Frosty the Snowman (found original June Foray voice recording of animated Christmas special; 1969)
The cast of Frosty the Snowman, with deuteragonist Karen.
Date found: 21 Dec 2016
Found by: FamulatorAlt
Frosty the Snowman is an animated Christmas special that first aired on CBS on December 7th, 1969.
This special, written by Romeo Muller and produced and directed by Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass, is based on the holiday song of the same name, originally written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson and first performed by Gene Autry in the 1940s.
The plot involves a discarded silk top hat becoming the focus of a struggle between a washed-up stage magician named Professor Hinkle, and a group of schoolchildren after it magically brings a snowman to life. Realizing that newly-living Frosty will melt in Spring unless he takes refuge in a colder climate, Frosty and a young girl named Karen, who he befriends stow away on a freight train headed for the North Pole. Little do they know that the magician is following them, and he wants his hat back.
June Foray originally recorded the part of Karen but was replaced by a younger actress, Suzanne Davidson, a year after Frosty first aired. Since Foray's name still appears in the end credits, Davidson never received public due until the 2018 Deluxe Edition DVD and Blu-Ray name-dropped her in Mark Evanier's audio commentary. Foray recalled her experiences in the book The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass:
"I was called in to voice the little girl Karen. I was disappointed to learn later that my work for the Karen character was replaced by another actress. To this day I am unsure of the reason, but I still enjoy the special."
Foray's voice can be heard on the Rhino Records soundtrack.
While modern airings of the special uses Davidson's rerecorded lines for Karen, some of Foray's original performance as Karen (such as The first sneeze in the boxcar, another sneeze while in the woods, Karen crying over the Frosty puddle, and the yelp she gives out when running into Frosty's arms while on her rooftop) are still heard in modern airings of the special.
The original airing of the special with Karen's original voice is currently impossible to find, even on the internet.
Since December 6th, 2019, FreeForm's airing of the special used some of June Foray's voice lines for one of the children in the first couple of minutes of the special.
On June 22nd, 2016, YouTuber forever90s posted a comparison between a Frosty the Snowman VHS and a Blu-ray of the special. This revealed that the BD restored some of June Foray's audio - but for one of the supporting characters, rather than Karen. Unfortunately, the description of the video doesn't say if this applies to all Frosty BDs or just some of them. (Frosty the Snowman had received at least two Blu-ray releases by the time this video appeared.)
On December 21st, 2016, YouTuber FamulatorAlt shared a "Voice Restoration" of Frosty the Snowman. Using the Rhino CD, and an HD copy of Frosty (possibly the same one used in the earlier comparison), it re-creates how the special would have aired with June Foray's voice intact.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (lost color negatives to original credits sequence of Christmas special; 1964)
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (lost original Larry D. Mann narration audio of Christmas special; 1964)
- The Reluctant Dragon and Mr. Toad Show (partially found animated series; 1970-1971)
- The King Kong Show (partially found animated series; 1966-1969)
- Frosty the Snowman Voice Restoration. Retrieved 26 Dec '16
- The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass; by Rick Goldschmidt. Retrieved 10 Oct '20