Saturday, December 20, 2008

Silly Reindeer

I miss those Silly Reindeer at Disneyland, do you?  It's not quite Christmas without their lolling tongues, crossed eyes that blinked and winked, and especially that begging-dog prance as they led Santa's sleigh for four decades of holiday parades.

Disneyland Christmas Parade Flyer, 1962
The silliness began in the early 1960s, with designs by artist Bill Justice. 

Prancing around on television in "Disneyland Around the Seasons", December 1966.

Silly Reindeer - Paper Models
Vintage Paper Models from Disneyland's Entertainment Art Department

Throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the holiday parade changed names a few times (Christmas In Many Lands Parade, Fantasy on Parade, Very Merry Christmas Parade, Disneyland Christmas Fantasy...) but the Silly Reindeer remained their same silly selves.

Silly Reindeer Model CU
Disneyland Parade Model from the early 1980s.

Silly Reindeer Model

In 2003, Santa got himself a brand hew herd. More attractive, perhaps. But 100% un-silly.  As blank as a you-know-what in the headlights.

Oh, Silly Reindeer, wherever you are now....I miss your silly reindeer games.

Disneyland Christmas Parade, 1966
The Silly Reindeer were shouted out with glee in this 1966 issue of Jack and Jill Magazine. Click to Enlarge.


Beta Mike said...

Great post Kevin. I might be mistaken, but I believe I know where the reindeer have migrated to.

Critifur said...

The new reindeer are a bit scary.

Pete Emslie said...

I love those crazy Bill Justice designs too. Those reindeer look like they'd been sneaking sips from Bill's eggnog. Too bad that the Disney Company of today no longer seems to appreciate the work of real cartoonists.

Kate said...


I just love that I can always count on you to remind me of what I love about old time Disney.

Happy Happy to both you and Jody


Anonymous said...

Don't worry Kevin, they are still alive and well in Orlando. You can see them at the Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade, Celebrate the Season Castle Show and Mickey's Twas the Night Before Christmas. Crazy eyes and all!

Matterhorn1959 said...

Kevin- why not propose some models of the silly reindeer to Disneyland merchandise. I would buy statues of them!

pixiegirltink said...

I love those old silly reindeer! Who needs those new fancy ones? If I were queen I'd bring the old ones back as well as the old snow people. Every Christmas spectacle needs a little of the sentimental stuff!

Daveland said...

My collection only has one photo of the silly reindeer:

Kevin Kidney said...

Dave - That's a really fun photo! Thanks!
Matterhorn1959- Great idea! I'd love one too.
pixiegirltink - The snow people! I love 'em too!
hatterpuppy- Good to hear the silly deer are at WDW!
Kate - HI KATE!!
Pete - Bill's eggnog indeed!
Beta Mike - Your photo link is protected as "private", but I'd love to see it!

TokyoMagic! said...

Great post! I absolutely miss the original reindeer...AND the original snowpeople too! Tokyo Disneyland still has the original versions of both. It's good to know that WDW does too. Why does managememt for Anaheim have to take everything that is wonderful and turn it into "just mediocre"?

Ex-ParadeCM said...

As an former CM that was actually one of those silly reindeer (circa 1977 - 1980), I truly miss the original characters as well. I am sometime saddened by the choices the "new regime" employs to update the magic. Newer is not always better.

Beta Mike said...

Sorry about that Kevin. The link is fixed now. The reindeer (if they are the same) are prancing once again in Florida.

I apologize for the shaky quality of the photo.

Eric Stefani said...

Oh my God,what great insight into something I always wondered about.

Eric Stefani said...

Oh my God,what great insight into something I always wondered about.