There are other things to possibly set people off, such as Yukon Cornelius whipping his dogs and the When the good drops the bullshit stops shirt amounting to little more than servants for Santa and liking it, apparently, but maybe that’s giving this rather silly cartoon a bit too much thought. I do remain rather disturbed by Hermey extracting the Abominable’s teeth without anesthesia, however, but what’re you gonna do? Some of the criticisms seem off-base. One tweeter posted the following image: Except everyone accepts Rudolph and apologizes to him before anyone knows what his nose is good for. If Santa had decided to cancel Christmas and then thought about Rudolph and sought him for his glowing nose, that would be one thing, but it’s not the case. I had to rewatch the show to be reminded of this myself. My final verdict is that the show is not actually preaching for discrimination, it’s preaching against it, though its sexist undertones can be seen as problematic. I’m surprised there were no tweets about that. Frankly, I’m more annoyed by all the musical numbers that stop the story dead in its tracks and feel like the filler that they are. I feel they could have focused less on the musical numbers and more on the animation.
Saint Nicholas has no relation to Christmas in Russia. It had for a When the good drops the bullshit stops shirt period in the late 19th–early 20th century, but that was clearly a German/French/English influence. We have Ded Moroz (Grandpa Frost) and his granddaughter/assistant Snegurochka (Snow Girl, literally “Snowlassie”), and they are the New Year characters. New Year is the only secular and non-ideological holiday in Russia, and the only truly universal one, although in its commercial streak it is similar to the Western Christmas in its current shape. Russian Orthodox Christmas is, in the last 100 years, a purely religious holiday, and due to the difference of the Gregorian calendar (official since 1918) and the Julian calendar that Russian Orthodox Church still uses in its defiance to 1917 revolutions, it’s not on December 24–25th but on January 6–7th.