In the aftermath of the blizzard of 2016, I got to thinking about the 1969 Rankin-Bass Christmas special, Frosty the Snowman. As a child, I never questioned it, I simply accepted it as a part of the magic of Christmas.
As an adult, I begin to see a much darker side to the story.
I have always been a little perplexed that Frosty’s first action, upon being summoned into existence, is to loudly proclaim, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
Not “Holy shit, I’m alive!” or “What is this? What am I?!?” No, he cheerfully says, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I cannot be alone in thinking that this is somewhat demented and a little disturbing.
The fact that the children he befriends don’t think twice about this is a little odd, as well. If a magical snow creature came into being before your very eyes and manically shouted “HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” at the very least, you and your friends would exchange worried glances, and say, “Uhhh… okay?” More likely, though, you would run in terror and hide under something until spring. I would personally call the fucking National Guard and tell them to bring as many flamethrowers as possible to take this monster out.
More than anything, I want to know how he came to the knowledge that it was his birthday. This implies a certain amount of immediate knowledge that makes me suspicious of his true origins. Obviously, this creature has manifested in our universe a few times before, and is celebrating the fact that he has once again been summoned to this plane.
So what is he, then? A demon? Some sort of nature spirit or elemental? A snow golem? I like the idea of a snow golem; if you thrust your hand into his head, would you find a shem?
Of course, the problem with this hypothesis is that his continued existence hinges entirely on whether or not he is wearing the hat of a bitter, disenfranchised, incompetent hack of a stage magician. So the implication here is that the hat contains his soul. Or maybe it’s the key that binds his soul to the icy shell.
So is this some sort of artifact which was stolen by the magician? I’m thinking it would have to be, because Frosty later gets accosted by a traffic cop for failing to obey a crossing signal in the street, and his defense is that he has never seen one before. So whatever he is, his last incarnation was quite some time ago.
Frosty, knowing that his lifespan is limited to the cold weather, stows away on a refrigerated train car with a little girl – why she had to come along is anyone’s guess, but I feel that there’s some exploitation going on here – and they go to the North Pole. On a train. I guess in a story like this, I shouldn’t be questioning the plausibility of a commercial train line going to the North Pole, but it is a little odd.
The magician, who may well have been the only one to recognize Frosty for the existential threat to humanity that he was, decides to lock Frosty in a greenhouse. That’s right, Professor Hinkle straight up MURDERS the titular character of a children’s cartoon. Just to get a hat. So either he’s completely vile, or he’s a goddamn hero.
Thankfully, Santa (note: an anagram for SATAN) has the ability to resurrect Frosty with icy polar wind.
His half-assed explanation for this is that Frosty is made from “Christmas snow”. Need I mention that Christmas is a Christianized version of an age-old Germanic tradition in which animal sacrifice allegedly played a major role?
What I’m saying, here, is that there was blood in that snow. You couldn’t see it, but it was there.
So Santa Claus can raise the dead; but only if they are some sort of elemental spirit. Sounds like a perversion of Christ’s ability to raise Lazarus, doesn’t it?
So now we’ve got some kind of minor demon, who answers directly to a Prince of Hell who, most likely, created the earthly vessel he inhabits, and summoned Frosty’s spirit into it. Forever bound to the Christmas snow, Frosty will return again and again, year after year, until the end of time. His Christmas snow, powered by the demonic power of animal sacrifice, endows him with immortality.
His benign appearance and gentle behavior are a mere smokescreen for the fact that he manipulates a little girl into going with him to an artic wasteland where she would undoubtedly die of exposure within hours. If the magician hadn’t been there to save the day, she would have been frozen solid by morning, and probably thawed out and eaten by Santa’s elves later.
Speaking of elves, why do they not factor into the Christmas special? Santa shows up, you’d think he’d have a little sidekick. I think the elves are afraid of Frosty. After all, they are – at best – imps. The souls of long dead humans who have, after millennia, ascended to a slightly higher level of power, and now live a life of mindless servitude. A living embodiment of winter would make short work of them, kind of like giving Brock Lesnar PCP and pitting him against a bus full of toddlers.
I think I’ve made my case here. People talk about the War on Christmas, and complain that saying “Happy Holidays” is disrespectful to Christians, but nobody seems to bat an eye to the fact that we are allowing our children to watch the exploits of a hellspawn snow creature that would happily absorb you into its icy depths and break down your frostbitten body for nutrients before spitting out skeleton like so many chicken wing bones.