I’ve always thought it was interesting that Rankin Bass used multiple characters with winter-based powers. A few of them were even credited with ushering in the season of winter such as Father Winter, the naughty version of Jack Frost and Snow Miser. The nice version of Jack Frost is basically Jesus to Father Winter’s God.
Then there’s the villainous sorcerers, King Winterbolt and the Winter Warlock, who basically seem kinda like the same guy. The difference is Winter Warlock looks much cooler but Winterbolt has a cooler name, SNOW DRAGONS, REIN-SNAKES and Scratcher the evil reindeer. I guess once the Winter Warlock went good, Rankin Bass decided an evil winter magician was too cool to let go of, so they came up with King Winterbolt.
There is another version of Jack Frost. He appears in Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July. His appearance seems to be a combination of both the naughty and nice versions of Jack Frost but he is voiced by Paul Frees, who played the naughty version in Frosty’s Winter Wonderland.
And, no, I’m not counting Frosty the Snowman. Yes, he’s a living snowman but he doesn’t have any special abilities beyond that.
It’s hard to pick a favorite out of all these winter characters but I can easily eliminate two of them: Father Winter does the least. He just serves as an all-powerful supporting character. And Winter Warlock becomes a bumbling, fumbling goody-good at the end, so he loses cool points.
So we’re left with the naughty and nice versions of Jack Frost, Snow Miser and King Winterbolt. Naughty Jack Frost is mischievous and eventually turns nice, but I like the always honorable Jack Frost as well. Snow Miser has a great song about him and has a sense of humor but King Winterbolt is rotten to the core and stays evil until the bitter-end.
I think I’ll have to go with Snow Miser as my favorite with King Winterbolt as a close second. Why Snow Miser? Because he lives in an awesome snow castle, has little mini versions of himself running around, wears an awesome scarf and seems to love vaudeville.