Skip to comments.‘Rudolph’ Animator Arthur Rankin Jr. Dead at 89
Posted on 02/01/2014 7:38:39 PM PST by a fool in paradise
Arthur Rankin Jr., the animator behind the classic holiday special classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the “Jackson Five” cartoon series and dozens of other productions, died Thursday at his home in Harrington Sound, Bermuda. He was 89.
Rankin’s death was reported by Bermuda’s Royal Gazette.
With his partner Jules Bass, Rankin ran the prosperous Rankin/Bass production banner that was behind a slew of specials and cartoon series from the early 1960s through the late 1980s.
The company was a pioneer in the use of stop-motion animation, which gave a distinctive look to its 1964 “Rudolph” special (pictured). Rankin/Bass also made a point of recruiting notable actors for its vocal talent, including Burl Ives for the Sam the Snowman role in “Rudolph.”
Other Rankin/Bass productions included “ThunderCats,” a 1977 animated rendition of “The Hobbit” and a 1972 hourlong special “Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid.”
A native of New York to parents who were actors, Rankin got his start working for ABC as an art director in the 1940s.
Survivors include his wife, Olga, and two sons.
Many a Christmas time watching these. They’ll always live in my heart and have shared them with my kids.
The Hobbit 1977 Intro Rankin/Bass
My first thought, too.
Noo!!!! Say it isn’t so!
Agree with my childhood slipping away. Best scene in Rudolph, when e jumps in the air yelling “she says I’m cute”
I also loved his Frosty the snowman
Something like Rudolph would never be made today, which is a pity.
I loved the Heat Miser!
RIP and thank you for making Christmas even better.
Loved those shows as a kid....still watch till this day.
They would not make Rudolph today because he was ‘discriminated against’ for being a little wimp with a red nose? Probably so, or only after a big serious battle on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Msnbc would have a week of panels on the ‘travesty of exclusion’.
Rest in peace.
Me too. They don’t make TV like this anymore....we were lucky to grow up with it.
Rudolph has been a tradition in my house since it first aired.
Rest in Peace sir, you brought alot of happiness to alot of children.
You obviously wouldn’t understand.
I’m sorry. I was joking around about the way people typically react nowadays. I did not intend to step on your moment of remembering when times and people were more nice. I do understand.
Still watch every year, my husband makes fun but don’t care..it’s tradition
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