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FLASHBACK: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s First Starring Film Role

FLASHBACK: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s First Starring Film Role

The Library of Congress gave the public a real Christmas gift today. The LoC restored and released online the original 1948 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer animated cartoon, directed by Max Fleischer

Produced by the Detroit-based Jam Handy Company as a promotional film for Montgomery Ward department stores, the film was kept in theatrical release as a holiday favorite for years afterward.

“You won’t have any trouble finding it online (for example, on the Internet Archive),” says archivist Mike Mashon, Head of the Moving Image Section. “But you’ll notice that it begins and ends with the Johnny Marks song. However the film was released in 1948 and the song wasn’t published until a year later. How can that be? The common version with the song is a 1951 re-release of the cartoon that retains the body of the story, but includes a new opening and end credit. As far as we can tell, we have the only complete version of the original 1948 release.”

Thank you, Library of Congress! Click the embed below to enjoy this holiday treat.

(Thanks, Geo. Willeman)

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