"Why, I'm Joe Snow, your admirable, good natured narrator."


A wind up toy from Rankin Bass's Pinocchio, center left, in the 10 Baker Film

Rankin/Bass was an animation studio founded by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, best known for a series of seasonal holiday-themed specials. Many of these productions used a form of stop-motion animation called "Animagic," and used celebrities as narrators. Their best known specials, often based on popular songs, include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman, and Here Comes Peter Cottontail. They also produced series starring King Kong and Smokey Bear. Later productions, with much of the animation outsourced to Japan, included the series ThunderCats, the feature The Last Unicorn, adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Return of the King, and a musical adaptation of The King and I.


  • A wind-up toy of Pinocchio, from the Rankin-Bass series The New Adventures of Pinocchio, is seen in the 10 Baker Film.
  • In Elmo's Christmas Countdown Stiller the Elf's design being modeled on his voice actor (Ben Stiller) is based on the similar practice used in various Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. At one point in the special, he says he wants to be a dentist, an allusion to Hermey the elf's misfit desire in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


  • Cynthia Adler played Rudolph's mother in Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979) and Cheryl Paisner in The Coneheads (1983)
  • Alan Arkin played Schmendrick in The Last Unicorn (1983)
  • Fred Astaire played S. D. Kluger in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970) and The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town (1977)
  • Carl Banas played countless voice roles between 1961 and 1972, including Dandy Lion & the Wizard in The Tales of the Wizard of Oz and its spin-off special The Return to Oz, the foreman elf in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Professor Bond on King Kong, and various literary roles on Festival of Family Classics.
  • Camille Bonora played all the female voices on Tigersharks (1987)
  • Art Carney played Barney Killikilarney in The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold (1981)
  • Eddie Castrodad provided additional voices on The Comic Strip (1987)
  • Judy Collins sang the title song in The Wind in the Willows (1987)
  • Phyllis Diller played the Monster's Mate in Mad Monster Party? (1963)
  • Mia Farrow played the unicorn/Lady Almathea in The Last Unicorn (1982)
  • Seth Green was a regular voice on The Mini-Monsters portion of The Comic Strip block (1987)
  • Joel Grey played Joshua Trundel in Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974)
  • Buddy Hackett played Pardon-Me-Pete in Jack Frost (1979)
  • Margaret Hamilton played Mrs. Kloppelbobbler in The Daydreamer (1966)
  • Peter Hawkins played various characters in Tomfoolery (1970)
  • Gregory Hines played Noel in Santa Baby! (2001)
  • Skip Hinnant played Sunny the Easter Bunny in The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town (1977)
  • James Earl Jones played Ommadon in The Flight of Dragons (1986)
  • Danny Kaye played Seymour S. Sassafrass, Antoine, and Col. Bunny in Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971) and Marmaduke in The Emperor's New Clothes (1972)
  • Alan King played Maestro Fire-Eater in Pinocchio's Christmas (1980)
  • Patti Labelle played Melody Songbird in Santa Baby! (2001)
  • Ron Marshall played Mr. Thistlewhite in The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) and Hallelujah Jones in The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town (1977)
  • Ethel Merman played Lilly Lorraine in Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)
  • Roger Miller played Speiltoe the Donkey in Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
  • Zero Mostel played Brutus in The Little Drummer Boy, Book II (1976)
  • Laraine Newman played Connie in The Coneheads (1983)
  • Vincent Price played Irontail in Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)
  • Claude Rae played Mr. Toad in The Reluctant Dragon and Mr. Toad and various voices in Willie McBean and His Flying Machine, The New Adventures of Pinocchio, and others.
  • Miranda Richardson played Anna Leanowens in The King and I (1998)
  • John Ritter played Peter Dickenson in The Flight of Dragons (1986)
  • John Stephenson played various goblins and orcs in The Hobbit (1977) and Return of the King (1980)
  • Allen Swift played Felix Flankin, Yetch, Dracula, Chef Machiavelli, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and all other monster sounds and male voices (except Boris Karloff) in Mad Monster Party? (1963), Melchior in The Little Drummer Boy, Book II (1976), Gadzooks and the newsreel narrator in The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town (1977), the Fox, Santa Claus and others in Pinocchio's Christmas (1980), and was heard in other specials
  • Marlo Thomas played Bertha Plummer in Cricket on the Hearth (1967)
  • Alice Tweedie played the washer woman in The Wind in the Willows (1987)

Walk-around versions of the Rudolph characters appear at SeaWorld parks during the holiday season, including Sesame Place.

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