The History of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer

Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer’s origin

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? We all remember this song especially around Christmas. I bet you didn’t know that Rudolf wasn’t a part of this list until 1939 when Robert L. May introduced us to the worldwide Rudolf the Red-Nose Reindeer. He made Rudolf based off how he was treated when he was younger. Robert was an outcast, just like Rudolf, he had skipped a grade or two, so he was smaller and younger than his classmates. He was the nerdy, smart kid who saw himself as a loser.

So, what came first the song or the movie? Well neither, in 1939, the same year Rudolf was made the department store Montgomery Ward asked one of the copyrighters (Robert L. May) to make a Christmas story the store could give away to shoppers as a promotional gimmick. Robert turned this into a poem about a reindeer that was ignored, judged, and had a big red nose that would help guide Santa’s sleigh through the dark cloudy night.

The first movie made about this amazing reindeer was made in 1948, it was an animated short film, which was shortly after Rudolf was made. Wow I didn’t know they made movies faster back in the 1900’s then now in 2020’s that’s unfortunate. The original song was made January 12th, 1949, and it was created by John David Marks. The first song made doesn’t sound like a Christmas song due to the instruments, the technology not being as good as it is now, and the music sounding muffled in the background. Once the artist starts singing the lyrics you are able to hear that is a Christmas song. Rudolf has been a big icon for years and will continue to be one for many more.