Rudolph's New Year

Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Tuesday December 30th 8:30/7:30c

It's Rudolph to the rescue when Happy, the Baby New Year, goes missing in Rudolph's Shiny New Year, the classic Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated holiday special. Red Skelton narrates and voices Father Time, while Frank Gorshin and Morey Amsterdam also provide voices for characters. This year marks the special's 30th anniversary, as it airs TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30 (8:30-9:30 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Father Time (voiced by narrator Red Skelton) asks the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph, to find the next Baby New Year before midnight on New Year's Eve. The baby, named Happy, ran away because he was ridiculed by everyone he met due to his large ears. Unless Happy returns in time to take his position as the New Year, the date will perpetually be December 31st. Rudolph searches in the Archipelago of Last Years, a mystical group of islands; Father Time reveals that, when a year ends, the old year retires to the archipelago, and selects an island to keep. Then, time on that island remains frozen for eternity as the year in which the old year ruled. Rudolph subsequently visits the islands belonging to One Million B.C., "O.M." for short (Morey Amsterdam), a caveman whose island is filled with dinosaurs. Then he meets Sir 1023 (Frank Gorshin), a knight whose island is filled with medieval trappings and fairy tale characters, and 1776, who resembles Benjamin Franklin and whose island reflected colonial-era United States. All of these former years join Rudolph on his quest.

As Rudolph and his friends search for the baby, they also repeatedly deal with the villain of the story, a buzzard named Aeon. Aeon is destined to only live until he is one aeon old, after which he turns into ice and snow; however, his aeon is finally up on December 31st. Aeon thus is also looking for Happy, so he can prevent his predestined death on December 31st and live forever. Rudolph and his friends succeed in rescuing Happy from Aeon (as well as preventing Aeon's death in the process), and return Happy to Father Time's castle in time to begin the new year.

Rudolph's Shiny New Year was directed and produced by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. It was written by Romeo Muller. Original music is by Johnny Marks.