Wednesday, December 16, 2009


As has been the case all year with the third week of the month, we're crossing over into the Tooniverse for this week's induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And since it's December, we're going with a holiday cartoon classic: "Frosty the Snowman" has been aired on CBS since my sister's first birthday. He was voiced by the late, dour comic Jackie Vernon who also provided the voice for the sequel, "Frosty's Winter Wonderland". In the early 1990's, CBS produced their own sequel with Bill Melendez rather than Rankin-Bass; and this is what always follows the original "Frosty" special. Sadly, it looks like "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" is lost to future generations (unless it's on DVD?).....

Jackie Vernon

. . . Frosty the Snowman (1969)
. . . Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)

John Goodman

. . . Frosty Returns (1992)

Here's a rundown of the plots for the three specials, provided by Wikipedia:

"Frosty The Snowman"

Jimmy Durante provided the narration, with Billy DeWolfe as Professor Hinkle, a frustrated magician who throws away his magic hat after performing in a school Christmas show. The children build a snowman, and Professor Hinkle's hat brings the snowman to life, voiced by Jackie Vernon. With the help of his friend Karen, [Frosty] tries to get to the North Pole before he melts.

"Frosty's Winter Wonderland"
In this sequel to Frosty the Snowman, narrated by Andy Griffith, Frosty gets a wife named Crystal. Other voices include Jackie Vernon, Shelley Winters, Dennis Day, and Paul Frees.

"Frosty Returns"'
Frosty Returns' is a "sequel", or more of a follow up to the original Rankin/Bass Christmas Special, "Frosty the Snowman". This story includes no other characters from either "Frosty the Snowman" or "Frosty's Winter Wonderland". In "Frosty Returns", the plot is a girl and boy with no friends meet frosty and become friends with him. mean while, a crazy old man is selling his new invention of snow melting spray called Summer Wheeze like hotcakes around town because none of the adults seem to enjoy the winter weather. The kids and Frosty must stop Summer Wheeze before it melts everything including Frosty.
In "Frosty Returns", the snowman's voice is now provided by John Goodman. (Jackie Vernon had since passed away.) But there's an easy splainin for this without opting for the alternate dimension route: this time when Frosty was created, it was with a different mix of snow from another region of the country, sort of like a DNA recombinant but with snow. And this caused the variation in his vocal timbre.

This would also be the splainin for the vocal changes of
Frosty the Innapropriate Snowman. These two CBS promos have to be considered part of the Tooniverse now that they've been broadcast, even though it was only on the Internet. (I'm sure FOX News repeated them on the air when they went off on their tirades about it.)

And even though they were first broadcast this year, one of them can be considered as having happened last Christmas season so that the two different voices of Frosty don't have to overlap. And as for the repeat of events in each one from the original cartoon, Toobworld has often seen events repeat themselves - take the "dead magician in the closed coffin at the bottom of a pool" murder case from both the original 'Burke's Law' and in its 1990's sequel.

(Since 'Two And A Half Men' and 'How I Met Your Mother' occur in the main Toobworld, they have no true connection in the grand scheme of things.) Frosty also appeared in a Rankin-Bass theatrical release, once again voiced by Jackie Vernon entitled "Rudolph And Frosty's Christmas In July". But this belongs more in the world of their stop-motion "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer".

So welcome to the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, Frosty! BCnU!

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