The Legend of Frosty the Snowman
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|The Legend of Frosty the Snowman|
|Written by||Emily Kapnek|
|Directed by||Greg Sullivan|
|Narrated by||Burt Reynolds|
|Music by||Jared Faber|
|Country of origin||United States|
Kathy Antonsen Rocchio
|Running time||67 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Studio B Productions|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Original network||Cartoon Network (2005-2011)|
Kids & Teens TV (2011-present)
The Legend of Frosty the Snowman is a 2005 American/Canadian direct-to-video animated film produced by Classic Media and Studio B Productions. It is the fifth and final television special featuring the character Frosty the Snowman. This movie has also been bundled with the original 1969 Rankin/Bass special and the CBS Entertainment Productions sequel. The special originally aired annually on Cartoon Network in the United States, and it now airs on Kids & Teens TV in the country since December 11, 2011, despite the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, which acquired Classic Media and renamed it DreamWorks Classics in 2012, and currently distributed by Universal Television. Narrated and sung by Burt Reynolds, with veteran actor/voice artist Bill Fagerbakke in the role of Frosty, the film has very little continuity with the original, featuring a different back-story. Shortly after the special was released, the Frosty the Snowman franchise went into dormancy.
At the beginning of the story, we see Frosty’s hat escape from a locked chest in an attic, fly out a window, and descend on the picture perfect town of Evergreen, where all the local children are bound to a ridiculously strict curfew and not allowed to have any kind of fun whatsoever. Frosty first reveals himself to Tommy Tinkerton (voiced by Kath Soucie), the son of the town’s impossibly upbeat but no-nonsense mayor, Mr. Tinkerton (voiced by Tom Kenny). Tommy dares not to accept Frosty’s invitation to play outside in the snow, because he’s afraid of disappointing his father. So Frosty instead befriends Tommy’s best friend, Walter Wader, who shocks everyone, especially his very strict mother, by breaking curfew and flying, sledding, and snowball-fighting with Frosty.
Walter’s rule-breaking gets all the kids of Evergreen talking, but it greatly upsets the short-tempered Principal Pankley (voiced by Larry Miller), who is even more adamantly opposed to magic than Mr. Tinkerton. Principal Pankley uses the arrival of Frosty to sow doubts among the townspeople about Mayor Tinkerton’s leadership, and little by little he begins to take over the town.
But once magic is stirred up, it isn’t easily contained. One by one, Frosty wins over the other kids of Evergreen, including Tommy's older brother, Charles, Tommy's love interest, Sara Simple (voiced by Tara Strong) (a sharp, independent girl who wants to be an urban planner instead of a "princess"); and the triplets, Sonny, Sully, and Simon Sklarew. Frosty befriends each of them through the simple means of believing in them, which inspires them to begin to believe in themselves.
Increasingly desperate to deny the existence of Frosty and keep Evergreen fun-free, Principal Pankley tricks Walter Wader into helping him lure Frosty for some ice-skating fun, then tricks Frosty into venturing onto thin ice. Before Walter can save his friend, Frosty falls through the ice and melts, and Principal Pankley captures Frosty’s hat, which is the key to his magic.
As all of this unfolds, Tommy Tinkerton, who was the first one to whom Frosty appeared, has been sitting on the sidelines, watching his best friend, his brother, and his love interest experiencing adventure and magic in which he could share. But he has held back, even though he yearns to meet Frosty, out of loyalty to his dad (because he knows his dad would disapprove of him acknowledging the existence of magic).
Everything changes, though, when Tommy finds a secret room beneath the library, in which he discovers a comic book filled with secrets about Frosty. At first, most of the comic book is blank. Each time Tommy checks it again, new panels appear. Over the course of several scenes, Tommy learns that Frosty’s magic is in his hat; that his dad (Mr. Tinkerton) met Frosty when he was a boy, and did believe in magic once upon a time; and that Principal Pankley, a childhood friend of his father’s, took Frosty’s hat and hid it away in an attic (the same attic from which the hat escaped at the beginning of the story), causing young Mr. Tinkerton to lose his faith in magic. The comic book also reveals to Tommy what Principal Pankley has just done (with Walter Wader’s unwitting help) to recapture Frosty.
All this time, Tommy has held back from befriending Frosty out of loyalty to his dad, who has always told Tommy not to believe in magic. But now Tommy sees that his dad once believed in magic, too, but was tricked into losing faith. And Tommy realizes that the most loyal thing he can do is not to hide from magic, but to help his dad rediscover that magic is indeed real.
Tommy explains what’s really going on to Charlie, Sara, Walter, and the Sklarew triplets, and leads a daring rescue of Frosty’s hat in which all the kids help out. A climactic series of scenes follows in which Principal Pankley tries and fails to recapture the hat, then tries to deter the townspeople (including Mr. Tinkerton) from going into the woods to see what all the ruckus and noise are about. But Mr. Tinkerton refuses to be deterred, and Tommy is able to reintroduce his dad to the old friend, who Mr. Tinkerton had long since stopped believing in.
Meanwhile, the other parents are confused and angry: why are their kids out at night? And can this magical snowman they’ve been hearing about be real after all? Principal Pankley tries to stir them up to regain control of the situation, but Walter Wader breaks the spell by throwing a snowball at Principal Pankley. And one by one, the other kids and parents join in, until the town of Evergreen, which had forgotten how to have fun, gives itself over joyously to a “snowball-fighting, horseplaying, lark of a good time.”
A brief epilogue shows us Evergreen transformed—with Mr. Tinkerton doing magic tricks, Charles playing football, Tommy skateboarding, and Sara reading a book about urban planning.
All along, the story has been narrated (à la “Our Town”) by a warm, wise, seemingly omniscient old man who appears periodically and comments on the events unfolding in Evergreen. In the final scene of the movie,it is revealed that the narrator is Tommy, all grown up and now married to Sara; and he has been telling us his own story.
- Bill Fagerbakke as Frosty
- Burt Reynolds as Narrator
- Grey DeLisle as Miss Sharpey, Simon Sklarew, Sullivan Sklarew
- Jeannie Elias as Charlie Tinkerton, Librarian
- Evan Gore as Paperboy
- David Jeremiah as Mr. Simple, Townsperson #1, Mr. Sklarew
- Tom Kenny as Mr. Tinkerton
- Tress MacNeille as Mrs. Simple, Girl #1
- Kenn Michael as Walter Wader
- Larry Miller as Principal Pankley
- Candi Milo as Mrs. Tinkerton, Girl #2
- Kath Soucie as Tommy Tinkerton, Old Sara Simple
- Tara Strong as Sara Simple, Sonny Sklarew
- Vernee Watson-Johnson as Mrs. Wader
- Director: Greg Sullivan
- Writer: Emily Kapnek
- Story: Tony Benedict
- Casting Director: Barbara Wright
- Storyboard: Jan Green, Kirk Hanson, Scott Jeralds, David Thrasher
- Design Clean-up: Patrick Dufresne
- Graphic Design: Ric Gonzales, Martin Strudler
- Sheet Timing: Chad Van De Keere, Dale Baer, John Wilson, Mike Stribling, Michael Longden
- Animation: Norm McCabe, Tom Ray, Joe Roman, Allen Wilzbach, Malcolm Draper, Glen Kennedy, Brad Case, Art Leonardi, John Gibbs, Bob Kirk, Bill Hutten, Warren Batchelder, Bob Richardson, Michael Toth, Jon McClenahan, Steven Gordon, Leslie Gorin, Jesse Cosio, Charlie Downs
- Layouts: George Goode, Mario Piluso, Dan Krall, Ed Ghertner
- Backgrounds: Andrew Phillipson, Michael Humphries, Tim Maloney, Raymond Zibach
- Digital Timing: Chad Van De Keere, Richard Corwin
- Digital Supervisor: Mark Anthony Rocchio
- Voice Director: Evan Gore, Chad Van De Keere
- Sound Editors: Todd Araki, Jason Frederickson, Michael Bradley, Brian F. Mars
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Marcel Duperreault
- Film Editor: David H. DePatie Jr.
- Camera: Ray Lee
- Animation Production by: Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd.
- Produced by: Evan Baily & Kathy Antonsen Rocchio
Though technically a sequel to the classic 1969 Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman, The Legend of Frosty the Snowman holds only loose continuity with it. The characters in flashbacks resemble those of the original film but have different names and roles. The young Mayor Tinkerton strongly resembles one of the unnamed children from the first film, and his father also shares the design of Professor Hinkle. Hocus Pocus has a cameo during the bob-sled scene. On the cover of the comic used in the film are two other children that also resemble the original film's cast. Frosty's back story is strongly altered, but still features him being brought to life by the hat's magic. Unlike the original film, The Legend of Frosty the Snowman has no narrative connection to Christmas and does not mention the holiday.
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