[[caption-width-right:340:Thumpitty Thump Thump! Thumpitty Thump Thump! Look at that Frosty go![[note]]Thumpitty Thump Thump! Thumpitty Thump Thump! Over the hills of snow![[/note]]]]
->''"Happy Birthday!"''

''Frosty the Snowman'' is a 1969 [[Creator/RankinBassProductions Rankin/Bass]] ChristmasSpecial, telling the story of how a snowman was brought to life by a magic top hat. ''Frosty the Snowman'' is unusual among the Rankin/Bass ''œuvre'' in that it features hand-drawn animation (Courtesy of Creator/MushiProductions), instead of R/B's usual "Animagic" StopMotion puppet process.

The script is by Rankin/Bass' favorite writer, Romeo Muller, and as usual, is built around a classic holiday tune (although technically, [[BeamMeUpScotty the original song doesn't actually mention Christmas at all]]), though the usual additional original songs by Maury Laws and Jules Bass are conspicuously missing.

It is notable that in the audio album version of this special, Creator/JuneForay voices Karen, and indeed all the children's parts, whereas the televised version uses the voices of actual (uncredited) children.

A sequel, ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland'', was produced in 1976 and the feature-length {{Crossover}} ''Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July'' (which, unlike the previous installments, [[ArtShift utilized R/B's "Animagic" process]]) followed in 1979; Jackie Vernon reprised the part of Frosty in both, and over the course of them our hero acquires a snow-wife (Crystal, voiced by Shelley Winters) and even snow-kids. A non-Rankin/Bass sequel, ''Frosty Returns'', with John Goodman as the title character and Creator/JonathanWinters as the narrator, was made in 1992; it was [[{{Sequelitis}} not generally well-received]]. In this one, the plot focuses around a secular "Winter Carnival" holiday and features an evil businessman named Mr. Twitchell that goes around spraying "Summer Wheeze", an aerosol that gets rid of snow. Apparently, ''the entire town hates snow''. The entire film is about Frosty and [[{{Expy}} a new girl named Holly]] ''singing about how good snow is''. If you haven't guessed, it's an environmentally-themed short. Then in 2005, another special, ''Legend of Frosty the Snowman'', was released on video, with Bill Fagerbakke as the voice of Frosty.

Not to be confused with the somewhat similarly-themed British ChristmasSpecial, ''ComicBook/TheSnowman''.

This is also not the first time the song was adapted into animation. There had previously been a theatrical short created in 1954 by UPA (of ''WesternAnimation/MrMagoo'' fame).

!!This Christmas Special provides examples of:

* AffectionateParody: Has one in the WebOriginal animated short series ''WesternAnimation/{{Snowy}}''.
* AnachronismStew: The clothing of the animated characters seems to cover the entire period from the 1910s to TheSixties.
* AnimateInanimateObject: Frosty himself, and later his snow-family and friends.
* ArtShift: Frosty and Crystal make their only stop-motion appearances for a crossover with WesternAnimation/RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer.
* AscendedExtra: Jack Frost, the {{Jerkass}}-[[HeelFaceTurn turned-ally]] from ''Winter Wonderland'' would eventually star in his own Christmas Special, ''Jack Frost'', where he's a [[StalkerWithACrush lovestruck]] {{cloudcuckoolander}}.
* AsideComment: After Frosty asks Karen if she's cold on the train, he turns to the audience and says, "Now, that's a silly question!"
* BornOfMagic: The jolly, happy soul only came into existence after a [[Disney/{{Frozen}} vaguely humanoid-shaped lump of ice crystals]] was topped with an inexplicably magical top hat. (Though it's possible the consciousness already existed inside the hat, and only needed a sufficient vessel.)
* BrickJoke:
** In the first special, a kid suggests "Oatmeal" as a name for Frosty. In the sequel, the same kid suggests "Corn Flakes" as a name for Frosty's wife.
** Also, in the first special, the traffic cop swallows his whistle from the shock after he realizes he was just talking to a living snowman. In the second, he remembers Frosty, but after realizing Frosty is about to get married, he does the same thing.
** Another one: In the first special, after coming to life, Frosty tries to count, only to find out he can't. (Well, he makes it up to five.) In the sequel, there are ''two'' gags about his inability to count, one where he thinks a two-horse sleigh has one horse, and another where he tries to skate a figure-eight but it turns out a ''nine''.
*** This is lampshaded in the third special where Frosty manages to count to 100, and remembers when he can barely count to four.
* CardCarryingVillain: Professor Hinkle. "Think nasty, think nasty, think nasty! Muahahahaha!"
* ChristmasSpecial: Although only the first is actually set during Christmas. ''Winter Wonderland'' doesn't bring up the holiday at all, and the closest mention are a couple holiday songs like "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" featured in the special.
* ConspicuousCGI: Jonathan Winters sits on a CGI snowflake at the start and end of ''Frosty Returns''. This was later excised completely on later airings, instead just showing a blue background with Winters' disembodied voice.
* ContinuityNod: In the sequels.
** To give one example, ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland'' has a scene where the cop who swallowed his whistle in the original special claims to be used to Frosty and brags that he can't surprise him this time. He ends up swallowing his whistle again when he is introduced to Crystal, Frosty's new wife.
* CrackIsCheaper: An InUniverse example; train tickets aren't exactly the cheapest things to buy, but a single ticket to the North Pole, including tax, is in the quadruple digits.
** And that was in 1969, it has the a 2017 value of nearly $20,000
* DarkReprise: [[spoiler: When Frosty melts.]]
* DastardlyWhiplash: Professor Hinkle is very close to this type of villain, at least in appearance. He's far less competent than either Dick Dastardly ''or'' Snidely Whiplash, and ''that's'' saying something.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Upon learning that Frosty will melt when the temperature rises, the kids decided to put Frosty on a train to the one place he won't melt: The North Pole...only to realize upon arriving that none of them have any money for the ticket.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Frosty gets this in every Rankin Bass special. In the original, he melts when Professor Hinkle locks him in a greenhouse, but Santa brings him back with a December wind. In ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland,'' he turns back into an ordinary snowman when Jack Frost steals his magic hat, but Crystal's kiss brings him back to life. And in ''Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July,'' he gets ''two'' Disney Deaths: first by loss of his hat, then again by melting, but as usual, neither lasts long.]]
* DistaffCounterpart: Crystal, Frosty's bride in ''Winter Wonderland''. She even has a similar-sounding voice courtesy of Shelley Winters.
* EasilyForgiven: Frosty and Crystal forgive Jack Frost pretty quickly in the sequel, considering what he tried to do. (Of course, Christmas specials aren't big on comeuppance.)
* EleventyZillion: Santa orders Hinkle to [[ImpossibleTask write, "I am very sorry for what I did to Frosty," a hundred zillion times. (And then maybe, just ''maybe,'' he'll find something in his stocking the next morning)]]. And apparently [[AchievementsInIgnorance he's successful]] because the next time we see him, he's got a new hat!
* {{Expy}}: Hocus Pocus seems inspired by Snoopy (or at least the non-verbal, pantomime portrayal of him in the ''{{ComicStrip/Peanuts}}'' specials).
* {{Fainting}}: Done by a random orange-haired woman upon her sight of Frosty and the kids marching to the North Pole.
* FreezeSneeze: Frosty and Karen's train ride toward the North Pole in a refrigerated boxcar is cut short when Karen starts sneezing and Frosty realizes the boxcar is too cold for her.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Santa, "who, as you know, speaks a fluent rabbit."
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: "With a corn-cob pipe" -- which Frosty never actually seems to smoke -- perhaps because he can't even strike a match, let alone "build a fire."
* GreenEyedMonster: Jack Frost's antagonism is due to the fact that he's jealous of the attention Frosty's getting.
* TheGrinch: Hinkle, of course.
* HeartDrive: The magic hat, without which Frosty's body is just an ordinary inanimate snowman. Come the climax of ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland'', he doesn't need it anymore (though he still wears it).
* HeelFaceTurn:
** Professor Hinkle, though only when threatened by Santa, and he still describes himself as an "evil magician" during this sequence. Of course, it helps that Santa had promised him that he'd probably get a new hat if he wrote "I am very sorry for what I did to Frosty" a hundred zillion times, so he wouldn't need his old one anymore.
** Jack Frost in the sequel pulls a more legitimate one when Crystal acknowledges his importance and invites him to participate in the wedding, remaining as a friend and powerful ally every time he appears again.
* HeroicSacrifice: Frosty takes Karen to a greenhouse, and obviously doesn't care that a warm greenhouse will do him in quickly.
* ImMelting: [[spoiler:Frosty]] gets this.
* InkSuitActor: Jimmy Durante as the narrator and Billy [=DeWolfe=] as Professor Hinkle in the original; Andy Griffith as the narrator in ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland''.
* ISophagus: The traffic cop swallows his whistle -- which nonetheless still sounds.
* {{Jerkass}}: When Hinkle comes upon Karen in the woods, he immediately blows out her campfire for no particular reason. Seeing as she needed it to not freeze to death, this is pretty despicable.
* LoveImbuesLife: In the sequel, the kids build Crystal, a snow-wife for Frosty. She receives the gift of life out of the love Frosty immediately felt for her, embodied in a bouquet of frost flowers he gives her. Later, a gust of wind snatches away Frosty's hat (turning him back into a non-sentient snowman) but Crystal's love allows him to become alive again without the need of his magic hat.
* MagiciansAreWizards: Averted, in that Hinkle can not only not work real magic, but is lousy even at the stage variety. His ''hat'', however...
* {{Narrator}}: Jimmy Durante in the original, Andy Griffith in ''Winter Wonderland''.
* NiceHat: '''The''' Hat, of course. (Described as an "old silk hat".)
* NonHumanSidekick: Hocus Pocus the rabbit.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Professor Hinkle may ''seem'' like an incompetent DastardlyWhiplash villain at first, but see MoralEventHorizon in the YMMV section.
* ParodyCommercial: In 2009 CBS made this [[https://myspace.com/judas.sleeper/video/frosty-the-inappropriate-snowman/101272670 mash-up ad]] combining Frosty with ''Series/HowIMetYourMother''.
* ReallyDeadMontage: Combined with a DarkReprise [[spoiler: after Frosty melts.]]
* ReligionIsMagic: In ''Frosty's Winter Wonderland'', Parson Brown explains to the kids that he can't marry Frosty and Crystal since they aren't humans, and suggests they build a snow-parson who can do the job. They do, and Parson Brown brings it to life by giving it a Bible ("A parson's not a parson without the Good Book in his hand!").
* RunningGag: Whenever a snowman comes to life (including Frosty himself, as well as Crystal and the snow-parson), the snowman's first words afterwards, without exception, will be "Happy Birthday!"
* {{Snowlems}}: As a snowman brought to life by a magic hat, Frosty himself is an archetypical example.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Santa can talk to Hocus Pocus the rabbit.
* TheSpeechless: Hocus Pocus, though he hasn't a single line, goes near to [[EnsembleDarkhorse stealing the whole show]].
* SuddenAnatomy: Frosty has FourFingeredHands, but sprouts a fifth finger when he tries to count.
* TrueLovesKiss: Crystal's kiss grants Frosty permanent sentinence in ''Winter Wonderland'', thwarting Jack Frost's efforts to destroy him by stealing his hat.
* UndersideRide: The magician does this on the underside of a train, in an attempt to get his hat back.
* VillainousBSOD: Professor Hinkle goes through a brief one at the climax until Santa gives him a shot at redemption, which he immediately and hurriedly takes up.
-->'''Professor Hinkle''': That's not fair! I mean, we evil magicians have to make a living too...
* VocalDissonance: In the original airing with June Foray as Karen, Paul Frees plays the other kids, which sounds quite odd.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Frosty and his wife may be happy up in the Arctic, but what ever became of "Pastor Snow" who married them? He was alive too; but isn't mentioned after the wedding.

!!Frosty Returns has examples of:
* ArtShiftedSequel: The animation style is different than that of the original. As is often noted, it resembles the ''{{ComicStrip/Peanuts}}'' specials, which is handily explained by the fact that the animation was done by Bill Melendez Productions.
* BaldOfEvil: Mr. Twitchell.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Mr. Twitchell, who wants to use his product Summer Wheeze to eliminate snow without a care about how this would affect the environment.
* {{Expy}}: Holly is one for Karen from the original special.
* GreenAesop: One of the main criticisms for this special.
* HeelFaceTurn: After Holly and Frosty convince everyone that snow is important after all, she offers [[spoiler:Mr. Twitchell a ride in he tobogan and Frosty gives him the crown and cape even though he was elected the Carnival King. The narrator also mentions that Mr. Twitchell ceased production of Summer Wheeze and starts making sleds instead.]]
* HollywoodToneDeaf: Holly's friend Charles. Frosty and Holly even cringe when he sings part of the "Let There Be Snow" song.
* PissTakeRap: Mr. Twitchell's segment of "Let There Be Snow".
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Yet another criticism aimed at this special is that Christmas is never mentioned in any capacity and is replaced by the town celebrating a Winter Carnival.
* RightHandCat: Mr. Twitchell has one.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: Charles wears glasses and is shown to have an obsession with science.
* SpaceWhaleAesop: "Save the environment because without snow there will be no place for magical, talking snowmen!"
* VillainSong: Mr. Twitchell has a part of the "Let There Be Snow" song where he sings "There's No More Snow" and brags about how nothing can stop his plan to eliminate the snow and become king of the Winter Carnival.

!!Legend of Frosty the Snowman has examples of:
* AndThatLittleGirlWasMe[=/=]NarratorAllAlong: [[spoiler:The ending reveals that the aged narrator is an elderly Tommy Tinkerton.]]
* BaldOfEvil: Principal Pankley serves as the main antagonist and is balding.
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:Tommy Tinkerton and Sarah are revealed to have been married for years in the ending.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Tommy Tinkerton's father goes through this when Principal Pankley points out how chaotic things have been since Frosty's return.
* MythologyGag: Tommy Tinkerton's grandfather is a magician and is a dead ringer for Professor Hinkle from the original 1969 special.
* NonStandardCharacterDesign: With the new art style that the other characters follow, Frosty looking exactly how he did in the original 1969 special makes him look out of place.
* OffModel: The design of the characters never really stay consistent. Frosty's body, for example, changes sizes various times between consecutive shots!
* SealedGoodInACan: Frosty's role in the film, where his hat was locked away years ago by Pankley because he was jealous of him. In the film's current setting, the hat breaks free and Frosty returns once his hat is placed on a mound of snow.