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Jack Frost (Rankin/Bass)

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Jack Frost is an animated television special, directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. and written by Romeo Muller; it premiered on NBC on December 13, 1979. The special is narrated by Pardon-Me-Pete, a groundhog voiced by Buddy Hackett.


SPOILER: Plot details or story follow.

Papa and Mama look in horror at Kubla Kraus.

Jack Frost, an immortal winter sprite, falls in love with a human girl named Elisa after rescuing her. Jack asks Father Winter if he can become human in order to be with her. Father Winter (voiced by Paul Frees) gives him a chance, but warns that Jack must prove he can succeed as a human, by earning a house, a horse, a bag of gold, and a wife by the first sign of spring; if not, he will become a sprite again. Jack agrees and turns human, assuming the identity of Jack Snip. He runs a tailor shop in the town of January Junction with two friends who also turned human, Snip the snowflake maker and Holly the holiday snow gypsy. Snip and Holly were sent by Father Winter to ensure Jack does not get into trouble (Snip bears similarities in skin tone and clothing to Snow Miser). Elisa is charmed by "Jack Snip," but she harbors romantic dreams of Sir Raveneau, a "knight in golden armor."


Elisa is kidnapped by the evil Cossack King Kubla Kraus, who has an army of Keh-Nights, as well as a menacing mechanical horse named Klangstumper. Kraus also possesses all the brick, gold, and timber that January Junction used to. He lives in a castle on Miserable Mountain with his sidekick, a ventriloquist's dummy named Dummy. After Elisa is rescued by a knight named Sir Raveneau, Kubla vows to destroy January Junction, and he imprisons Jack Snip, Snip, and Holly. Jack decides to become a sprite again in order to whip up the biggest snow storm ever seen, freezing Kraus in his castle. Snip and Holly change back to sprites as well. This tactic works until Groundhog Day comes. Jack Frost uses his shadow to scare Pete back to hibernation, and continues whipping up the storm.


Pardon-Me-Pete and Jack.

Finally, with only one hour left before the arrival of spring, Jack returns to human form in an attempt to meet Father Winter's conditions and win Elisa. He battles Kubla Kraus which ends with him falling out of his castle and blown very far by Father Winter. Jack then claims the gold, Klangstumper, and the castle. He races off to ask Elisa for her hand in marriage, but during his absence she has fallen in love with Sir Raveneau, and he with her. Jack becomes a sprite again for good, and blows ice onto Elisa's wedding bouquet, turning it white. When asked about the change, she sheds a tear, saying "An old friend just kissed the bride." Snip calls out to Jack that winter wouldn't be the same without him.

SPOILER: Plot details or story follow.


Broadcast history and availability

This film has been in the public domain since the mid-1990s and has been released on VHS and DVD multiple times. In the fall of 2008, however, Warner Home Video released it as a Deluxe Edition DVD. Since Warner Bros. own all of the original Rankin/Bass film materials of this show (as part of their ownership of Rankin/Bass' post-1973 output), it is considered to be an official version, and it is also the first time the film is displayed from a 35 mm print (as opposed to the 16 mm used by the public domain versions). The Deluxe Edition DVD disc was later included in Warner's Santa's Magical Stories box set in 2011 and again in the 4 Kid Favorites: Holiday Family Fun Collection DVD set in 2013. It was reissued again as part of the 4 Kid Favorites: Merry Menagerie box set in 2015.


Voice actor Character
Buddy Hackett Pardon-Me-Pete
Robert Morse Jack Frost
Paul Frees Kubla Kraus
Father Winter
Larry Storch Papa
Dave Garroway Groundhog Day Television Reporter
Debra Clinger Elisa
Don Messick Snip
Dee Stratton Mama
Sonny Melendrez Sir Raveneau
Dina Lynn Holly

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed
content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerCricket on the HearthThe Little Drummer BoyFrosty the SnowmanSanta Claus is Comin' to Town • "A Christmas Tree" • 'Twas the Night Before ChristmasThe Year Without a Santa ClausThe First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas SnowFrosty's Winter WonderlandRudolph's Shiny New YearThe Little Drummer Boy, Book IINestor, the Long-Eared Christmas DonkeyThe Stingiest Man in TownRudolph and Frosty's Christmas in JulyJack FrostPinocchio's ChristmasThe Leprechauns' Christmas GoldThe Life and Adventures of Santa ClausSanta, Baby!

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