Appreciating all that makes America special

Frosty the Snowman, TV Special

Frosty originally had life in 1950 as a song by Gene Autry. He found animated life in this 1969 television special. Uploaded by

In 1949, Gene Autry recorded a song called “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Big hit. The next year he wanted another fun Christmas song, and found “Frosty the Snowman.” Another big hit. Fast forward a couple of decades, and the Rankin/Bass animation folks made TV specials out of these two songs. Frosty has been running every year since its first broadcast in 1969.

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Unlike Rudolph, which used clunky stop-action animation, Frosty was Rankin/Bass’s first effort in traditional cel animation. It featured the voices of Jimmy Durante as the narrator and droll comedian Jackie Vernon as the title character. A couple of the minor parts were voiced by June Foray. That name may not mean anything to you, but she was also the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, and the original Chatty Cathy doll.

Somehow, you know it’s Christmas when you hear Durante, er, Frosty say, “I suppose it all started with the snow. You see, it was a very special kind of snow. A snow that made the happy happier, and the giddy even giddier. A snow that’d make a homecoming homier, and natural enemies, friends, natural. For it was the first snow of the season. And as any child can tell you, there’s a certain magic that comes with the very first snow, especially when it falls on the day before Christmas.”

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