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Director, Producer Behind RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER Dies at 87

Photo courtesy of CBS Entertainment

Director, Producer Behind RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER Dies at 87

By Movieguide® Contributor

Jules Bass, the director, animator, producer, and composer behind Christmas classics like RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN, and FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, has died. He was 87 years old. 

Bass was born in Philadelphia and went to New York University. After graduating, he started working in advertising, then partnered with Arthur Rankin Jr. at Videocraft International. 

Rankin and Bass worked on some of the most beloved children’s classics, from their 60s holiday specials, to movies like THE LAST UNICORN and THE YEAR WITHOUT SANTA CLAUS. 

The pair also produced popular animated series like THUNDERCATS and THE JACKSON 5IVE. 

Rankin passed away in 2014 at the age of 2019. 

After Bass stepped away from the entertainment industry in 1987, he started writing children’s books like “Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon.” He also wrote “Headhunters,” which was later turned into the movie MONTE CARLO, starring Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy, Leighton Meester, and Corey Monteith. 

A portion of Movieguide®’s review reads:

Though aimed at teenage girls, MONTE CARLO is fun enough and clean enough for practically everyone. It has a really nice ending, though the middle could use a bit more pizzazz. Despite the lying and subterfuge by the three heroines, they do the right thing when they realize their shenanigans could result in no charity going toward the poor children at all. Thus, all’s well that ends well in MONTE CARLO.

Bass’ rep, Jennifer Ruff, confirmed his passing, citing age-related illness as his cause of death.

The Bass-Rankin Christmas specials have stood the test of time, with millions around the world watching them every year as part of their holiday celebrations. 

Please keep the friends and family of Jules Bass in your prayers at this time.