Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas cartoon co-directed and produced by the American-born Bermudian director, producer and writer Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop-motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. (later known as Rankin/Bass Productions) and currently distributed by Universal Television. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” which was itself based on the poem of the same name written in 1939 by Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS, with the network unveiling a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005. As with A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph no longer airs just once annually, but several times during the Christmas and holiday season on CBS. Unlike other holiday specials that also air on several cable channels (including Freeform), Rudolph only airs on CBS. It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest continuously running Christmas TV special in history. 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the television special and a series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph was issued by the United States Postal Service on November 6, 2014.