Title: Frosty Returns
Release: December 1992
Starring: Jonathan Winters, Jan Hooks, Elisabeth Moss, Brian Doyle-Murray, John Goodman
*Warning, this review may contain spoilers.
In December of 1992, Lorne Michaels thought it was time for Frosty the Snowman to make a triumphant return. Yes, THE Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live fame. Despite a lack of demand from Frosty’s fans, Frosty made an embarrassing and wholly forgettable return to the weekend Christmas special line-up. Frosty the Snowman is a classic Christmas movie driven by fun and magic. Frosty Returns is a faceless “non-sequel” sequel featuring one of the most famous faces in American Christmas lore. Consider yourself lucky that almost 30 years have passed since this release, and you’ve never even heard of this monstrosity.
What is Happening Here?!
Frosty Returns sees the eponymous snowman return to animated television in the most coveted of seasonal airwaves: Christmastime! But in a show of complete disgrace, his look is changed. His voice is changed. His town is changed. Beansboro, the town of which this particular Frosty is living, is on a completely different planet than the town from the 1968 classic. With nearly 25 years between the original and Frosty Returns, I wouldn’t be surprised to see SOME changes, but this looks more like an early 90s CD-ROM point-and-click adventure than a dadgum cartoon show!
If all of that weren’t enough, the characters are an absolute mess, looking like they wanted to mimic some sort of Peanuts characters. Heck, they even went as far as calling the main boy character “Charles” and giving him a near-identical voice and look to someone in a Peanuts special. This is likely due to longtime Peanuts producer Bill Melendez being the director here. The only solid character that drives the story is antagonist Mr. Twitchell (voiced by the inimitable-voiced Brian Doyle-Murray). Mr. Twitchell has just enough villain in him to lend some sort of conflict and credibility to the story, but it’s not even close to enough to save it.
As a fan of the original, I find this installment of a “Frosty TV special” to be awkward and shameful. The overall purpose of Frosty Returns is lost on me as I can’t figure out why anyone thought this would be a good idea. The voice acting is fine, so I’m not here to tear down the acting. I am here because I cannot help but get fired up. My 45th anniversary Blu-ray of Frosty the Snowman comes with Frosty Returns as a free-bonus. Having never even heard of it (and now we know why), I played it for my daughter. She is only 4, so she has no clue what’s going on, but she wanted very little to do with it.
Overall, Frosty Returns is confusing and lacking in quality, character, and anything remotely memorable. The overall endeavor comes off as lazy and heartless. Why you’ve never heard of this turdpile is no surprise to me. IN FACT, it may be a stretch to call it “forgettable” because that means you would have needed to see it in the first place. I have a feeling Frosty Returns was skimmed over for greater television on its debut night. Maybe for classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, It’s a Wonderful Life, Die Hard, and other classics for which Frosty Returns will never be. If the laughable animation doesn’t make you leave the room to vomit, the pure sounds of mediocrity will surely lull you to sleep. And with a run-time of 24 minutes, you may find yourself a little drowsy from such a short nap. Thumpity, thump, thump. Thumpity, thump, thump, look at Frosty Returns go straight into the trashcan.
Thanks for reaching the end of the article! This piece is apart of our Modern Neon Christmas Bonanza, where we are looking at 25 of our favorite or well-known Christmas movies. So click through to see the previous and next movie, or go back to the home page to find your favorite movie!
David “Nerdberry” is the proud founder and owner of Nerdbacon.com, a video game reviews and news website. Nerdberry owns a local pressure washing business in North Carolina, has a family, and a little house. With a college background in film and a personal love for dissecting movies, he feels aptly suited for Modern-Neon. The jury is still out on whether or not Modern-Neon wants him. We’ll see. But he is excited to be part of the team here in an effort to help it grow!