Frosty's Winter Wonderland

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Frosty's Winter Wonderland
Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976 Rankin-Bass animated special).jpg
Cover of the 1992 VHS release by Warner Home Video.
Based on "Frosty the Snowman" by
Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins
Written by Romeo Muller
Directed by Arthur Rankin Jr.
Jules Bass
Starring Dennis Day
Paul Frees
Jackie Vernon
Shelley Winters
Narrated by Andy Griffith
Music by Maury Laws
Country of origin United States
Japan
Original language(s) English
Production
Producer(s) Arthur Rankin Jr.
Jules Bass
Cinematography Toru Hara
Tsuguyuki Kubo
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass Productions
Release
Original network ABC
Original release December 2, 1976
Chronology
Preceded by Frosty the Snowman
Followed by Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

Frosty's Winter Wonderland is a 1976 animated Christmas television special and a sequel to the 1969 special Frosty the Snowman, produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. It returns writer Romeo Muller and actor Jackie Vernon as the voice of Frosty, while Andy Griffith stars as the narrator. The special premiered on ABC on December 2, 1976.

Plot[edit]

Years have passed since Frosty left for the North Pole, but kept his promise to the children that he would be back again someday. When he hears the news about the first snowfall of the season, he comes back to the children. The children are excited to hear about Frosty's return and are overjoyed when he comes back to play with them, but then Jack Frost sees the fun that the children are having with Frosty and becomes jealous of him. When he learns the origin of Frosty and his magic silk hat which brought the snowman to life when placed on his head, Jack decides to steal it from Frosty so the children will love him more. But that night, while Frosty and the children were ice-skating at the frozen pond, Jack unknowingly and mistakenly captures the male horse's old hat with his ability to blow snowy winds. Believing it to be Frosty's hat, he disappears with it.

Despite the fun he has, Frosty becomes sad and lonely at the end of each day when the children go home for the night, making him cry for the first time. To cheer him up, the kids, with his help, build a snow wife the next day (suggested names included Cleopatra, Cornflakes, Ermintrude, and Minny Ha-Ha) and name her Crystal, but she is not alive like how he is. The children try placing a horse's bonnet on her head but to no avail. Meanwhile, Jack soon looks upon the stolen hat from the male horse and discovers he was tricked. Realizing that Frosty was the cause of his failure, he swears revenge on him. Late that night, Frosty presents Crystal with a bouquet of frost flowers. His gift of love brings her to life, and she says his trademark line: "Happy Birthday". The two joyously frolic through the snow, until Jack uses a gust of icy wind which blows Frosty's hat off, turning him back to his lifeless state and taunting Crystal that he is gone for good. To prove Jack wrong, she sculpts a corsage out of snow, places it on Frosty's chest and gives him a kiss which immediately brings him back to life. Befuddled by his reanimation, Jack throws Frosty's hat back on his head.

Frosty and Crystal run through the town announcing their wedding to the children. The children gather together with Parson Brown, the local preacher, in town to marry them. Parson Brown says that he can't perform the ceremony, as he can only legally marry real people. Everyone is dejected until Parson Brown suggests they build a "snow parson" with his assistance. After the parson is built, Parson Brown states that "A parson is not a parson 'til he holds the Good Book in his hand." He places his Bible into the snow parson's hand, and like Frosty and Crystal, he is magically brought to life. Jack witnesses this and decides to spoil the wedding with a blizzard. Crystal decides to reason with him and asks for him to be the best man at the wedding (after all, she says, the whole wedding should be wintry, and so it would only be appropriate for him to be the best man). Finally feeling appreciated, Jack agrees. The wedding goes on without a hitch, to the song "Winter Wonderland".

Frosty, Crystal, and Jack have fun with the children all winter, but they notice the weather is starting to grow warm again. Jack decides to make it so that winter lasts forever and Frosty and Crystal can stay. As the overly long winter continues, Parson Brown decides to talk with everyone. He tells them that winter can never last forever, or the trees will never sprout leaves and flowers will never grow. Frosty, Crystal, and Jack are saddened, but acknowledge it's time for them to leave. They once again head for the train to the North Pole (But not before one last skate through town). Frosty and Crystal say their goodbyes to the same traffic cop Frosty encountered in the first special (who is no longer surprised by Frosty's sentience), who wishes them off only to swallow his whistle in shock again when he hears he has married. All traces of winter melt away, but everyone remembered that the winter wonderland was a good memory and good memories can never die, so the narrator said. Because everyone knows that on one not so faraway day, that first snowflake will fall. The scene then shows Jack Frost up in a tree. And in a few months, the whole town becomes a winter wonderland again. The special ends with the narrator saying to the viewers, "May all your winters be wonderful." And Frosty and Crystal responding, "And frosty, too!"

Cast[edit]

  • Dennis Day – Parson Brown, Snow Parson
  • Paul Frees – Jack Frost, Traffic Cop
  • Andy Griffith – Himself (Narrator)
  • Shelly Hines – Elsie's brother
  • Manfreed Olea – Child
  • Eric Stern – Child
  • Barbara Jo Ewing – Elsie
  • The Wee Winter Singers – Children
  • Jackie Vernon – Frosty
  • Shelley Winters – Crystal (Also credited as Mrs. Frosty)

Production credits[edit]

© 1976 Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc.

Television rights[edit]

The rights to this special are held by Warner Bros. Television Distribution, which licenses the show to Freeform. The latter airs the special annually on its "25 Days of Christmas" marathon.

Because the ownership of the television rights to the Rankin/Bass library was split into two parts (one including all productions prior to 1974 and one including all productions from that point onward) after the company's dissolution in 1987, Frosty's Winter Wonderland was separated from the original Frosty the Snowman special. The telecast rights to the original are now held by CBS, who produced a companion sequel of its own, Frosty Returns, with a totally different cast, style and production staff.

Home video[edit]

Frosty's Winter Wonderland was first released on a compilation VHS tape with the 1981 special The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold by Vestron Video's Lightning Video label in 1985. The same double-feature release was also available in Australia in the late 1980s. Warner Home Video distributed the special for its second VHS release in 1992, and also released it on DVD in 2004 paired with the 1974 special 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The DVD was re-released in 2011.

Culture[edit]

In the 1998 Warner Bros. film Jack Frost, Charlie Frost (Joseph Cross) shows his father Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) some scenes from the special while changing television channels.

External links[edit]