Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Arthur Rankin RIP

Arthur Ranking, Jr. has died.  He was 89.  What can one say about a person who helped to shape an entire world for young people of my generation?  Just this last Sunday, we settled in for our annual viewing of Rankin and Bass's The Hobbit.  It's still, IMHO, the best adaptation of any of Tolkien's works to date - Jackson's bloated attempts included.

But it was more than just Hobbits.  Rankin and Bass had their finger on that strange mixture of post-war Boomer culture and various cultural traditions and milestones.  Using varying mediums to convey stories, they brought a host of famous characters to life and defined how an entire generation visualized at least the secular spin on the Christmas holidays. 

For my part, aside from The Hobbit, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Little Drummer Boy.  Others need no introduction.  Rudolph kicked off the whole Christmas Specials for Kids genre, and became one of many specials around which kids my age centered their calendars on the long march leading up to that day of days.  

Anyway, a big thank you for all the memories, the good times and the great stories.  

More atmosphere in a couple minutes than Jackson has managed in over 15 hours of state of the art film making.

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