Retro Review: Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman

Retro Review:  Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman

I’ve tried repeatedly to warn you people about the horror of Christmas specials.  But you just won’t listen to reason.  So with a weary sigh, I present to you my final argument:  The Frosty the Snowman animated feature by Rankin and Bass studios.  If this abominable snowman won’t change your minds, I’ll have to resort to witchcraft.  Just like Frosty.  You’ve been warned.

Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Come in, Father, you look like a religious man…

Frosty the Snowman (1969)

Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Are those children engaged in a summoning ritual? Yes. Yes they are.
Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Pictured: future To Catch a Predator star.

A cautionary tale to youngsters about the dangers of sorcery, Frosty the Snowman begins harmlessly enough when a drop out from Hogwarts less prestigious sister school for terminally inept magicians attempts to dazzle an audience of school children with his arcane and forbidden arts.  Being the entitled little shits that they are, the children show their disdain for the sorcerer supreme by leaving the classroom and making a snowman outside.



Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Not a career goal, children.

Now, I’ve got a little background in education, and I have to say that there is some serious problems going on in this classroom.  First, bringing in a magician is not a solid game plan.  A. magicians are only slightly less creepy than clowns, and this one is probably just sizing up his next victim, and B. What’s the upside if this activity actually goes according to plan?  You inspire a gaggle of children into the lucrative field of street magic?  If this kind of poor lesson planning is responsible for David Blaine or Chris Angel, we’ve got grounds for a class action lawsuit here.  Second, if your class responds to a botched lecture by physically leaving the room, you may have already lost the discipline battle a long time ago.  Perhaps you shouldn’t have started the school year by showing these future teamsters F.I.S.T, genius.

Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Fuck art class! Strike! Strike!
Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
I need my fix children. You understand, right?

Getting back to the horror, the magician’s hat is put on the children’s frozen water golem, and it shudders to life, screaming Happy Birthday, your souls are mine!  Or just the Happy Birthday part.  The children frolic with the automaton, but soon Frosty must depart, much like a Victor Frankenstein creation, to the chill lands of the north pole.  Actually, the similarities to Frankenstein are uncanny.  I’m pretty sure Rankin/Bass shot a scene of Frosty murdering the magician’s fiance, but it was cut in favor of another song and dance number.  Anyway, Frosty begins to suffer DTs like an addict without his sweet cold “snow”, and it’s time to do the hobo hop and stow away on a train headed north.

One of the children accompanies Frosty, adding to his list of felonious activities.  The magician has likewise hopped on to the train to follow them, and pursues them doggedly, hoping to raise a golem army with which to show laughing children everywhere who is the boss in the classroom once and for all.  It is surprising we never get to see the three state manhunt in the film, since if a child goes missing the same time the creepy itinerant magician is seen hopping a train out of town, you’d think the feds would have been called…

Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
I just wanted to pet her pretty hair, George. I didn’t mean to break her…

The battle between the hopeless warlock and the befuddled snow-addict culminates in Frosty and the child being locked into an inexplicably placed green house.  The pair are lured there since the child is kind of dying due to severe exposure.  Cold.  Not the severe exposure the magician had in mind.  That’s another movie.

Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Comrade, I’ve buried scores of capitalist pig-dogs like you…give the girl the hat.

Frosty is vanquished, and the magician reigns supreme, until our friend the guerrilla toy maker and slave labor boss, Santa, arrives to dictate terms.  Apparently not acquainted with the concept of private ownership and personal property, Santa leans on the hapless dolt to surrender his hat back to the mud puddle monster, or else be blacklisted forever on his Christmas list.  The magician accedes to these capricious demands, and the mentally challenged snow creature is reborn once again to lead his child army onto the town.  See, happy endings are possible, if you just illegally stow away on a train, wander a frozen wilderness, suffer hypothermia, and pray to a magical Marxist labor boss to strip your rivals of their hard won possessions.  Merry Christmas!

Rankin/Bass Frosty the Snowman Movie review
Leave none alive! Ho, Ho, Ho!

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