Breaking Bad on Rudolph: Will Your Kids Bully If They Watch the Christmas Classic?

From those who feel people have way too much time on their hands, to others who find the 1964 Rankin Bass special a promotion of bullying, attention to the plight of the red-nosed reindeer draws a clear line.

I missed the TV showing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer last week, so I made sure we played the DVD of the same, which doesn't cut out any musical scenes.

It's become my favorite special, because it doesn't sugar coat reality: people - kids - can be mean. Even Santa cops an attitude, but repents in the end.

For a while, the claymation special wasn't shown for various reasons, but has come back, and it has its following from the young to those like me who remember when the only time you could watch it was when the networks dictated it.

Now, renewed debate over the story, which in parts has Rudolph surrounded by other deer, jeering him over his nose and alienating him from games, has 'experts' warning that viewing it can promote bullying.

"Comet is saying to children, don't ever play with this reindeer again," George Giuliani, professor of special education at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, said in a debate. "And he tells him to go home and he bullies him and mocks him, and the other kids start mocking him. Can you imagine if your child's teacher said to the class 'Don't ever play with this child again'?"

Comet is an adult, and yes adults can bully children too.

I think they may have tuned out in the middle of the program, but the story ends well, and the message is that what makes us different makes us special, and embracing what you've got leads to success. Anyone who mocked Rudolph is now following his lead. (I can't help but wonder if Bill Gates was teased for being a geek in school as well. That also ended well for him.)

Denise Konkol December 09, 2011 at 04:25 PM
There are a lot of great teachable moments in that movie, and that is certainly one of them.


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