Let the season begin!
Cast and Crew
Jimmy Durante as the narrator
Jackie Vernon as Frosty
Billy De Wolfe as Professor Hinkle
June Foray as the female characters
Paul Frees as everyone else
This is one of the productions by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, who created many, many Christmas specials. You’ll see reviews of several of them in the next few days.
Complete information is available from this IMDB page.
Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. (Note that I’m reviewing the Canadian release. As far as I can tell, they have identical content, but different packaging. Both also contain Frosty Returns, which will be reviewed shortly.)
Frosty the Snowman first aired in 1969.
Frosty the Snowmas was a jolly, happy soul, with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal. Frosty the Snowman is a fairy tale, they say. He was made of snow but the children know how he came to life one day. There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, for when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around. Frosty the Snowman was alive as he could be, and the children say he could laugh and play just the same as you and me.
Ah, you know the rest.
Hocus Pocus suggests who can be called in for reinforcements.
A closed door is a serious problem? The door didn’t even have a handle, let alone a lock! Just push it already!
This isn’t too original. The basic outline of the story was being sung by adults and children for years before they made this cartoon out of it. They did add elements like Professor Hinkle, Hocus Pocus, and the train ride, but at the core, it’s still an adaptation. I give it 4 out of 6.
The animation has a gorgeous look, but a choppy style. Individual frames are a perfect match to the tone of the show, but the way they fit together is far from perfect, and the low point strikes me as an animation error. I give it 3 out of 6.
The story is fairly well done. There are a few moments that work better than others, and they did a decent job of explaining the origin of the hat and getting Frosty to the North Pole, but the final conflict was weak, and the resolution was weaker. I give it 4 out of 6.
The voice acting is primarily caricature voices that have little emotional range. I give it 3 out of 6.
The emotional response is excellent. This is one of the specials I watched every year as a child. It’s a whole lot of fun, packed with Christmas (and general holiday) spirit. Even without nostalgia, it’s a lot of fun to watch. Hocus Pocus is awesome. I give it 6 out of 6.
The production is a bit cheap, but it’s better than a lot of TV specials that expect a short shelf life. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, it’s good seasonal family entertainment. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, Frosty the Snowman receives 29 out of 42.