Jack Frost

Movie review by
Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media
Jack Frost Movie Poster Image
Minor Rankin-Bass classic with a touch of romance.
  • NR
  • 1979
  • 49 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Despite poverty the residents of January Junction find joy in creative ways during the Christmas holiday. Heroism, bravery, and sacrifice are all on display.

Violence & Scariness

Scenes of comic peril mild enough for even young viewers.

Sexy Stuff

Story has a romantic bent, but a knight kissing a fair maiden's hand is as demonstrative as it gets.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this isn't a Christmas tale per se, but a winter story that revolves around unrequited love and heroic acts, with a dollop of Russian peasant repression for good measure. Mild battle scenes occur, but their stop-action animation style prevent them from being too scary. An explanation of what a Russian Cossack is may be helpful to younger children in understanding the villain. Workers in Father Time's realm are called "gypsies."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybnba2283 December 25, 2018


Worst movie like ever
Adult Written bySanta the snowman December 31, 2020

It's Wonderful!

I love this wintery movie!
Teen, 14 years old Written byMochiWolf March 3, 2018

Love, love, love!

I have loved this movie since I was 6, and I still get insanely happy whenever I hear that first opening song and see the cute little forest animals making a... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTheAlmightyCastform February 2, 2018

Fine winter special for little kids. This can be enjoyed by the whole family.

This is an old-timey stop-motion animation movie about Jack Frost wanting to become human. It takes place over winter, and is narrated by the groundhog who wake... Continue reading

What's the story?

Narrated and sung by Buddy Hackett, JACK FROST is characterized by the stop-motion animation which its directors, Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, made famous. In this 1979 film, remastered in 2008, Jack Frost (voiced by Robert Morse) longs to become human to win the affection of Elisa (Debra Clinger), a resident of impoverished January Junction. Father Winter (Paul Frees) grants his wish -- with conditions. But when Jack joins the residents of the village, posing as an itinerant tailor, his plan is imperiled by an evil villain and a knight in golden armor, both of whom want to marry Elisa. Jack is forced to make a difficult decision about the best way to honor Elisa and her fellow villagers.

Is it any good?

Overall, the movie is a bit convoluted, and there are so many secondary characters introduced and never seen again that it's hard to keep track. Though the animation is as good as one expects from a Rankin/Bass production, the songs that accompany the action aren't particularly memorable. The movie ends on a poignant note, and some viewers may wonder if Elisa has made the right choice.

The movie may seem like a Christmas story, but it actually opens with an extended riff about Groundhog Day and a bargain that Jack Frost has made to extend winter for as long as possible. Christmas plays only a small role in the movie so families looking for alternatives to Christmas movies could incorporate this into their viewing. However, in the 2008 edition there is an easy-to-follow special feature on making holiday gifts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Jack's decision to become human. What do you think you would miss about being magical, if you were in Jack's shoes? For older kids, discuss the "ice money" that Jack provides. How could the villagers use that sort of system year-round? Also, families can try some of the crafts included in the remastered edition of the movie.

Movie details

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