Frosty The Snowman

Most of us had favorite Christmas specials we would watch as kids. Mine was Rudolph, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch, and this one…Frosty The Snowman. These four would get me primed and ready for Christmas…like I needed anything else.

“Frosty the Snowman,” debuted in 1969. It was by Rankin/Bass Productions, the same company that produced many holiday specials.

Narrated by the legend Jimmy Durante, the special involves a magic hat that transforms a snowman, Frosty, into a living being. The magician who owned the hat wants it back now that he knows it contained actual magic, so the kids had to get together and find a way to bring Frosty to the North Pole to keep him from melting. However, once there, Frosty sacrifices himself to warm up the little girl, Karen, who took him to the North Pole. He melts, but Santa Claus explains that Frosty is made out of special Christmas snow and thus can never truly melt. Frosty then comes back to life and everyone has a Merry Christmas.

The song was written in 1950 by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson. They wrote it for Gene Autry, especially, after Autry had such a huge hit with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the previous year. It was later recorded by Jimmy Durante as we hear in this wonderful cartoon.

This wasn’t the only animation of Frosty…

In 1954, United Productions of America (UPA) brought Frosty to life in a short cartoon that is little more than an animated music video for a jazzy version of the song. It introduced the characters mentioned in the lyrics visually, from Frosty himself to the traffic cop. The three-minute, black-and-white piece quickly became a holiday tradition in various markets, particularly in Chicago, where it’s been broadcast annually on WGN since 1955.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

32 thoughts on “Frosty The Snowman”

  1. Lovely. There’s something truly special about old cartoons. Interestingly, I don’t recall whether Christmas cartoons were a big thing in Germany when I was kid growing up there. I don’t believe so!

    The one family tradition I fondly remember is tuning into my favorite FM radio station that played music wishes from listeners while my sister and I would decorate the Christmas tree at my grandma’s. Typically, this happened on Dec 24.

    In Germany, they celebrate Christmas on the 24th in the evening. December 25 and 26 are part of the Christmas holiday as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is really cool because we always celebrated on Christmas Eve also so Bailey won’t tell a difference in that part. I don’t know why we did but since I was a kid…as soon as it turned dark on Christmas Eve is when we would start.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that UPA cartoon. That’s probably the best arrangement of the song I’ve ever heard. The Rankin-Bass cartoon is good and has some great guest stars (Jackie Vernon, Paul Lynde, and the venerable Jimmy Durante), I’m just not as thrilled about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. the old BW version is cool! to be honest, not one of my favorite Christmas specials but a lot of people do love it and it seems like this year, his theme has really had a resurgence of popularity.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, and then he comes back saying “happy birthday” or something like nothing ever happened. I was like, “You don’t realized what just happened to you, ya dumb bastard? Now thank Santa Clause and be sure to kill that bitch that locked you in the greenhouse”!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You won’t believe this, but I just got home from shopping at Sam’s Club. You know how when you walk in they have all the big screen tv’s on so you can see the beautiful pictures and hopefully buy one? EVERY tv had that little girl kneeling on the floor crying her eyes out over a water puddle. Frosty was on every one! I laughed and my wife asked what was funny. I told her I was just discussing that tragic situation with a fellow blogger online! 🤣😂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey have you ever seen the sequel – it was “an added bonus” on the DVD version that we bought a few years back with an all new song. As you might expect one viewing was enough – it’s atrocious

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Apropo of nothing I once watched this bad horror movie called Microwave Massacre and it starred Jackie Vernon. I remember thinking omg it’s Frosty’s voice – what happened.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Actually you could say it’s a horror comedy sort of – at least I thought it was funny. Not sure that is the effect they were going for 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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