On Dec. 6, 1964, television audiences watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time.
Fifty years later it airs tonight on CBS at 8pm
here’s a couple things you might not have known about old Rudolph and the massive undertaking this holiday favorite was to make.
The puppets were not meant to last forever.
Rudolph measured 4-inches high, Santa stood 8-inches, the Bumble figurine stood 14-inches tall. the figures were sprayed with magnetic flock to diffuse reflective light from the cameras. The spray contained acidity which contributed to the puppets’ deterioration over time.
Rankin/Bass co-founder Jules Bass kept one of the Rudolph puppets on his desk, even though wires were coming out of its legs for the lightbulb nose.
Animators spent two days observing deer to create Rudolph.
chief animators spent two days at Nara National Park studying thousands of wild deer to observe the movement for their animation and to inspire their image of Rudolph and his setting.
Fans brought The Misfits back to the special.
In the original special that aired in 1964, Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to return to visit Misfit Island, then never do so. This set fans into such a fuss that Rankin/Bass responded to their angry letters by changing the script. In 1965, the special included a short scene in which Santa and the reindeer deliver the Misfits to new homes.