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Clarice

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Clarice
Clarice

Real Name

Clarice

First Appearance

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (December 6, 1964)

Original Publisher

Rankin/Bass

Created by

Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Origin

Clarice is a character from the 1964 Rankin-Bass television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Like all the does in the special, Clarice is lighter in color than the bucks and is distinguished and recognized by the polka-dotted bow atop her head. Clarice was added to the storyline by producer, Arthur Rankin, Jr., as a means of expanding the special beyond the confines of the original song.

Clarice was introduced at the start of the reindeer games scene as one of several does who are watching the proceedings. Clarice took an interest in a reindeer who would become Santa's 9th(see notes) who, on the advice of his new friend, Fireball, shyly walked over to Clarice to meet her. The boy reindeer, who was wearing a false nose to hide his own red one, was having difficulty speaking. Clarice gently asked if the boy reindeer was having trouble with his nose. Before the boy left her side to participate in what was called "take-off practice," meant to determine the flying ability of the yearling bucks and right after he mustered the courage to ask to walk her home, she told him that she thought he was cute. He was so smitten that he flew faster and farther than any of the other bucks but, after his actual nose was exposed, he was laughed out of the reindeer games by everyone except Clarice. She tried to cheer up the dejected boy with a song to no avail. As the two began their walk home, they were intercepted by Clarice's Father who forbid her from "being seen with a red-nosed reindeer." Heartbroken, the boy ran away from home.

Against her father's warning, Clarice, along with the boy's mother, Mrs. Donner, went off into the wilderness searching for him, only to get captured by the Abominable Snowmonster. Clarice appeared later in the special as the Snowmonster's prisoner, along with the boys's parents, but the boy arrived to rescue them. The group returned home where Clarice reunited with her father before watching the boy help guide Santa's sleigh through the storm.

Notes

  • The character of Rudolph is not in the public domain and, thus, cannot be used without permission. He was created in 1939 by Robert L.May and his first appearance was renewed. However, he has been popularly referred to as "Santa's 9th Reindeer."
  • Like the character, the song, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, is NOT in the public domain so avoid using details which are original to it.
  • The copyright year in Roman numerals for the special was mis-marked as MCLXIV (1164) instead of the correct MCMLXIV (1964). This invalidates the copyright under U.S. law at the time, which required a valid date of copyright be affixed to the production meaning that still images from the special and all of the characters unique to it are, as a result, in the public domain.

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