The New York Times is reporting that Arthur Rankin has passed away at the age of 89. The films of Rankin and his production partner Jules Bass were an enormous part of my childhood: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, Mad Monster Party (which I tried to watch again recently and found unwatchable; some things do not stand the test of time), and so many more. One of my favorites was 1974′s The Year Without A Santa Claus, which featured the characters Heat Miser and Snow Miser (pictured above). These two brothers and their catchy song became instant cult classics to kids of my generation and those that followed. Heat Miser and Snow Miser are still popular Halloween costumes to this day.
So thank you, Arthur Rankin, for being such a joyful influence on my childhood. We’ll have a blue Christmas without you.