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Frosty the Snowman (1969)
- Top 20 Christmas Movies (#11)
Frosty the Snowman is an American animated television special based on the popular song of the same title. The program, which first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS (where it has aired ever since), was produced for television by Rankin/Bass and featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as narrator and Jackie Vernon as the titular character. This special marked the first use of traditional cel animation (as opposed to stop-motion animation) for Rankin/Bass in a Christmas special. Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass wanted to give the show and its characters the look of a Christmas card, so Paul Coker, Jr., a greeting card and Mad magazine artist, was hired to do the character and background drawings. The animation was produced by Mushi Production in Japan, with then-Mushi staffer Osamu Dezaki among the animation staff. Rankin/Bass veteran writer Romeo Muller adapted and expanded the story for television as he had done with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. TV Guide ranked the special number 4 on its 10 Best Family Holiday Specials list.