Frosty the Snowman [1969]

Genre: Animation, Short, Comedy
A double bill starring Frosty: Frosty the Snowman Jimmy Durante narrates this Christmas story that is based on the song of the same name. To make up for the fact that her students are in school on Christmas Eve, the local schoolteacher hires the magician Professor Hinkle to entertain the kids. Unfortunately, he's not a very good magician. Frustrated in his attempt to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he throws it away in anger. Outside, the kids build a snowman (what to call it? Harold? Oatmeal? Frosty!), and when the hat blows onto it--Happy Birthday!--it comes to life. Professor Hinkle decides he wants the hat back so he can make money off of its newfound magical properties, but the kids want to save Frosty. When the temperature starts to rise, a new problem threatens Frosty's existence. Karen, the leader of the children, comes up with a plan to save him: take him on a train to the North Pole, where it's always cold. With a cameo by Santa Claus, and the promise of Frosty's return every year, this story of life, death, and holiday cheer is glazed with the sweet frosting of hope and happiness. A true holiday classic. Frosty Returns In the same way that many a Hollywood sequel has little to do with the first film, Frosty Returns has almost nothing in common with the original Frosty the Snowman, aside from a man made of snow. The biggest difference is that this Frosty doesn't need a magic hat to come to life. The story: In the town of Beansboro, old Mr. Twitchell has invented an aerosol spray that can remove snow without the hassle of shoveling or plows. This frightens Frosty, who enlists the help of amateur magician Holly and her friend Charles to stop the old coot. Made in 1992, Frosty Returns has an animation style that looks like a cross between the old Schoolhouse Rock and Peanuts cartoons, with voice talent that includes Jonathan Winters, Andrea Martin, Jan Hooks, Brian Doyle-Murray, and John Goodman as Frosty. The story may be divisive, pitting children against adults and a pro-snow contingent against anti-snow people, but the songs are catchy and the message is one that ultimately empowers kids. Like a hero from an old Western, this Frosty is a wanderer who leaves when his job is done so he can work his magic elsewhere. --Andy Spletzer

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