Jules Bass, director of Iconic Christmas Specials has passed away at 87


Jules Bass is one half of the production duo behind the Christmas specials. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Frosty the Snowman, has been taken to heaven. Bass was 87. He co-founded Rankin/Bass Productions along with his friend. Arthur Rankin Jr.Together they created over a dozen animated TV specials, spanning the 1960s through the 1980s.

Bass, a victim of age-related diseases, died in Rye on Tuesday. Jennifer Fisherman Ruff, a publicist, confirmed Bass’s death. Deadline. Jean Nicole Bass was his only child, and he died January at the age 61.

The animator was a Philadelphia native who was born September 16, 1935. He was also edited at New York University. He was an advertiser in 1960 when he founded the company that would be Rankin/Bass Productions along with Rankin. They started with the traditionally-animated series Pinocchio’s Adventures 1960. They were able to achieve their greatest success in four years. Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerThe stop-motion special is based on the Johnny Marks song. The special is a perennial classic and now airs on CBS during the holiday season.

The success of Rudolph Rankin/Bass was the premier studio for Christmas specials. They produced many more.The Little Drummer Boy (1968),Frosty The Snowman (1969), The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), Rudolph and Frosty celebrate Christmas in July(1980), Santa Claus: The Adventures and Life of Santa Claus (1985). (1985).

Rankin and Bass have also explored other subjects. Mad Monster Party (1967), a theatrically-released movie with the voices of Phyllis Diller and Boris Karloff, and the Easter specialPeter Cottontail is here (1971). They also created several animated hits during the Saturday cartoon boom. Silverhawks, Thundercats, The Jackson 5ive.

1977 saw the publication of one of J.R.R.’s first adaptations by Rankin and Bas. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth stories. They directed The HobbitThe film won Romeo Muller the Peabody Award for screenwriter. They released a sequel in 1980. The Return of the King, which used material from the final Lord of the Rings book. It was broadcast on ABC. Rankin/Bass also produced a few theatrically-released films, their most famous being 1982’s The Last Unicorn.

Bass quit filmmaking in 1987, but he continued to produce works for children. Bass wrote a series books about the character Herb the Vegetarian Dragon.

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