Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rankin-Bass Christmas Specials

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a stop-motion animation film made by Rankin-Bass productions back in 1964. It is a Christmas classic, that I know I can personally say I revisit every holiday season. In fact, Ruldoph has been telecast every year since 1964 making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history. Just last year we celebrated the film's 50th anniversary.

Here are a few fun fact about the movie:

1. Rudolph was filmed in Japan (where a number of Rankin-Bass specials were produced). 

2. The soundtrack, however, was recorded in Toronto (as most of the cast are Canadian).

3. Sam the Snowman was was designed to resemble his voice actor Burl Ives.

4. The Santa puppet is about 8 inches tall and the Rudolph puppet is about 4 inches tall. 

5. In the original version, nothing is mentioned of the Misfits after the first visit to the Island of Misfit Toys. The producers received letters from children complaining about this. They then produced a new short scene at the end where Santa and his reindeer land on the Island to help the toys find homes, and that has been the standard version of the program ever since. 

Rankin-Bass is also responsible for the similar, and equally fantastic Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin" to Town, and Year Without A Santa Claus christmas specials. Rudolph, however, was the first of the bunch.

Here's one of my favorite scenes from Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.

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