Rudolph & Other Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer makes his annual visit to CBS/CBS All Access today (8 pm ET/PT), but reindeer fans can make it a tripleheader with the premieres of Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer and A Reindeer’s Journey on free streamer Crackle.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, narrated by Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman, first ran on NBC in 1964 and has been on CBS since 1972. If you’ve forgotten the plot, the hour-long cartoon tells the tale of Santa’s shy and shunned reindeer of shiny nose fame who finally finds his purpose one Christmas Eve.

Here are some segments from the original NBC broadcasts that CBS won’t show tonight:

John Cleese as Donner, Martin Short as Blitzen and Samantha Bee as Hazel the Goat lead the cast of Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer. The 90-minute Canadian animated film from 2018 tells the tale of a small but determined horse who competes to join Santa’s reindeer team, with best friend Hazel at his side. (Elliot is also available without ads to Netflix subscribers and to anyone whose library participates in the free Hoopla service.)

“And now,” as Monty Python’s Cleese might have said, “for something completely different”:

A Reindeer’s Journey, narrated by Donald Sutherland, is a 90-minute Finnish documentary from 2018 that tells the tale of Ailo, a newborn reindeer in Lapland. With mom’s help, Ailo overcomes obstacles like hostile predators during his first year of life.

(Top photo credit: CBS Entertainment)

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