Now that Christmas has passed, it’s time for the sequel to the classic Rudolph special.
This special came out 12 years after the original, and the same year that I myself was born. It once again involves Rudolph using his nose to come to the rescue, but this time he has to save New Year’s. It seems that the new New Year’s baby, “Happy”, has run away because everyone laughed at his Dumbo-like ears. Without the New Year’s baby, the old year will just continue indefinitely & it will be December 31st forever. (It’s rather interesting that they aren’t chasing Happy because they’re concerned for the well-being of an infant running around uncharted islands unescorted by an adult, they’re chasing him because they have some deep seated paranoia about December 31st.) There is another reason for them to hurry up and find Happy though, Aeon the buzzard. This giant evil bird’s life is up at the end of the year, so he takes advantage of the situation and acts to prevent Rudolph and his friends from finding Happy, so that Aeon will live forever.
Where has Happy gone? To “The Archipelago of Last Years”, a chain of islands where all the old years go when they retire. Each one sets up his own island where it remains his year for eternity (which must really suck for the guys who ruled over the plague years, or WWII, or the great depression, etc). We are introduced to some of these islands during the course of this adventure, including one with cavemen & dinosaurs, and one full of knights & fairy tales.
While I actually rather like this special, I usually wind up skipping or ignoring it. Why? Because I keep confusing it with another special, Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July. I hated that Christmas in July one, keep thinking this New Year one is that one, then realizing “oh crap, that was the good one, and I missed it”.