Christmas time is here, and so are the annual airings of all those classic animated TV specials. But if you think you know everything about Rudolph, Frosty, and the gang, you may be surprised.
Check out these fun and festive facts about the classic Christmas specials you grew up with.
This story of how Santa came to be has been a television tradition since 1970. The Rankin-Bass special was created using stop-motion animation -- called "animagic" -- on wooden puppets. But it also boasted some mega-star power: Hollywood legends Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney both provided voice work on the show, and the famed Westminster Children's Choir was featured on the soundtrack. Speaking of star power, in 2011, teen idol Justin Bieber recorded a version of the title song that featured footage from the original special, and an animagic version of the Biebs was interspersed into the scenes.
was recorded by Thurl Ravenscroft, who was best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger in 50 years worth of Frosted Flakes commercials. Now that's grrrrreat! provided the voice of the little girl, Karen, who ran off with Frosty the Snowman as he tried to get to the safe subzero temperatures of the North Pole. But Foray, who is famous for voicing the characters Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Witch Hazel, is the voice behind another famous Christmas face: Cindy Lou Who in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." In stark contrast to her sweet Christmas voice work, Foray also provided the voice of the creepy doll, "Talky Tina," in the terrifying 1963 "Twilight Zone" episode "The Living Doll." USA Today, Lee Mendelson, executive producer of the classic special, didn't want to use Hollywood kids. Instead, he sent home tape recorders with his employees in the hopes of finding some untrained talent. It worked; Peter Robbins and Christopher Shea, the voices of Charlie Brown and Linus, were the only professional child actors in the cast. As for the famous scene in which Linus recited passages from the Bible, Mendelson told the Washington Post that Peanuts creator Charles Schulz insisted on including the New Testament text in the script. Mendelson was against the move at first, but later called Linus's reading from the Book of Luke "the most magical two minutes in all of TV animation." the book "The Enchanted World of Rankin Bass," the dolly had psychological problems and suffered from depression after being abandoned by her mistress. In an interview with the Archive of American Television, show producer Arthur Rankin Jr. said of the doll: "She was under the care of an analyst." Sorry you asked?
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