- Animator’s Original Pencil Test from Frosty
- Other Golden Books Titles
- Introduction by Arthur Rankin
Released by: Sony Wonder.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Avoid It.
Frosty the Snowman
Written by Romeo Muller
Directed by Jules Bass & Arthur Rankin, Jr.
Starring the voices of Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon, Paul Frees, June Foray
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Well, it turns out that magic hat had a previous owner named Professor Hinkle (De Wolfe). But it seems he was not a very successful magician. Even his rabbit who lived in the hat didn’t like him very much (and who can blame him, getting pulled out by his ears all the damn time). When he finally learns that his hat really is magic, and that it brought Frosty to life, he demands it back. Suddenly, Frosty is in a race for his life and only one man on earth can save him…Santa Claus (Frees)!
What can I say? This is a classic. And I believe that there are only two reasons that it is a classic: the writing and Jimmy Durante. Mr. Muller knew how to write for children. The story doesn’t seem contrived or forced in any way. He makes no apologies for Mr. Hinkle’s quick change of heart at the climax of the story. Santa Claus just has the power to change people’s hearts by telling them that they’ve been bad (even if they are grown-ups). And, Jimmy Durante…a cha cha cha…
Written by Oliver Goldstock
Directed by Evert Brown & Bill Melendez
Starring the voices of Jonathan Winters, Jan Hooks, Andrea Martin, Brian Doyle-Murray, Elizabeth Moss, Michael Patrick Carter, John Goodman
Frosty has returned…but not to the same town as before. Stick with me here. Our narrator (Winters), apparently an elf, arrives on a snowflake to tell us the story. Frosty (Goodman) comes to life (this time without the magic hat) and wins over the heart of a little girl named Holly (Moss). The evil Mr. Twitchell (Doyle-Murray) has developed a chemical called Summer Wheeze that eliminates snow without having to shovel it. Mr. Twitchell gets it in his head that he will be crowned king of their winter festival if he can eliminate all the town’s snow for them without all the work. Now Holly has to help Frosty save not only his own life, but the environment as well.
Holy snowflakes, Batman. This was bad. I should have known it would be when I saw it was produced by Lorne Michaels. The writing is horrible and the songs are worse (and far too frequent). Mr. Goldstock couldn’t decide if he was writing a Saturday Night Live skit full of one-liners (that I’m sure he thought were quick-witted) or if he was writing for a children’s show. And, since he couldn’t decide, the show really suffered. The reason the original Frosty worked was because it didn’t try to pander to an adult audience. The reason this one fails so miserably is because, other than the animation, there’s really not enough story for kids to enjoy.