A young boy whose dog has just died moves into the house in whose backyard the snowman was built. Finding a photograph of the snowman the boy rebuilds him,fashioning a snow dog out of the ... See full summary »
A young boy whose dog has just died moves into the house in whose backyard the snowman was built. Finding a photograph of the snowman the boy rebuilds him,fashioning a snow dog out of the excess snow. The trio fly off in a plane to meet Santa,who gives the boy a magical dog collar which will make it the happiest Christmas ever for him. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Relies a bit too much on nostalgia and sticks closely to the familiar, but still mostly works and warms
I was all ready to dismiss this film before I'd even watching it; the critics were lukewarm and it didn't feel like there was much excitement for the film compared to some of the more modern family fare but it was Christmas and nostalgia and tradition has a place and it is this place that this short film made sure it settled. The film does work but it must be said that it almost works despite itself and it shows how good the construct of the original film was by virtue of the fact that this is what still stands up even with a different façade plastered over it.
The film starts with a rather obvious device of a dog's pet dying it is sudden and sentimental and it jarred me by its simplicity. When the dog finds the snowman's gear you already know where it is going and it follows this path all the way to end which doesn't quite have the impact of joy and sadness that the film wanted to have. Along the way though the film works by virtue of doing the same as it did before but with some details changed. We get the soaring flight and North Pole meeting all playing out under some reasonably effective music it is cheering and warming and it helps that it is animated in the same way as the original film. That said, it also hinders it a little because it is so close to the original in tone and style that it really brings nothing of note to the table of its own apart from the dog of the title (I wish I had a dollar for every household that made the joke "snow dog is better than no dog" when this was on).
The ending plays out the same way as the original and, just like the original film, the credits pile in on top of the moment like it is trying to beat the traffic; it would have had more impact if left to breathe for a minute first. Despite the negatives though, I still really liked it and had a bit of a lump in the throat at one point and found the music and animation and delivery to work on a level that was high enough to be met halfway by my nostalgia. It does need to be met there though, because it doesn't bring much new to the film and it does feel like it is afraid to take even a step away from the original film and for good reason.
It isn't brilliant and it won't replace the original film, but it is warming and mostly works expect it to become a fixture every year just like the original Snowman.
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