Since it is near Christmas we’ve been watching a lot of Christmas specials. As almost everyone in the USA knows, the main Christmas specials are the 60s versions of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
In Frosty the Snowman, Karen and Frosty try to buy a ticket to the North Pole so Frosty won’t melt. The clerk being suddenly awakened proceeds to put together a very long route for them to take with a number of transfers involved.
This past Halloween I got the idea of routing Snoopy’s path behind German lines after he was shot down by the Red Baron resulting in this post. Well, I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for Frosty’s route and perhaps I might also learn a thing or two. However, Charles Schultz consulted a map and some history on World War One for Snoopy’s path; it appears the creators of this Frosty movie did no such thing.
The first problem we encounter is that we have no idea where Karen’s hometown is, or where we’re starting from. They make no mention so we can only guess. It is around Christmas and the snow is falling. The clerk has a slight accent which to my ear would be in areas bordering Lake Michigan (Chicago, all of Wisconsin.) I then checked the cast and see that the voice of the clerk was Paul Frees. Paul was born in Chicago. Although the clerk’s accent isn’t a heavy Chicagoan accent, I would pinpoint this accent as from “up North” (I’m originally from Ohio.) So, my educated guess is that Karen is from Wisconsin. The other kids at the playground seem to fit the image in my head when I think of people from Wisconsin: friendly, innocent, happy and everyone is white (Nordic country heritage – Sweden primarily).
*Side note: The policeman’s accent was most certainly Irish. This was also done by Paul Frees and in making the policeman Irish was historically accurate: many Irish immigrants to the USA did find work in police departments and Irish used to be the dominant heritage in them. *See The Irish Coppers
Map of Route
- Hudson Bay (Town or the actual Bay?)
- Nome, Alaska
- The Klondike, Yukon (and Aurora Borealis)
- Nanuk of the North “Gotta make a change at Nanuk of the North though” (chuckles)
Everything but Nanuk of the North was easy to find, so what did our clerk mean? Well, doing a search there is no place called “Nanuk of the North” but there is a very famous historical silent documentary made in 1922 by that very same name. The film “captured the struggles of an Inuk man named Nanook and his family in the Canadian Arctic.”
So I’m guessing the animators are referencing this documentary and make the clerk laugh because it is not really a place but rather a film that takes place somewhere up near the Hudson Bay. But that wouldn’t make sense anyway because as we see from the map above the Klondike is much farther north than Hudson Bay so Frosty would be backtracking.
And so where is the true North Pole? Well, that depends if we’re talking about the north magnetic pole or the north terrestrial pole. Either way, the North Pole is a floating Arctic ice sheet that expands during colder months and shrinks to half its size in the summer. There is no land under that ice sheet so it isn’t possible for a train to get there and quite dangerous for Santa to have his home there, especially with global warming.
But as we know from the movie Frosty and Karen couldn’t afford the ticket anyway because they didn’t have any money let alone $3,000.04.
Instead, they just got on a refrigerated box car “headed north.” Karen soon got cold and Frosty knew they had to get out of that box car. Their opportunity came when the train pulled off to let an “express full of happy Christmas travelers pass.” Therefore, I assume they didn’t even make it past Minnesota since the next and last major population center is Winnipeg and I cannot imagine a trainload of Canadians would want to deal with the border just to go Christmas shopping in Minnesota.