Jack Frost (1998)

Jack Frost: An Appreciation

When I was a kid, nothing got me and my friends more hyped up in anticipation than snow. Yep – glorious white snow. To us there were few other activities as fun as playing in the snow. One major problem however; I grew up in a country in which we only get about 3-4 days a year of significant snowfall, in which it would actually settle on the ground. So when there was a significant level of snowfall, we would make the utmost use of it. Snowball fights, sledding, making snow angels and of course making a snowman.

Snowmen were a subject of my childhood fascination. Why? I’m not quite sure. They just have a certain magical appeal. Whenever I would see one in someone else’s garden, I would always have to point it out, “Look, a snowman!”.  So when my friends and I heard about the movie Jack Frost, in which a snowman comes to life, we were psyched to see it. Although there already existed the 1982 animated short The Snowman which had a similar premise, I believe Jack Frost appealed to us more for several reasons:

-It was a movie more of our generation.

-It was live action and the snowman looks just like a real snowman we could have created ourselves.

-But most importantly, the movie was called Jack Frost. When I was younger, whenever there was a frosty night, we would always say that Jack Frost is out tonight.

So one weekend myself and one of my friends rented Jack Frost on video and we thought it was an absolute blast. However even at that age we thought there were some stupid moments, such as when Charlie is hanging over a wall of snow and he’s supposed to be in danger, yet the drop itself is tiny; or during the sledge chase sequence when two kids just happen to have a snowball the size of a boulder on standby to stop Charlie and Jack. However the one aspect of the film we found to be the most unbelievable was in how Charlie had not got over his father’s death one year on. The reason for this is that a friend of ours had recently lost his father to an illness, yet was back in school one week later, acting as he normally would. To us, Charlie isolating himself from his friends due to his father’s death one year on seemed far fetched.

Several years later, I saw Jack Frost again on TV one weekend and the following Monday in school, it seems half the class also watched it and were all raving about how much we loved it; discussing our favourite moments, talking about the scenes we found to be the funniest. Even my teacher had watched it over the weekend and called it – and I quote – “a wonderful film”. Of course when the advent of the internet age come upon us, I found out Jack Frost is considered a terrible film and the critics trashed it. One of the biggest criticisms I hear against the movie being that the snowman is creepy, which even to this day I’ve never thought so. I think he looks cute, and looks just like a snowman the average kid would make.

I’m probably the only person in the world who will give this film a serious appraisal but when I was younger it did strike a chord with us kids. I watched Jack Frost again several years ago with a more mature perspective and I still enjoyed it, with a pool of happy nostalgic memories coming flooding back. Rock on Jack Frost! Snow dad is better than no dad!

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