If you had a childhood,[[labelnote:*]]in an English-speaking country, at least,[[/labelnote]] you know Rankin/Bass Productions.

Founded by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass in 1960 as Videocraft International, the company is responsible for a series of (usually) StopMotion puppet animated (called "Animagic") holiday specials that are virtual fixtures of seasonal television programming. Works such as ''WesternAnimation/RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer'', ''WesternAnimation/SantaClausIsCominToTown'', ''WesternAnimation/FrostyTheSnowman'' and ''WesternAnimation/HereComesPeterCottontail'' have been airing more or less annually since the early 1960s, when they were first produced. Many subsequent holiday specials produced by other companies will contain salutes to these shows.

The general formula of these holiday specials was to take one or more classic holiday songs and to build a script (usually by staff writer Romeo Muller) around the music, featuring a celebrity narrator as an InkSuitActor in the story and interspersing it with original songs with music by Maury Laws and lyrics by co-producer/co-director Jules Bass. Very likely a majority of the characters will be voiced by Creator/PaulFrees.

Rankin/Bass also produced non-holiday AnimatedShows. Best known is probably ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats1985''; its other series included ''Tales from the Wizard of Oz'', ''WesternAnimation/TheKingKongShow'', ''WesternAnimation/{{The Jackson 5ive}}'' and ''The Osmonds''. The popularity of ''[=ThunderCats=]'' resulted in two follow-up series, ''WesternAnimation/SilverHawks'' and ''[=TigerSharks=]'' (the third appearing along with three other shows as ''WesternAnimation/TheComicStrip''). By the time of ''[=ThunderCats=]'', the studios were now owned by Creator/{{Lorimar}}-Telepictures; Telepictures had acquired the studio in 1983 after distributing their post-1974[[note]]the pre-1974 library was owned by GE, who had owned Tomorrow Entertainment, R-B's parent firm, for a while then; they eventually sold the library to [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Lorne Michaels]] and his company, Broadway Video; he eventually sold it to Golden Books, who integrated it into their library, which eventually became part of Classic Media, which was sold to Creator/DreamWorksAnimation in 2012. [=DreamWorks=] Animation would later be acquired by [=NBCUniversal=] in 2016, which GE had ironically owned a majority of at one point before selling to Comcast[[/note]] library from Telepicture's founding in 1978. Creator/WarnerBros now owns the rights to those programs, having acquired L-T in 1989.

Its most ambitious projects were animated adaptations of Creator/JRRTolkien's books, with ''WesternAnimation/TheHobbit'' and ''[[LordOfTheRings Return of the King]]''. (Not to be confused with Creator/RalphBakshi's [[SoBadItsGood ill-fated]] [[LordOfTheRings attempt]], which bridged the series.). Along with ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightOfDragons'', these films were the first major [[{{Animesque}} U.S.-Japanese]] animation production crossovers. The co-producing Japanese company was known as Topcraft and soon after, they went on to form the company Creator/StudioGhibli.

Now dormant, the company only exists nowadays to manage the Rankin/Bass trademarks. In 2001, it released its latest holiday project, ''Santa, Baby!'', which featured a mostly black cast. The duo also had a part in the ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats|2011}}'' ContinuityReboot. Nonetheless, Rankin/Bass will forever be remembered for virtually defining the concept of specialized holiday programming.

Arthur Rankin Jr. passed away on January 30, 2014.
!!'''Shows Produced or Distributed by Rankin/Bass'''

''TV Specials'' (with Narrator)
* ''WesternAnimation/RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer'' (1964) Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman
* ''The Creator/EdgarBergen & Charlie [=McCarthy=] Show'' (1965; unaired pilot)
* ''The Ballad of Smokey the Bear'' (1966) Creator/JamesCagney
* ''Cricket on the Hearth'' (1967) Creator/RoddyMcDowall as [[AlliterativeName Cricket Crocket]]
* ''The Mouse on the Mayflower'' (1968) Tennessee Ernie Ford
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLittleDrummerBoy'' (1968) Creator/GreerGarson as Our Storyteller
* ''WesternAnimation/FrostyTheSnowman'' (1969) Jimmy Durante
* ''The Mad, Mad, Mad Comedians'' (1970)
* ''WesternAnimation/SantaClausIsCominToTown'' (1970) Creator/FredAstaire as S.D. ("Special Delivery") Kluger, also established Creator/MickeyRooney as the official voice of the Rankin/Bass Santa.
* ''WesternAnimation/HereComesPeterCottontail'' (1971) Creator/DannyKaye as Seymour S. Sassafras
* ''The Enchanted World of Danny Kaye'' (1972)
* ''WesternAnimation/TwasTheNightBeforeChristmas'' (1974) George Gobel as Father Mouse
* ''WesternAnimation/TheYearWithoutASantaClaus'' (1974) Shirley Booth as Mrs. Claus
* ''The Story of the First Christmas Snow'' (1975) Creator/AngelaLansbury as Sister Theresa
* ''The First Easter Rabbit'' (1976) Burl Ives as the older Stuffy the Rabbit
* ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland'' (1976) Andy Griffith
* ''Rudolph's Shiny New Year'' (1976) Red Skelton as Father Time
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TheLittleDrummerBoy The Little Drummer Boy, Book II]]'' (1976) Greer Garson as Our Storyteller
* ''The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town'' (1977) Fred Astaire as S.D. Kluger
* ''WesternAnimation/NestorTheLongEaredChristmasDonkey'' (1977) Roger Miller as Speiltoe, Santa's donkey
* ''The Stingiest Man in Town'' (1978) Tom Bosley as B.A.H. Humbug
* ''WesternAnimation/RankinBassJackFrost'' (1979) Creator/BuddyHackett as "Pardon-Me" Pete the Groundhog
* ''WesternAnimation/RudolphAndFrostysChristmasInJuly'' (1979) Mickey Rooney as Santa
* ''Pinocchio's Christmas'' (1980)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLeprechaunsChristmasGold'' (1981) Art Carney as Blarney Kilarney
* ''The Coneheads'' (1983)
* ''Literature/TheWindInTheWillows'' (1985)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndAdventuresOfSantaClaus'' (1985)
* ''Santa, Baby!'' (2001)

''TV Series''

* ''TheNewAdventuresOfPinocchio'' (1960)
* ''WesternAnimation/TalesOfTheWizardOfOz'' (1961)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheKingKongShow'' (1966)
* ''TheSmokeyBearShow'' (1969)
* ''TheTomfooleryShow'' (1970)
* ''TheReluctantDragonAndMrToadShow'' (1970)
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TheJackson5ive The Jackson 5ive Show]]'' (1971)
* ''TheOsmonds'' (1972)
* ''KidPower'' (1972)
* ''FestivalOfFamilyClassics'' (1972)
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats1985''
** ''WesternAnimation/SilverHawks'' (1986)
** ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats2011}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheComicStrip'' (1987)
** ''[=TigerSharks=]''
** ''The Mini Monsters''
** ''Karate Kat''
** ''Street Frogs''


* ''Return to Oz'' (TV; no relation to Disney's 1985 live-action film) (1964)
* ''Willy [=McBean=] and his Magic Machine'' (1965)
* ''The Daydreamer'' (1966)
* ''Wacky World of Mother Goose'' (1966)
* ''WesternAnimation/MadMonsterParty'' (1967)
* ''Film/KingKongEscapes'' (1968)
* ''The Red Baron'' (TV) (1972)
* ''Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid'' (TV) (1972)
* ''Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters'' (TV) (1972)
* ''That Girl in Wonderland'' (TV) (1974)
* ''Marco'' (Live Action) (1973)
* ''The Last Dinosaur'' (live action) (1976)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHobbit'' (TV) (1977) (produced with Japanese studio Topcraft)
* ''Film/TheBermudaDepths'' (live action) (1977) -- In which Burl Ives is eaten by a giant turtle
* ''The Bushido Blade'' (live action) (1979)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheReturnOfTheKing'' (TV) (1980) (produced with Japanese studio Topcraft)
* ''The Ivory Ape'' (live action) (1980)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn'' (1982) (produced with Japanese studio Topcraft)
* ''The Sins of Dorian Gray'' (live action) (1983)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlightOfDragons'' (TV) (1986) (produced with Japanese studio Topcraft)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheKingAndI'' (1999) (with Morgan Creek Productions and Nest Family Entertainment)