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Like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," this review won't be long so its pretty much going to be a short review. "Frosty the Snowman" is about a snowman that is brought to life by a magical hat, which it happens to be own by a very poor magician; so Frosty can talk, dance, etc. However, things don't go well as the weather's temperature rises up to be hot for Frosty. So, now, Frosty must make his to get to the North Pole where its colder or else he will melt. The animation itself is presented in traditional animation instead being in stop-motion like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer;" with that said, I thought the animation in this special is actually really good. The songs are also great, while the acting is alright but there could be some that are a bit wooden for my taste, but I digress. So that is how short that I am about say. "Frosty the Snowman" is an enjoyable Christmas special, but I love "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" more since they are both made by Rankin and Bass. I give it a 9 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think this short film works best, when watched maybe in early
December or late November, not necessarily right before Christmas.
Sure, it has Santa in it, but the main character is frosty and it makes
you look forward to when there's actually snow outside, so you can
build your own Frosty the Snowman. The antagonist is perfect for a kids
movie like this one. he's not really evil, more clumsy than anything,
so it's a good watch also for smaller children even if they still
believe in the existence of Santa (oh I'm sorry, biggest spoiler
ever!). They'll also love the furry white rabbit. The adults will enjoy
the voice-work from Jimmy Durante, the man who gave us a wonderful
version of the old classic song I'll Be Seeing You.
The plot is about a little girl trying to get a snowman magically put to life to the North Pole, so he won't melt once temperature rises. It's a journey with many obstacles, but thanks for the help of a fat bearded man in red dress, they finally succeed. The animation is neither particularly great, nor bad for 1969, it's kinda appropriate, as everything else in this harmless little fun movie.
This is one of those cartoons that I used to watch every year as a child during X-mas time. It was a staple, just like the Charlie Brown X-mas special and Rudolph. The animation is on par with Charlie, not as good as Rudolph and the story is not as good as Rudolph either. There really is not all that much to it. Basically, they stick with the song and do not add a whole lot like Rudolph did, of course they do not have Santa in this one acting a bit gruff. This one has a horrible magician trying to perform for the kiddies and doing a bad job. He tosses his hat and the kids use it to put on the head of their snowman who comes to life saying 'happy birthday' every time he comes to life again. I do not know why he does this, as usually one does not wish themselves a happy birthday, but whatever, it is just a kid's movie. Well Frosty has to get to the North Pole otherwise he is going to melt so he and a girl make their way to said region while the magician follows wanting his hat back because it does obviously contain some magic within it. That is about the gist of it, not many characters, not really all that much depth and it is best not to delve into the guy who did Frosty's voice career to much or one is going to be shocked to find a movie that one would most certainly not associate with X-mas and family fare. Okay for what it was, but not as good as other specials of the day.
In one sense, "Frosty the Snowman" sort of looks like something that
can only appeal to kids. But, I guess that it does have a certain charm
to itself. Now that I'm old enough to understand, I find it quite neat
that Jimmy Durante narrated and June Foray - aka Rocky the Squirrel -
provided voices. I wonder if Prof. Hinkle's name was an allusion to the
dictator in Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator"; after all, he was
So, it's something cool (pun intended) to remember. Of course, I always like to contrast Frosty with the snow goons in "Calvin and Hobbes". Worth seeing.
Rankin/Bass are at their best with this holiday favorite. This isn't the politically correct version that you see every year on TV. The cast of voice-over actors and actresses is top-notched with the likes of June Foray, Jackie Vernon and Billy DeWolfe, but who could ever forget the great Jimmy Durante as the Narrator along with his vocals on "Frosty the Snowman". Our kids love it as much as we did when we were their ages. Get out there and buy it now! You can't go wrong. I recommend if you can buy it, make sure it was packaged and designed in 1993. The one's that are "digitally" remastered are the edited versions of this all time classic!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just wish, this 1970's American animated Christmas family television special based on the popular song written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, of the same name, was a little more refreshing. Not only, is the animation by Mushi Production a bit dated in this movie, but it was also a little choppy and stiff in places than mostly smooth. It get even more jarring when you notice that the lip-syncing and the voice acting is a bit off. Characters throughout the film are always saying things, when their mouths isn't moving. You see these mistakes, mostly toward the middle and end of the film. Some good examples of this, are the train & greenhouse scenes. While, there is some errors in the animation; for the most part, this animation film is a lot better than the earlier clay motion Rankin'/Bass Christmas specials, in particular 1964's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I just don't see much, children these days, watching this 40 year old, movie. One thing, that Frosty the Snowman does have, going for it, is its pacing. For a 25 minutes film, it told their story very well. However, the story isn't nothing special. It's pretty clear and cut. Not much, going on, besides Frosty the Snowman (Voiced by Jackie Vernon) trying to make it to the North Pole, before he melt. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind, the simplicity of the plot. I just wish, the movie was a little more memorable with it. After all, the story deux ex machina toward the end of the film, seem to come out of nowhere and the whole Santa Claus subplot seem a bit forced. Still the movie does had its fair share of funny and touching moments. Without spoiling it, I do like, the third act emotional tear-jerking moment. It was very touching. The enchanting story is also very heart-tugging, because of the narrative voice over by actor Jimmy Durante in his final performance. He's by far, one of the best narrator, Rankin'/Bass ever hired. Jackie Vernon as the titular character was also great. While, I didn't like his dumbfounded nature, in the beginning of the film; I just glad, the movie didn't follow up with it, toward the end of the film. This move allows Jackie Vernon to channel more of his heart-warming & emotional lovely side. Watch it, and you will see it, with his voice. The film also works, because of the voice acting from Billy De Wolfe. His work as the villain Professor Hinkle was wonderfully. The sub-plot of him, trying to get back, his magic hat was pretty interesting. He was a treat. Even the voice acting by veteran, voice actor, June Foray was also a bit magically. I really thought, Little Karen was voiced by a child actor. It was very surprising, for me, to find out, later, that she was voiced by then a, 53 year old woman, June Foray. However, in later airings after 1970, June Foray's voice was replaced by an unknown actress. At the time, rumors implied a controversy over copyrights and/or royalties as the reason behind the change, but the reason remains unknown. Still, Foray's voice is still heard as her singing voice, as well as other minor roles, in later releases, but it was a bit jarring to hear, two different voices for Little Karen in certain version. It also weird to see that audio quality of the replacement voice is better than that of the other sounds. The current restored version, which debuted in 2005, does not restore Foray's voice, but it does match better with the other voices filmed in 1969. The original soundtrack with Foray's original voice track is available on CD and a must-find, because how rare, it is. Despite, the trouble of Little Karen's voice actor, I still enjoy the special. There is still some magic in this film; to the point, that TV Guide recently ranked the special number 4 on its 10 Best Family Holiday Specials list. One thing, I can't recommend is, the Frosty the Snowman's sequels. 1976's Frosty's Winter Wonderland, 1979's Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, 1992's Frosty Returns & 2005's The Legend of Frosty the Snowman were below standards. Overall: The original Frosty the Snowman film is a must-watch for anybody, looking for a film to watch with their family. So this Christmas season, chill with "Frosty" than anything else!
I just want to start this review by saying that I love all the
Rankin'/Bass Christmas specials in their own right, in particular
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Frosty the Snowman is no exception, it
is yet another timeless Christmas classic that gets better and better
each viewing. I seriously don't mind whether the plot, about a little
girl and the snowman Frosty trying to stop an greedy magician from
stealing Frosty's magic hat, is a tad predictable, because it never
takes away any of the charm that is had in this gem.
The animation is stunning; the backgrounds are very detailed and the characters are well drawn. And the music is lovely and definitely memorable, the title song Frosty the Snowman is one of the irresistibly catchy Christmas songs of all time, and never fails to bring a smile to my face. The characters are great, Frosty is a wonderful title character, Karen is very sweet and likable and the magician Professor Hinkle is loathsome certainly. I have to say though the voice work is outstanding, with Jimmy Durante perfect as the narrator and Jackie Vernon simply wonderful as Frosty. I admit it, I felt my eyes welling up when Frosty melted.
All in all, a timeless classic. My advice to you, just sit back and chill out with that lovable Frosty. That way you are in for a good time. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Who among us hasn't grown up hearing Frosty wake up saying "happy birthday"? I know that I certainly have and for me Christmas isn't Christmas without it. This is notable for being the only (as far as I know) Rankin-Bass holiday special to not be in stop-motion, instead it looks like a Christmas card come to life. The effect is very nice, especially when combined with everything else. The main song is very catchy and the storyline is fairly easy for younger kids to follow at only 22 minutes long. Jimmy Durante's narration is excellent as well, especially in terms of his performance of the song. In addition to its charming simplicity, it also happens to be very touching at times. I can't help but well up when Frosty melts. But with a little Christmas snow, Frosty is resurrected and Santa makes Professor Hinkle write that he is sorry a hundred zillion times. In addition to the touching moments, there are also some funny parts such as the traffic cop's reaction to seeing Frosty and when the children are thinking of a name for Frosty and one kid suggests Oatmeal. Here's a sweet loving story (as all Christmas tales should be) that reinforces a child's life of Christmas and the wonder of the first snowfall. I only wish that it could be a little bit longer.
It's the day before Christmas. Professor Hinkle is one of worst
magicians ever. He comes to school to do a show for the kids. The kids
rather go out and build a snowman calling it Frosty. The rabbit in
Hinkle's hat Hocus Pocus runs away and the hat lands on Frosty bringing
him to life. Hinkle takes his hat back. Hocus Pocus gives the hat back
to the children. Frosty comes back alive but he starts to melt. Little
Karen, Frosty and Hocus Pocus sneak on a train to the North Pole.
Hinkle stowaways as well to try and take the hat back. Then they enlist
the help of Santa Claus.
Let's face it. There are lots of crazy stuff going on. I don't know that finders keepers with the magic hat is a great message for the kids. Then there is the little girl that almost froze to death. I doubt this movie is about any message other than just a simple insane children's adventure. There's also the great song and Jimmy Durante's narration. That stuff is just iconic.
Frosty the Snowman is a true Christmas classic. While my favorite Christmas special remains Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,I have a special place in my heart for Frosty the Snowman and I watch it 2-3 times every December,including every Christmas Eve night. The beauty of Frosty the Snowman is that it's about imagination. How much fun is it to imagine building a snowman and having it come to life. And just around Christmas too! That's the real beauty of Frosty the Snowman. Another strong point of this show is Jimmy Durante's singing of the song Frosty the Snowman. I bought an mp3 version of Jimmy Durante's Frosty the Snowman from this show last November and it is definitely the best version of the song Frosty the Snowman that I've heard. I highly recommend this show as it is a true Christmas classic.
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