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THE SNOWMAN built by a lonely young boy comes to life at
Midnight on Christmas Eve, propelling them both on a fanciful,
Raymond Briggs' charming picture book comes to life in this delightful British cartoon. Here is a perfect excursion into realms of Imagination & Wonder. The Snowman's guided tour of the human child's home is a comic treat. Their flight over the frozen North Country & Polar Seas is exhilarating and full of white mystery.
The serious themes of friendship's responsibility, and the inevitability of ultimate loss, are also hinted at. The ending is both beautiful & heartbreaking.
Shown every year on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day on UK Channel 4
since the channel launched in 1982, this charming and touching Raymond
Briggs cartoon is the perfect accompaniment to turkey, wine, and
A cute little boy runs out to play in the snow in his back garden (this is an England where everyone has lots of land and detached houses) where he puts together a life-size snowman, complete with hat, fruit for his nose, and pieces of coal for his eyes. Come the night when he is in bed, he feels the urge to run down and see the snowman just to be sure he's real. But the Christmas magic means the snowman is alive and ready for fun.
Several scenes are full of humour - the snowman being shown around the house, including his perfect environment (a chest freezer), the race around the garden on a motorbike, and Father Christmas's party. The real icing on the cake comes with the flight through the cold night sky to the accompaniment of Peter Auty singing 'Walking in the Air'.
With beautiful, flickering animation, memorable cartoon characters, and a bit of true Christmas spirit, 'The Snowman' is as close to a perfect half-hour as you can get. Other animations from the work of Briggs haven't come quite as close - this one is special. Long may it continue to be shown and celebrated, and find a place in the heart of new generations.
I watch my PBS-recorded version of The Snowman every Christmas Eve along
with a few other traditional holiday movies to clear my head of the
excessive commercialism of the holiday and put myself in the mood for
The Snowman is a wonderfully simple film about a small boy who's Snowman comes to life. It's a terrific idea, for if you're a kid, wouldn't it be cool to make friends with a Snowman and be able to visit Santa Clause? Plus, the animation and the accompanying music, and even David Bowie's sentimental introduction makes this a wonderful adaptation of the book.
'The Snowman' is one of those few things on television that appeal to
everyone from the youngest of children to the grown adults. It's a
silent cartoon that relies on the wonderful soundtrack and the gorgeous
animantion to tell the story of a young boy's friendship to the snowman
he builds one Christmas Eve. The snowman is magically brought to life
at the stroke of midnight and takes the boy on a magical adventure to
the North Pole where they meet Santa Claus.
In a brief twenty minutes, it portrays the sweetness of a child and the loyal friendships they are capable of as well as delving into loss. This British classic is on every Christmas on Channel Four, I remember being captivated by it as a small child and I'll still be tuning in this year at the ripe old age of twenty-four. I just hope that when I have kids, the tradition of airing 'The Snowman' will continue so I can share this with them.
Raymond Briggs' illustrated book, upon which this holiday special is
has been accurately described as a "wonder without words." This short
can be described just as accurately with that phrase. _The Snowman_ may
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
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!
A little boy (James) builds a snowman in his garden who comes alive and
leads the boy on a series of adventures.
When we say "family" film we usually mean films that the kids can watch and the parents can just about stand after a couple of stiff drinks. The Snowman is one of those films that the whole family can watch and actually enjoy -- and enjoy over and over again.
The musical scenes are quite wonderful and centrepiece song "Walking In The Air" is a total classic, indeed you should show that in film schools to show what great visuals and great music can do when they work as a team.
The colourful animation is great to -- and when they fly over Brighton (England), it really does look like they are flying over Brighton. I presume that they did a lot of research to make it accurate.
This is like a little pop song. It is short, lively and uplifting. Despite the sad end. The song/film ends and the real world comes back and you marvel at how clever it all was. This is a little bit of genius in a world that is a lot colder than the one we see on screen.
I just finished watching this TREMENDOUS movie. My whole life flashed
before my very eyes. It brought me to tears as it reminds me of my
glorious childhood. We watched this every Christmas, and watching it
after such a long time sent shivers down my spine.
The song 'walking in the air' all but speaks for itself. What a emotional song. Probably the greatest 'cartoon' of all time! The whole Christmas atmosphere is brought back and layed before your very eyes. Movies like this, Father Christmas, Home Alone, bring back those 'good old days'. If only I could rewind the clock and go back to the days....
An absolute gem of a movie..
This movie makes me cry every time I watch it. The 'theme song', a melody originally sung by a choir boy, "Walking In The Air" always turns me to a sobbing blob, even when I hear it in a store at Christmas, or a clip of it on other shows.
The animation is very much a drawing come to life. This film captures the nostalgia of youth and Christmas without being glitz, glam and too sickly sweet. You don't need Mickey to compliment your mistletoe! Two words. Watch it. Don't hesitate. The children will adore it, and I'm sure an older generation will too! It's your inner child in film form. Go see it!
Need I say more. O.k. I will.
Made in 1982 and still watchable, enjoyable in 2003. It seems that this cartoon was shown across Europe for Christmas time every year and people still love it. Sure animation is not on a Disney level, but hey, Disney is far from making something so touchy without getting corny.
Superb story (made with the stunning end) and one of the greatest music scores ever, it made this piece of cartoon a real work of art. It's simply the legend that would never fade. That's why the highest grade possible,
10 out of 10.
An amazing animation that conjures emotions to the point of tears - a
beautiful film with beautiful music.
The first viewing reminded me of childhood - and the freedom of being a child. The second viewing reminded me of the same childhood freedom,
but with the reality of being trapped in an adult world.
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