Rankin/Bass 4: Frosty the Snowman

frosty19Some movies from your childhood when visited as an adult hold up (Winnie the Pooh for example) and others not so much.  I hate to say it but I think Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman is the latter.  It’s another one of the specials that as an adult feels strange and is really designed for very small children- and even for them there might be stuff that is upsetting for them.  Don’t hate me but I didn’t really like it…

Frosty the Snowman was made in 1969 for CBS and it was the first time Rankin/Bass did a traditional cel animation.  To the team’s credit the animation looks fine.  It’s bright and colorful and doesn’t look terribly dated. It kind of reminds you of something you’d see on a Saturday morning television in the 80s.

frosty2That said I think Frosty looks more like a marshmallow than a snowman. For Frosty I wonder if stop motion would have looked better like the snowman in Elf.

elf leonBut anyway the story is about a group of kids that find the discarded hat of a magician named Professor Hinkle.  They decide to build a snowman and little Karen decides to call it Frosty.  Professor Hinkle has a rabbit named Hocus Pocus who tries to get the hat but it is placed on the snowman and the magic makes Frosty alive.

frosty6I didn’t really like Professor Hinkle or Hocus Pocus.  It was strange the way they kept bothering these little kids and it just wasn’t funny and was a little mean to me.  Like little Karen is freezing and a fire is lit and he blows it out for no real reason.  Frosty has the hat not Karen and Frosty obviously isn’t by the fire.

frosty8And then it gets really weird with the temperature suddenly warming up and so Frosty decides to take a refrigeration unit on a train to the North Pole, which is evidently far away because it costs $3000 to go there.  The strange part is Karen goes with them as kind of a lark, which I found odd.  This is evidently very far away to cost $3000, not just a day trip.

But I know I am over thinking it but Karen gets sick from the cold refrigeration car so they abandon the train and Professor Hinkle is fast on their tails.  He ends up trapping Karen and Frosty in (Spoiler alert!) a greenhouse and Frosty becomes a puddle on the ground.  It’s really quite a strange and upsetting story when you think of the very small children it is aimed at.  Karen almost dies, Frosty is gone but at least Hinkle gives Santa the hat back after he is threatened with no more presents for the rest of his life. It’s just odd story.

frosty9The voice cast is great with Jimmy Durante as the narrator, Jackie Vernon as Frosty, June Foray as Karen, and Billy De Wolfe as Professor Hinkle.

The Frosty song is featured of course and a few other songs but nothing stands out too much.

frosty4Frosty the Snowman is probably a fine diversion for small kids and at 24 minutes it’s fine for watching with the fam at Christmas but over all I didn’t really care for it.  It’s just so odd and I kind of wish it wasn’t so gloomy and morose in feel, but perhaps that’s just me.

What about you?  Is Frosty the Snowman a special part of your holiday viewings?  Do you love it?  Have you seen it in a while?  Let me know in the comments.


11 thoughts on “Rankin/Bass 4: Frosty the Snowman

  1. I might have seen this one years ago, but it’s been too long if I have. Hey, while I’m on here, I’m just curious, did you go to http://www.blogspot.com to form your website, or to some other site? Only reason I ask is because I was hoping to get one going by maybe next month since I was hoping to do a Disney marathon review of my own by then (along with other movies that I see in theaters or on video along the way). Anyway, just thought I’s bring that up ASAP.

    1. Hey! I would love to read your marathon. I created my blog at wordpress.com as I feel their blogs look a little more professional than the blogspot but that’s just personal preference. Let me know what you do and I will totally read and comment on your blog! I look forward to it! You going to watch the entire canon?

      1. I’m going to try. I will probably not go in chronological order, but I will nevertheless try to have them all done by December of next year. Anyway, thanks for the tip. I will try that!

  2. We have it and I am not a fan. I liked it as a kid, and my 6yo loves it. When she was about 2 she became obsessed with Frosty the Snowman. She loved the movie, the song, anything frosty-related sent her over the moon. I remember the first time she saw it she was so devastated when Frosty melted, which was sweet and kind of funny. She talked about it for days. It’s not the obsession it once was, but she still loves anything Frosty, including this movie. There’s a newer animated Frosty the Snowman movie on Netflix that she likes too.

    1. Isn’t it funny how often kids latch on to these films that seem rather morose to us adults? Frosty is a harmless entertainment for little kids especially because it is so short but not as good as I remembered it at least.

    1. I was just checking out wordpress.com. Just curious, when it got to the first step and it said choose a theme and examples like boardwalk, cubic, etc. were on there, did you choose any of those, or something else?

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