Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (lost color negatives to original credits sequence of Christmas special; 1964)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the first Rankin/Bass stop motion animated Christmas special that first aired on December 6, 1964 on NBC and produced by Videocraft International, Ltd (Rankin/Bass Productions in the late 1960s).
When the special first aired, King Moonracer asked Rudolph to hold a promise where he would have Santa come to the Island of Misfit Toys, and pick them up in his sleigh, giving them to the children of the world. However, fans of the special protested at the first credits sequence, and the ending entirely, because Rudolph and Santa weren't seen fulfilling the promise.
Rankin-Bass responded by making an entirely new sequence where they drop off the toys from the Island of Misfit Toys to the children of the world, discarding the original sequence entirely. However it was discovered that parts of the original credits sequence was featured in the updated credits sequence. (Hinting that the original ending in color is in the vault of Rankin/Bass Productions). But to make room for the new scene in 1965, the scene where Yukon discovered a peppermint mine was cut until it was restored when Freeform started airing the special in 2019 (under the license of Universal Studios Home Entertainment).
While the new ending has been available to watch on home media releases since the 1989 video of the special. The black-and-white version of the original ending hasn't until it was uploaded to YouTube on the MiserBrosPress channel on August 9th, 2011.
Rick Goldschmidt revealed in the comments of the B&W credits video that he found the original credits sequence in full color. However the colorized version has yet to be released on YouTube as of 2022.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (lost original Larry D. Mann narration audio of Christmas special; 1964)
- Frosty the Snowman (found original June Foray voice recording of animated Christmas special; 1969)
- The Reluctant Dragon and Mr. Toad Show (partially found animated series; 1970-1971)
- The King Kong Show (partially found animated series; 1966-1969)
- NBC News article about the special’s original ending. Retrieved 03 Dec '19
- CountryLiving article on Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas 2019 schedule Retrieved 05 Dec '21