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Frosty the Snowman

Updated on February 27, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

The First Frosty the Snowman Book

Frosty the Snowman is a beloved children's Christmas song that, like its subject, has taken on a life of its own.

The song was written by Jack Rawlins and Steve Nelson in 1950 for Gene Autry. It was hoped that Frosty would be as popular as Autry's 1949 hit, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The recording was an immediate hit and in the next few years Frosty the Snowman inspired both story books and television specials.

The Book

Little Golden Books published a story book of Frosty the Snowman in 1950, based on the lyrics of the song. It was rereleased numerous times with several changes in artwork. Frosty was also released in comic book form in 1951.

Over the next decade and a half the song inspired everything from toys to coloring books and has become a Christmas icon, along with Rudolph.

Frosty the Snowman was a song that was turned into both a book and a television specail
Frosty the Snowman was a song that was turned into both a book and a television specail | Source

Frosty Animated Christmas Special

The animated Christmas special, Frosty, was released December 7, 1969 and has aired every year since then. It has become a Christmas classic; watched by families every year. Produced by Rankin Bass, it featured the familiar voices of many popular actors and actresses of the time.

  • Jimmy Durante
  • Jack Vernon
  • June Foray
  • Billy De Wolfe
  • Paul Frees

This was Rankin-Bass's first 2-D animated non-stop motion show and was the first use of cel animation by the company. It was Rankin's desire to make the artwork reminiscent of modern Christmas cards and so the company hired Paul Coker, Jr. a greeting card artist to do the drawings.

The 1960s television special is still shown every year around Christmas. CBS's Holiday Central is a good place to find out when your favorite holiday shows, including Frosty, are going to be aired.


The original song was about a snowman that came to life when the children who built him put a hat on his head. According to the song the children, led by Frosty, cavorted through the streets of the town in a merry parade. The fun only ended when Frosty began to melt, promising to "come back again someday."

Lyrics to Frosty the Snowman are available all over the Internet. 

The original lyrics were not long enough to fill the 30 minute time slot for the animated special so writers had to flesh it out. They did this by adding a bumbling, evil magician, a cameo appearance by Santa Claus and the children's frantic attempts to get Frosty back to the North Pole before he melted.

First Frosty Animated Cartoon, 1953

Vintage Frosty Collectibles

As you might expect there are hundreds of vintage collectibles based on this popular tale. Some are very expensive while others are still quite affordable. If you are a Frosty fan you may be interested in some of the following items. Prices in parenthesis are approximate values and should only be used as a guide.

  • Original Frosty the Snowman Golden Book ($8)
  • Vinyl 45, by Peter Pan Records ($10)
  • Plastic Candy Holder ($15)
  • Lighted Blow Mold ($25)
  • Puzzle ($50)

Displaying Your Frosty Collection

You can use your collection all year or as Christmas décor. Choosing a special shelf or table that is out of direct sunlight is a great way to allow your visitors to enjoy your collectibles. For year round display you may want to keep them in a glass front cabinet to protect from dust and too much handling. Remember that the normal oils and bacteria on peoples' hands will damage paper over time and so cards, books, and other paper items should be handled as little as possible.

If you are storing your Frosty the Snowman vintage items then keep them in a sealed bin. Paper items should be kept in acid free envelopes that are especially made to store vintage papers.

Collections are made to be enjoyed so don't keep them stored in a dark attic.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Such a lovely story. Thank you for your beautiful reminder.