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Rudolph: a homosexual metaphor?
From the Grinch thread
the G-man wrote:
Rudolph is still good but I must admit to cringing at exactly how nasty both Santa and Rudolph's dad are in the early scenes.
^^ I just watched Rudulph the other night and I was reminded of the same thing. Santa and Donner don't come off at all well in the beginning.
If you think about it (and so as not to derail the Grinch thread), the entire Rudolph cartoon comes off as a not very subtle metaphor for homosexuality:
- Rudolph is born different. His macho father can't accept it. He even tries to get Rudolph to "stop" having a shiny red nose.
His mother is more understanding, but unwilling to stand up for her son against society and her husband. She is reduced, somewhat, to half-hearted attempts at chiding Rudolph's father and getting Rudolph interested in "does," such as Clarice, the girl next door,
Rudolph gets ostracized from others at "school" (reindeer games) for his differences and his inability at traditional male activities. Eventually, he ends up with only one friend: Hermie (short for "Hermes," aka "Eros," aka the God of Love) a mincing elf who couldn't be gayer if played by Paul Lynde after a three-way with Charles Nelson Riley and Liberace.
The two decide to go off together, realizing that they are "different" and don't fit in to the "traditional" society.
Rudolph, in leaving, also leaves behind, in essence rejecting, the doe.
In their travels, they are menaced by a giant "man eater", the Bumble, whose mouth looks like a vagina with teeth.
In their efforts to avoid being trapped by the vagina, Rudolph and Herme join up with, Yukon Cornelius, a middle aged, single, man with a lot of dogs, who looks like a reject from "the Village People."
Yukon and his two young male friends end up on an island surrounded by a fiery glow (Fire Island was a popular gay community in the 60s). There, they meet others like them, most notably a clown who was as gay as Paul Lynde, a pink spotted elephant and a doll who had no discernable "defect" unless she was a lesbian.
(And don't get me started that the "king" of island was basically a "fairy lion" named, get this, "King MOONracer"...they might as well have named him "King Butt Pirate")
However, eventually, Rudolph realizes that he wants to stand up and be himself at home (ie, come out of the closet).
Before entering society, however. He finds out that he needs to confront to his family (again, the first step in his coming out). However, he finds out that his family is still embracing the female doe and, in fact, have been captured by the giant vagina.
Rudolph tries to put up a fight. However, it looks lost until...the mincing elf and the reject from the Village People appear and defeat the vagina for him!
So, with the giant vagina defeated, Rudolph heads home to apologies ..and a noticably chaste relationship with the Clarice)
In fact, if you watch the cartoon carefully, Rudolph's nose doesn't throb and glow around the females. But does around the males.
Then, who should show up but the mincing elf, the reject from the village people, and the now-defanged vagina, who wants a job "erecting" Christmas trees,
Finally, even Santa comes to accept his own latent homosexuality. For the entire special, he was thin and cranky and wore earth tones. But, at the end, after accepting Rudolph, he immediately swelled up and his red cylindrical hat (with a round tip at the end) stood up straight...and his first stop was to the fiery island with Rudolph to introduce the other "misfits" back into society.
And off they go, with Rudolph in the lead, while eight other reindeer and Santa are "riding his tail"...