The Tall Elf?

Real Name


First Appearance

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (December 6, 1964)

Original Publisher


Created by

Romeo Muller & Robert L. May


This tall elf is a minor character from the Rankin/Bass animated television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He was one of Santa Claus's elves, who is distinguished from the others in that he is the tallest elf and also wears glasses. He is seen prominently during a number of songs, in one he is shown tipping his hat at one of his female coworkers while carrying a stack of presents, which he then accidentally drops when he bumps into Donner, one of Santa Claus' Reindeer.


  • Although he is not a major character (never named onscreen) in the special, he was prominently featured alongside the Elf Foreman and another elf in the television commercials and subsequent print ads produced for General Electric for the special's original broadcast.
  • He was later given the name "Hank" in a 2011 sequel, however that has (obviously) not yet entered the public domain so a new name should be used in any original work.
  • The character of Rudolph is not in the public domain and, thus, cannot be used without permission. He was created in 1939 by Robert L.May and his first appearance was renewed. However, he has been popularly referred to as "Santa's 9th Reindeer."
  • The copyright year in Roman numerals for the special was mis-marked as MCLXIV (1164) instead of the correct MCMLXIV (1964). This invalidates the copyright under U.S. law at the time, which required a valid date of copyright be affixed to the production meaning that still images from the special and all of the characters unique to it are, as a result, in the public domain.
  • The name given in this article is a conjecture based on the character's appearance.

See Also

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