What would the holidays be without great Rankin-Bass animated specials like Frosty The Snowman? 43 years young today, Frosty The Snowman is not that horrible sequel Frosty Returns (which was cel animated), but proper stop motion animation and narration by none other than Jimmy Durante.
A discarded silk tophat becomes the focus of a struggle between a washed-up stage magician and a group of schoolchildren after it magically brings a snowman to life. Realizing that newly-living Frosty will melt in spring unless he takes refuge in a colder climate, Frosty and a young girl who he befriends stow away on a freight train headed for the north pole. Little do they know that the magician is following them, and he wants his hat back. This animated short is based on the popular Christmas song of the same name.
June Foray was recorded as the voice of Karen (along with the Teacher), but only her voice as the Teacher remained in the finished cartoon, as she was replaced as Karen by another actress. “To this day, I am unsure of the reason,” Foray recalled.
The story of Frosty the Snowman had earlier been animated in a five-minute, black and white cartoon originally shown on “Garfield Goose and Friends.”
One of the sequels to this cartoon, “Frosty Returns,” was not produced by Rankin/Bass.