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Fireball (Rankin/Bass)

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Fireball
Fireballreindeer

Real Name

Fireball

First Appearance

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

Original Publisher

Rankin/Bass

Created by

Romeo Muller & Robert L. May

Origin

Fireball is a minor character in the 1964 Rankin/Bass television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

A yearling buck, Fireball attempted to befriend the title character before the start of the "reindeer games." Shortly after introducing himself to the reindeer who would later become Santa's 9th(see notes), Fireball playfully told him of the attention he immediately received at a distance from Clarice, a yearling doe.

Told by Clarice that he was "cute," the 9th reindeer was so overcome with joy and lept into the air, flying farther and faster than any other yearling in the reindeer games. A playful tussle with Fireball ensued and the false nose that had hidden the boy's unusual nose fell off, causing the terrified Fireball to recoil in fear at the sight. When he, the other yearling bucks and Coach Comet, one of Santa Claus' Reindeer, recover from the initial shock, the group, led by Fireball, mercilessly tormented the red-nosed reindeer buck, ending with Comet's proclamation that he was being banned from the reindeer games.

It may be presumed that Fireball is among the group of young bucks inside the workshop who cheer on the 9th reindeer for saving Christmas by lighting the front of the sleigh through the foggy weather ahead.

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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