I remember Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as my favorite of the Christmas specials — as the truly great of the genre, as the Superman of Christmas specials.
And then we watched it last night, for probably the first time this century. It was brutal.
The story was pretty rough to start with: mutant child laborer is shunned until the CEO finds a way to exploit his difference, and only then do his peers accept him. And we’re supposed to take that as a happy ending.
But there’s something far, far worse that I had utterly forgotten.
Here’s the scene: the Abominable Snow Monster is threatening Rudolph’s family. Yukon Cornelius causes a boulder to fall on the monster’s head and he passes out. And then — here’s where Sheila and I both gasped — Hermey, the elf who, charmingly, wants to be a dentist, pulls out all of the snow monster’s teeth. The teeth are shown, pulled out by the roots, littered on the snow.
Hermey is a fucking war criminal. We’re shook.