After Hinkle's failed attempt at a magic show, the students to whom he was performing put Hinkle's magic hat on Frosty the Snowman, whom they had just created, and the hat brings the snowman to life. Seeing its magical properties, Hinkle takes the hat back along with the rabbit, hoping to become rich through use of the hat. However, Hocus escapes with the hat and takes it back to the children, who once again revive Frosty. When the children decide to send their friend to the North Pole by train so he can't melt, the Professor pursues them vowing to get the hat back.
Hinkle gets lost in the woods after a mishap on the train, but eventually catches up with Frosty and Karen, his friend who accompanied him on the trip up north. He ruins Karen's campfire and demands the hat back, only to watch the two run off so fast he couldn't catch them. However, after Frosty brings Karen into a greenhouse to warm her up, he eventually catches up to them and locks them inside, causing the snowman to melt. Fortunately, Santa Claus arrives and is able to magically revive Frosty, but is confronted by Hinkle, who once again demands the hat. However, Santa refuses to let him touch it, as it now belongs to the inanimate Frosty, and adds that Hinkle will receive no more Christmas gifts if he keeps on pursuing to get the hat. When Hinkle, now feeling wretched and guilt-ridden, complains that even "evil magicians" need to make a living too, Santa softens a little and tells him that if he writes an apology to Frosty ("a hundred zillion times"), he might still receive a present of forgiveness. Realizing that this could mean a new magic hat he could actually use, Hinkle eagerly agrees, apologizes for all trouble he has caused to Karen and Hocus, and runs off to get busy writing.
Hinkle appears during the end credits marching along with Frosty's friends, donning a brand new hat, which implies that he has already written up his apologies and Santa has kept his word. Hocus Pocus is also seen at his side, which implies the two have reconciled. Hinkle is last seen tipping his new hat as he and the others bid farewell to Frosty, who is leaving with Santa, promising to be back on Christmas Day.
Although Hinkle did not reappear in Frosty's Winter Wonderland or Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, Sam Spangles, one of the villains in the latter film, bares a noticeable resemblance to him; however, it is never mentioned if the two characters are related.
In The Legend of Frosty the Snowman, Hinkle is briefly seen in a flashback in which it is revealed that he is the father of Theodore Tinkerton, which would also make him the grandfather of Tommy and Charlie Tinkerton.