The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

According to the internet, the company founded by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass created more than 680,000 holiday specials over the years. I might need to check the reference on that. These specials air endlessly around the holidays in America and bring beloved characters like Rudolph, Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman to television. They also bring some classic villains along with them. Here is the Ultimate Ranking of these villains according to me.

10. Comet

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1964

Maybe it's unfair to label Comet as a villain, but he certainly was a bully and a dick. He more or less enabled the other yearlings to single out Rudolph and then excluded him from reindeer games because of a physical deformity. I think I read somewhere that Jon Voight based his character in Varsity Blues on Comet.

9. The Abominable Snow Monster

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1964

I bet everybody thought the Bumble would be higher. He is a well loved character, but I'm not buying his "villain" status. He is basically just an animal who wants to eat Rudolph. Not really evil at all, just survival. He also gets beaten by a peppermint prospector and an elf dentist. I bet he left that out of the Christmas letter that year.

8. Professor Hinkle

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Frosty the Snowman, 1969

Raise your hand if you've ever been outsmarted by a snowman. Nobody? Ah, there we go! Thanks for being honest, Professor Hinkle. Hinkle transitioned fairly quickly from a failed magician to an attempted Frosty murderer during the special. Once he discovered that his discarded hat actually contained magic, he was willing to regain it at any price, including the life of a snowman and the death of a half dozen childhoods.

7. Winter Warlock

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Santa Claus is Coming to Town, 1970

That is one pretty scary warlock right there! The Winter Warlock lives alone in the mountain of the Whispering Winds. He is an evil wizard who dislikes anyone trespassing on his land, initially preventing Kris Kringle from delivering toys to Sombertown. He would be higher on this list, but his icy hearted is melted by the gift of a wooden choo-choo train. This act of kindness transforms him from a fearsome ice warlock into just an old wizard who ultimately befriends Kris Kringle. That must have been some train.

6. Snow Miser

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

The Year Without A Santa Claus, 1974

The Snow Miser is one half of the pair of villains from this film. He has ice powers like a freezing touch and lives in an ice castle, all things that should make him a perfect villain. The only problem is that he isn't really all that evil. Just look at him. He has a cane and a boater hat! He just doesn't get along with his half-brother, the Heat Miser. He also lost points for Arnold Schwarzenegger singing his song in Batman and Robin.

5. Heat Miser

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

The Year Without A Santa Claus, 1974

The Heat Miser on the other hand is a real miserable bastard. He is tired of being second fiddle to the Snow Miser and just wants to take his anger out on everybody. He can melt objects with a touch and controls warm weather. The Heat Miser isn't higher on the list because the only "evil" thing he does is resist letting Southtown have snow for Christmas. He's just doing his job! Ultimately, Santa has the Miser Brothers' mother, who is Mother Nature come in to mediate and the Heat Miser gets overruled. Just another disappointment for him to turn into bitterness and anger. Good job, Santa.

4. Aeon

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Rudolph's Shiny New Year, 1976

So, Aeon is a buzzard who only lives for one aeon. His life span is scheduled to end on January 1st and he doesn't really want to die, so he hatches a diabolical plan. Aeon decides to kidnap Happy, the Baby New Year, figuring that if he never arrives, time will stop. When Rudolph tries to stop him, he drops an avalanche on him which obviously doesn't kill him, but traps him in a snowball. The only thing that is finally able to defeat is the sight of Happy's big ears which causes him to laugh until he rolls down the mountain and is trapped in a snowball. Aeon's heart is now filled with joy and his villainy is ruined

3. Winterbolt

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, 1979

Now this is an ice wizard! Winterbolt controls a genie and has ice dragons! When he awakens from a deep sleep put on him by the good witch Lady Boreal, Winterbolt is itching for revenge. When he discovers that the last of Boreal's power has been put in Rudolph's nose he hatches a plan; destroy Rudolph. He does some pretty diabolical things to achieve this plan including tricking a dumb reindeer named Scratcher into framing Rudolph for theft, preventing Santa from rescuing Frosty's family in time and trying to create an evil army of snowmen using Frosty's hat. Bonus points for defeat by being turned into a tree, not having your heart melt into goodness.

2. Kubla Kraus

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Jack Frost, 1979

Kubla Kraus is a Cossack king who menaces the town of January Junction with his mechanical horse Klangstumper and an army of Keh-Nights. Kraus also has a robot ventriloquist dummy named Dummy! He has hoarded all of the gold and timber from January Junction in his castle on the Miserable Mountain, but his evil escalates quickly when he decides to kidnap a girl named Elisa from the town to be his bride. After Elisa is rescued, Kraus threatens to raze the town with his Keh-Nights. He is finally defeated when Jack Frost creates a months long ice storm to imprison the king in his castle.

1. Burgermeister Meisterburger

The Ultimate Ranking of Rankin/Bass Christmas Special Villains

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, 1970

The Burgermeister Meisterburger, ruler of Sombertown, hates toys. A tragic toy duck accident has left him with a cold heart and an overwhelming desire to ban toys. This stance causes him to clash with Kris Kringle, who loves toys and thinks everyone should have them. Meisterburger captures Kringle on one of his yearly visits to Sombertown and imprisons him in the dungeon. The newly reformed Winter Warlock enables Kringle to escape. The Meisterburger vows to hunt Kringle to the ends of the earth, forcing Kris to grow a beard and change his last name to Claus. The Meisterburger's quest to destroy Kris Kringle is ultimately defeated because Kringle is immortal and the Meisterburger is not. That's right. The Burgermeister Meisterburger was so evil that Santa Claus just avoided him until he died.