Jack Frost (1998)

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Jack Frost (1998) Movie Poster Image
Michael Keaton's frozen rocker dad makes a bad role model.
  • PG
  • 1998
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 9 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Charm is a primary characteristic of charlatans, and Jack Frost has charm in spades. He's looking out for number one, but is able to convince his family that he cares about them. Ultimately his wife and his son do the heavy lifting for him-- even when he returns to life as a snowman.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jack Frost is a pretty self-centered guy, who tries to be there for his son but can't seem to make it happen. Yes, he soothes his son and makes him understand how much he loves him, but it's up to the son to save his dad in the end.

Violence & Scariness

Dead of a parent in a car crash that seems rather glossed over. Some mild bully behavior and a snowball fight. The snowman's face can have a scary look about it, which youngest viewers might find frightening.

Sexy Stuff

Mom and dad characters share long kisses and a moment in bed where mom is wearing a tight-fitting neglige. Some mild sexual references.


Mild enough, but frequent and juvenile. "Balls," "butt," "butt boy," "butt head," "ass," "dammit," "crap," "sucks."


Mention of Jeep and Porsche cars. Denver sports franchises like the Avalanche and Broncos teams.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Charlie jokes with his dad about how his mom puts two martinis in his lunch box. Bar scenes are smokey and boozy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's a lot of juvenile behavior coming from the patriarch of the Frost clan. He's chronically late, self-absorbed, and when in the form of a snowman, talks a lot about his "balls" and his "big butt."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynduns April 8, 2010

I'd say this passes as a kid's movie

but it doesn't even do that. I saw this when I was 10 and the snowman actually frightened me with its appearance, but I could have looked past that had th... Continue reading
Parent of a 6 and 8-year-old Written byDale Dietrich December 28, 2020

Pretty Good Christmas Movie for Older Kids

My rating of 9 and up isn't because I think its 'inappropriate' for younger kids. It's because its a bit too 'deep' (if you can sa... Continue reading
Kid, 5 years old November 28, 2020

A fun movie with a good message

I'm Jacob and I'm 5 and a half. Me and my dad watched this together on a Saturday morning. I think it was good. I think it's suitable for 5. It... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byRaelin33 December 20, 2019


I watched this movie recently, and I was bored the whole time. The plot was nonexistent, and you couldn't connect with any of the characters. Don't bo... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) is a guy who feels at home being on stage in his rock band. While playing a gig in Denver, a record producer hears the band and wants to bring them on his label. Jack comes home to his wife (Kelly Preston) and son, Charlie (Joseph Cross) late at night, and gets a warm welcome. When Charlie invites Jack to his hockey game, he promises to make it, but is too involved in a recording session to get there in time. To make up for it, Jack commits to taking the family to their mountain cabin for Christmas. But just as they are packing the car, he gets a call from the record company and -- you guessed it -- can't make the trip. He has a change of heart, deciding to turn around and make it home for Christmas. But fate has other plans, and he perishes in a car crash. One year later, when Charlie plays the magic harmonica that Jack had given him, the snowman outside becomes host to a familiar spirit. Guess who's home for Christmas?

Is it any good?

Michael Keaton lights up the screen with his portrayal of this rocker-dad-turned-snowman. But he's not given much to work with. The plot is predictable and the special effects are more creepy than cool (that wry expression of Keaton's looks rather evil on the snowman). We expect more from Jim Henson's workshop, frankly! Though the soundtrack and the beautiful shots of the Rocky Mountains in winter add some grandeur, this movie takes the topics of death and loss a little too lightly. Charlie mopes and feels a little bitter, but nothing emotionally profound happens, even when Dad shows up again. It's as though every dad comes back as a snowman or some such thing in order to say his proper good-byes. More fluff here than substance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Charlie's dad's death affects Charlie. Why does he quit the hockey team? Why do his grades fall? What would happen to Charlie if his dad didn't come back as a snowman?

  • Jack tells his son not to tell anyone about his reincarnation. When is it OK to keep a secret? When do the words "don't tell anyone" raise a red flag?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the holidays and dad movies

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate