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Western Animation: Rankin Bass Jack Frost
In this 1979 Rankin/Bass winter special, reporters from all over the USA are gathering to see Pardon-Me Pete, the groundhog that does the whole Groundhog Day thing. He sees his shadow and runs back inside, but wait! There's no sun to make any shadows! Cut to inside the burrow, where Pete talks to the camera. He decides to explain all about a little agreement he has with Jack Frost...

Jack Frost (voiced by Robert Morse) is the personification of winter, who uses his icy breath to bring ice and snow to the world. One day, as he's swooping invisibly through the town of January Junction, he overhears a conversation in which a young woman named Elisa playfully tells her family that the only person she's in love with is him.

Father Winter allows him to become human, but warns him that he has until the first day of spring to win his wife and provide her with a house, gold, and a horse, or he must return to sprite form. Jack is sent to January Junction in the human guise of Jack Snip, a tailor.


Tropes present in this work include:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Kubla Krauss, Raveneau Rightfellow, Pardon-Me Pete.
  • Adorkable: Jack as a human. Pardon-Me Pete himself would also qualify.
  • Anachronism Stew: The main setting seems to be roughly late medieval Russia, but Sir Raveneau was serving King Arthur, who, if he ever existed, would have lived about a thousand years earlier. Punxsutawney Phil, meanwhile, traditionally began in 1887, and is of course an American tradition, despite the fact that this story is set long before the United States should even exist.
  • Animals Hate Him: Kubla Krauss. No living creature can bear to be around him, so, to quote the narrator, "he had his horse Clangstomper, who ran by steam, and Fetch-Kvetch the butler, who ran by clockwork. Even the mice were mechanical!"
  • Big Bad: Kubla Krauss is the main antagonist, being the one to terrorize January Junction and hoard its wealth for himself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On the one hand, January Junction is saved and Elisa gets to marry her knight. On the other, Jack loses out on love, although he seems to get over it.
  • Bishounen: Jack.
  • Bling of War: Sir Raveneau's golden armor.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Because no living thing can stand Kubla Krauss, the only thing he can talk to is his metal puppet, Dahmi.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Not really a curse, but the same sort of thing. To remain as a human, Jack needs a house, horse, bag of gold, and wife before winter ends.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Fetch-Kvetch the clockwork butler has moments like this. His responses to Kubla Krauss's "I Want" Song fit the bill.
    Fetch-Kvetch: How can you woo her? She doesn't like you!
  • Did Not Get the Girl: In the end, Elisa marries Sir Raveneau instead of Jack.
  • Dude Magnet: Elisa has the affections of not only Jack, but also Kubla Krauss and Sir Raveneau.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Played straight with Elisa, who is surrounded by woodland animals when she goes skating.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Elisa and Sir Raveneau fall in love over the winter while she nurses him back to health from the injuries he sustained during her rescue.
  • Frictionless Ice: In the real world, falling down a hill and landing on a suddenly frozen lake surface would probably hurt a lot; but when Elisa does it, she just glides across the lake on her bottom, laughing.
  • An Ice Person: Jack and the others in charge of ice and snow.
  • Interacting with Shadow: Pardon-Me Pete the groundhog is briefly seen interacting with his shadow.
  • "I Want" Song: Kubla Krauss, of all people gets one. He sings to his mechanical butler about how he plans to woo Elisa because she's so lovely.
  • King Arthur: He doesn't appear, but when Sir Raveneau comes back to January Junction, Elisa explains that he's been away in Arthur's service. For whatever reason, Arthur gave the knight permission to go home for Christmas.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Sir Raveneau Rightfellow, Elisa's rescuer and eventual husband.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Jack chooses "Snip" as a surname for himself when he glances at his scissors.
  • Literal Ass Kicking: Jack does this to Pardon-Me Pete, in an attempt to scare him back into his hole.
  • Love at First Sight: Kubla Krauss falls in love with Elisa and wants to make her his wife the moment that he spots her from his castle.
  • Love Triangle: Technically a square, since Jack, Kubla Krauss and Raveneau all have a thing for Elisa.
  • Micro Monarchy: The setting.
  • Mother Nature: Father Winter takes his orders from her, as he points out to Jack when Jack begs for spring not to end early.
  • Overly Long Name: Snip's alias.
    • Flat "What.": Jack's reaction to hearing it for the first time.
  • Race Against the Clock: Jack Frost has until the end of winter to get a house, horse, bag of gold, and wife, for a heroic example. Also to stop the metal man army.
  • Villainous Crush: Kubla Krauss falls in love with Elisa, to the point that he kidnaps her with the intention of making her his wife.
  • Wedding Day: "When the first blossom shows."
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Jack, at first; he seems to think that acquiring the requisite house, horse, and gold will be very easy.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Holly's as close as the show gets; she's a snowflake-making sprite, but on earth they disguise her as a "gypsy princess." Father Winter could be considered a male example, as he is the sovereign over all things winter.

Nestor The Long Eared Christmas DonkeyCreator/Rankin/Bass ProductionsThe Wind in the Willows
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownWestern AnimationJimmy Timmy Power Hour

alternative title(s): Rankin Bass Jack Frost
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