There are representations of the key crew members dotted throughout the film: -Raymond Briggs (the Author) is the smiling face in the moon. -John Coates (the Producer) is the baby in the cot, he has JC on his babygrow. -Hilary Audus (the Director) is the woman at the zoo with her family. -Joanna Harrison (the Art Director) is the woman serving in the zoo's shop. -Paul Madden (the Executive Producer) is the sailor who spots the little bear on the ice-floe. -Howard Blake (the Composer) is the pianist at the window See more »
The Snowman with added polar bear and less snow a rerun but still seasonal family fun
While at the zoo a young girl loses her favourite teddy bear into the polar bear enclosure. Later that night she is still upset and goes to sleep with no toys. However in the night the polar bear comes to her house to return the teddy and she lets him stay as a result. The morning comes and sees the girl keeping the bear a secret from her parents not an easy feat in a three bedroom house. Later that night the pair go out into the snow to see the sights and play games.
With The Snowman being on television every single Christmas from the moment it was made until the very end of time itself, I took the opportunity to see his animation from another Briggs book for the first time. The thing that struck me immediately (and stayed with me throughout) was how very similar it was to the Snowman in terms of theme, look, sound and overall delivery. In fact it is pretty much The Snowman but with a polar bear and no Aled Jones. On one hand this did make me wonder if Briggs only had one trick to play and he had already done it but I did try to be fair and watch it as a film just on its own merits.
Doing so finds an enjoyable film that has all the strengths of the Snowman as it is cheerful with simple animation and good characters. The music is good and the final song is from a younger and less "laddy" Charlotte Church. So it may well be The Snowman with more polar bear but it is still a good short film for the family at Christmas time. It is not as famous as Snowman and I suspect a lot fewer people have seen it, which is probably a reason in itself for seeking it out as an alternative next time the festivities come around.
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