Jack Frost

There have been quite a few movies named Jack Frost over the years. I’ve seen two of them. There is the Rankin/Bass 1979 stop motion production, the 1998 film staring Michael Keaton, and the 1996 comedy/horror film about a serial killer that becomes a snowman. I’ve never seen the horror film, and frankly I don’t care to, as I’ve never been into horror. The Michael Keaton film I did like, but not enough to ever watch again. The film that has become part of my tradition is the Rankin/Bass TV special.

What’s different about this show, from the other shows that I watch, is that it isn’t really about Christmas. The Christmas holiday is in it, but it is more about the end of winter, and the coming of spring than it is about the holidays. You could watch this film in January and it wouldn’t be out of season, though it would seem so, since this one usually gets lumped in with the Christmas shows.

In Jack Frost the character Jack Frost falls in love with a woman and asks his maker, Father Winter, to let him become human. Father Winter allows him to do so. Jack Frost ends up in a town called January Junction, working as a Taylor, and left with the task of finding a house, a horse, a bag of gold, and a wife. None of those things come easy.

It isn’t really the most exciting Rankin/Bass show, the plot is less interesting, but there are some good songs. What I do like is that the story of Jack Frost is told by a groundhog named Pardon Me Pete, and Groundhog’s Day plays an important role in the show. You see if the groundhog is scared by his shadow and goes back into his hole, he gets six more weeks of sleep, and Jack Frost gets to make winter for six more weeks. So Jack Frost appears as Pete’s shadow every year, even if the sun isn’t shining, so Pete can get “six more weeks of shuteye”. This was a big deal for me when I was a child. You see, I’d see films like this, and like The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas, and I envied how these animals could sleep for such a long time. I wanted to be able to hibernate until Christmas every year, so it would come sooner. I’d even say to my mom , “I’m going to hibernate until Christmas”, then I’d get into a sleeping bag and pretend to fall asleep. Of course, even if I had been able to hibernate like that, I had to go to school which pretty much lasted up until a few days before Christmas, so at most I could hibernate for three days. Ah, such is the life of looking forward to Christmas as a child.

Well only about five days of these TV specials are left, then I’ll start getting into feature films. Also, from here on out pretty much all of the shows are going to be popular ones.