Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Explanation: In Rudolph's Weird Ax-Licking Scene

TK TK gifs

Finally, 51 year after Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer claymation aired, we finally learn the explanation of why Yukon Cornelius licked his axe!

The version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" you've been watching on TV is actually wrong.

12/14/2015 11:38 am ET

"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
   If you grew up watching "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on TV, you've actually seen an incorrect version of the movie. Given the changing needs of commercials, networks -- most recently CBS -- have shown the movie without all of its scenes, leading to a few confusing moments -- particularly the mysterious moment Yukon Cornelius licks his pickax.
   "CBS and various powers that be do not care," television historian Rick Goldschmidt, who has become an expert on the production company behind "Rudolph, " Rankin/Bass, told The Huffington Post, adding, "'Rudolph' has been treated shabbily."
Why did Yukon Cornelius lick his axe?
   In an article for TVparty, Goldschmidt wrote that he considers a moment called "The Peppermint Mine Scene" to be "the most significant deleted scene." It comes right after Rudolph guides Santa through the air to the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph's parents, Donner and Mrs. Donner, Rudolph's girlfriend, Clarice, and Cornelius are featured, while Donner says, "That's my buck!" finally confirming Rudolph's dad is no longer ashamed, as Goldschmidt points out.
But more illuminating is that the scene finally gives an answer as to why Cornelius kept licking his pickax throughout the special. In this deleted scene, Cornelius throws his ax in the air, lets it strike the ground and then, after licking it as he has been wont to do, declares, "Peppermint! What I've been searching for all my life! I've struck it rich. I've got me a peppermint mine ... Wahoooo!"

Yukon Cornelius didn't have a bizarre talent of recognizing the taste of gold or silver, he was licking his ax to see if it tasted like peppermint.

   "The 'Peppermint Mine Scene' has not been on TV since 1964," Goldschmidt explained, while also saying, "The special as it airs on CBS is not right." However, the peppermint deleted scene is on DVD and Blu-ray."

   Goldschmidt, who has written a definitive book on the making of "Rudolph," is frustrated that CBS doesn't put this scene, along with others, back into the broadcast. Talking about the current iteration of the TV broadcast, Goldschmidt said it's "like a grade school kid edited it," while additionally finding frustration in how the movie has been time-compressed and the sound quality warbles on multiple songs.
   In 1998, Goldschmidt teamed up with Arthur Rankin Jr. -- the original producer -- and found additional lost footage, which the two copyrighted. According to Goldschmidt, he notified Dreamworks -- the current holder of the movie's distribution rights -- of this new material, but hasn't had any luck with convincing them to do a full restoration. "'Rudolph' is as iconic as 'The Wizard of Oz,' yet it gets treated very poorly," he claimed.
   If you want to learn more about how "Rudolph" came together, check out Goldschmidt's book, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Making of the Rankin/Bass Holiday Classic, or consider donating to the Indiegogo for his potential upcoming documentary on the legendary producers.
For the meantime, you can still watch "Rudolph," on CBS, even if it is a bit mangled.
"Bottom line, the special hasn't been treated properly and not sure why that is or who to blame," lamented Goldschmidt.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next