The Royal Gazette of Bermuda reported that Arthur Rankin, Jr. passed away at his home by Harrington Sound on January 31, 2014, at the age of 90. Rankin was half of the famed Rankin-Bass duo, which produced some of the best beloved animated Christmas TV specials of all time, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and The Year Without a Santa Claus, as well as other animated TV classics including an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the original 1980’s ThunderCats series, and the animated feature film The Last Unicorn, based on the book by Peter S. Beagle. Rankin was a self-taught filmmaker who, with his partner Jules Bass, founded Videocraft International in the early 1960’s, which was later renamed Rankin/Bass Productions. The company ultimately produced hundreds of hours of animation for TV, both in cel-drawn animation of Frosty the Snowman and the stop-motion of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
(Added information via The Hollywood Reporter)