Producer Masaki Iizuka and I discussed the animators and Animagic figures in great detail in Bermuda a few years ago at Arthur Rankin, Jr.'s memorial. Masaki stayed in touch with some of the animators and he started with Rankin/Bass in the early 1970s. In fact, Arthur reunited with many of the animators at a party several years ago when they experienced the tsunami. Arthur called me when he got home and described it as a "Love fest." Masaki secured some of the surviving Rankin/Bass figures in Japan for an exhibit of Arthur & Jules' work at the MASTERWORKS MUSEUM in Bermuda. Many photographs and information of these Animagic puppets appear in both my hardcover book The Arthur Rankin, Jr. Scrapbook (Miser Bros Press) and the NEW 20th Anniversary Edition of The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: A Portfolio (Miser Bros Press). Masaki was very particular of how the Animagic figures were displayed in Bermuda. He wanted them to be true to the way they were pinned at the feet on sets and not displayed on doll stands. He helped put together some elaborate displays at Masterworks and they are pictured in my books.
People always ask, What happened to the original puppets? We added a section to the 20th Anniversary book of The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: A Portfolio, that answers just that and has many color photographs. You can purchase at www.miserbros.com We are locating them all the time, but since all of the Animagic productions were produced in Japan, most of the figures stayed there with some exceptions. Some were given to the actors that voiced the Animagic figure. Some were given to people that worked at Rankin/Bass, such as Maury Laws and Romeo Muller.
We had Father Time on display at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York in 2003 and he is quite large! Much bigger than you would expect. We may have him on display again this November at an event in New York, along with Sister Theresa (Angela Landsbury) The First Christmas, from my collection.
Tad was a master at what he did! He passed his knowledge to Hiroshi Tabata, Pinchan and many others that continued the Animagic until the last Rankin/Bass Animagic Production The Life and
C. 2017 Miser Bros Press/Rick Goldschmidt Archives
This photograph was taken by my pal Danny Solazzi, shortly after my friend Kevin Kriess purchased them and restored them with Screen-Novelties. We appeared at many conventions together and people lined up to see the original Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! I will once again be appearing with Kevin in Pittsburgh at Monster Bash June 23-25th! Then doing a book signing in-store June 26th! More info to follow!
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