Arthur Rankin Jr., the animator, producer and director behind the whimsical holiday stop-motion TV specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, has died. He was 89.
Rankin died Thursday at his home by Harrington Sound in Bermuda, The Royal Gazette newspaper reported.
In the early 1960s, Rankin and Jules Bass founded the film production company Videocraft International (now called Rankin/Bass Productions). Their stop-motion, cel-animated features were painstaking to make and known for their doll-like characters. ...
Sorry to see him go. The consolation is that he lived to a very ripe old age and died at home in Bermuda. (How many lucky duckies get to have a home in Bermuda?)
The other consolation? Making animated movies that are ever-greens.
... [Rankin=Bass] holiday specials air every year and always draw a crowd. In December, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which debuted in 1964, and Frosty the Snowman, which premiered in 1969, were broadcast by CBS and were the two highest-rated programs of the night. ...
Mr. Bass was the Walt Disney of animated television specials. He made his stop-motion half-hours, and they pulled big ratings, year in and year out, for half a freaking century.
You could have something way worse written on year tombstone.