Welcome to this week’s edition of The Digital Wire. Hope you all had a wonderful and scare-tastic Halloween because by the sound of the Christmas songs starting their yearly infection of the radio airwaves, an even more frightening time of year is upon us.
Below you’ll find info on several future home video releases complete with technical specs, release dates, and links to pre-order at Amazon. We would greatly appreciate it if you use those links to order because a small percentage of each order helps keep this website running at max power. The cover art for certain titles has yet to be finalized.
Arthur Rankin Jr., half of the Rankin/Bass Productions, responsible for co-producing countless holiday-themed classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, died in his home in Bermuda on January 30, 2014 after a brief illness. He was 89.
With partner Jules Bass, the New York City-born Rankin created an empire of riches and creative success with Rankin/Bass almost on par with the likes of Walt Disney at its peak. Many of its shows, including the aforementioned Rudolph and Santa Claus — “Animagic” animated specials in which figures are shot a frame at a time to create seamless motion on screen — and other specials like Frosty the Snowman and Frosty’s Winter Wonderland (all released between 1964 – 1976) are still rerun today and are still as cherished as ever. Generations of fans in families — grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters — have all had Rankin/Bass specials pass their gazes, and it became a form of holiday Americana almost in a way, a trumpeting, flag-waving affirmation that the Christmas season had finally arrived once again, due to the annual airing of these specials. Rankin, with Bass, would only hire what seemed to be top shelf creative people and voice actors (people like James Cagney, Fred Astaire, veteran voice actor Paul Frees, Andy Griffith, Vincent Price, Burl Ives, and George Burns to name a few) to make productions that had a sense of class and freshness to them.
Larry D. Mann, best remembered for supplying the voice of Yukon Cornelius in the perennial animated holiday favorite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, died on Monday in Los Angeles of age-related causes according to his son Richard, reports CBS News. He was 91.
Mann’s gruff but endearingly friendly voice of the robustly red-bearded Cornelius remains part of memorable set pieces among a sea of many in the special, as generations of fans fondly remember the character each annual airing. The special originally aired on NBC-TV during the 1965 Christmas Season and set the template for many of the stop-motion “Animagic” (the process of animating figures to create a seamless movement) specials to follow, mostly mired in Christmas themes.
Today, TeeFury is doing one of their special “Twofury” deals with two shirts for $11 each, both of which have a knitted sweater-like design: “The Island of Misfit Sweaters,” inspired by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by tomkurzanski (at left), and “Sere-Knitty” inspired by Firefly by geekchic_tees (at right).
The sale began at Teefury today, Thursday, December 5, 2013, at midnight EST, and will continue for 24 hours from then, and once it’s over, it will not be sold on the site anymore.
For Black Friday weekend, Amazon is offering up Lightning Deals, limited quantities of various products for a discounted price for a 4-hour window of time. You have to be on the lookout for these deals and once the item runs out, the sale is over. Meaning, if you see something on sale that you want, buy it immediately before it’s gone.
Amazon has released the Lightning Deal schedule and prices for Movies & TV on DVD and Blu-ray for Saturday, November 24, starting at 8:20AM PST (that’s 11:20AM EST) and running through 8:20pm PST. See list of these lighting deals here below, along with more information on how these special deals work.