Bring “Frosty the Snowman” to life this winter



Co-directed by Jules Bass, “Frosty the Snowman” makes for a good-spirited viewing for the holiday season.

During the holiday season, many will find themselves watching classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” Behind these holiday staples was a company that a man named Jules Bass helped to create. In memory of Bass, who passed away this October, we’ll look back at some of these famous works this December.

A line of children walk through a beautiful winter landscape, snow lying gently all around them. Their leader is a jolly, recently incarnated snowman, and his name is Frosty.

“Frosty the Snowman” was released in December of 1969 and was co-directed by Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. The television special tells the classic story of its titular character, voiced by Jackie Vernon. The special delivers a warm, good-spirited watch for the holiday season.

Unlike some of Rankin and Bass’ other holiday television specials, “Frosty the Snowman” is drawn instead of stop motion, which gives Frosty an inherently unique look amongst the other numerous characters seen this month.

“Frosty the Snowman” follows a group of children whose newly-built snowman is brought to life after they dress him with a cruel magician’s black hat. Afterwards, Frosty, accompanied by a little girl named Karen, voiced by June Foray, goes on a journey to reach the North Pole so that he won’t ever melt. However, they are relentlessly followed by the magician, who is desperate to take back his hat.

The highlight of the special is, without a doubt, Frosty’s incredibly endearing personality. His rather nonchalant reaction to being brought to life, complete with his charming first line “Happy Birthday!” is absolutely adorable. Additionally, there is something about Vernon’s voice that just seems to perfectly capture the loveable identity of the snowman.

Frosty’s character design is also stellar. Despite being simplistic, he retains the features of a snowman while also emitting a sense of warmth and kindness, which really helps make the character come to life on screen.

The special also holds a number of cute moments. One of my favorites happens when Frosty is searching for a way to protect Karen from the freezing cold night. To do so, he has the magician’s helpful rabbit ask a group of animals, who have decorated part of the forest for Christmas, to build a fire. Along with being incredibly adorable, the decorated forest is quite beautiful.

Another unique part of the special is that rather than focusing on Christmas, “Frosty the Snowman” is centered around winter itself. Sure, it ends up being Christmas and Santa Claus saves Frosty, but for the most part, the special carries a very wintery feel. This makes it a suitable watch for both the holiday season and for wintertime in general.

Another great aspect of the special is its relatively short length. If one is in a rush but wants to enjoy a cute story with some holiday fun, “Frosty the Snowman” is a perfect choice. However, make no mistake: despite being shorter than the other works I’m reviewing this month, it still is able to capture the same magic.

“Frosty the Snowman” offers a spirited and fantastic viewing for the holidays, and I greatly suggest a watch before the festive season is through.