DVD Review: Frosty’s Winter Wonderland

Frosty the Snowman is the most horrifying of Christmas specials. The whole thing starts out fun with a snowman coming to life thanks to a magical hat. But things get nasty as it becomes a reflection on death. Odds are that your little kid will cry uncontrollably at the scary climax. Frosty melts. You don’t need interrupt your mall shopping time to explain the mortality of ice creatures. Frosty’s Winter Wonderland is more appropriate for the holiday season as Rankin/Bass figured out a truly happy ending.

Frosty returns to the kids as promised when winter returns to their town. The kids are so excited for they have a surprise for Frosty. They’ve going to get him hitched to a snowwoman. Jealous comes from Jack Frost being upset that the kids don’t love him. He wants to ruin Frosty’s wedding to teach the kids a lesson. Frosty patches things up with Jack Frost, but the honeymoon gets cut short with the fast arrival of spring. This special was made in 1976 before talk of climate change. Frosty and his wife have to catch a train’s freezer car to the North Pole. Do they make it this time or will your kids be crying uncontrollably for the next three hours? Not to spoil the action, but the ending is not nightmare inducing.

Jackie Vernon returns as the voice of Frosty, but he’s got a whole new cast of supporting actors. Andy Griffith replaces Jimmy Durante as the narrator. Andy sings the song with his country charm straight from Mayberry. Frosty’s wife is Shelley Winters. It’s a role she was born to play. Frosty’s Winter Wonderland is a sequel that’s more entertaining without the abject horror of the original.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer looks fine. You’ll see the details in Andy Griffith’s animated face. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The mix is good for the singing and speaking. There’s a Spanish dub track. The subtitles are in English.

Frosty and the Story of the Snowman (9:21) delves into the background of this winter guest. Most of the information comes from Bob Eckstein, author of “The History of the Snowman.” They include plenty of trivia such as how many snowflakes it needs to make a snowman. You’ll be filled with enough trivia to outlast the eggnog at your office Christmas party.

Frosty’s Winter Wonderland revives the magical snowman. The sequel shouldn’t inspire the tears of children with a truly happy ending.

Warner Home Video presents Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. Directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. Starring: Andy Griffith, Shelley Winters and Jackie Vernon. Running Time: 24 minutes. Released on DVD: October 4, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.

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