Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

Rudolph and Frosty's
Christmas in July

DVD cover
Developed by Rankin Bass
Directed by Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Composer(s) Johnny Marks
Country of origin United States
Producer(s) Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass
Running time 97 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. (North America)
AVCO Embassy Pictures (International)
Original network ABC (1979) Freeform (present)
Original release November 25, 1979
Preceded by Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)
Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)
Followed by The Legend of Frosty the Snowman (2005)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys (2001)

Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July is a 97-minute fictional crossover television special by Rankin Bass filmed in stop-motion animation in the style of its 1964 Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It premiered in the US on November 25, 1979 on the ABC network.

Jackie Vernon and Shelley Winters reprised their roles as Frosty the Snowman and his wife Crystal, Billie Mae Richards once again provided the voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Mickey Rooney provided the voice of Santa Claus once more (Rooney previously voiced Santa in Santa Claus is Comin' To Town and The Year Without A Santa Claus). Paul Frees, Thurl Ravenscroft, Red Buttons and Ethel Merman also provide voices. This would be the last Christmas special to star Billie Mae Richards and Jackie Vernon as the voices of Rudolph and Frosty, respectively, as well as Mickey Rooney as the voice of Santa until 2005's The Happy Elf and 2008's A Miser Brothers' Christmas.


Winterbolt, a powerful, wicked snow wizard (voiced by Paul Frees) has caused havoc upon the people who have entered his domain. He is then punished by the Queen of the Northern Lights, Lady Boreal (Nellie Bellflower), when she places a spell on him that puts him in a deep sleep. Years later, Winterbolt awakens and in her final act of magic, Boreal transfers the last of her power into Rudolph's red nose when he is born, which will stop glowing if it is ever used for evil. Winterbolt learns of this through his Genie of the Ice Scepter (voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft) and plans not only to dispose of Rudolph, the only power capable of stopping him, but also to reclaim his territory from Santa Claus. Meanwhile, an ice cream man named Milton (Red Buttons) from Lily Loraine's Circus by the Sea arrives and tells Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman that he plans to attract the heart of his girlfriend and Lily's daughter, Lainie, (Shelby Flint) if they star in the circus.

Winterbolt offers Frosty and his family (Crystal, Milly & Chilly), magic amulets to keep them from melting and enable them to perform in Lily's circus in which Rudolph is to star, but they will only be protected until the final firework fades on the fourth. Santa agrees to pick up Frosty and family before the magic wears off, but Winterbolt has his ice dragons create a blizzard to prevent Santa from arriving on time. Winterbolt then goes to the Cave of Lost Rejections and recruits an unintelligent, nasty reindeer named Scratcher (Alan Sues), who is jealous because he wanted to be one of Santa's reindeer but got fired when Santa hired Rudolph. Now, Winterbolt recruits him to try to get Rudolph to turn, or at least appear, evil in the eyes of his friends. With the blizzard keeping Santa from getting to the circus, Frosty and family are worried. When Scratcher arrives, he forms an alliance with Sam Spangles (Don Messick) during the parade.

Scratcher, taking advantage of Rudolph's kindness, steals money from the circus and sets up Rudolph to take the blame. Rudolph agrees to appear guilty after making a deal with Winterbolt to extend the powers of the amulets Frosty's family wears for an infinite time in exchange. Frosty's family and friends and Lily are upset when Rudolph tells them he stole the money and his nose stops glowing, although Frosty doubts Rudolph would lie to them. While moping by the seashore, Big Ben (Hal Peary) arrives, and Rudolph tells him his problems. Frosty discovers the conspiracy of Sam Spangles and Scratcher, and he wants to restore Rudolph's glowing nose. Winterbolt takes advantage of Frosty as well by lying and agreeing to help Rudolph in exchange for Frosty's hat, with the intention of using its magic powers to create an army of snowmen. Rudolph manages to steal back the hat and his nose regains its glow.

Rudolph returns to the circus with a policeman, who sets the record straight that Rudolph is innocent. The policeman also returns Frosty's hat, who is brought back to life, and everyone apologizes to Rudolph. Winterbolt arrives and tries to attack everyone, but Lily throws her guns at his scepter, breaking it and causing him to turn into a tree. Once Winterbolt is defeated, Scratcher disappears, Sam is arrested, and all the spells that Winterbolt cast wear off, but sadly, Frosty and his family melt. However, Jack Frost (also voiced by Paul Frees) arrives from South America on Big Ben and brings Frosty and his family back to life with his cold breath. Santa and Mrs. Claus bring them back to the North Pole, but Rudolph stays behind and Lily lets him lead the flying circus parade to thank him for getting the circus out of debt.




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