There are many popular cartoons and catchy cartoon songs from shows currently playing, but many that were aired from decades ago. Many people grew up watching cartoons on Saturday mornings and after school during the week. These provided not only childhood entertainment, but education as well. It’s still the same today. Many of the new cartoon show have great theme songs and great messages.
However, there are many of us who are old enough to remember the Rankin/Bass productions that were shown around Christmas time. Most of them included the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Clause, of course. The animated characters are truly unique among the cartoon set. Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. created the “Animagic” stop motion production techniques.
The production technique itself was created in Japan and that’s where all of the cartoon show were captured on film. The Rankin/Bass production team began in the early 1960′s and continued through the ’70′s bringing us timeless memories of Christmas stories that span generations.
Most of the Rankin/Bass Christmas stop motion cartoon specials were based on a famous Christmas song. For example, in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the writers were clever in fleshing out the song’s storyline.
So, we watch Rudolph from the time he is a little baby all the way through to the time he heads Santa’s sleigh on that snowy night. We all know the song and we all know the storyline so watching the stop motion characters is a fabulous and memorable treat. Rankin and Bass created memories for several generations of children.
NBC was the first to air the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas television special. It was shown on Sunday, December 6, 1964, in the USA. As with so many of their specials, it was based on the Johnny Marks song of the same name. The song itself was taken from the 1939 poem also entitled Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The poem was written by Johnny Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May.
NBC ran the program every year, from 1964 up to 1972 when CBS and its affiliate television stations continued the tradition. In 2005, CBS unveiled a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program. The fact that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has been broadcast every year since 1964, makes it the longest running Christmas TV special ever.
It’s one of only four Christmas specials made in the 1960′s, still being broadcast today. The other three shows are; A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman. During the Christmas season all 4 of these classics will be shown a number of times over the course of several weeks.
Probably one of the most unusual and memorable parts of this beloved program is the Island of Misfits. The original songs does not sing about The Misfits, but Rankin/Bass could not have found a greater instrument to convey a message. So, mark your calendars, brush up on your lyrics and get ready to sing along.