to the trouble of making a decent bouncing animation) and a plane that keeps nosediving. It’s way worse than a doll with no issues, a polka dotted elephant and a cowboy on an ostrich.
Oh my god, Moonracer, what did they do to your voice and character? You went from majestic and powerful to whiny little bitch boy. GoodTimes Entertainment, thou hast sinned a mighty sin!
Hermey doesn’t seem to have gotten any better at dentistry because he’s using the same dental practices he used on the doll in the last movie – IE, hit their teeth with something – that’ll help. Moonracer needs a root canal, and if you’re worried about your kids being scared of the dentist, just show them Hermey with a drill twice as big as he is, shaking around like crazy as an auto-mechanic’s air compressor drill sound effect plays.
Back at Santa’s workshop, knowing the Toy Taker is wreaking havoc, Santa locks up the toy warehouse good and tight and puts his toy soldiers on high alert. But before they even get done with a quarter of the scene, you realize they’re just going to come in that giant unnecessary glass ceiling they have. And they do……but not by breaking it. There’s a door on the damn glass ceiling that seems to open automatically when something’s close to it.
But enough of Santa’s toys getting stolen, let’s have Hermey have a flashback to something that makes no goddamn sense whatsoever. As Hermey chats up Rudolph about him and Clarice, he decides to share a tale of love from his past. He talks about graduating from the Elf Academy of Dental Arts.
…..Yup…..The ELF ACADEMY OF DENTAL ARTS…….Did they not see the last movie? Hermey was a misfit because he was an elf who wanted to be a dentist, and that seemed ridiculous to everyone because elves are damned to be toymakers and dentists aren’t a thing there. I get that his desires were accepted by the end of the movie, but it hasn’t even been a full year since the last movie. You’re telling me, in that time, not only was there an Elf Academy for the Dental Arts created, built and fully established, but that there was actually enough interest in the elf community to warrant such a thing? The graduating class is pretty sizable, too. Who’s even teaching there?
….And what the hell are ‘dental arts’? That sounds horrifying!
Anyway, Hermey was handed his diploma by the tooth fairy, which makes a lot of sense, actually, and he fainted. End of flashback, no not kidding. The scene literally lasts 25 seconds.
I would say the tooth fairy’s the only teacher, but it seems like that’s the first time he’s ever seen her.
Hermey and Rudolph are now caught in a terrible storm. They hit an iceberg, causing it to crumble, and supposedly sinking the truck/boat thing. The animation on the iceberg falling apart is not just terrible, horrible or disgusting. It’s terrihorgusting. I had to pause the video because I was so baffled by how horribly animated it was. They weren’t even trying.
They’re alright, however, because flying reindeer. This triumphant moment is accompanied by one of the most awkward synthesized trumpet ‘renditions’ of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to ever be conceived.
They land on Castaway Cove, which is guarded by gingerbread men dressed as toy soldiers……Okay.
The soldier brings the boys into a giant elegant castle filled with living gingerbreadmen (and women) to meet Queen Camilla – a flying hippo wearing a feather boa. I feel I should question this more, but we also have an island ruled by a flying lion, inhabited by factory reject toys.
She won’t listen to what they have to say and believes they’re there to steal her toys.
Queen Camilla: “Quiet, before I mount you over that mantle!” Ya know, between us not knowing what kind of toys she’s talking about and that line, I feel like I should be more concerned.
She wants them sent to the dungeons for 300 years.
Rudolph: “But he’s a dentist!”
Hermey: “And he’s a beloved holiday icon!”
Two jokes that work! Good job!
The guards try to wrangle the boys, and it’s taking them way too long to combat gingerbread cookies. I don’t want to be morbid, but Rudolph, have a snack.
They all stop when Rudolph’s nose starts shining, making them realize he’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer….Uh….you couldn’t tell from the fact that he’s a reindeer with a red freakin’ nose? Even if it’s not lit, it’s still a red nose.
Camilla says Castaway Cove is a place for broken, discarded toys to come for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Basically just a slightly reworked version of the island of misfit toys. Actually, scratch that, this place is better than the island of misfit toys. These toys live in the lap of luxury. Last we saw, the toys on the island were little more than homeless. They’re almost always outside and we’ve only ever seen one house there besides the castle. Plus, one of the last scenes of the original movie had the toys huddling around a fire trying to stay warm during the storm.
This information is being given to us in a lounge act type song sung by Camilla, complete with an embarrassingly horrible reflection animation in the mirror. It’s not like the scene focuses on it, but the reflection starts late and stops early then freezes and the light source changes over it for no reason. It honestly would’ve been better if they just neglected to put the reflection in. It’s at such an angle that no one would really question why it wasn’t showing up anyway.
This song doesn’t make any sense. Camilla is very body image positive, saying that even broken toys and everything are beautiful, but immediately after she says they’re beautiful, she says she makes them beautiful again by fixing them up and basically giving them makeovers. The line literally goes ‘Everything is beautiful, so beautiful, I make them beautiful’ Which is it? Are they beautiful, or are you going to make them beautiful? Because those are two very conflicting statements.
The toys have nowhere to go once Camilla fixes them, so Rudolph suggests that he get Santa to find them homes like he does for the misfit toys on the island. Camilla agrees and offers to grant them their fondest desires as payment. Rudolph wants a nose job and Hermey wants a date with the tooth fairy. By the way, the nose job crack wasn’t my joke. Camilla literally says she can give him a nose job.
Rudolph happily accepts, but Hermey urges him to think about it since a nose job is permanent. He asks what Santa will do if there’s another foggy Christmas eve.
Camilla: “Santa can’t afford headlights, darling?” Hey, stop poking holes in things I’ve already poked holes in! Also, when the characters in the actual continuity bring this up, it really brings to light (no pun intended) that Rudolph was really in no way necessary to save Christmas.
Hermey asks what he’ll do if Clarice doesn’t like it and Rudolph immediately turns and tells Camilla he’ll have to think about it.
“What if Christmas is in danger again?”
“What if you lose your sex ticket?”
“OH GOD, I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS!”
The gingerbreadmen fix up the toothmobile and Rudolph makes it home in time for his flying lesson with Clarice, which is another interesting aspect I like. Every adaptation makes it seem like the females either aren’t allowed to fly or can’t. It’s nice to know they can, but why don’t they get invited to the reindeer games?
Clarice isn’t good at it, which depresses her because she wanted to impress Rudolph. Surprisingly, she feels a bit down on herself since she’s so ordinary and he’s so famous. Rudolph admits that he loves her, and Clarice starts joyously running around yelling that he loves her. This is pretty adorable, especially when Rudolph shoves his head in a snowbanking out of embarrassment and Clarice starts flying around very well because she’s so happy. The Clarice part is especially nice because it’s a bit of a throwback to the original movie where Rudolph starts his impressive flight because Clarice said he was cute.
Comet comes to get them stating that the warehouse was robbed. As everyone discusses it, we learn the toy taker even took the toy soldiers guarding the place…..It never even occurred to me how doubly stupid it is to guard a toy warehouse with toy soldiers from someone named the TOY TAKER.
Hank the elf suddenly says he saw a giant flying football outside the night of the robbery, and Clarice says it must’ve been a blimp. I’m sorry, how does Hank the bookworm elf not know what a blimp is? It’s 196..5? Rudolph comes up with the grand idea to investigate the scene of the crime and catch the Toy Taker so they can get the toys back by Christmas.
As they’re investigating the warehouse, Hermey’s old boss shows up.
Boss: “YOU AGAIN!”
Hermey: “Actually, I’m a dentist now.”
Uhh….were your script pages stuck together? Because that line doesn’t follow properly.
His boss complains that Hermey left his crew one elf short…..again, have they not seen the original movie? His boss gave him the okay to go off and be a dentist at the end.
Hermey: “You’d better be nice. One of these days, you’ll need a dentist. And I’m the only one around.”
Boss: “I wouldn’t let you touch my chompers with a ten foot pole, you tooth maniac!”
What the? First of all, is Hermey threatening his boss here? Because nothing sounds quite as horrific as a dentist with a vendetta.
Second, the only dentist around? What about all those other elves who graduated from the Elf Academy for the Dental Arts? Where the hell did they all go?
Third, uh Boss man? You already have let him near your chompers. At the end of the last movie, remember? You even set up an appointment for more dental work.
Clarice finds a clue, which is stuffing for stuffed animals. Santa sniffs and licks it—okay, new rule. No more licking stuff in these movies. Thank you.
Santa says the stuffing is a type he hasn’t used in years. How he knows that by sniffing and licking it, I don’t know. Rudolph and his friends make a map of the Toy Taker’s hit locations and try to figure out his next destination. They realize he’s likely heading for either the island of misfit toys or Castaway Island and head out. Along the way, they recruit Yukon. They redo the gag of Yukon pulling the sled with the dogs on it, which is cute. This time it’s including Bumble, but bullshit he’s pulling Bumble.
Cut to the Toy Taker, who, by the way, looks like a giant Vivi. We learn of the Toy Taker’s intentions, which are to save toys from children. He says the happy times with a child are fleeting and that they’ll easily throw away toys when they’re bored of them. Old toys from the island of misfit toys, such as Charlie in a box, the doll and the elephant try to argue that their children love and need them, but the Toy Taker convinces them that, no matter how much they may love and enjoy the toys now, they’ll tire of them soon enough and throw them away. He also pointlessly picks up a duck toy for a few seconds without dialogue then puts it down. *shrug*
Charlie: “Wait a minute! I read about you in the papers! You’re a crook!”
Nooooo! What gave it away? The fact that he stole you? Keep up, Charlie.
The Toy Taker wins them over even more with a villain song. It has its moments, but like most of the songs in this movie, the melody is screwed up. You can’t catch the beat at all and it’s hard to follow.
Also, he rhymes ‘modus operandi’ with ‘Ghandi’ by pronouncing Ghandi’s name wrong.
Scoop: “Maybe, just maybe, they had a chance to catch the Toy Taker at his own game.” BEAT him at his own game. What you said makes no grammatical sense.
Castaway Island has already been hit, so Rudolph and the others meet with King Moonracer and devise a plan.
Sure enough, the Toy Taker’s next target is indeed the island of misfit toys. Rudolph, Clarice and Hermey dress up as toys to fool the Toy Taker and find out where he’s taking them. Hermey is dressed up as a molar……Hermey, we need to have a talk. You’re getting a little too obsessed with teeth. I know I made that serial killer joke in the original movie review, but I’m starting to believe there’s more merit to that claim than I thought. Please seek help. Is there an elf being chastised for wanting to be a psychiatrist, perhaps?
Also, Yukon’s dressed as a ballerina. No, I didn’t ever need to envision that either. But since I had to see it.
Bumble’s dressed as a bunny, and this movie continues to impress me with how they can continuously make this monster who used to legit give me nightmares even creepier. The Toy Taker can’t take Bumble with him because he’s too big. No, I didn’t ever want to envision Bumble having an emotional breakdown in a bunny suit either. But you must share my torment.
No worries, though, because Bumble follows them.
The toys are entranced by the song of the Toy Taker’s flute, and when they realize Rudolph and the others aren’t toys, they alert the Toy Taker, who drops them from the blimp. You were nearing sympathetic until the whole attempted murder thing.
Also, Clarice saves a knocked out Rudolph from falling, so she’s a legit flying reindeer now. Hooray!
They fly up and confront the Toy Taker, who escapes. Yukon tries to follow, but his cleats start destroying the blimp. Yukon falls from the blimp and–
Scoop: “Looks like our friend, Cornelius, is done for. Or is he?”
Looks like that was a pointless and intruding interlude. Or was it?
Bumble catches Yukon. Hey, have you ever wanted to see Bumble in a bunny outfit tickling Yukon while he wearing a ballerina outfit?
2001: “Who would even conceive such a–No!”
Neither have I! But I have now! And now so have you!
2001: “My soul is hurting.”
Rudolph and Clarice go to combat the Toy Taker….not knowing that Yukon was caught by Bumble, meaning they just left their friend to die. Nice. The Toy Taker, afraid of Rudolph’s light, jumps from the blimp. Spoiler alert – there’s no reason why the Toy Taker is afraid of Rudolph’s light. They just needed to make it useful. He lands insanely conveniently right outside of Yukon’s peppermint mine. Enter mine cart chase!
Meanwhile, Hermey’s trying to control the crashing blimp and is caught by Bumble. Can we please get some consistency on Bumble’s size? One minute, he’s about the size of a bear the next he’s big enough to catch a blimp.
Back with Rudolph and Clarice, we finally get a shot that seems interesting and fun with a first person view of them riding the mine cart like a roller coaster, but it’s 95% ruined by the ugly intrusion of the red light from Rudolph’s nose. No hate, man – the light is just not conducive to this shot.
Again, the Toy Taker tried to legit murder them by throwing lanterns at them, which promptly explode on the tracks below them. They don’t damage the tracks, however, because that would be too much work to animate.
The Toy Taker changes the track direction on them, but it’s pointless because the tracks then intersect back together a short while later….*shrug* Also, who knows their ‘chase on something on tracks’ tropes?
2001: “The tracks are unfinished?”
2001: “How did Yukon work like that?”
Dunno, and the creators won’t care enough to address it. They both make the jump, though, so it was entirely pointless.
The tracks are unfinished again, this time it crashes, but they’re flying reindeer, so it was, again, entirely pointless.
Rudolph saves the Toy Taker from falling and corners him.
Rudolph: “Surrender, Toy Taker!”
Toy Taker: “Surrender? I don’t know the meaning of the word!”
Clarice: “It means you give up!”
It’s called ‘sarcasm’, Clarice. Jesus Christ.
They let the Toy Taker get away insanely easily just because they hear their friends coming. Good job.
Don’t worry, they capture him less than a minute later. Hooray for pointlessness!
They uncloak him to reveal that he’s actually a teddy bear.
Toy Taker: “Pay no attention to the teddy bear behind the cloak. I am the Toy Taker! Fear me! RRRAAGGGGHHH! BLAHHH!!”
That was probably the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen put to film in years. Congrats, Toy Taker.
He’s an old teddy bear with stuffing falling out of him, connecting the stuffing from the warehouse to him…..which means, technically, Santa licked the fallen entrails of the Toy Taker…..Ughghhghghg.
The bear, named Mr. Cuddles, gives us his backstory in song. The song itself isn’t that bad, it’s the vocals that kill it. His voice cracks on every other word. I don’t know if teddy bears go through puberty, but he desperately needs to do so right now…..Oh by the way, Rick Moranis is the Toy Taker/Mr. Cuddles…..Sorry. Love him in practically anything else, but he really is terrible here.
Mr. Cuddles used to belong to a boy named Steven, who loved him and played with him all the time-You know what, just watch that scene from Toy Story 2 where Jessie explains her backstory. They’re nearly identical and the song is much better.
Also, you might want to pay attention to your timelines, GoodTimes. From everything we can gather, it’s supposed to be 1965 right now. And Mr. Cuddles is supposed to be old – at least a few decades or so. Yet his Steven is playing a video game that looks like it’s from the NES or Sega Genesis era.
Santa: “I happen to know that your boy’s been looking for you. I’ll gladly take you home to him.”
What the hell is this? Mr. Cuddles is very old, meaning Steven must be fairly old by now. At least in his twenties or thirties or something. I seriously doubt he’s looking everywhere for his teddy bear.
If he means so much to him anyway, why did he ignore him, let him get all tattered, throw him in a cardboard box and then throw him away?
This is the worst possible way to address this plot point – mostly because they’re not really addressing it. Let’s be unrealistically optimistic. Steven didn’t mean to throw Mr. Cuddles away and feels remorseful for letting him get all crappy. Even if he’s an adult now, Steven still wants his bear. That doesn’t mean that Mr. Cuddles’ worries are invalid.
One day, whether through being bored of him or after Steven dies, Mr. Cuddles will probably be back in a dump. Most toys do end up with the fate of their children outgrowing them and throwing them away – Even the ones he stole. Either that or they end up in cardboard box purgatory for decades.
What are you going to tell the toys in Cuddles’ hideout after they’ve been convinced by Cuddles’ speech?
“We’re returning you home!”
“That’s great, but what about our owners someday growing up and throwing us away?”
“Don’t worry. They’ll love and keep you forever!”
“That seems very unlikely. Also, we may be near immortal, but people age and die.”
“No they don’t!”
“What? Of course they d—”
“Shut up and get in the sleigh.”
Let’s go back to Toy Story 2 and even 3. They didn’t fix Jessie’s problems by trying to find her old owner because they knew she had outgrown her and didn’t care about her anymore. They knew the solution was finding her a new owner who was young and would actually play with her and care for her.
In Toy Story 3, they all faced this fate because Andy and Molly had both grown up and outgrew toys. They were eventually given to another child to keep the cycle going. Even very old toys can find love and adoration if you find them the right owner. Usually it’s another small child, but you can also find (not crazy) collectors and enthusiasts who enjoy the history and designs of these toys.
Also, you might be able to forgive his thievery, but he tried to kill Rudolph, Clarice, Hermey and Yukon at least twice. Put that bear in toy jail.
Camilla fixes Cuddles and asks if Rudolph’s made up his mind about the nose job. He remembers that having a light affixed to his body that doesn’t require batteries is kinda convenient, so he declines.
……Again, that doesn’t solve Rudolph’s actual problem. He didn’t really hate his nose – he hated that it was basically a novelty now that he was famous. He didn’t learn to deal with the annoying aspects of being famous or being treated like a side-show act. He just learned to accept his nose….which he already learned how to do in the first movie.
There’s a final song, it’s awful.
Wrap up: Bumble gets dentures, which defeats the purpose of ripping his teeth out in the first place, and Hermey gets some sweet tooth fairy tail.
2001: “I completely forgot about that.”
So did everyone else. God forbid she get some characterization outside of that one line from earlier. She’s now literally a prize for Hermey.
Santa arrives at the now adult Steven’s house. According to him, he never meant to throw Cuddles away. He was saving him to be a family heirloom……Bullshit. He was ignored and left to get all ratty for years, thrown in a closet, thrown in a box and then thrown away without anyone even looking in the box, but he was meant to be an heirloom? What kid or teenager is saving heirlooms at that age – especially a rather plain teddy bear? And if he was, why didn’t he fix him up? Leaving a ratty toy in the closet just makes their existing problems worse and harder to fix. And, again, that doesn’t really solve the problem at hand for any other toy.
I’m sorry if I’m sounding like a cynical butthole, but it’s the truth.
Bottomline: This movie was unnecessary, poorly written and was purely banking on the nostalgia factor of people who loved the old Rankin/Bass special. They also probably wanted to try and squeeze out some profit after the abysmal box office numbers for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie.
The plot is flimsy, but would have been something on the ‘suitable for a direct to video crap sequel you put in dentist offices and hair salons’ shelf if not for the terrible resolution that doesn’t solve any of the legitimate problems Cuddles brings up. They could have easily solved the issue in the manner I suggested, but they just decided to lazily say ‘oh, Steven never meant to throw you away and has been longing to see you for years!’
In the aspect of being a sequel, it’s baffling how many little details they remember about the last movie while completely ignoring major aspects of it.
Rudolph’s plot is basically a non-plot that is rehashing the problem he had from the last movie just in the opposite direction. Instead of hating his nose for all the negative attention it’s getting him, now he’s hating it for the positive attention. There’s no question if Rudolph will get a nose job at the end, and boy do I feel like an idiot saying the words ‘Rudolph will get a nose job’….If he got a nose job, not only would it completely destroy the message from the last movie, but then he’d no longer be the titular ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’. No one wants to sing ‘Rudolph the Reindeer. Had perfectly normal features. And he lived a normal life. That’s about it I guess.’
I have to call out the title too. Barely any of this movie takes place on or has to do with the island of misfit toys. I’d have to go back and clock it, but I think they spend more time at Castaway Cove. A more fitting title would be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Wrath of the Toy Taker or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the CGI that Nearly Ruined Christmas.
A few good things I’ll give this – I definitely enjoyed the interactions between Rudolph and Clarice and it had a few humorous moments. They didn’t destroy many characters from the original movie. They backtracked the character development of Hermey’s boss and completely destroyed Moonracer, but that’s about it. For the most part, they’re just not really as endearing anymore. Bumble’s nicer, but indefinitely creepier, and Hermey’s a little closer to being a serial killer. Oh and also they completely deleted Donner and Mrs. Donner. They bring back Hermey’s boss for a few minutes, but completely forget Rudolph’s parents?
The most I can give the plot is that it’s not a flat-out retelling of the original movie’s plot. It is an original story – it’s just not a good one.
I’d like to conclude this by giving a bit of a warning. Some people on IMDB have been saying that someone’s been falsely jacking up the rating on this movie and the 1998 Rudolph movie on review websites by making fake accounts and giving it damn near perfect scores. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. This movie’s not an unholy abomination upon God, but it certainly doesn’t deserve a 5.5 on IMDB or even a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. I can believe some people find this movie to be an alright little kiddie movie to play to shut the younglings up, I can even believe some people like it because of the nostalgia, but I’ve legit seen people in reviews call this one of their favorite movies.
To each his own, really. I respect people’s opinions, but the only way I’d believe this is anyone’s favorite movie is if this is the only movie they’ve ever seen…..and even that’s a stretch.
Voice Acting: The voice actors are absolutely wasted on this project – and I can bet most of the budget went towards getting their names on the movie. No one was particularly bad. Jamie Lee Curtis as Camilla was particularly good because I could barely recognize her. Scott McNeil (Yes, famed anime voice actor, Scott McNeil) as Hermey, Yukon and Comet was also surprisingly good. His impressions were….impressive. Kathleen Barr, who voiced Rudolph in the other GoodTimes movie, does a fairly good impression of Rankin/Bass Rudolph as well. Rick Moranis…..Oh boy. I’m just going to assume you were directed to act like a prepubescent boy pretending to be a teddy bear.
Art and Animation:
This is some of the worst art and animation I’ve ever seen. It’s borderline Ratatoing or Food Fight levels of bad. The textures are nonexistent, there are animation errors and polygons everywhere, nobody moves in the least bit naturally, some of the models look so horrible that you really think they’re not finished such as Scoop, Bumble and Yukon, everyone is dead-eyed and creepy, especially the kite, gingerbreadmen and the reindeer themselves, there’s weird and ugly lighting, and nothing feels like it’s there.
When you’re being beat out by a mile in realistic animation, designs and feelings by a cheap 1960’s stop-motion movie that many people describe as having creepy animation, you have major problems. I’m not expecting CGI miracles in 2001, but if you’re going backwards in your graphics quality after nearly FORTY YEARS OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT maybe, just maybe, you might want consider other avenues of animation.
Music: Mediocre at best and terrible at worst. Each song seems like it suffers from the same problem – remnants of a catchy chorus that is ultimately ruined by something annoying followed by a terrible out of whack verse and bridge.
What do you think, 2001?
2001: “I think a bad year was just made exponentially worse.”
Sorry about that.
2001: “No you’re not.”
Hey, look at the bright side. You’re in the peak time for boy bands!
Bye, bye, bye!