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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie

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The cover to the video release.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie is a 1998 direct-to-video animated film based on the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was produced by Goodtimes Entertainment.


SPOILER: Plot details or story follow.

One night at Santa's Village, the Sprites of the Northern Lights, a group of singing sprites who can be seen flying all around the North Pole, named Aurora, Sparkle, Glitter, and Twinkle, are putting on a special light show to celebrate the birth of Rudolph, a newborn buck born to Blitzen and his wife, Mitzi. However, as he attempts to take his first steps to walk to his father, Rudolph trips and tumbles into a haystack. After he sneezes, Rudolph's red, shiny nose lights up; his mother's only word on the incident is "Bless you."

The next day, Rudolph is given a tour of Santa's Village by his parents and prances merrily around in the snow; his nose lights up once again in the exuberance. When Rudolph's uncles - Comet, Cupid, and Dasher - come to see him, Blitzen attempts to hide him, but then reveals Rudolph to them. Cupid tickles Rudolph on his chin and tummy until Rudolph's nose starts glowing red. Before long, all of the residents of Santa's Village, reindeer and elves alike, find out about how Rudolph has a glowing nose and they all laugh at him.

Meanwhile, two mail delivery elves, Boone and Doggle, are delivering mail in hopes of a promotion for the two of them (they dislike their current job and wish to be promoted to the factory floor of Santa's Workshop). But as they pass the bridge made by the evil Ice Queen, Stormella, Boone loses control of the sled vehicle, inadvertently crashing into, and in turn destroying, Stormella's ice garden. The two elves make a dash for it, but in the process, Doggle's hat falls of his head.

Rudolph is shown Santa's toy factory and is given a teddy bear. Work, however, is cut short as Stormella bursts in with both her penguin butler Ridley, and her Arctic wolves, demanding justice. She explains that her ice garden has been wrecked, and she knows one of Santa's elves was responsible. When Santa's wife, Mrs. Claus, asks how Stormella knows that, the villainess displays Doggle's hat that she found at the "scene of the crime." Santa asks that the elf to which the hat belongs to should show himself; Boone and Doggle obediently, but reluctantly, step forward, and plead for mercy, not wanting to go with Stormella. Stormella requests that Santa Claus "hand them over," but Santa refuses. Stormella, outraged, demands the elves or she'll close down her bridge to the public, but Santa, who knows how important it is for his Christmas trip, still refuses. So with that, Stormella closes her bridge. However, she then adds that if anyone crosses it she will make a storm so big and powerful "it will knock your thermal socks off, baby!" She finally leaves. A hopeful Doggle asks if they will get their promotion; Boone merely bonks Doggle on the head. On her way to her palace, the villainous Stormella concocts a plot to finally be rid of Santa by waiting until one soul would defy her warning and she would launch her grand storm.

The following year, Blitzen and Mitzi send Rudolph off to school, and Rudolph had grown a little older and stronger. There, he meets Zoey, a pretty and kind young doe who he develops romantic affections for, but starts a rivalry with his cousin Arrow, who also has feelings for Zoey. At school, Rudolph's nose is laughed at by Arrow and everyone in his class except for Zoey and the teacher Mrs. Prancer, and leaves the school in tears. Rudolph meets up with Santa, who tries to convince Rudolph that his nose isn't really something to laugh at.

On Christmas Eve, Santa and his reindeer take off and start their journey around the world whilst Rudolph constantly tries to get a better view due to the crowd being in his way. After Santa's sleigh takes off into the sky, Rudolph finds himself alone and plays out a pretend acceptance speech for if he was just named the newest Flyer for Santa's team, thanking his parents, Santa, and most of all the "doe of his dreams, Zoey". Little does he know, Zoey finds him and listens in on his speech, making a not-so-subtle giggle about her account, and startling an embarrassed Rudolph. But Zoey reassures him, saying she like his speech. She tells Rudolph she wants to be his friend and that his nose is as unique as he is. Zoey then tells Rudolph that since they are standing under the mistletoe, he has to kiss her. The would-be kiss on the cheek is interrupted when Arrow arrives unexpectedly, ordering Zoey to come with him. To avoid Arrow becoming jealous, Zoey obediently but sadly follows him, but looks back at Rudolph and gives him a smile. Rudolph dances happily, knowing that his dream doe is his first friend.

Years later, Rudolph is now a teenager, complete with budding antlers. He and the other reindeer his age are competing in the Junior Reindeer Games. Zoey, who has grown into a beautiful and graceful doe, is now Rudolph's best friend, and she gives him her locket to bring him for good luck, and also gives him a kiss on the cheek. However at the start line, Arrow, who is now Zoey's boyfriend, is angry to see Rudolph wearing Zoey's pendant and reminds him that she's "his doe," though Rudolph tells Arrow that Zoey is not a trophy and should not to be treated like one.

The first game in the tournament is the "Sleigh Race", in which the young reindeer practice pulling their elf drivers just as Santa's famous reindeer pull his sleigh (as an incentive to win, Santa sometimes picks future reindeer to pull his sleigh from the best in the competition). Shortly after the event starts, the dishonorable Arrow starts cheating, hoping to have Santa picks him in pulling his sleigh, and Rudolph tries to avoid him. However, when Rudolph is in the lead, Arrow takes advantage of Rudolph's feelings for Zoey by lying to him that she is only nice to Rudolph because she feels sorry for him. Rudolph denies this, but Arrow insists that Zoey told him so. Despite not believing a word of it, Rudolph becomes so angry at Arrow's taunts that his nose shines brightly, blinding Arrow and his carriage's elf driver and inadvertently making them crash, causing Rudolph and Doggle, his elf driver, to win. Unfortunately, a paranoid elf referee disqualifies Rudolph and makes Arrow the winner by default, much to the shock of Blitzen (who considers the decision an outrage). Even Mrs. Claus finds the decision unfair, but Santa gently reminds her that the referee has the final say in the matter. Zoey confronts Arrow on his cheating. Unrepentant and conceited, Arrow tells Zoey, "So what? The point is, I won, and Santa's gonna notice me!" Zoey tells Arrow that he's no Flyer and says that Flyers are brave and they have character and true hearts like Rudolph, but Arrow points out that Rudolph's got a red nose (which in his opinion makes Rudolph unworthy to be a Flyer). Angry at this Zoey calls Arrow shallow and says that she doesn't want to be his doefriend anymore, to which a disappointed Arrow turns his back on her.

Blitzen tries to get the referee to change his decision, but the referee tells him that the decision is final. Blitzen explains that "the nose problem isn't his fault, he was born that way! That nose of his... was an accident." But Rudolph overhears and misinterprets Blitzen's explanation, and thinks his father is ashamed of him. Starting to feel unwanted, Rudolph vows that he'll make his father proud someday and runs away into the Arctic with several of his things. The romantic song "Show Me The Light" fully expresses Rudolph's despair and Zoey's heartfelt feelings for him.

Rudolph's parents discover a note that Rudolph left, informing them of his departure. Zoey appears at the door, wanting to visit Rudolph. When Blitzen tells her that Rudolph ran away, she decides to go look for him after gazing up at the mistletoe she and Rudolph were under years earlier when they were about to kiss. However, she goes too far when she crosses Stormella's ice bridge. Shortly after being chased by Stormella's wolves, the evil ice witch imprisons Zoey. Meanwhile, after Aurora, the red and pink clothed leader of the Sprites of the Northern Lights guides him with her magic powers without revealing herself, Rudolph finds a cave where he befriends an arctic fox named Slyly. During the night Slyly grabs Rudolph's old teddy bear and snuggles with it. He puts it back before dawn, but Rudolph notices him. The next morning, an avalanche causes the cave to collapse and the duo are forced to find another home. They come to a home owned by a polar bear named Leonard and trick him into leaving by saying the cave is in danger of collapse. When he returns in anger at having been tricked, Rudolph apologizes and after explaining everything, Leonard accepts his apology and lets the duo stay.

That night Rudolph has a nightmare. When he wakes up, he goes outside for some air. There the sprites reveal themselves to him and tell him they're big fans of his "wonderous" nose. They then tell him that Zoey is in trouble and teach him how to use his light. Rudolph wakes up Slyly and Leonard and the three of them walk towards Stormella's fortress. Meanwhile Blitzen and Mitzi along with Zoey's parents go to Santa asking him to help find their children. Santa assigns Boone and Doggle to go out and find them, giving them a second chance. When the three reach Stormella's bridge Rudolph and Leonard go on while Slyly stays behind in fear of Stormella's wolves. Using his nose Rudolph finds his way into the fortress without getting caught despite an alarm going off as the light of Rudolph's nose makes Stormella think it's a glitch. When he hears Zoey singing, "Show me the light" he uses her voice to find her. Unfortunately before they can free her Stormella arrives and locks up Rudolph and Leonard alongside Zoey. She reveals her plan to ruin Christmas by creating the storm of the century.

After Stormella creates the storm, Slyly finds the others all locked up in the dungeon. He then goes up to Stormella's bed chamber and grabs the keys from her neck. When she slightly awakens he tells her he's stealing her keys, being so tired she doesn't care. Once Slyly releases them they make their escape only to be caught at the edge of a ledge by Stormella. When she threatens to harm Zoey Rudolph blinds her with his light and she nearly falls off the ledge. With the help of the others, Rudolph saves Stormella who grants him one wish in return for saving her life. Instead of wishing for a normal nose he wishes for her to be nice. She does as he commands, but she can't stop the storm as it has to run its natural course; Rudolph and the others then leave for home. Boone and Doogle find them and bring them home where they're heartily welcomed.

Santa gets an idea on how he can still deliver Christmas gifts despite the storm. He asks Rudolph if he can guide him with his light, Rudolph of course answers yes. Just before take-off his friends wish him good luck and Zoey gives him a kiss on the cheek; Rudolph blushes. In the song, "We Can Make It" Rudolph leads them through the storm and on to deliver gifts. Blitzen says, "I'm proud of you, son" just before they start flying off. The next day, Stormella is shown by Ridley that Santa gave her an ice sculpture of herself to make up for the statues that were broken. Meanwhile Slyly and Leonard find gifts Rudolph left for them under the tree. Leonard got Rudolph's red scarf while Slyly got Rudolph's old teddy bear. As Rudolph returns, the movie ends with everyone, even Arrow, singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".



  • John Goodman, who voices Santa Claus in this movie, would portray the character again in the live-action Year Without a Santa Claus and It's a SpongeBob Christmas!, as well as voicing the Robot Santa in the first Futurama Christmas episode, "Xmas Story".
  • Kathleen Barr (Teenage Rudolph and Twinkle) and Matt Hill (Teenage Arrow and Donner) would later co-star alongside each other again the following year in 1999 as voices for the Cartoon Network series Ed, Edd n Eddy, with Barr voicing Marie Kanker and Kevin and Hill voicing Ed.
  • In the film, only the male reindeer have antlers whilst in real life, both male and female reindeer have them. In the film, the male reindeer are called bucks and the females does, but in real life, males are called bulls and females are called cows.
  • Ridley (a penguin) is shown to live in the North Pole, but in real life, penguins are native to the South Pole. This is either a mistake or Ridley might have lived in the South Pole, but moved to the North Pole prior to working for Stormella.


Voice actor Character
Kathleen Barr Rudolph
Myriam Sirois Zoey
Eric Idle Slyly
Bob Newhart Leonard
Whoopi Goldberg Stormella, The Evil Ice Queen
John Goodman Santa Claus
Debbie Reynolds Mrs. Claus
Kathleen Barr Twinkle the Sprite
Myriam Sirois Glitter the Sprite
Schoolroom doe #1
Eric Pospisil Rudolph (Younger)
Vanessa Morley Zoey (Younger)
Debbie Reynolds Mitzi (Rudolph's Mother)
Mrs. Prancer
Gary Chalk Blitzen
Richard Simmons Boone
Alec Willows Doggle
Lee Tockar Ridley the Penguin
Milo the Elf
Christopher Gray Arrow (Younger)
Matt Hill Arrow (Older)
Elizabeth Carol Savenkoff Aurora the Sprite
Zoey's Mother
Elf Crowd Member #3
Cathy Weseluck Sparkle the Sprite
Elf Crowd Member #1
Paul Dobson Dasher
Elf Referee
Terry Klassen Dancer
Colin Murdock Comet
David Kaye Cupid
Tyler Thompson Schoolroom buck

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