Jack Frost

USA 1998

Reviewed by Amanda Lipman


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

Frost is a singer in a rock band on the brink of success. When he's not on the road or in a studio somewhere, he lives with his wife Gabby and their 11 year-old son Charlie in Colorado. Jack breaks, a Promise to Charlie to watch him play in an ice-hockey match. To make up for it, he promises the three of them will spend Christmas together in a cabin in the mountains, At the last minute Jack is invited to a music mogul's party with the lure of a big record deal. Half way there, he decides to go back to his family for

Christmas after all, but is killed on the way in a car accident.

A year later, Charlie is still grieving for his dad. After a new fall of snow he decides to build a snowman in the garden, something he and his father did each year. He dresses it in his father's old scarf and hat. That night, the snowman comes to life as jack. Charlie is at first horrified, then drawn to the snowman who saves him from the school bullies and becomes the father he never was before. jack drags himself across th e rapidly melting snow to see Charlie play gloriously in the ice-hockey team. Desperate not to lose his father again, Charlie takes Jack up to the

cabin in the mountains to cool him down, but jack realises he has to leave and says goodbye to Charlie and Gabby.


From its opening rock version of 'Frosty the Snowman' onwards, Jack Frost makes the point that it is a children's film with an adult theme about loss and bereavement. This old-fashioned rites-of passage story is knowingly overlaid with contemporary psychological references. When Jack returns as the snowman he even talks his way through the various 'stages' of mourning - denial, anger, grief - as he works out how he's been reincarnated.

The story is played out almost entirely through the relationship between Jack and Charlie and moves fairly adeptly between the experience of each of them. When Jack is alive, his world revolves around his band and his love for his wife and son, endlessly anguished with guilt for never being there enough. Once he's dead, he becomes both a comic recreation, trying to come to terms with his new outer self and, now free of his life's other distractions, an utterly involved father, Keaton plays out the living Jack with manic enthusiasm, allowing himself to relax into comedy as the voice of the snowman. Meanwhile, Charlie zigzags sensitively and convincingly between hero worship and anger towards his living father and we see how that anger becomes part of his depression once Jack has died. When he finds Jack again, there is something touching both in his love, which overcomes any sense of the ridiculous, and his tenacious determination to keep jack against all the odds.

The message - that children have to learn to deal with loss as part of growing up may sometimes feel rather crudely put, but it is certainly a potent one. As Jack leaves for the last time, promising to be always in Charlie's heart, we can all weep with Charlie as he learns that, contrary to all our existential fears, 'dead' does not have to mean 'forgotten'. Even the film's bad boy, the orphaned school bully, seems to have learned this lesson when (via the kind of instant magic only found in films) he is touched by Charlie's determination to keep his father and, muttering "snowdad" is better than no dad" helps him on his way.

The film is tied up in its father/son dynamic that, inevitably, other characters remain less than satisfying. In particular, the sexy, understanding, perfect-mother Gabby is always just one step behind the real emotional dynamic, acting as a foil for the relationship between Jack and Charlie, and never quite coming to life herself. But it hardly needs saying that this is not, ultimately, a piece of social realism. It's a modern fairytale, complete with a magic harmonica that brings the snowman to life and a picture-postcard setting, featuring row upon row of twinkling Christmas lights and endless snowy vistas. And these also provide the backdrop for the impressive and exciting fight-and-chase scenes full of giant snowballs, sleighs, ice skates and snowboards, guaranteed to appeal to snow-hungry kids.


Mark Canton
Irying Azoff
Mark Steven Johnson
Steve Bloom
Jonathan Roberts
Jeff Cesario
Mark Steven Johnson
Director of Photography
Laszlo Kovacs
Lawrence Jordan
Production Designer
Mayne Berke
Trevor Rabin
©Warner Bros.
Production Companies
Warner Bros. presents an
Company production
Executive Producers
Matthew Baer
Jeff Barry
Richard Goldsmith
Michael Tadross,
Associate Producers
Barbara Kalish
Production Supervisor
2nd Unit:
Craig Armstrong
Unit Production Manager
Justin Moritt
Locations Manager
Patrick McIntire
Russ Kavanaugh
Assistant Directors
Frank Capra III
Jim Chory
Sean McCarron
Todd Murata
Ken Wada
Erie Tignini
2nd Unit:
Jerram Swartz
Amy Schmidt
Script Superieisors
Jules Mann-Stewart
2nd Unit:
Sherry Gallarneau
Marci Liroff
2nd Unit Director of
Clyde Smith
Camera Operators
Neal Norton
Donald E. Thorin Jr
2nd Unit Aerial:
Rick Shuster
Neal NortonNeal Norton
2nd Unit Operator:
Chris Squires
Visual Effects
Joe Letteri
Helen Ostenberg E1swit
Mitchell Ferm,
Special Visual
Industrial Light & Magic
Visual Effects Producer:
Camille Geier
Animation Supervisor:
Paul Griffin
CG Supervisors:
Gregor Lakner
Robert Marinic
Tom Rosseter
Lead Animator:
Chris Armstrong
Lead Matchmover:
Lanny Cermak
Modelling Supervisor
Stewart Lew
Digital Timing
Kenneth Smith
Scanning Supervisor:
Joshua Pines
Art Director:
Eric Rigling
Visual Effects Editor:
Michael Gleason
Digital Artists:
Mimi Abers
Felix Balbas
Kathleen Beeler
Barbara Brennan
Amelia Chenoweth
Paul Churchill
Patrick Conran
Mark Cooper
Natasha Devaud
Jeremy Goldman
Gerald Gutschmidt
Hilmar Koch
Joshua Levine
Ken McGaugh
Jai Natarajan
Julie Neary
Barbara Nellis
Kenneth Nielsen
Henry Preston
Scott Prior
Alan Rosenfeld
Hans Uhlig
Lindy Wilson
Philip Alexy
Alain Costa
David Gosman
Shawn Kelly
David Latour
Steve Lee
Martin L'Heureux
Mark Powers
Dave Sidley
Si Tran
Michaela Zabranska
Alexander Pouchkarev
3D Camera Matchmove
Keith Johnson
Jason Snell
John Whisnant
Lead Roto Artist:
Heidi Zabit
Digital Paint/Roto Artists:
Scott Bormenfant
Deborah Fought
Susan Weeks
Rick Grandy
Sunny Lee
Visual Effects Co-
Julie Creighton
Penny Runge
David Valentine
CG Technicians:
Cedrick Chan
Kathleen Davidson
Brian Gee
Daniel Lobl
Mark Sanders
Anthony Shafer
Digital Plate Restoration:
Lydia Greenfield
Nancy Jencks
Special Visual Effects
Rainmaker Digital
Digital Effects
Peter Sternlicht
Mark franco
Compositing Supervisor:
Brigitte Bourque
3D Digital Artists:
Kay Cloud
Dale Mayeda
Dave Rand
Digital Compositors:
Andy Barrios
Brian Battles
Linda Cordella
Will McCoy
Digital Effects Producer:
Tim Belcher
Digital Film Supervisor:
Chris Kutcka
Steve Hedge
Digital Matte Paintings
Moving Target
Live Action Frost Effects
Jim Henson's Creature
Creative Supervisor:
David Barrington Holt
General Manager:
Matt J. Britton
Production Supervisor:
Sally Ray
Mark Wahlberg
Mold/Foam Shop
Phil Jackson
Lead Mechanical
Tristan Maduro
Mechanical Designer:
Christian Ristow
Frost Costume Designers:
Rick Cedillo
Marian Keating
Julie Zobel
Special Effects
Steve Galich
Jeff Frink
Vision Crew
Additional Editor
Lori C. Ingle
Associate Editor
Robert Brakey
Art Director
Gary Diamond
Set Designers
John P. Bruce
Mindi Toback
Stan Tropp
Set Decorator
Ronald R. Reiss
Storyboard Artist
Michael Davis
Snowman/Ice Sculptor
Alberto Revilla
Costume Designer
Sarah Edwards
Key Make-up Artist
Sharon Ilson
Key Hairstylist
Frida Aradóttir
Titles Design
Imaginary Forces
Pacific Title/Mirage
Don Harper
John Van Tongeren
Gordon Goodwin
Don Harper
John Van Tongeren
Music Production Supervisor
Trevor Rabin
Music Editors
Will Kaplan
Tom Kramer
Music Score Mixer
Steve Kempster
Music Score Programming
Paul Linford
Music Consultant
Jordan Sommers
"Frosty the Snowman" by
Steve Nelson, jack
Rollins, performed by
The Jack Frost Band; "Roll with the Changes" by
Kevin Cronin, performed
by REO Speedwagon;
"Merry Christmas Baby"
by Lou Baxter, Johnny Moore, performed by
"Everytime We Say Goodbye"
by Cole Porter;
"Rock and Roll(Part 2)" by Gary Glitter, Mike Leander
performed by Gary Glitter,
"Don' Lose Your Faith" by
Trevor Rabin, Michael Keaton, performed by
The Jack Frost Band
featuring Michael Keaton;
"Can't Let Go"
by Randy Weeks, performed
by Lucinda Williams;
by / performed by Steve Poltz;
"Couldn't Stand the Weather"
by / performed Stevie Ray Vaughan;
"Landslide" by Stevie Nicks,
performed by Fleetwood Mac;
"Free Ride" by Dan Hartman,
performed by Edgar Winter Group;
"Hey Now Now"
by Shelly Peiken,
John Shanks, Denny Scott,
Kenny Scott,
performed by Swirl 306;
"Final Fire" from the film Backdraft
by Hans Zimmer;
"Jingle Bell Rock" by Joe Beal, Jim Boothe,
performed by Michael Sherswood's >Tangle Town;
"Hot in the City" by/performed by
Billy Idol;"Gimme Some Lovin" by Stevie Winwood, Muff Winwood, Spencer Davis, performed by
"Sleigh Ride" by
Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish,
performed by Spice Girls,
"Slow Ride" by Dave Peverett, performed by
"Five Candles (You Were There)" by
Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark,
performed by Jars of Clay;
"How" by/performed by Lisa Loeb;
"Father's Love" by Bob Carlisle, Randy Thomas, performed by
Bob Carlisle;
"Good Lovin" by Arthur Resnick, Rudy Clark,
performed by Hanson
Sound Mixer
Thomas Brandau
Re-recording Mixers
Gregory H. Watkins
Kvin E. Carpenter
Robert Schaper
Supervising Sound Editors
Gregory King
Robert Grieve
Dialogue Editors
Darren King
John Stuver
Kim Haves Drummond
Sound Effect Editors
Yann Delpuech
Ryan Eldred
Frank Smathers,
Allan Bromberg
Steve Mann
Thomas J. O'Connell
Supervising Editor:
Greg Brown
Kimberly Harris
Stephanie Flack
Cliff Latimer
Linda Folk
John Roesch
Hilda Hodges
Mary Jo Lang
Dan Yale
Gaston. Biraben
Hockey Advisor
Jack White
Ice Skating Adviser
Sarah Elliot-Dick
2nd Unit Ski Unit
Robert Huntoon
Stunt Co-ordinators
Buddy Joe Hooker
Chad Randall
Michael Keaton
Jack Frost
Kelly Preston
Gabby Frost
Mark Addy
Mac MacArther
Joseph Cross
Charlie Frost
Andy Lawrence
Tuck Gronic
Eli Marienthal
Will Rothhaar
Mika Boorem
Benjamin Brock
Taylor Handley
Rory Buck
Joe Rokicki
Cameron Ferre
Ahmet Zappa
snowplow drive
Paul F. Tompkins
audience member
Henry Rollins
Sid Gronic
Dweezil Zappa
John Kaplan
Steve Giannelli
Jay Johmitun
TV weatherman
Jeff Cesario
radio announcer
Scott Thomson
Dennis's dad
Googy Gross
Spencer's dad
Scott Kraft
Natalie's dad
Jimmy Michaels
Devil's goalie
Ajai Sanders
John Ennis
truck driver
Wayne Federman
Dave, policeman
Golden Henning
bank customer
Pat Cramiford Brown
Mr Chips
Chester the dog
Denise Cheshire
Bruce Lanoil
in suit performers
The Jack Frost Band
Tmor Rabin
Trevor, lead guitar
Lili Haydn
Lili, violin
Louis Molino III
Lou, drummer
Scott Colomby
Scott, bass
Warner Bros Distributors
9,108 feet
101 minutes 12 seconds
Dolby digital/DTS
Colour/Prints by
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011