Arthur Rankin, Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Arthur Rankin, Jr. (July 19, 1924 - January 30, 2014) was an American-born, Bermudian director, producer and writer, mostly working in animation. The son of actor Arthur Rankin, in the early 1960s he founded the film production company Videocraft International (now called Rankin/Bass) with Jules Bass. The two worked closely together for many years, co-directing and producing a wide array of stop motion animated features and cartoons, perhaps most famously the holiday-themed TV specials, such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Rudolph's Shiny New Year, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974 TV special), and Jack Frost. He is also credited with devising the story for many Rankin/Bass productions, including the featurefilms The Daydreamer and Mad Monster Party?. In 1977 Rankin and Bass produced a version of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The pair also teamed on a wide variety of animated TV series, including ThunderCats and Silverhawks. The pair last teamed on the 1987 TV special based on The Wind in the Willows. Rankin's last producing credit was on the 1999 animated version of The King and I, in which Bass was not involved, since Arthur was a supervising animator in The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron. Rankin's grandfather was Harry Davenport, perhaps best known as Dr. Meade in Gone with the Wind (1939). Description above from the ...

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The Hobbit (1977)

Sleep-throughBrainyCuteWhimsical

Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit was just minding his own business, when his occasional visitor Gandalf the Wizard drops in one night. One by one, a whole group of dwarves drop in, and before he knows it, Bilbo has joined their quest to reclaim their kingdom, taken from ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Orson Bean  •  Richard Boone  •  Hans Conried  •  John Huston

Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit was just minding his own business, when his occasional visitor Gandalf the Wizard drops in one night. One by one, a whole group of dwarves drop in, and before he knows it, Bilbo has joined their quest to reclaim their kingdom, taken from ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Orson Bean  •  Richard Boone  •  Hans Conried  •  John Huston

Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)

Celebrate with the most famous Easter Bunny of all time in the original holiday special, Here Comes Peter Cottontail. It's time to choose the next chief Easter Bunny, and Peter Cottontail really wants the job. Everyone in April Valley agrees he's the best bunny for ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Danny Kaye  •  Vincent Price  •  Casey Kasem  •  Paul Frees

Celebrate with the most famous Easter Bunny of all time in the original holiday special, Here Comes Peter Cottontail. It's time to choose the next chief Easter Bunny, and Peter Cottontail really wants the job. Everyone in April Valley agrees he's the best bunny for ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Danny Kaye  •  Vincent Price  •  Casey Kasem  •  Paul Frees

The Flight of Dragons (1982)

FantasticalMysteriousWhimsicalAdventurous

The realm of magic is being threatened by the realm of logic, so Carolinus, the green wizard decides to shield it for all time. Ommadon, the evil red wizard, stands in his way. Carolinus then calls for a quest that is to be led by a man named Peter Dickinson, who ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  James Earl Jones  •  Harry Morgan  •  John Ritter  •  James Gregory

The realm of magic is being threatened by the realm of logic, so Carolinus, the green wizard decides to shield it for all time. Ommadon, the evil red wizard, stands in his way. Carolinus then calls for a quest that is to be led by a man named Peter Dickinson, who ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  James Earl Jones  •  Harry Morgan  •  John Ritter  •  James Gregory

The Last Unicorn (1982)

From a riddle-speaking butterfly, a unicorn learns that she is supposedly the last of her kind, all the others having been herded away by the Red Bull. The unicorn sets out to discover the truth behind the butterfly's words. She is eventually joined on her quest by ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Alan Arkin  •  Jeff Bridges  •  Mia Farrow  •  Tammy Grimes

From a riddle-speaking butterfly, a unicorn learns that she is supposedly the last of her kind, all the others having been herded away by the Red Bull. The unicorn sets out to discover the truth behind the butterfly's words. She is eventually joined on her quest by ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Alan Arkin  •  Jeff Bridges  •  Mia Farrow  •  Tammy Grimes

The Return of the King (1980)

Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Orson Bean  •  Theodore Bikel  •  William Conrad  •  John Huston

Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Orson Bean  •  Theodore Bikel  •  William Conrad  •  John Huston

The Wind in the Willows (1987)

The Irresponsible Toad is in a mess and needs help from his friends try and save Toad Hall.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Charles Nelson Reilly  •  José Ferrer  •  Eddie Bracken  •  Paul Frees

The Irresponsible Toad is in a mess and needs help from his friends try and save Toad Hall.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Charles Nelson Reilly  •  José Ferrer  •  Eddie Bracken  •  Paul Frees

Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)

Rudolph must find Happy, the baby new year, before the midnight of New Year's Eve.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Red Skelton  •  Frank Gorshin  •  Morey Amsterdam  •  Harold Peary

Rudolph must find Happy, the baby new year, before the midnight of New Year's Eve.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Red Skelton  •  Frank Gorshin  •  Morey Amsterdam  •  Harold Peary

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

Feeling forgotten by the children of the world, old St. Nick decides to skip his gift-giving journey and take a vacation. Mrs. Claus and two spunky little elves, Jingle and Jangle, set out to see to where all the season's cheer has disappeared. Aided by a magical ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Shirley Booth  •  Mickey Rooney  •  Dick Shawn  •  George S. Irving

Feeling forgotten by the children of the world, old St. Nick decides to skip his gift-giving journey and take a vacation. Mrs. Claus and two spunky little elves, Jingle and Jangle, set out to see to where all the season's cheer has disappeared. Aided by a magical ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Shirley Booth  •  Mickey Rooney  •  Dick Shawn  •  George S. Irving

The Little Drummer Boy (1968)

After being kidnapped and escaping, young drummer boy Aaron searches for his camel and finds him in the Nativity of the Baby Jesus. Aaron gives Baby Jesus the only gift he has, a song on his drum.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Ted Eccles  •  José Ferrer  •  Paul Frees  •  June Foray

After being kidnapped and escaping, young drummer boy Aaron searches for his camel and finds him in the Nativity of the Baby Jesus. Aaron gives Baby Jesus the only gift he has, a song on his drum.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Ted Eccles  •  José Ferrer  •  Paul Frees  •  June Foray

The Mouse on the Mayflower (1968)

The famous ship called Mayflower is trapped amidst a huge storm. The entire story is narrated by a church-mouse called Willum, from his viewpoint. The tale begins with the pilgrim preachers deciding to move to America and getting aboard the Mayflower. However, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Tennessee Ernie Ford  •  Eddie Albert  •  John Gary  •  Joanie Sommers

The famous ship called Mayflower is trapped amidst a huge storm. The entire story is narrated by a church-mouse called Willum, from his viewpoint. The tale begins with the pilgrim preachers deciding to move to America and getting aboard the Mayflower. However, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Tennessee Ernie Ford  •  Eddie Albert  •  John Gary  •  Joanie Sommers

The Enchanted World of Danny Kaye: The Emperor's New Clothes (1972)

This is one of the 'Animagical' titles from the children's film archive of Rankin/Bass. The story line is reminiscent of an earlier 1966 R/B Animagic film, 'The Daydreamer', both of which chronicles the fairy tales of Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Danny Kaye  •  Cyril Ritchard  •  Imogene Coca  •  Allen Swift

This is one of the 'Animagical' titles from the children's film archive of Rankin/Bass. The story line is reminiscent of an earlier 1966 R/B Animagic film, 'The Daydreamer', both of which chronicles the fairy tales of Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Danny Kaye  •  Cyril Ritchard  •  Imogene Coca  •  Allen Swift

Jack Frost (1979)

Pardon-me Pete, the official groundhog of Groundhog Day, tells the story of Jack Frost, who falls in love with a beautiful young woman and begs Father Winter to make him human so that she can see him. His request is granted, but only on the condition that by the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Buddy Hackett  •  Robert Morse  •  Paul Frees  •  Larry Storch

Pardon-me Pete, the official groundhog of Groundhog Day, tells the story of Jack Frost, who falls in love with a beautiful young woman and begs Father Winter to make him human so that she can see him. His request is granted, but only on the condition that by the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Buddy Hackett  •  Robert Morse  •  Paul Frees  •  Larry Storch

The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)

The Great Ak calls a council of the Immortals to ask that Santa Claus be given immortality. And to justify it, he tells the history of Santa Claus. The Ak found an abandoned baby and gave it to a lioness and a fairy to raise, who named him Claus. When Claus grew up ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Earl Hammond  •  Earle Hyman  •  Larry Kenney  •  Lynne Lipton

The Great Ak calls a council of the Immortals to ask that Santa Claus be given immortality. And to justify it, he tells the history of Santa Claus. The Ak found an abandoned baby and gave it to a lioness and a fairy to raise, who named him Claus. When Claus grew up ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Earl Hammond  •  Earle Hyman  •  Larry Kenney  •  Lynne Lipton

The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939)

An orphan whose father has been killed by bandits inherits a mine. Cisco saves the mine and the child and also finds the child's real mother.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Herbert I. Leeds
CAST:  Cesar Romero  •  Marjorie Weaver  •  Chris-Pin Martin  •  George Montgomery

An orphan whose father has been killed by bandits inherits a mine. Cisco saves the mine and the child and also finds the child's real mother.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Herbert I. Leeds
CAST:  Cesar Romero  •  Marjorie Weaver  •  Chris-Pin Martin  •  George Montgomery

The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town (1977)

The Mailman decides to stop another deluge of letters by answering questions about the Easter Bunny: Sunny, a baby rabbit found and adopted by Kidville (a town of only kids--even a kid mailman). And when Sunny goes delivering eggs to the nearby town (which he has ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Fred Astaire  •  Skip Hinnant  •  Bob McFadden  •  Ron Marshall

The Mailman decides to stop another deluge of letters by answering questions about the Easter Bunny: Sunny, a baby rabbit found and adopted by Kidville (a town of only kids--even a kid mailman). And when Sunny goes delivering eggs to the nearby town (which he has ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Fred Astaire  •  Skip Hinnant  •  Bob McFadden  •  Ron Marshall

The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)

This cartoon version of A Christmas Carol hails from the production house of Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass--the team that brought you just about every other Christmas special you saw as a kid (including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). Reinvented as a 49-minute ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Walter Matthau  •  Tom Bosley  •  Theodore Bikel  •  Robert Morse

This cartoon version of A Christmas Carol hails from the production house of Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass--the team that brought you just about every other Christmas special you saw as a kid (including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). Reinvented as a 49-minute ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Walter Matthau  •  Tom Bosley  •  Theodore Bikel  •  Robert Morse

The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)

A young shepherd, Lucas, is blinded by lightening, and some kindly nuns at a nearby abbey take him in. Sister Catherine describes snow to Lucas, who has never seen it. Lucas gets chosen to play an angel in the abbey's Christmas pageant, and the Christmas snow that ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Angela Lansbury  •  Cyril Ritchard  •  Don Messick  •  David Kelley

A young shepherd, Lucas, is blinded by lightening, and some kindly nuns at a nearby abbey take him in. Sister Catherine describes snow to Lucas, who has never seen it. Lucas gets chosen to play an angel in the abbey's Christmas pageant, and the Christmas snow that ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Angela Lansbury  •  Cyril Ritchard  •  Don Messick  •  David Kelley

Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)

Winterbolt is trying to make the North Pole his evil wonderland, and it is up to Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and others to stop him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Red Buttons  •  Ethel Merman  •  Mickey Rooney  •  Alan Sues

Winterbolt is trying to make the North Pole his evil wonderland, and it is up to Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and others to stop him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Red Buttons  •  Ethel Merman  •  Mickey Rooney  •  Alan Sues

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

A discarded silk top-hat becomes the focus of a struggle between a washed-up stage magician and a group of schoolchildren, after it magically brings a snowman to life. Realizing that newly-living Frosty will melt in spring unless he takes refuge in a colder climate ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Jimmy Durante  •  Billy De Wolfe  •  Jackie Vernon  •  Paul Frees

A discarded silk top-hat becomes the focus of a struggle between a washed-up stage magician and a group of schoolchildren, after it magically brings a snowman to life. Realizing that newly-living Frosty will melt in spring unless he takes refuge in a colder climate ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Jimmy Durante  •  Billy De Wolfe  •  Jackie Vernon  •  Paul Frees

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970)

ChristmasClassicCuteMusical

A postman, S.D. Kluger, decides to answer some of the most common questions about Santa Claus, and tells us about a baby named Kris who is raised by a family of elf toymakers named Kringle. When Kris grows up, he wants to deliver toys to the children of Sombertown. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Fred Astaire  •  Mickey Rooney  •  Keenan Wynn  •  Paul Frees

A postman, S.D. Kluger, decides to answer some of the most common questions about Santa Claus, and tells us about a baby named Kris who is raised by a family of elf toymakers named Kringle. When Kris grows up, he wants to deliver toys to the children of Sombertown. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jules Bass  •  Arthur Rankin, Jr.
CAST:  Fred Astaire  •  Mickey Rooney  •  Keenan Wynn  •  Paul Frees
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