Christmas Special Review- Frosty the Snowman

The first thing that needs to be said is that Rankin/Bass are to the Christmas special what Cecil B. DeMille is to the biblical epic. They go big and more often not they create a classic in the process.

They always bring great voice talent into the equation and in this special they had the talents of Mr. Jimmy Durante as the narrator. While many of this generation may not know Jimmy Durante from anything else he will be immortalized to many from this special alone. Having a storyteller adds a certain magical quality to these tales and the right casting choice accentuates it.

This tale creates its villain on the spur of the moment, there is no overtly evil entity at play. It is merely that the magician Professor Hinkle sees the hat is magic and greed takes over.

It also starts on the last day of school before Christmas break so the kids in the mix are free to pursue their adventure, which mainly consists of getting Frosty (also brilliantly voiced by Jackie Vernon) to the North Pole.

This special also features a spectacular apparent defeat as it really seems that all has been lost. There is just something magical to a child, and the child in us all, about a snowman and the personification thereof is a nearly fail-safe formula.

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The 2004 BAM Awards

Introduction

As those who are my friends on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter know, in December I am gearing up for my annual film awards (The BAM Awards), and that only partially explains my recent reposting of all past winners.

Since these are picks made by one person, the nominating process is even more important. Aside from the the past years, the full slate of nominees from all years past was no public knowledge.

This is because essentially the first time I did them, in 1996, I created them by myself for myself. At the time, I knew a lot less about how these decisions are made, campaigning, the year-end barrage of contenders and the like, such that the releasing of the Academy Award nominees was even more frustrating. Rather than just bemoan it I decided to create an award slate based on what I had seen.

Back then I was ticket stub pack rat, at the time it was the only way to track anything. So I created the list, picked winners and printed it out. The fact that I stuck with hard copies and no back-up created issues, however, it was just for me at the time.

I called them the BAM Awards because I needed a name. I suppose I came up with Bernardo Academy of Movies because I was being reactionary to The Academy. How one man by himself can be an Academy I didn’t fully consider. I thought it was kind of a silly name even at the time so eventually it just became BAM.

Slowly, the awards widened: soon I emailed a select group of friends (that created eventual storage issues), a few years ago when I was on the Site That Must Not Be Named I decided to really take it public. I didn’t think about it ahead of time, it just occurred to me roundabout late November of ’09 that I could.

The publication was an exciting and unnerving process regardless of how many or how few people would actually care to see them. While there are a two categories (which I now and again consider ending, and have skipped on occasion) which are negative, it is a positive emotion that brings me to these announcements. I want to at the end of this period of time share what I thought an why, and all winner announcements come with some explanation, and I do belabor them and struggle with them.

So it is heartening that last year, for the first time, the actual honorees, be they nominees or winners, on occasion acknowledged it. Now that may seem like a self-aggrandizing statement, but what I liked was knowing the news reached them and other people and they were pleased to hear it. The design of these awards are to cement what performances, works and films most affected me, I make no bones about that, and sharing that felt like a gamble, but it’s been rewarding for that and many other reason.

Of course, if you see a film missing from any year you may inquire, and there is room for intelligent discourse, but the above statements are true: trolling or disrespectful comments aimed at who was chosen won’t be tolerated. Your own awards are just a blog post away.

I apologize for even needing to insert that statement but I did have cause to make similar points last year. Anyway, with how much I enjoyed last year’s and how much I’m looking forward to this year’s awards, I thought it’d be a good idea to put all I have out there in a “reverse” countdown.

So here goes…

2004

Part of the the purpose of these reposts (aside from the obvious promotion of the forthcoming announcements) is a preservation effort. These are lists I’m transcribing from
printouts. When I started sharing these it was first via email, which I’ve never been great at saving. In fact, the impetus behind the my upcoming year in film 2003 post was the fact that I somehow lost those nominations entirely and had to jog my memory to include the winners on the running lists. 2004 also has a slight fragmentation. Somehow there’s no Best Actor nominees just a winner. Alas, these need posting before I lost anymore. This was an interesting year.

-Kill Bill films combine for 16 nominations, including 11 for Volume 2

-Harry Potter leads again with 12

-Mean Creek wins 4 of 6 including Best Picture

-Only 4 Supporting Actress nominees including Meryl Streep’s first.

Best Picture

Mean Creek (2004, Paramount Classics)

The Passion of the Christ
Kill Bill: Vol. II
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Mean Creek
Shaun of the Dead

Best Foreign Film

I'm Not Scared (2003, Miramax)

Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du coran (France)
Io non ho Paura (Italy)
Carandiru (Brazil)
Diarios de Motocicleta (Spain)
The Return(Russia)

Best Director

Mel Gibson The Passion of the Christ
Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Vol. II
Alfonso Cuaron Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Jacob Aaron Estes Mean Creek
Walter Salles Diarios de Motocicleta

Best Actress

Uma Thurman Kill Bill:Vol. I
Uma Thurman Kill Bill: Vol. II
Bryce Dallas Howard The Village
Heather Smith Unscrewed
Kate Winslet Finding Neverland

Best Actor

The Passion of the Christ (2004, Newmarkey Releasing)

Jim Cavizel The Passion of the Christ

Best Supporting Actress

Maia Morgenstern The Passion of the Christ
Emma Thompson Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Maria Luisa Medoça Carandiru
Meryl Streep The Manchurian Candidate

Best Supporting Actor

Carandiru (2003, Globo Filmes)

Rodrigo Santoro Carandiru
Josh Peck Mean Creek
Rodrigo de la Serna Diarios de Motocicleta
Jim Carrey Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
David Carradine Kill Bill: Vol.II

Best Performance by a Child Actor

The Return (2004, Kino International)

Jesse James The Butterfly Effect
Josh Peck Mean Creek
Cameron Bright Birth
Ivan Dobranorov The Return
Freddie Highmore Finding Neverland

Best Score

Undertow (2004, United Artists)

John Williams Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
James Newton Howard The Village
Philip Glass Undertow
Michael Giacchino and Tim Simonec The Incredibles
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek Finding Neverland

Best Film Editing

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, Warner Bros.)

Walter Murch Cold Mountain
John Wright The Passion of the Christ
Sally Menke Kill Bill: Vol.II
Steven Weisberg Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Daniel Rezende Diarios de Motocicleta

Best Adapted Screenplay

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004, Warner Bros.)

Robert Gordon and David Handler Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Niccolo Ammaniti and Francesca Marciano Io non ho Paura
Steven Kloves and J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Jose Rivera, Che Guevara, and Alberto Gramado Diarios de Motocicleta
David Magee and Alan Knee Finding Neverland

Best Original Screenplay

Rory Culkin, Trevor Morgan, Carly Schroeder, Scott Mechlowicz, Ryan Kelley and Josh Peck in Mean Creek (Paramount Classics)

Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Vol. 2
M. Night Shyamalan The Village
Jacob Aaron Estes Mean Creek
Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg Shaun of the Dead

Best Cinematography

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004, Miramax)

Robert Richardson Kill Bill: Vol. I
Caleb Deschanel The Passion of the Christ
Robert Richardson Kill Bill: Vol. II
Michael Seresin Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
David N. Dunlap Shaun of the Dead

Best Sound Design

The Passion of the Christ (2004, Newmarket Films)

The Passion of the Christ
Kill Bill: Vol. II
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Two Brothers
The Village

Best Cast

Rory Culkin, Trevor Morgan, Carly Schroeder, Scott Mechlowicz, Ryan Kelley and Josh Peck in Mean Creek (Paramount Classics)

The Passion of the Christ
Kill Bill: Vol. II
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Mean Creek
Finding Neverland

Most Underrated Film

Catch That Kid (2004, Fox 2000 Pictures)

Catch That Kid
The Girl Next Door
Kill Bill: Vol. II
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Thunderbirds

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Thunderbirds
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
The Polar Express
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Worst Picture

The Butterfly Effect
Pixel Perfect
Saved!
Team America: World Police
Spanglish

Most Overrated Picture

Team America: World Police (2004, Paramount Pictures)

The Butterfly Effect
Saved!
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Team America: World Police
Finding Neverland

Best Soundtrack

Kill Bill: Vol. I
Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du coran
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Kill Bill: Vol. II
Diarios de Motocicleta

Best Makeup

The Passion of the Christ
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Kill Bill: Vol. I
Shaun of the Dead
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Nominations

Obviously these will be somewhat incomplete with one category being winner-only

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 12
Kill Bill: Vol. II 11
The Passion of the Christ 9
Mean Creek 6
Diarios de Motocicleta 6
Finding Neverland 6
Kill Bill: Vol. I 5
Sean of the Dead 4
The Village 4
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events 4
Carandiru 3
The Butterfly Effect 3
Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du coran 2
I’m Not Scared 2
The Return 2
Thunderbirds 2
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 2
Unscrewed 1
The Manchurian Candidate 1
Birth 1
The Incredibles 1
Cold Mountain 1
Two Brothers 1
Catch That Kid 1
The Girl Next Door 1
Polar Express 1
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London 1

2003 BAM Awards

As those who are my friends on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter know, in December I am gearing up for my annual film awards (The BAM Awards), and that only partially explains my recent reposting of all past winners. Since these are picks made by one person, the nominating process is even more important. Aside from the the past years, the full slate of nominees from all years past was no public knowledge. This is because essentially the first time I did them, in 1996, I created them by myself for myself. At the time, I knew a lot less about how these decisions are made, campaigning, the year-end barrage of contenders and the like, such that the releasing of the Academy Award nominees was even more frustrating. Rather than just bemoan it I decided to create an award slate based on what I had seen. Back then I was ticket stub pack rat, at the time it was the only way to track anything. So I created the list, picked winners and printed it out. The fact that I stuck with hard copies and no back-up created issues, however, it was just for me at the time. I called them the BAM Awards because I needed a name. I suppose I came up with Bernardo Academy of Movies because I was being reactionary to The Academy. How one man by himself can be an Academy I didn’t fully consider. I thought it was kind of a silly name even at the time so eventually it just became BAM. Slowly, the awards widened: soon I emailed a select group of friends (that created eventual storage issues), a few years ago when I was on the Site That Must Not Be Named I decided to really take it public. I didn’t think about it ahead of time, it just occurred to me roundabout late November of ’09 that I could. The publication was an exciting and unnerving process regardless of how many or how few people would actually care to see them. While there are a two categories (which I now and again consider ending, and have skipped on occasion) which are negative, it is a positive emotion that brings me to these announcements. I want to at the end of this period of time share what I thought an why, and all winner announcements come with some explanation, and I do belabor them and struggle with them. So it is heartening that last year, for the first time, the actual honorees, be they nominees or winners, on occasion acknowledged it. Now that may seem like a self-aggrandizing statement, but what I liked was knowing the news reached them and other people and they were pleased to hear it. The design of these awards are to cement what performances, works and films most affected me, I make no bones about that, and sharing that felt like a gamble, but it’s been rewarding for that and many other reason. Of course, if you see a film missing from any year you may inquire, and there is room for intelligent discourse, but the above statements are true: trolling or disrespectful comments aimed at who was chosen won’t be tolerated. Your own awards are just a blog post away. I apologize for even needing to insert that statement but I did have cause to make similar points last year. Anyway, with how much I enjoyed last year’s and how much I’m looking forward to this year’s awards, I thought it’d be a good idea to put all I have out there in a “reverse” countdown. So here goes… 2003

-As you will likely notice this post will stand out from the others. I never have been able to hold on to an electronic back-up of this year, and lost track of a hard copy. From memory I have been able to recall some of the winners. There are other factoids I can recall but this is the most I guarantee. -Much like 1999, this was a year dominated mostly by one studio (Universal) on the strength of 2 films. -8 Femmes, much like they did at the Cesars, had many a nomination but a sole win. -2003 marked the first expansion of categories in years. -Tim Robbins wins second Supporting Actor Award -Peter Pan ties Artificial Intelligence: A.I.‘s win total. -Enjoy the winners. 2004 will have more nominees but is still missing some information.

Best Picture Peter Pan Best Foreign Film The Sea The Sea (2002, Palm Pictures) Most Underrated Picture Peter Pan Most Overrated Picture Matchstick Men Matchstick Men (2003, Warner Bros.) Best Director P.J. Hogan Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Actor Jeremy Sumpter Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Actress Nicole Kidman The Hours Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins Mystic River Mystic River (2003, Warner Bros.) Best Supporting Actress Julianne Moore The Hours Best Performance by a Child Actor Jeremy Sumpter Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Cast Love Actually Love Actually (2003, Universal) Best Original Screenplay Love Actually Love Actually (2003, Universal) Best Adapted Screenplay Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Cinematography Donald McAlpine Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Score Philip Glass The Hours The Hours (2002, Paramount) Best Visual Effects Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Costume Design Peter Pan Best Art Direction Peter Pan Peter Pan (2003, Universal) Best Editing The Hours The Hours (2003, Paramount) Best Original Song Toi, mon amour mon ami Virginie Ledoyen and Ludivine Sagnier 8 Femmes