Merry Christmas everybody!
As this year finally comes to a close, I figured that I would end the year with a little bit of fun by discussing a topic that was on my mind all the way since last December. The Rankin/Bass Christmas specials have long become a staple of the season, being almost mandatory viewing for everyone despite an almost universally acknowledge lack of quality.
The stop motion animated company was founded in 1960 by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. And until their demise in 1987, the company released dozens of cheap animated Christmas specials that have become icons of the holidays. Starting with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964 and lasting until The Wind in the Willow in 1987, the company released numerous animated specials over its tenure.
With this in mind, I began to wonder about the interconnection of some of these Christmas specials. Thanks to Marvel and Disney, the idea of a cinematic universe is incredibly commonplace. But what if I told you that Rankin/Bass may have unintentionally created a Christmas cinematic universe back in the 1970s?
The more I looked into it, the more I just had to talk about it. So Let's Talk...The Rankin/Bass Cinematic Universe.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
- The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
- Frosty the Snowman (1969)
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)
- The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
- Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)
- The Little Drummer Boy: Book II (1976)
- The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town (1977)
- Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1979)
- Rudolph and Frosty Christmas in July (1979)
- Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys (2001)
- The Legend of Frosty the Snowman (2005)
- A Miser Brothers' Christmas (2008)