Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
|Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July|
DVD cover depicting Rudolph, Winterbolt, Frosty and Crystal
|Screenplay by||Romeo Muller|
|Directed by||Arthur Rankin Jr.|
|Voices of||Red Buttons|
Billie Mae Richards
(arranger and conductor)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||Arthur Rankin, Jr.|
|Running time||97 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Rankin/Bass Productions|
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (titled on-screen as Rudolph and Frosty: Christmas in July, or simply Rudolph and Frosty) is an American crossover Christmas television special produced by Rankin/Bass, featuring characters from the company's holiday specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, among others. It was filmed in Japan using the company's trademark "Animagic" stop-motion animation style. The film premiered in the US on November 25, 1979 on ABC.
This was the last Rankin/Bass special to star Billie Mae Richards as Rudolph and Jackie Vernon as Frosty. Mickey Rooney reprised his role as Santa Claus from Santa Claus is Comin' To Town and The Year Without A Santa Claus. He would voice Santa again in Film Roman's The Happy Elf in 2005, but would not return as Santa for a Rankin-Bass special until A Miser Brothers' Christmas in 2008. Additional voices were provided by Red Buttons, Ethel Merman, Alan Sues, Paul Frees, and Thurl Ravenscroft. Shelley Winters reprised her role as Frosty's wife Crystal from Frosty's Winter Wonderland, and Hal Peary reprised his role as Big Ben the Clockwork Whale from Rudolph's Shiny New Year.
Many years in the past, the evil ice wizard Winterbolt reigns over the North Pole, oppressing the inhabitants and spreading misery. The Queen of the Northern Lights, Lady Boreal, ends Winterbolt's tyranny by sending him into a deep sleep, but is severely weakened by the act. In Winterbolt's absence, a young Kris Kringle comes to the North Pole to build his workshop, and begins his tradition of delivering gifts to the world's children each Christmas Eve as Santa Claus.
Years later, Winterbolt awakens. He discovers Santa, and consults his Genie of the Ice Scepter for answers on how to get rid of him. The Genie tells Winterbolt to have his twin snow dragons create a blizzard next Christmas to trap Santa, so that Winterbolt can take his place and conquer the world. Lady Boreal, anticipating this, visits a newborn reindeer named Rudolph and puts the last of her power into his nose, making it glow bright red. She warns Rudolph, however, that if he ever once uses his power for evil, his nose will stop glowing forever. That Christmas, Rudolph successfully guides Santa's sleigh through the blizzard. Winterbolt witnesses this and realizes Rudolph is his only opposition.
One summer, Frosty the Snowman and his family visit Rudolph. Frosty's kids Chilly and Milly ask Rudolph to make his nose glow, though Winterbolt unsuccessfully tries to extinguish it. The Genie tells Winterbolt that Rudolph is still protected by the Northern Lights in their presence, and advises him to wait for Rudolph to leave the North Pole. Rudolph's ice cream salesman friend, Milton, is planning to marry his girlfriend, Laine Lorraine, at her mother Lilly's circus by the beach, but it is almost bankrupt and greedy businessman Sam Spangles is trying to buy it from them. Winterbolt compels Santa to take Rudolph, Frosty, and his family along to perform at the circus to help business, planning to lay a trap for Rudolph. Winterbolt gives Frosty and his family magic amulets to keep them from melting until the last firework disappears on the Fourth of July.
As they arrive at the circus, Santa promises to pick up Frosty and family before the amulets run out. When he leaves, Winterbolt's dragons create another blizzard, and he becomes lost. Winterbolt then recruits an outcast reindeer named Scratcher, who is jealous of Rudolph's fame, to frame him. Scratcher tricks Rudolph into stealing money from the box office wagon for Spangles, but Frosty catches them. As the fireworks end, Winterbolt returns and offers to extend Frosty's amulets infinitely if Rudolph agrees to appear guilty. Rudolph does so, causing his friends to reject him and his nose to stop glowing. Frosty tries to reason with everyone, but Rudolph warns him that he and his family will melt if he does so. Spangles subsequently buys the circus.
Rudolph walks alone to the seashore, despondent, though Lady Boreal appears and tries to console him. Rudolph's friend Big Ben the Clockwork Whale visits, and Rudolph tells him of his troubles. Big Ben suddenly leaves, telling Rudolph he has to go to South America. Rudolph realizes he cannot run away from his problems, and heads back to the circus.
Winterbolt asks the Genie about Frosty, and learns that the hat Frosty wears is magical and gives him life. Winterbolt gets the idea to use the hat to create an army of snowmen, and obtains the hat from Frosty. Rudolph ambushes Winterbolt, steals the hat back, and regains his nose's glow thanks to his act of goodness. Rudolph returns to the circus the next day with a policeman, returning Frosty's hat and exposing Winterbolt's ruse. Scratcher flees while the policeman arrests Spangles and Lilly gets the circus back. Winterbolt appears and tries to attack everyone, but Lilly shatters his scepter, destroying his magic and causing him to turn into a lifeless tree. Frosty's amulets also lose their power, causing him and his family to melt.
Everyone mourns, but Big Ben returns carrying Jack Frost, who brings Frosty and his family back to life with his icy breath. Santa arrives to take everyone home, but Rudolph stays behind to help the circus. Out of gratitude, Lilly makes him the leader of a new parade for which the circus animals have all consumed magic feed corn, allowing them to fly as Rudolph can.
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" – Chorus
- "Everything I've Always Wanted" – Crystal
- "Everything I've Always Wanted (reprise)" – Milton
- "Everyday Is Just Like Christmas" – Lily
- "Chicken Today And Feathers Tomorrow" – Lily
- "I See Rainbows" – Santa, Chorus
- "Don't Let The Parade Pass You By" – Lily
- "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" – Chorus
- "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" – Lanie, Chorus
- "Everything I've Always Wanted (second reprise)" – Frosty
- "No Bed of Roses" – Rudolph
- "Frosty the Snowman" – Chorus
- "Now And Then" – Frosty
- "We're a Couple of Misfits" – Frosty and Rudolph
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (reprise)" – Lily, Chorus
- Billie Mae Richards – Rudolph
- Thurl Ravenscroft – Genie of the Ice Scepter (uncredited)
- Red Buttons – Milton
- Alan Sues – Scratcher
- Darlene Conley – Mrs. Claus
- Shelby Flint – Laine Loraine
- Ethel Merman – Lilly Loraine
- Paul Frees – Winterbolt, Keeper of the Cave, Jack Frost, Officer Kelly
- Don Messick – Sam Spangles, Donner, Santa's Cuckoo Clock, Clowns
- Hal Peary – Big Ben the Clockwork Whale
- Mickey Rooney – Santa Claus
- Bob McFadden – Santa Claus (singing voice)
- Jackie Vernon – Frosty
- Shelley Winters – Crystal
- Nellie Bellflower – Lady Boreal