Step aside sasquatch; yield pride of place all ye yeti. Who’s the most beloved Christmas monster? Based on the messages I’ve received since I started these posts, it’s the Abominable Snowman from the classic stop motion special Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.
And what’s not to love? The Abominable is massive, furry — almost cuddly — and has teeth larger than many of the other major characters’ whole bodies. Its appearance onscreen inspires a blast of ominous horn in the soundtrack and it even makes the Burl Ives shiver in fear. Ponder that for an instant: a shivering snowman.
Abominable is an ideal antagonist, perfectly knitted into the narrative too. Not only does it kidnap Rudolf’s parents and love interest Clarice, this monster also allows Herbie to show off his amateur dentistry and Yukon Cornelius to add bravery to his bravado. If the Abominable Snowman didn’t exist, it would have been necessary to invent it, just to resolve so many story elements.
But if “Bumble” is so popular, why does isn’t it in the number one slot. Two words: character arc. By the end of the story, the Abominable Snowman is hardly abominable. No longer destructive, fully domesticated.
I am still soft at heart however for the Abominable. We’re led to believe its rage was caused by a bad toothache and with that existential pain relieved, its heart is fully repentant. But I remain hopeful that its misanthropy (mis-elf-opy?) was merely thwarted by dental surgery and that secretly the Abominable Snowman dreams of squashing elves flat under his hairy feet, like cockroaches perhaps while humming a yuletide arrangement of La Curcoracha. We can dream, can’t we?
For inspiring nightmares in so many children, we at the DailyNighmare award the Abominable Snowman place #6 in the Top Ten Best Christmas Monsters.