THE HOBBIT: There Are Moments Which Can Change a Person for All Time

The Hobbit (1977) – a Rankin/Bass Production – Starring Orson Bean, Richard Boone, Hans Conried, John Huston, Otto Preminger, Cyril Ritchard, Brother Theodore, Paul Frees, Jack DeLeon, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Glenn Yarbrough, and Thurl Ravenscroft. As I’ve grown older, my appreciation for Rankin-Bass’ animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT has grown with me.…

FROSTY’S WINTER WONDERLAND: The Holiday Special that Inspired Weird Science

Frosty’s Winter Wonderland (1976) – a Rankin/Bass Production – Starring Jackie Vernon, Andy Griffith, Paul Frees, and Shelley Winters. FROSTY’S WINTER WONDERLAND is the official sequel to FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (forget about that FROSTY RETURNS nonsense), and while it’s not as good, it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas special in it’s own right. WONDERLAND sees…

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN: Happy Birthday!

Frosty the Snowman (1969) – a Rankin/Bass Production – Starring Jackie Vernon, Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Paul Frees, and June Foray. FROSTY THE SNOWMAN is as perfect a 25-minute holiday special can be, featuring great characters, a great story, a great message, great animation, and great songs. I love the boundless energy, enthusiasm, and…

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: Santa Shuns the Genetic Freak, Until the Genetic Freak Saves Santa’s Un-Jolly Ass

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) – a Rankin/Bass Production – Starring Burl Ives, Billie Mae Richards, Paul Soles, Janice Orenstein, Larry D. Mann, and Paul Kligman. RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER is my favorite of all the Rankin-Bass productions. There is something both heartbreaking and heartwarming about Rudolph, Hermey, and the whole Island of Misfit Toys…

RUDOLPH AND FROSTY’S CHRISTMAS IN JULY: The Thin Line Between Tedious and Awesome

Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979) – a Rankin-Bass Production – Starring Billie Mae Richards, Jackie Vernon, Red Buttons, Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, Paul Frees, Alan Sues, Shelly Winters, and Don Messick. Containing some of the finest stop-motion Rankin-Bass produced, RUDOLPH AND FROSTY’S CHRISTMAS IN JULY gives off contradictory vibes. When the film takes…

JACK FROST: I Literally Do Not Understand This Special

Jack Frost (1979) – a Rankin-Bass Production – Starring Buddy Hackett, Robert Morse, Paul Frees, Larry Storch, Debra Klinger, and Don Messick. I keep going back and forth trying to decide if JACK FROST is more properly described as the year Rankin-Bass smoked a big bowl of crack or the year they willingly decided to…

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS: The Year With a Snow Miser and Heat Miser

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) – a Rankin-Bass Production; adapted from the Phyllis McGinley book – Starring Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving, Bob McFadden, and Bradley Bolke. Featuring great songs, great vocal acting, the always enjoyable Rankin-Bass stop-motion animation, memorable secondary characters, and an interesting storyline, YEAR WITHOUT A…