TVBizwire

Animation Pioneer Dead at 89 Variety

One of the pioneers of television animation, who was behind an enduring holiday special, has died. Variety reports that Arthur Rankin Jr., who created the classic holiday animated special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” died Thursday at his home in Harrington Sound, Bermuda. He was 89.

Rankin, with his partner Jules Bass, ran the Rankin/Bass production studio that created specials and cartoon series from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, the piece notes.

“The company was a pioneer in the use of stop-motion animation, which gave a distinctive look to its 1964 ‘Rudolph’ special. 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,’” the article says.

Other shows produced by Rankin/Bass include “ThunderCats” and “Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid.”

arthur rankin jr.jpgArthur Rankin Jr.