Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first aired on CBS on December 6, 1964, quickly becoming an annual TV event. The Rankin/Bass animated special is based on songwriter Johnny Marks’ tune, inspired by the 1939 story of the same name published by Montgomery Ward. Gene Autry’s recording topped the U.S. charts during Christmas week in 1949.
The special expands the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer“ song, introducing Mrs. Claus, Santa’s elves, an abominable snowman, and a snowman narrator voiced by Burl Ives. This laid the foundation for the initial wave of Rankin/Bass specials, building a world based on a familiar Christmas song. Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass created a multitude of beloved Holiday animated specials in subsequent years, including classics like The Year Without a Santa Claus and The Little Drummer Boy.
AMC Will Air ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and Many Other Rankin/Bass Specials
AMC will air Rankin/Bass marathons during the Holiday season, as well as on other networks. Below are some of the dates to check out Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other Rankin/Bass favorites. Note that all of the times are under the Eastern time zone.
On November 27th, AMC will air nine Rankin/Bass specials. The morning kicks off with The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold at 11 am, followed by Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey at 11:30 am. The afternoon rolls out with Little Drummer Boy: Book II at 12 pm, Jack Frost at 12:30 pm, and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year at 1:45 pm. The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow airs at 3 pm, while Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July airs at 3:30 pm.
The evening concludes with Twas the Night Before Christmas at 6 pm, followed by Frosty’s Winter Wonderland at 6:30 pm.
AMC will have another Rankin/Bass holiday special marathon on December 10th. The list includes The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow, 10:30 am, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, 11 am, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, 3 pm and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July, 3:30 pm. The day concludes with The Year Without a Santa Claus at 4:45 pm.
On Christmas Eve, AMC will have another Rankin/Bass marathon. The morning kicks off with Jack Frost at 9:15 am and continues with The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow at 10:30 am. Little Drummer Boy: Book II follows at 11 am, then Rudolph’s Shiny New Year airs at 11:30 am. The afternoon concludes with Frosty’s Winter Wonderland at 12:45 pm, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at 1:15 pm, and The Year Without a Santa Claus at 1:45 pm
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