For some reason, Christmas and Nostalgia go together like salt and pepper. Think about it: What other time of year do we gather with our family and talk about the past? (No, Thanksgiving doesn’t count!) So if Christmas is the perfect time for nostalgia, then nothing says nostalgia like Rankin/Bass Productions. This is the company that brought you those stop-motion animation Christmas classics, like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Frosty the Snowman”, and others.
Speaking of which, the aforementioned titles spawned some sequels in recent years, i.e. “Rudolph…and the Island of Misfit Toys” and “Frosty Returns.” These sequels failed to capture the childlike innocence and Christmas magic of the original specials. Plus, what’s not as well-known is that “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland” was the original sequel. It leaves off where the original ends, whereas “Frosty Returns” is a separate story on it’s own. (I was always partial to “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland.” How come you can’t get that one in the box set?) But I digress.
Tonight marks the 50th anniversary of “Rudolph’s” network debut, and as such, now would be the appropriate time to post this. Here is everything you wanted to know about the making of these Christmas shows in our exclusive interview with Rankin/Bass historian Rick Goldschmidt. Enjoy this walk down memory lane, and Merry Christmas!
(Note: Arthur Rankin Jr. passed away earlier this year. He was 89).