From the North Pole to Mordor
Arthur Rankin, Jr., the animator who brought the Christmas holidays to life, died on January 30, 2014. With his partner, Jules Bass, he founded Rankin/Bass Productions, a studio noted for its stop-action style of animation, which Rankin termed ‘Animagic’. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and Jack Frost are all annual visitors to many homes, 50 years after they were first televised.
For sf/f fans, Rankin may be a bit more controversial for his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Return of the King (thought to be the unofficial conclusion to the unfinished Ralph Bakshi Lord of the Rings animation). But, few argue against his 1982 movie version of Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, which pleased even its originally skeptical author.