Ignore the Whiners
Kevin Bowman | Dayton, Ohio United States | 09/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are three types of reviews worth ignoring for this video:
(1) Anyone who thought they were buying the 1964 classic. Why would you trust the review of anyone that dumb?
(2) Anyone who says "Rudolph is sacred." Rankin Bass et al. have already done two Rudolph sequels. This isn't virgin territory.
(3) Anyone who says my kids loved it, but I hated it. Just who are animated Christmas specials produced for, anyway? Truth is that this could have been awful like Goodtimes Rudolph movie from a few years back. This time the writers went out of their way to be faithful to the spirit of the original. Nearly every moment pays homage to some element of the original Rankin & Bass production, from the opening credits to the concluding musical number. Rankin & Bass's Rudolph sequels, great as they are, abandon all the other characters but Rudolph (even Santa was replaced by the Frosty Santa or the Year w/o Santa Claus Santa). The writers of this try to pick up where the 1964 special left off, with Hermie and Clarice and Yukon et al. (no Fireball, unfortunately) The songs are, with some exceptions, a definite attempt to draw on Rankin & Bass type orchestrations. They aren't all as great as the Johnny Marks songs, but "Best Christmas Ever" is a worthy contender.I was pleasantly surprised at how the writers were able to build on Romeo Muller's world from 1964 without wrecking it. It's a fun, warm holiday special. Real Rudolph fans ought to give it a chance. My chief complaints are that the computer animation falls apart with Yukon and the Bumble and Yukon's voice is off. These are really pretty minor complaints, however. Yes, my kids love it."
And if you ever saw the reviews, you could say it blows...
Kevin Bowman | 12/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...but guess what kiddies, it doesn't!!!!!I will put this very gently. Anyone here who rates this movie with a 1 (or less) and says nothing more than "It's not the original" is a moron. Now let me put things in a proper perspective.Now I must admit that I've grown up with the original Rudolph for 19 years straight and am a MAJOR fanatic of anything produced by Rankin/Bass, so when my 5-year-old little cousin forced me to watch this movie when I visited him for the weekend, I was VERY worried. First of all, this movie has been bombed online more than the Middle East, and it dons the "Goodtimes" label. (Goodtimes VHS of beloved movie=Adjusting the tracking for at least an hour before you get a good picture, and anything else from Goodtimes Entertainment=crap). Anyway, cherishing what memories I had left of the first Rudolph, I reluctantly sat down to watch. Surprisingly, it was excellent.First of all, everybody from the original (except most of the original misfit toys have been "replaced" with the next generation of misfits including the "Boomerang that doesn't return", and the Burl Ives snowman was replaced with Scoop the Snowman) makes a comeback (and with voices that are dead-on to the originals). Clarice is now learning how to fly, but will Rudolph's advice help her to stay off the ground? Hermie comes back, and this time, he has built his own super-duper, portable all-terrain dentist cart! He's the best dentist the North Pole could ask for, but he has a crush on someone. Will this timid, shy elf/dentist find a way to ask her out? The Abominable Snowman (now known as Bumbles) and Yukon Cornelius now run a Peppermint Mine. (If anyone would like to know why a Peppermint Mine instead of a silver and gold one, one of the cut scenes from the original shows that Yukon stumbled upon this mine, and that's why Yukon throughout the first Rudolph kept licking his pick after it touched wherever it landed.) Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus look a little different, because they don't have dots for eyes. They actually look better that way. And YES!!!!!! There's more footage of King Moonracer!!!!! Oh my God he is my favorite!!!! He has a horrible toothache!!!!!! Thank god a skilled elf/dentist like Hermie takes his nifty all-terrain dentist cart to the Island of Misfit Toys, but what will poor King Moonracer need done? My favorite of my three new characters was Queen Camilla. I actually knew someone who talked and acted the way she did in real life. I was laughing the entire time she was on the screen. The only character who I didn't care for too much was Scoop the Snowman. I'm not saying this because he's no Burl Ives. If he's not Burl Ives, SO WHAT?!? Sure Burl Ives was better, but I'm saying this because at some tense, thematic moments in this movie (which in the first one would be Bumbles BEFORE he was tamed), instead of hiding behind an umbrella, he tells the story with what appears to be an evil, grinning face. That's the best I can describe it. When Scoop had his "evil" face on during the tense, thematic moments, it scared the crap out of my little cousin, and I had to pause the movie and get him a glass of milk.Anyway, the story line was brilliant. If anyone can recall a TV cartoon series from 1993 called Bonkers and can remember the two-part pilot episode, then they'd too know what I'm talking about!!! (In Bonkers, there was this deranged cartoon rabbit called "The Collector" and he took cartoons like the "Toy Taker" took toys.) Okay, some people think that the ending was ripped from Toy Story 2, but let me give you all a reality check here. This actual movie was shown on some cable channel for the first time in 1998, and THEN three years later was released onto video. So in other words, this came out BEFORE Toy Story 2. And for those of you who are complaining about the computer graphics, DON'T. This is Goodtimes Entertainment we're talking about, not the multi-million dollar razz-a-ma-tazz computer animation job we're so used to seeing!!! For goodness sake, I found the computer animation to be just fine by me. "Moving tanks", "choppy animation", etc. PLEASE!!!! Okay, so Yukon's beard was off just a touch. LET IT GO!!!!Now comes the other reason why I give this a four and a half (I gave it a five because that's what 4.5 rounds up to). (Scoop was the first reason for the lower rating). The songs were actually VERY catchy, but the orchestration sounded like it came out of a cheap MIDI module. It sounded chinsy. The songs themselves (if you can ignore the cheap instrument sounds) were very great, and would be so much better if Goodtimes hired a real orchestra.Anyway, to sum it up, the movie (other than the lacking orchestration) was superb. If you're looking for the original Rudolph, then don't waste your time complaining about this one, but if you're looking for a trustworthy sequel, then go for it. (Note that the DVD has special features showing the painstaking time it took for them to get the computer animation just right). Also, if you people want something to moan and groan about, go purchase "Frosty Returns" and see what an abomination THAT one was to the original "Frosty". Thank you."
My kids LOVE this movie!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm alittle confused on some of the reviews for this movie. Some of the reviews were made before this movie was released and some are of the original Rudolph. Anyway, I was a little skeptical at first when I started to watch this "sequel" . I was sure I wasn't going to like it but to my surprise it was quite enjoyable. The computer animation looks great and you will find almost all the old characters in this movie except Sam. They tried to use voices that sounded like the original characters and they even have a couple catchy songs. My kids just love it. They have already watched it numerous times. They love seeing these familar faces in a new movie. I still prefer the original Rankin/Bass Rudolph but this is a very cute movie that all kids will enjoy."
This is a worthy sequel
Kevin Bowman | 11/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when it first appeared on TV in 1964. They used stop-motion animation techniques. As a result, the movements of the characters were at times jerky and fuzzy. However, the storyline was great and it has become a classic over the years.Finally, after over 35 years, a sequel is made in which computer animation is used. The animation is just fine despite some of the previous reviews. Though it doesn't match the quality of Pixar, it certainly is better than many of the computer animated cartoons on TV, VHS and DVD. The show is far more colorful and detailed than the original. The story is good and fun. As for the Queen Hippo, she is there to let Rudolph learn something. But most importantly, it uses facts and characters from the original and does not make illogical storyline changes. It is a very worthy sequel.This DVD is worth owning. If you have small children, they will love it."