There may not be a more classic holiday film than Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The stop-motion animated film premiered in 1964 but has remained a staple in households across the world during the month of December. CBS is airing the special on Tuesday night, and despite many viewers having grown up on the film, some have since realized that there may be a subtle murder scene in the family special.
Mostly overlooked, the scene in question comes at the end of the movie during the credits. One of the misfit toys, a bird that is supposed to fly but instead only swims, an elf that is preparing to drop the toy off of Santa's sleigh denies the bird the parachute he wants and one the other toys received, instead pushing the bird to what some speculate its demise. The scene comes across as innocent to most onlookers, but upon close inspection, some wonder if this truly was a case of murder in the holiday classic.
Now that this is trending I would like you all to remember the murder that happened in this show. The bird clearly said he couldn’t fly and that elf threw him off the sleigh without an umbrella. RIP Bird. #RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer pic.twitter.com/3UWxL5WgCx— Ashley (Is it Christmas Yet?) H (@AshleyHyoutube) December 3, 2019
As many old-school Christmas specials fall victim to, the times have changed and viewers have become more aware and watch each scene with a fine-tooth comb. Besides the murder-in-question incident, Rudolph also lends itself to another gripe: bullying. Many fans of the special have caught on to the reality that everybody's favorite red-nosed reindeer is seriously bullied early on in the episode, by both his peers and even Santa himself. At one point near the end, the other reindeers do apologize for how they treated him and of course, Santa realizes just how important he is to the team at the end of the day.
This program is not the only holiday special raising eyebrows this season. The premier Thanksgiving special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, had a few questionable scenes in it that viewers have noticed over the years and during its most recent airing. The lovable sidekick to Snoopy, Woodstock, has come under scrutiny for potentially going through with a cannibal move as the bird is seen eating turkey given to him by Snoopy at the dinner table. Another scene that has come to the forefront is one with the cast of Peanuts all seated at the table, many of whom on the side, leaving Franklin, the only Black character of the bunch, on the one side by himself. The scene has come under fire as some have deemed it racist for placing the white members on one side opposite Franklin.
For viewers unable to watch tonight's airing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the special will be back on multiple occasions. CBS will have it back on its airwaves on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. ET. It will also be a part of Freeform's "25 Days of Christmas" with airings on Dec 5, 6, 19, 20, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.