December 23, 2009

The Island of Misfit Toys

The "The Island of Misfit Toys" segment from the 1964 Rankin-Bass special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is like some sort of strange, soft and colorful hybrid of Freaks (1932) and The Misfits (1961) (imagine if you will: Clark Gable's character is Yukon Cornelius, Marilyn Monroe's character being Hermy...). From the Wikipedia entry:

The "Island of Misfit Toys", another canonical addition to the original story, is an island sanctuary where defective and unwanted toys are sent. Among its inhabitants:

  • King Moonracer - a winged lion who acts as the island's ruler. He lives in a large castle atop a hill on The Island of Misfit Toys.

  • The Freaks The Misfits

  • Charlie-In-The-Box

  • Spotted Elephant

  • "A Dolly for Sue (as she calls herself)" whose problem was psychological, caused from being abandoned by her mistress and suffering depression from feeling unloved.

    Oh, come on now! Marilyn Monroe

  • Bird Fish

  • A misfit cowboy who rides an ostrich

  • Clearly Montgomery Clift...

  • Trainer, a train with square wheels on its caboose

  • A toy boat that sinks rather than floats

  • a squirt gun that shoots grape jelly

  • an airplane that can't fly, a bear that rides a bike, and "a scooter for Jimmy".

    Viewers were so taken by these forlorn characters that many complained Santa was not seen fulfilling his promise to include them in his annual delivery. In reaction, a new scene for subsequent rebroadcasts was produced with Santa, with Rudolph in the lead, making his first stop at the island to pick up the toys.


    Anonymous said...

    I love this! Such a reminder of childhood combined with genuinely great art. Apple fan-boy that I am, I also love the Verizon commercials based on this work.

    Thanks as always for your posts and Happy Holidays!.

    Retro Hound said...

    You mean they didn't originally go directly to that island? I always wanted a cowboy that rides an ostrich.

    vida dia real said...

    Wow, so cool. I never saw this. It would have made life so much easier as a kid, to know that misfits had a place too. I need to find this, I'd really like to see it.

    Chris said...

    It was a cool little segment in that special, for sure. I hope everyone had a great holiday!