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Frosty The Snowman

Frosty The Snowman

By Patrick Samuel • December 16th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (TV SPECIAL)
CBS

Original airdate: December 7th, 1969
Running time: 26 minutes

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jnr
Writers: Romeo Muller

Voice cast: Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon, Paul Frees, June Foray

Frosty The Snowman

I first moved to the UK in 1988 when I was 8 years old. Coming from a warm climate that only had two seasons (rainy and sunny), one thing I looked forward to experiencing first-hand was snow. I’d seen quite a few films, television shows and cartoons and I remembering looking at picture books with kids playing in the snow, throwing snowballs and riding sleds and these were all thing things I wanted to try out myself, along with building a snowman.

Having also seen Frosty The Snowman when I was much younger, I knew that if I built one like him he wouldn’t come to life, but still half the fun was just being able to build him and share in some of the winter fun the kids in that nostalgic television special had.

First aired by CBS on December 7th 1969, Frosty The Snowman shows a snowman being built by a group of children in their school playground after its been snowing heavily. Not just with ordinary snow, but Christmas snow! With a “corncob pipe, a button nose and two eyes made out of coal,” he’s the perfect snowman and they give him the name “Frosty” as suggested by Karen, one of the kids. They didn’t like “Oatmeal” which was suggested by someone else.

When Karen finds a hat that belonged to the villainous Professor Hinkle, a magician whose magic tricks have never worked, she places it on Frosty’s head and much to the children’s delight he comes alive and says “Happy Birthday!” When Hinkle finds out, he’s determined to get the hat back as he’s convinced it contains magical powers if it can bring a snowman to life. “It will make me a millionaire magician” he says. He takes the hat away from Frosty and the jolly snowman goes back to being a regular non-moving snowman, leaving the kids very sad.

Frosty The Snowman

Hocus Pocus, the fluffy little white rabbit that lives in Hinkle’s hat, hops all the way back and returns it to Frosty, bringing him to life again, and once more he says “Happy Birthday!” Totally happy to be alive but not really sure he can believe it, he asks the children “Could I really be alive? I mean, I can make words, I can move, I can juggle, I can sweep, I can count to 10…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 6 8…well I can count to 5!”

He’s really a “jolly, happy soul”, singing, dancing and playing with the children, but as he begins to sweat, something else occurs to him. The temperature seems to be rising and as he explains to Karen “When the temperature goes up, I start to melt. And when I start to melt I get all wishy-washy!” They come up with a plan to get Frosty to the North Pole where he’ll always be cold and won’t melt. Making a parade out of it, Frosty, the kids and Hocus Pocus march through the town, but the grown-ups have never seen a snowman quite like Frosty before and are a little bit shocked.

Frosty, Karen and Hocus Pocus stowaway on a train headed north but when Karen becomes ill due to the cold, Frosty takes her in his arms and gets off the train to try Frosty The Snowmanand keep her warm. Hinkle’s still following them, wanting to get his hat back. Where or where can Frosty get help, especially on Christmas Eve?

Watching Frosty The Snowman is really one of my earliest and happiest memories and I do remember being very sad when Frosty melted. The show has an overall natural warmth and joy, despite its sad moments, and it hasn’t seemed to have aged at all. The animation and colours capture the winter wonderland perfectly and evoke a vintage feeling in the magical time before everything looked like Pixar.

Though it would be another three years before I actually saw any snow, in February 1991, it was well worth the wait. Being able to go outside and build my snowman with a corncob pipe, a button nose and two eyes made out of coal made me feel like one of the kids I remembered from this much-treasured Christmas special, the only thing he was missing Hinkle’s hat – which, looking back on it, might’ve made all the difference.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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