On Christmas Eve, a young boy builds a snowman that comes to life and takes him to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Older James (Re-Released Version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Raymond Briggs ...
Older James / Narrator - (voice)
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Storyline

Wordless (save for the song "Walking in the Air") animated adventure about a young English boy who makes a snowman one Christmas Eve, only for it to come to life that night and take him on a magical adventure to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

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Details

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Release Date:

26 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Snögubben  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The little boy has no name in the original Briggs cartoon book. However the makers of the film required a name for the child's gift tag and selected 'James' after the boyfriend (later husband) of one of the animators. See more »

Goofs

When James and the Snowman are flying to the North Pole, they fly over some penguins which are not found in that region. See more »

Quotes

Older James: This attic's full of memories for me. We spent all our summers by the seaside, and in the winter at home, by the fire, frost on the window, and snow. Snow. I was always making snowmen. One winter, I made a really big snowman. I got a scarf from him. You see, he was a real snowman. That winter brought the heaviest snow I'd ever seen. The snow fell steadily all through the night. Then when I woke up, the room was filled with light and silence, and I knew then it was to be a magical day.
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Connections

Spoofed in Danger Mouse: The Snowman Cometh (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking in the Air
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Howard Blake
Performed by Peter Auty
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User Reviews

 
"A wonder without words"
29 September 1999 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Raymond Briggs' illustrated book, upon which this holiday special is based, has been accurately described as a "wonder without words." This short movie can be described just as accurately with that phrase. _The Snowman_ may be my favorite animated film of all time, ranking alongside _Watership Down_. These films share the common bonds of not underestimating the intelligence of their audiences, and of providing spectacular and moving animated sequences. The flight sequence of _The Snowman,_ set to the haunting song "Walking in the Air," is a sequence that could have been lifted from _Fantasia_: the landscape unfolds, revealing wonder after wonder--city lights, cruising ships, penguins, aurora borealis--as the music rolls like turbulent winter waves. The story is short and simple, and more than a little heartbreaking, but captures the tragedy of transience without padding the action with sophomoric song and dance routines. This cartoon also features perhaps the best rendition of Santa Claus (or "Father Christmas," to be more true to the show's British roots) ever caught on film: a wholly charming, smiling, warm person, fun and grandfatherly and kind.

Three brief suggestions: if you can find it, buy the soundtrack to this film, as it makes great background holiday music; see if you can locate versions that feature opening narration by David Bowie (the video version usually features an opening sequence with the author, the PBS version a short scene with Bowie); stay far away from the waaaay inferior sequel, "Father Christmas," an oddly sardonic follow-up replete with bad jokes and--believe it or not!--nudity!


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