The most significant difference in the 1964 RUDOLPH print in comparison to the special we know and love today is the ending. After the new s equence that was recently restored to the DVD print/VHS release that we call the "Peppermint Mine sequence," these pictures illustrate what ensued. After Yukon licks his pick and discovers Peppermint and Hermey falls back in the snow, Santa doesn't physically land on the Misfit island to pick up the toys. Santa States "Next stop, Island of Misfit toys" BUT the viewer in 1964 didn't see it happen.

Jules Bass explained to TV GUIDE, "There was a write in protest from viewers and we added it in the following year." The end sequence featured one of Santa's elves dropping out Christmas packages with a much more elaborate credit lettering that matches the opening credits. I also happened to notice that the names were spelled correctly. In the version we know today, some of the talent's names are mis-spelled; most noticibly Billie Mae Richards (voice of RUDOLPH: Spelled Billy).
The discovery of these end credits also explains why the "Peppermint Mine Sequence" was trimmed for time and never re-added. The '64 ending also includes a very nice GE end tag featuring photos of Burl Ives and all of the voice cast wishing the viewer a Very Merry Christmas.

Unfortunately, GOLDEN BOOKS does not have this footage in color in their archives. The inter-positive 35mm negative that was used for the Newest transfer had all the missing pieces but the end credits. The prior 16mm print with poor color that had "We're A Couple of Misfits" didn't have it either, but this was the '65 version and reflected what was available on VHS up to 1998.

I am sure the mandatory re-shoot for the ending prompted a decision to replace the song "We're A Couple Of Misfits" with "Fame And Fortune." Apparently, the GE Execs felt since one change was eminent...let's make an executive decision and change something else. This year, we will all be able to compare the two songs on the collector's DVD edition of RUDOLPH. It will contain a remastered edition of "Fame And Fortune" in the BONUS material. The DVD was delayed....look for it around October 26th.