Hermey the Dentist gets his (postage) due.

The Statue of Liberty, Albert Einstein, Elvis — through the years, these national treasures  joined the ranks of countless others whose images decorate the United States Postal Service’s precious commodity: postage stamps.

But have any received the rank of Dental Do Gooder?

Don’t think so.

After 50 years of dreaming about becoming a dentist and promoting good dental health to his friend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and everyone in the North Pole, Hermey the Elf was not only featured on a Forever stamp, but also recently named a DDG—Dental Do Gooder, that is, by the president of the American Dental Association (ADA).

In honor of Hermey’s DDG designation, the ADA’s website, MouthHealthy.org, features a fun dental health quiz for families, plus a separate sweepstakes drawing to win a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer prize package. Free downloadable coloring book pages featuring Hermey and good dental health tips also appear on the ADA’s MouthHealthyKids.org.

The animated classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” tells the tale of how Rudolph and Hermey were initially rejected by their peers for being different, yet they go on to triumph when they show that their differences make them unique and helpful to their community. The program airs Tuesday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Earlier this year, Hermey’s creator, producer-director Arthur Rankin Jr. died, and was touted by Rick Goldschmidt in an LA Times story as “the Walt Disney of stop-motion animation.” Goldschmidt chronicled the history of Rankin-Bass productions in books and a website.

According to the LA Times article, more than five decades ago Rankin hoped a network would like his stop-motion holiday special enough to run it two or three times.

When “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” aired in 1964, the reception secured Rankin and partner Jules Bass a position in TV history as “pioneers of the animated holiday special.”

“Rudolph,” remains the longest-running Christmas TV special, “one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast,” according to the Archive of American Television. The others, according to the LA Times, are “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and another Rankin-Bass creation, “Frosty the Snowman.”

 

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