A couple of weeks ago a representative of Blue Sky marketing came to the treehouse and asked if I could do a formal introduction for a visiting artist. I had no idea who it was, so I agreed. When I found out is was Jules Bass from Rankin/Bass I was immediately overwhelmed and humbled. This man’s work had been a major staple in my entire family’s life. How do I even begin to say what his work meant to me as an animator?? After hours of writing and re-writing, I finally finished up.
I’ve always considered myself a good public speaker. I’ve never had any problems giving demo’s, talking animation, etc. This to me was different and I was ironically so nervous, I forgot some major points of what I wanted to say. Here’s the unabridged version of what I wrote:
“When I think of a Rankin/Bass production, my mind takes me back to the days before DVR and VCR when you had only one chance a year to watch one of these beloved holiday specials and if you unfortunately missed it, you felt like you missed a piece of that holiday season. Through the years, watching these shows became just as important a family tradition as trimming the tree or hunting eggs and each of them have strong moral themes and values that have taught past and future generations right from wrong.
Our speaker today has introduced generations to Frosty, Rudolph, The Heat Miser, Sunny The Easter Bunny and Amalthea the unicorn….and that only begins to scratch the surface. It is an absolute honor to introduce Mr. Jules Bass. “
It was very casual and he was extremely open about discussing the production of his films. Out of all his stories he had for us, a couple things really stood out for me. Of course, I’m paraphrasing.
” I asked the storyboard artist, what’s with the line of guys signing and dancing with hats?? He said, “I don’t know. I thought it was funny.”” – describing “The Heat Miser Song” sequence from “The Year Without a Santa Claus”
“You never know what the public will like. Nobody really knows what they’re doing.”