The annual Christmas specials of veteran stop-motion legends Alan Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass have permeated our pop culture in an unforgettable fashion. The many iconic expansions they rendered, formatting old holiday songs into forty-minute television specials, has encapsulated for so many of us the very essence of the season itself. To decide once and for all which of these stand the test of time we’re undertaking an entire retrospective evaluation of the Rankin/Bass Christmas filmography. Not just the iconic classics we grew up watching on television, but the more obscure productions too. For this first entry, we’ll be covering the first five directorial specials of the duo, ranging from the annual favorite Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970) to the wildly bizarre and artistically baffling Cricket on the Hearth (1967). Join us as we warm ourselves around the fire and spin a yarn about these storied Christmas classics.
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