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RIP the Rankin Half of Animation Legend Rankin/Bass Productions

so long and thanks for all the fish

We’ve just learned that Arthur Rankin Jr. passed away last Thursday, January 30th, at his home in Bermuda. He was 89. If the name “Rankin” doesn’t ring any bells for you, add “Bass” on the end and it probably will. Formed in 1960 by Rankin and Jules Bass, Rankin/Bass Productions is the company responsible for the classic stop-motion holiday specials all you parents reading this had damn well better still be passing down to your kids. The most well-known of those is Rudolph the Red-Noised Reindeer, co-starring Hermey, the Christmas Elf who wants to be a dentist. On the non-stop motion front, R/B put out animated versions of The Hobbit and Return of the King, a clip from which we’ve inserted above, because it’s Éowyn killing the Witch King and you know full well which site you’re on.

But Rankin/Bass’ most beloved (non-Rudolph) film has to be The Last Unicorn, which the studio’s two founders directed. We’ve included the original 1982 trailer under the jump. Watch it and pour one out for Mr Rankin.

(via: Laughing Squid)

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