Not The Usual Rankin/Bass Ponderings

I was watching the Rankin/Bass Frosty The Snowman and one scene in the middle struck me. It was Frosty, who’s basically a large mass of white, talking with the rabbit Hocus-Pocus, who’s another mass of white, while standing in the snow-covered forest, again another mass of white, underneath a white cloudy sky. And this was originally shown on American TV in 1969, when the majority of people had black-and-white TV sets, and I remember black-and-white sets because they received about two parts picture to three parts fluffy static.

So this is the weekend I realized that nobody actually saw anything from Frosty the Snowman until about its 1983 airing.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

4 thoughts on “Not The Usual Rankin/Bass Ponderings”

  1. We had the same issue in New Zealand, with ‘H R Pufinstuf’ in 1970, which I saw then as a kid. I still recall it distinctly. Well, indistinctly. The conversion from its original 512-line NTSC to the New Zealand black-and-white 650-line PAL system created curious visual artefacts and rendered it into about 50 shades of mud. Later, when I happened to see the thing in full Kroft & Kroft “summer of ’69” super-saturated colour, I realised I’d probably been saved a worse fate…


    1. Oh, dear, now, Pufnstuf in black-and-white seems terrible; it had this wonderful dazzle built into its design.

      I have seen the difference in modern shows in NTSC versus PAL, but not in black-and-white conversion. I’d lived several years in Singapore and got used to several shows done with the slightly faster tempo they get after conversion. (The theme to Lilo and Stitch: The Series particularly feels weirdly sluggish on United States TV.)


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