Writing Wins and Woes: Facts About Frosty

If you read last week’s blog, you’ll understand why I followed it up with today’s theme, “Frosty the Snowman”.  I loved these classics when I was a kid and still like to watch them. I’m almost disappointed that at this point in time I don’t have a kid to watch them with as there is nothing more magical than sharing Christmas classics with a child.

Making a snowman is one of those fun things about winter time. I hate winter these days but going out into that snowy weather and having snowball fights and creating an artsy snowman can make winter almost bearable. Notice I said almost.

“Frosty the Snowman” began as a song. It was recorded in 1950 by Gene Autry. It followed immediately on the heels of Rudolph, which was such a tremendous success. Frosty climbed to #7 on the charts that year. The song was written by Steve Nelson and Walter Rollins, who also wrote “Peter Cottontail”.

One of the most famous pieces of trivia about the song is that it doesn’t mention Christmas in it at all. It was animated into a story in 1969 and starred the voices of Jimmy Durante, who really was a nice guy and loved children, and Jackie Vernon.

However, the 1969 version wasn’t the first animation of the story. In 1954 UPA animated Frosty in a jazzy three minute song version that is pretty funny. You can find it on Youtube if you google it.

The 1969 version of the story was, of course, made by Rankin-Bass and was the first of their animations to use traditional animation. It was produced by a Japanese company that also made “Kimba the White Lion” and “Astro Boy”, if you are old enough to remember those golden oldies.

The village square mentioned in the song is based in Armonk, New York. By the way, snowmen date back to the middle ages. Here’s a tidbit for you. Michelangelo was commissioned to build a snowman for the ruler of Florence Italy in 1494 in his mansion’s courtyard.

The sad part about snowmen is that they melt. You just can’t keep them, no matter how hard you try. But as Frosty says, they’ll be back again someday, when you create another snowman masterpiece. 1072

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