Day 6

As Frosty turns 50, it's time to celebrate the glorious weirdness of Rankin & Bass Christmas specials

Vox's critic at large, Emily VanDerWerff says watching all 18 Rankin & Bass Christmas specials was "like having the most wholesome drug trip in the world."

Watching their work is 'like having the most wholesome drug trip in the world,' says critic Emily VanDerWerff

A scene from the Rankin/Bass Productions stop-motion classic, Frosty the Snowman. (Rankin/Bass Productions)

When Emily VanDerWerff decided to watch all 18 of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass' stop-motion animation Christmas specials, she says it bent her brain.

"It was like having the most wholesome drug trip in the world because the images were so weird and off the wall, but also it was all just like 'Oh boy! Christmas is coming and isn't it great!,'" VanDerWerff, critic at large with Vox, told Day 6.

"It was really like a hallucination cooked up by June Cleaver."

Rankin and Bass are best known for their beloved Christmas specials, including Frosty The Snowman, which turns 50 this year, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but VanDerWerff was taken by the strangeness of the other 16 specials the duo made between 1969 and 1985. 

Day 6 asked VerDerWerff to pick the three weirdest examples of Rankin and Bass' Christmas specials, all of which she called "some variation of off-the-wall bug-nuts."

Click the Listen button above to hear what she came up with.


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