Monday, December 9, 2013

Countdown to Christmas: Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)

Frosty The Snowman (Jackie Vernon) returns, 7 years after the original special, in Frosty's Winter Wonderland, which bowed on ABC, instead of CBS, in 1976. This might be because Rankin-Bass were producing most of their holiday specials for ABC, and it had been 2 years since the last one they sold to CBS ('Twas The Night Before Christmas).

This time, the classic carol, "Winter Wonderland", is intertwined with the Frosty mythos. Some kids create a snow-woman for lonely Frosty, which raises the ire of Jack Frost (Paul Frees). A gift of love brings Crystal (Shelley Winters) to life, and, inevitably, she & Frosty are married by Parson Brown (Dennis Day), the minister prominent in "Wonderland", or, actually, a snow-simulcrum of the preacher. Yeah, it does get silly.

Andy Griffith narrated this tale, but a few years later, Frosty would return to CBS in an all-new special that ret-conned Crystal out of existence. Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video produced Frosty Returns, with John Goodman taking over as Frosty, and Jonathan Winters as the narrator. Too many continuity errors, but you'll see that, I'm sure, when we get to Returns.

Now, let's visit Frosty's Winter Wonderland:

A younger, kinder Jack Frost would get his own special a few years after this, airing on NBC, with Robert Morse in the title role. We'll get to him, too.

Rating: None. I didn't see enough of this to merit a rating.

No comments: