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Jack Frost (1998 film)

Jack Frost
The face of a man, morphing into a snowman
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Troy Miller
Produced by Irving Azoff
Mark Canton
Written by Mark Steven Johnson
Steve Bloom
Jonathan Roberts
Jeff Cesario
Starring Michael Keaton
Kelly Preston
Joseph Cross
Mark Addy
Henry Rollins
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography László Kovács
Edited by Lawrence Jordan
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • December 11, 1998 (1998-12-11)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million[1]
Box office $34.5 million (domestic)[1]

Jack Frost is a 1998 Christmas comedy fantasy drama film, starring Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston. Keaton stars as the title character, a man who dies in a car accident and comes back to life as a snowman. Three of Frank Zappa's four children--Dweezil Zappa, Ahmet Zappa, and Moon Unit Zappa—appear in the film.[2]

The costume for Jack Frost's snowman form was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. In addition, the drama film has similarities of Degrassi: The Next Generation (which was produced by Epitome Pictures (a subsidiary of DHX Media)).


Jack Frost (Michael Keaton) is the lead singer in a rock band simply titled "The Jack Frost Band", based in the fictional town of Medford, Colorado, who make their living performing blues covers and an assortment of their own songs in the hope of signing a record deal. He then returns to his 11-year-old son Charlie (Joseph Cross), who has just returned from an epic snowball fight against the bully Rory Buck (Taylor Handley). They spend some quality time by building a snowman in their front yard. Afterward, Jack tucks Charlie into bed and gives him his best harmonica, which Jack got the day Charlie was born. He then jokes with Charlie, telling him that it's magical, and he'll be able to hear the harmonica wherever he is. Jack promises his wife Gabby (Kelly Preston) that he will attend his son's hockey game. However, he misses the hockey's game in favor of recording the ironically named "Don't Lose Your Faith". Jack then promises to take his family on a Christmas trip to the mountains, but is called in on a gig that could either make or break his career. On his way to the gig, Jack realizes his mistake and borrows his best friend Mac's (Mark Addy) car to go home and be with his family. Unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his view. Due to a faulty windshield wiper on Mac's car, Jack is unable to navigate through the storm, and as a result, he crashes his car, and is killed instantly (offscreen).

One year later, Charlie (now 12), depressed over his father's death, withdraws from all contact with his friends. One night, Charlie makes another snowman that bears as much of a resemblance to Jack as he can remember of him and plays Jack's harmonica just before going to sleep. The harmonica turns out to be magical after all as it resurrects Jack, and his spirit awakens in the snowman. Thrilled to be alive again, Jack attempts to greet Charlie, but ends up terrifying him with his uncanny appearance. Jack walks into the night and contemplates his fate. The next morning, Charlie discovers Jack in his yard and attempts to run away from him. When Charlie winds up in the snowball battlefield, Jack pelts Rory Buck and the other children with snowballs and manages to grab Charlie. Jack escapes with Charlie on a sled whilst Rory and the enraged children pursue them. After losing Rory and the pursuers, Charlie realizes that the snowman is his father after Jack calls him 'Charlie boy' which is what his father used to call him and embraces him.

Jack reconnects with Charlie and teaches him the values that he never got to teach him when he was alive. After giving him some hockey lessons, Jack convinces Charlie to rejoin the hockey team instead of continuing to grieve over his death. Charlie goes on to become the best player on the team. In the meantime, Mac continues to be a friend of the family becoming a father figure of sorts to Charlie per Gabby's suggestion.

As winter approaches its end, Jack begins melting and struggles to get to Charlie's hockey game. Afterwards, Charlie decides to take Jack to the mountains where it is colder. Charlie attempts to convince his mother to take Jack there, but has a difficult time doing so. Charlie then comes across Rory Buck who also insults the snowman by asking which is stupider. After Jack speaks in front of Rory by correcting his last sentence, Rory sympathizes with Charlie not having a father (as he himself also lost his father, as mentioned earlier in the film). Rory then helps him sneak Jack onto a truck en route to the mountains. Upon reaching the mountains, Jack and Charlie arrive at the isolated cabin that the family was going to stay at a year earlier before Jack's death. Jack calls up Gabby, convinces her that he is Jack Frost and tells her to come to the cabin if she wishes to see Charlie again. Jack tells a disheartened Charlie that he has to leave. When his wife arrives, the snowman shell dissipates, revealing Jack as he appeared in life, but in an ethereal form. After telling Charlie that even though Jack will be in the afterworld, he'll be with him wherever he is and wherever he goes and after saying farewell, Jack returns to the afterlife.

In the closing moments of the film showing later on that day, Charlie plays hockey with his friends (now joined by Rory), while Gabby happily watches, and Mac plays music on the piano. The final street scene shows that all the front lawns have snowmen on them.


In credits order.


The film features 22 tracks:

Not all of these songs are available on the soundtrack CD however.

Featured on the CD release are:

No. TitlePerformers Length
1. "Gimme Some Lovin'"  Hanson  
2. "Frosty The Snowman"  The Jack Frost Band  
3. "How"  Lisa Loeb  
4. "Father's Love"  Bob Carlisle  
5. "Hey Now Now"  Swirl 360  
6. "Sleigh Ride"  Spice Girls  
7. "Good Lovin'"  Hanson  
8. "Five Candles"  Jars of Clay  
9. "Can't Let Go"  Lucinda Williams  
10. "Leavin' Again"  Steve Poltz  
11. "Have A Little Faith"  The Jack Frost Band  
12. "Merry Christmas Baby"  Hanson  
13. "Wait For You"  Fighting Gravity  
14. "Frostbite"  Trevor Rabin  


Critical response

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 20% based on 55 reviews.[3]

Roger Ebert gave the film one out of four stars, calling it, "the kind of movie that makes you want to take the temperature, if not feel for the pulse, of the filmmakers".[4]

Box office

Produced on an $85 million budget, the film took $7 million on its opening weekend.[5] It went on to gross over $34.5 million in North America, becoming a box office flop.[1]


Both Joseph Cross and Mika Boorem starred together in the Touched by an Angel episode "Psalm 151." Plus, Cross and Michael Keaton appeared together in Desperate Measures, which was released the same year.


  1. ^ a b c Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Jack Frost (1998) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. December 11, 1998. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Jack Frost (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. 
  4. ^ Roger Ebert. "Jack Frost". (Chicago Sun Times). 
  5. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (December 15, 1998). "Star Trek: Insurrection Melts 'Jack Frost'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 

External links