Clarice (pronounced kla-REES) is the tritagonist of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Like all the does in the special, she is lighter in color than the bucks and is distinguished and recognized by the polka-dotted bow atop her head. She was added to the storyline by Arthur Rankin, Jr. as a means of expanding the special beyond the confines of the original song.
Clarice is introduced at the start of the "reindeer games" scene as one of several does who are watching the proceedings. She takes an interest in Rudolph who, on the advice of his new friend, Fireball, shyly walks over to her to meet her. Rudolph, who is wearing a false nose to hide his own red one, is having difficulty speaking. She gently asks if he is having trouble with it. Before he leaves her side to participate in what was called "take-off practice," meant to determine the flying ability of the yearling bucks and right after he musters the courage to ask to walk her home, she tells him that she thinks he's cute. He is so smitten that he flies faster and farther than any of the others. But after his actual nose is exposed, he is laughed out of the games by everyone except her. She says that she has no problem with his nose and tries to cheer up the dejected Rudolph with one of the special's songs, "There's Always Tomorrow". As they begin their walk home, they're intercepted by her father who forbids her from "being seen with a red-nosed reindeer." Heartbroken, Rudolph runs away from home.
Against her father's warning, Clarice, along with Rudolph's mother, Mrs. Donner, goes off into the wilderness searching for him, only to get captured by the Abominable Snowmonster. She later appears as his prisoner, along with Rudolph's parents, but he arrives to rescue them. They return home where she reunites with her father before watching Rudolph help guide Santa's sleigh through the storm.
Clarice makes a brief cameo during the flashback to Rudolph's youth at the beginning of Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July. Also, during his song, "No Bed Of Roses", an autographed photo of her is shown falling off his wall.
Clarice reappears as a major character in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys, where she takes a significantly more prominent role than she did in the original special. One of its sub-plots involves her struggling to learn how to fly. Rudolph steps in and coaches her, accompanied by the song "Beyond the Stars". She also serves as moral support to him while he is deciding whether or not to have a nose job, stressing to him that she loves him just the way he is. As a result, Rudolph admits his love for Clarice, which causes her to fly with heartfelt joy.
- A character similar to Clarice named Zoey appears in the 1998 film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie. Like Clarice, Zoey is Rudolph's love interest and is one of the few characters to accept him.
|Santa's team|| Dasher • Dancer • Prancer • Vixen • Comet • Cupid • Donner • Blitzen • Rudolph|
|Others||Arrow • Clarice • Fireball • Frost • Holly • Lightning • Mrs. Donner • Oona • Scratcher • Thrasher • Zoey|