Arthur could be seen in the filmed introduction holding my book, THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF RANKIN/BASS: A PORTFOLIO, discussing the story of RUDOLPH complete with behind-the-scenes photos provided by myself - at no charge - to make sure this type of extra reached the DVD for the many fans of RANKIN/BASS and RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER. I also provided the front cover image for that DVD release (for little cost and a photo credit).
After I arrived in New York, we both learned that the newest DVDs no longer featured the RANKIN/BASS name on the front cover. It seemed odd but Mr. Rankin was told it was a mistake that would be corrected the following year.
It seems that Alexander Drosin left the company and new
people moved in... none of which showed up to the MUSEUM OF TELEVISION
& RADIO tribute.
I will never forget (the show's composer) Maury Laws'
reaction of disbelief to this mess.
Some fans are telling me that scenes have been deleted from the 2005 DVDs and from the broadcast on CBS that year (in so-called "HIGH DEFINITION" which is a joke).
The soundtrack to the song 'WE'RE A COUPLE OF MISFITS' was placed over the animated sequence for 'FAME & FORTUNE' and it didn't match up. The musical section of 'WE ARE SANTA'S ELVES' was missing again as well. Obviously, this restoration was done by people who didn't care and had no knowledge of the classic special. It doesn't even sound like they had a copy of my book.
The PEPPERMINT MINE sequence has still never aired on
CBS; it hasn't been seen on the networks since 1964 and I am not even
sure if it is on the 2007 release of the DVD.
Billie Mae Richards and I became great friends shortly after the 'MAKING OF RUDOLPH' book was released. She loved the book and even tried to get her neighbor Paul Soles (Hermey the elf) to come around to enjoying his RUDOLPH fame. Billie Mae and I appeared on many radio shows together in 2002-2004 and she could still do the voice. She was also featured in the Chicago Tribune and TV Guide.
In late 2005, Billie Mae suffered a stroke and is in the
process of rehabilitation at age 85. Our prayers are with her. I am
hopeful we will be talking about RUDOLPH again in 2007 together!
Over the years, the figures were put out at Christmastime around the family tree and even played with by the children. They were also stored in an attic where the other characters (like Sam the Snowman and Yukon Cornelius) were melted together and discarded. At least Rudolph and Santa survived and have been restored. I contacted some of the original ANIMAGIC technicians to try to get parts made for these weathered guys to get them back to 1964 shape. (You'll see the amazing results on page 6 of this feature!)
There is a possibility that they may be used for replications
that could be sold at some point. They will also be traveling around
to various shows at the TIMEANDSPACETOYS.COM booth for all you RANKIN/BASS
fans to enjoy, such as WIZARD WORLD in Chicago. They made their debut
at a convention in PA in late-2005.
These are the people responsible for the longest-running, highest-rated TV special of all-time! I did about 100 radio and TV interviews for the holidays and these people are the ones I talk about.
The heart and the warmth that makes this show a part of
many families' lives, generation after generation, comes from this group
of people and no one can take that away from them! No one!
READ PART FOUR:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph: Behind the Scenes
More Rudolph Mysteries Solved
Your Questions Answered
Rudolph and Santa Restored
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