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Arthur Rankin Jr. Dies At 89

Chances are if you've been alive longer than two years you have seen classic Holiday television specials such as Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty The Snowman, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  All of these brilliant pieces of history were created by Arthur Rankin Jr. and his partner Jules Bass.  This brilliant man later created adoptions of J. R. R Tolken's Lord of The Rings, and The Hobbit.  The Royal Gazette reported that last night in his home in Bermuda.  And according to Animation Magazine:

"Born in New York in 1924, Rankin was a self-made filmmaker who began his entertainment career as art director at ABC in the late ’40s before founding Videocraft International (later Rankin/Bass) in 1960. The duo revolutionized the industry opinion of stop-motion craft with the release of Rudolph. Rankin also wrote, produced or directed over a dozen feature films as well as traditionally animated TV series ThunderCats and SilverHawks, among 1,000-plus other productions for television. Rankin is also credited as a pioneer in using celebrity voices in animation, casting such 20th century entertainment giants as comic actor Danny Kaye, dancing star Fred Astaire and horror master Boris Karloff in his productions, often creating character designs that resembled the stars."

This loss will leave a deep, empty trench in the hearts of both Stop Motion enthusiasts and the general public's souls alike.

Though, what makes this even more tragic is that two of the most brilliant, influential Stop Motion artists of our age, (Ray Harryhausen, and now Arthur Rankin Jr.) have both passed away in less than a year of each other.  Both have passed at the age of 89.

Arthur Rankin Jr (left) Jules Bass (right)

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