“There must have been some magic in that old straw hat they found…”
Wait a minute. That’s not the way I remember the song. Well… it’s not the same Frosty you remember, either. Frosty’s Winter Wonderland was one of a few sequels that followed the 1969 classic animated special by Rankin & Bass. This one showed up in 1976 and just never did find the same magic that we all remember from the original special. There’s even a good chance you’ve never heard of this one. It’s a kind of Bride of Frankenstein version of the original story.
Winter has arrived once again, and the children miss Frosty terribly. They are trying to build a new one, but it’s just no use. Up in the North Pole, Frosty is just as lonely and he misses the kids. When he hears that a winter storm has hit, he decides it’s time to return, just as he had promised. The kids are all happy to see him, but Jack Frost is getting a little jealous of all of the attention Frosty is getting. He decides to steal the magic hat and silence Frosty forever.
But Frosty is having a problem of his own. He’s still lonely. So the kids decide to build him a snow wife named Crystal. But there’s not another magic hat. Before long everybody learns that love has more magic than any magician’s hat, and soon there are snow parsons and snow dogs.
The cartoon falls quite short of the original special. It’s nice that voice actor Jackie Vernon returned to provide the distinctive voice of Frosty. Shelly Winters provides the voice of Crystal. It is hard to replace someone like Jimmy Durante, who narrated the original special, but I have to say that Andy Griffith might be about as natural as you could get. The song gets a few too many rewrites, and even with so much charm still evident, I never could quite get into any of the Frosty sequels.
This one is strictly for the Frosty enthusiasts who just can’t get enough. But for me, “That’s not Frosty the Snowman.”