Rudolph encounters numerous foolish facet characters alongside the best way, and essentially the most pleasant a part of the film for me was at all times his jaunt among the many Archipelago of Final Years, with every year, personified primarily based on distinguished occasions and attitudes, getting its personal island the place time is locked. (I now surprise if the plot was swiped from the author’s desk at “Physician Who.”)
One Million B.C. is a cave man dwelling amongst dinosaurs, and 1776 seems to be like Benjamin Franklin. We don’t get to see each island however be taught that on 1492 island, individuals have been too busy discovering issues to assist, and that 1965 was too noisy. Rudolph additionally mentions the island of 1893, the 12 months of a serious melancholy, however they’ve by no means heard of Glad.
It’s a cute joke, one I missed as a child however that caught my consideration now: You might think about 2020 there, handed over by Rudolph as a result of its inhabitants have additionally by no means heard of Glad. However the premise reveals its personal holes. For one, the personifications are America- and white-centric. America was born in 1776, however it was additionally the 12 months of a lethal hurricane in Guadeloupe and a warfare towards Cherokee tribes. And the island descriptions are all intentionally myopic: 1893 was the 12 months of a melancholy however it was additionally the 12 months of the Belgian employees’ strike and the Chicago World’s Honest. In 1965, when civil rights protests and Beatlemania have been in full swing, it was undoubtedly a 12 months of noise but in addition silences: the demise of Winston Churchill, the assassination of Malcolm X, deaths of civilians and troopers in Vietnam. After which the quiet face of Mars, photographed for the primary time by Mariner 4, hanging like a crimson decoration, suspended within the silence of house.
However that is how we consider time: one adjective at a time, the very best or the worst inside the slender confines of our personal views. In any other case we’d go mad, accounting for each second of every single day, each victory and trifle.
“Rudolph’s Shiny New Yr” is a reminder, nonetheless, that there’s consolation in that, to suppose that our worst years additionally comprise another person’s greatest, that our greatest years are tempered with the worst, and that there’s a bigger narrative at all times taking place past the flip of a calendar web page.