Jack Frost (1998 film)

Jack Frost is a 1998 American fantasy, starring Michael Keaton and Kelly Preston. Keaton stars as the title character, a father killed in a car accident before returning 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]

Jack Frost
The face of a man, morphing into a snowman
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTroy Miller
Produced byIrving Azoff
Mark Canton
Written byMark Steven Johnson
Steve Bloom
Jonathan Roberts
Jeff Cesario
Music byTrevor Rabin
CinematographyLászló Kovács
Edited byLawrence Jordan
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 11, 1998 (1998-12-11)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$85 million[1]
Box office$34.6 million[1]

The costume for Jack Frost's snowman form was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The film was released in Australia on December 10, 1998, a day prior to its American release.


Jack Frost is the lead singer in a rock band simply titled "The Jack Frost Band", based in the 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 returns to his 11-year-old son Charlie, who has just returned from a snowball fight against local bully Rory Buck. After they build a snowman in their front yard, Jack gives him his best harmonica, which he got the day Charlie was born, jokingly telling him that it's magical, and he'll be able to hear it wherever he is. Jack promises his wife Gabby that he will attend his son's hockey game, but misses it in favor of recording "Don't Lose Your Faith". To make up for it, Jack then promises to take his family on a Christmas trip to the mountains, but is called in on a gig that could make or break his career. On his way there, Jack realizes his mistake and borrows his best friend (and keyboardist) Mac MacArthur's car to go home to his family. Unfortunately, Jack encounters a bad storm that he is unable to navigate through, due to a faulty windshield wiper, and unexpectedly crashes the car, killing himself (off-screen).

A year later, Charlie, 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 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. 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 and the other children with snowballs and escapes with Charlie on a sled. After losing them, Charlie realizes that the snowman is his father after Jack uses his nickname "Charlie boy". Jack reconnects with Charlie and teaches him the values that he never got to teach him when he was alive. After some hockey lessons, Jack convinces Charlie to rejoin the team instead of continuing to grieve over his death, becoming their best player. In the meantime, Mac continues to be a friend of the family, while also becoming a father figure to Charlie at 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, but has a difficult time convincing Gabby to do so. Charlie comes across Rory, who also insults the snowman by asking which is more stupid. After Jack speaks in front of Rory by correcting his last sentence, Rory then sympathizes with Charlie not having a father and helps him sneak Jack onto a truck en route to the mountains. Jack and Charlie arrive at the isolated cabin that the family was going to stay at before Jack's death. Jack calls Gabby, nonchalantly asking her to come to the cabin to pick up Charlie; Gabby is shocked, but recognizes his voice and obliges. Jack tells a disheartened Charlie that he has to leave. When his wife arrives, the snowman shell dissipates, revealing Jack in an ethereal form. Jack tells Charlie he will be with him wherever he goes and, after saying farewell and giving his love to both his wife and son, returns to the afterlife.

In the closing moments of the film, Charlie plays hockey with his group of friends (which now includes 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.

  • Michael Keaton as Jack Frost, Charlie's father, the vocalist and harmonica player of The Jack Frost Band who was killed in a car accident while trying to come home to spend Christmas with his family, and is restored to life in the form of the snowman in his son's front yard, thanks to his son's magic harmonica.
    • Bruce Lanoil as Jack Frost in his Snowman form (in-suit performer)
    • Denise Cheshire as Jack Frost in his Snowman form (in-suit performer)
  • Kelly Preston as Gabby Frost, Jack's wife/widow; Charlie's mother
  • Henry Rollins as Sid Gronic, ice hockey coach
  • Mark Addy as Mac MacArthur, Jack's keyboard player and best friend.
  • Joseph Cross as Charlie Frost, Jack's son
  • Mika Boorem as Natalie, Charlie's friend
  • Andrew Lawrence as Tuck Gronic, Charlie's friend, Sid's son
  • Eli Marienthal as Spencer, Charlie's friend
  • Will Rothhaar as Dennis, Charlie's friend
  • Taylor Handley as Rory Buck, a school bully who picks on Charlie, but later befriends and sympathizes with Charlie as they bond over not having their fathers; Rory's father deserted his family, whereas Charlie's father died.
  • Ahmet Zappa as Snowplow Driver
  • Paul F. Tompkins as Audience Member
  • Dweezil Zappa as John Kaplan, music agent
  • Jay Johnston as TV Weatherman
  • Jeff Cesario as Radio Announcer
  • Scott Kraft as Natalie's Dad
  • Ajai Sanders as TV Interviewer
  • John Ennis as Truck Driver
  • Wayne Federman as Dave, policeman
  • Pat Crawford Brown as Ice Hockey Scorekeeper
  • Trevor Rabin as Trevor, The Jack Frost Band Lead Guitarist
  • Lili Haydn as Lili, The Jack Frost Band Violinist
  • Lou Molino III as Lou, The Jack Frost Band Drummer
  • Scott Colomby as Scott, The Jack Frost Band Bass Player
  • Moon Unit Zappa as School Teacher (uncredited)

Music Edit

The film features 22 tracks:

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

Featured on the CD release are:

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 responseEdit

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 19% based on 57 reviews. The site's consensus states: "Sentimental schmaltz and uninspired storytelling sink this film."[3] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A to F.[4]

Roger Ebert gave the film one out of four stars, writing "It's possible for the Jim Henson folks and Industrial Light and Magic to put their heads together and come up with the most repulsive single creature in the history of special effects, and I am not forgetting the Chucky doll or the desert intestine from Star Wars."[5]

Box officeEdit

Produced on an $85 million budget, the film took $7 million on its opening weekend.[6] 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. George Clooney was signed on to play the lead Jim Henson Design of the snowman which resembled Clooney before he left to do Batman & Robin. Sam Raimi was originally slated to direct the movie until he left the project.


  1. ^ a b c http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=jackfrost.htm Box Office Mojo Amazon.com
  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. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  5. ^ Roger Ebert. "Jack Frost". rogerebert.com. Chicago Sun-Times.
  6. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (December 15, 1998). "Star Trek: Insurrection Melts 'Jack Frost'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10.

External linksEdit