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by TV News Desk
Frosty, that "jolly, happy soul" whose old silk hat full of magic has turned him into a musical Christmas legend, once again demonstrates his unique showmanship in FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, the popular animated musical special narrated by Jimmy Durante, to be rebroadcast Friday, Nov. 23 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The animated television special based on the popular song of the same title was first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS (where it has aired ever since),and was produced for television by Rankin/Bass. The special features 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.