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|
|Original network||American Broadcasting Company|
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (commonly known by its on-screen title 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 including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. It was filmed in Japan through "Animagic", a stop-motion animation process in the style of Rudolph. The film premiered in the US on November 25, 1979 on the ABC network.
Jackie Vernon and Shelley Winters reprised their roles as Frosty the Snowman and his wife Crystal, Billie Mae Richards once again provided the voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Mickey Rooney provided the voice of Santa Claus once more (Rooney previously voiced Santa in Santa Claus is Comin' To Town and The Year Without A Santa Claus). Paul Frees, Thurl Ravenscroft, Red Buttons and Ethel Merman also provide voices. This would be the last Christmas special to star Billie Mae Richards and Jackie Vernon as the voices of Rudolph and Frosty, respectively, as well as Mickey Rooney as the voice of Santa until 2005's The Happy Elf and 2008's A Miser Brothers' Christmas.
Winterbolt, a powerful, wicked snow wizard (voiced by Paul Frees) has caused havoc upon the people who have entered his domain. He is then punished by the Queen of the Northern Lights, Lady Boreal (Nellie Bellflower), when she places a spell on him that puts him in a deep sleep. Years later, Winterbolt awakens and in her final act of magic, Boreal transfers the last of her power into Rudolph's red nose when he is born, which will stop glowing if it is ever used for evil. Winterbolt learns of this through his Genie of the Ice Scepter (voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft) and plans not only to dispose of Rudolph, the only power capable of stopping him, but also to reclaim his territory from Santa Claus. Meanwhile, an ice cream man named Milton (Red Buttons) from Lily Loraine's Circus by the Sea arrives and tells Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman that he plans to marry Lainie Loraine (Shelby Flint), the tightrope walker, if they star in the circus.
Winterbolt offers Frosty and his family (Crystal, Milly & Chilly), magic amulets to keep them from melting and enable them to perform in Lily's circus, but they will only be protected until the final firework fades on the fourth. Santa agrees to pick up Frosty and family before the magic wears off, but Winterbolt has his ice dragons create a blizzard to prevent Santa from arriving on time. Winterbolt then goes to the Cave of Lost Rejections and recruits an unintelligent, nasty reindeer named Scratcher (Alan Sues), who is jealous because he wanted to be one of Santa's reindeer but got fired when Santa hired Rudolph. Now, Winterbolt recruits him to try to get Rudolph to turn, or at least appear, evil in the eyes of his friends. With the blizzard keeping Santa from getting to the circus, Frosty and family are worried. When Scratcher arrives, he forms an alliance with Sam Spangles (Don Messick), who covets Lily Loraine's circus, during the parade.
Scratcher, taking advantage of Rudolph's kindness, tricks him into stealing money from the box office wagon and giving it to a Policeman-disguised Spangles. Rudolph agrees to appear guilty after making a deal with Winterbolt to extend the powers of the amulets Frosty's family wears for an infinite time in exchange. Frosty's family and friends and Lily are upset when Rudolph tells them he stole the money and his nose stops glowing, although Frosty knows the truth, Rudolph tells him he can never tell anyone or Frosty and his family would melt. The circus is then purchased by Spangles who makes changes to everyone's act and tells Lily, and those loyal to her, to clear out.
While moping by the seashore, Big Ben the Clockwork Whale (Hal Peary) arrives, and Rudolph tells him his problems. Ben abruptly leaves telling Rudolph he has to go to South America. Winterbolt takes advantage of Frosty by lying that he can restore Rudolph's glow in exchange for Frosty's hat, with the intention of using its magic powers to create an army of snowmen. Hearing the voice of Lady Boreal telling him to be brave, Rudolph chases Winterbolt and fights his way past his snakes, managing to steal back the hat and his nose regains its glow.
Rudolph returns to the circus with a policeman, who sets the record straight that Rudolph is innocent. The policeman also returns Frosty's hat, bringing him back to life, and everyone apologizes to Rudolph. Winterbolt arrives and tries to attack everyone, but Lily throws her guns at his scepter, breaking it and causing him to turn into a strange and creepy-looking tree. Spangles is arrested and Scratcher flees with Winterbolt's defeat, but unfortunately, the magic keeping Frosty and his family frozen disappears and they melt. However, Jack Frost (also voiced by Paul Frees) arrives from South America on Big Ben and brings Frosty and his family back to life with his cold breath. Santa and Mrs. Claus finally arrive to bring them back to the North Pole, but Rudolph stays behind to help the circus out of debt, and Lily lets him lead the flying circus parade to thank him for all his help.
- "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
- Mickey Rooney – Santa Claus
- Bob McFadden – Santa Claus (singing voice)
- Jackie Vernon – Frosty
- Shelley Winters – Crystal Frosty
- Nellie Bellflower – Lady Boreal