Iconic Animator Behind Frosty And Rudolph, Arthur Rankin Jr., Passes Away At 89

Photo Courtesy of deadline.com

Photo Courtesy of deadline.com

Christa Tintelnot
Staff Writer

Arthur Rankin Jr., producer, director and animator best known for his work on iconic Christmas specials Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has died.

Rankin Jr. passed away at the age of 89 on Thursday, Jan. 30th, in his Bermuda home near Harrington Sound, according to The Royal Gazette.

Rankin Jr. and creative partner Jules Bass founded Videocraft International, now Rankin/Bass Productions, in the early 1960s and began producing stop-motion: traditional animated programs that featured their recognizable doll-like characters. Although this is a long and detailed process, the results were exceptional.

Though best known for his work on Rudolph and Frosty, Rankin Jr. and Bass also produced a number of other programs in similar fashion including The Wacky World of Mother Goose (1967), The Little Drummer Boy (1968) and worked on the animated program Thundercats which aired from 2011 – 2012.

Photo Courtesy of oregonlive.com

Photo Courtesy of oregonlive.com

Rankin Jr. was raised in New York City, the son of Arthur Rankin and Marian Mansfield, both actors. He is survived by his wife, Olga and his sons, Todd and Gardner.

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