Frosty The Snowman

I apologize for so many posts today…this one I scheduled wrong…

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.

16 thoughts on “Frosty The Snowman”

  1. That old BW one is almost creepy, but I think I prefer it to the ‘regular’ one! Gotta admit, I was never all that big on this one…i’ll watch it, it’s not terrible, but it’s not on my ‘must see’ list. Unlike Rudolph from Rankin Bass, which we watched last night. But many people do love it and to me, having those regular Christmas specials you adore are one of the highlights of Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Besides Durante, you have Jackie Vernon voicing Frosty (“Happy Boithday!”) and Paul Lynde voicing the magician whose hat held the magic. That’s some pretty serious talent.

    I grew up watching the UPA Frosty on WGN, as well as Centaur Productions’ “The Three Little Dwarfs (Hardrock, Coco, and Joe)” and “Suzy Snowflake.” I wrote about it in several places, but especially here: https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com/2015/12/10/writers-workshop-a-christmas-memory/

    By the way, Gene Autry also did “Hardrock, Coco and Joe”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdoa78QGTwE (starts at 0:21)
    And Rosemary Clooney did “Suzy Snowflake”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiFXZhU5kp4

    I love the jazzy harmony in the UPA Frosty. No idea who the singers are (wouldn’t be surprised to hear they were The Anita Kerr Singers), but what a killer arrangement…

    Like

    1. John your comment got caught in my spam…sorry for the delay…

      I love Suzy Snowflake! I also like Hardrock, Coco, and Joe…it looks like you are watching a moving View-Master! It has that 3d effect because of the stop motion.

      It was much better quality to them than I would have thought… excellent quality in music also.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, this is a very special favorite of mine, because Paul Coker, the artist who created the Frosty cartoon character for the movie, also created our high school mascot, the Lawrence (KS) High School Chesty Lion. 😀 So yeah, I like the Frosty movie a lot, and not just because it’s a great Christmas movie. Coker passed away just a few months ago in July. He also did drawings for MAD magazine.

    Liked by 1 person

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