Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1976)


This film is one of the  Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. Like the rest of their films, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year's stop motion graphics had been outsourced to Japanese production companies.  By the time this film came out the prosses of outsourcing animation/stop motion started to ramp up within the animated film industry. It's predecessor Rudolph the red noised reindeer was one of the pioneering films to use this method of production. One of the studios in particular had the future founder of Studio Ghibli as an employee.

In the film Rudolph is tasked with finding the baby New Year. Throughout the search he comes across notable figures for the past each on their respectable islands. The baby New Year is eventually found and brought back so that the New Year could happen.

A running theme throughout the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials had to do with an older narrator that speaks directly to the audience and is the first character we see. The stories they tell are often form their past. In this film the narrator is Father Time who was once a baby New Year.

Rudolph’s Shiny New Year was not the first sequel produced (Frosty's winter wonderland 1976) however, it was the first to branch out into the Christmas mash ups. Christmas (Rudolph) and New Year Eve Day (Baby New Year). This became more of a thing within their films in later years, with mixed success.

Rudolph, Santa, Baby New Year and others
Rudolph, Santa, Baby New Year and others