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The Snowman (1982)

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

Writer:

Raymond Briggs
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1,521 ( 682)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
David Bowie ... Older James (Re-Released Version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Raymond Briggs 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Release Date:

26 December 1982 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Snowman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The boy has no name in the original Briggs cartoon book. However, the makers of the film required a name for the gift tag attached to the gift given to him by Santa Claus and selected 'James Brighton' after the boyfriend (later husband) of one of the animators. See more »

Goofs

The teddy bear on the little boy's end table goes from being on the floor to back on the table. See more »

Quotes

Older James: I remember that winter because it had brought the heaviest snows I had ever seen. Snow had fallen steadily all night long and in the morning I woke in a room filled with light and silence, the world seemed to be held in a dream-like stillness. It was a magical day...
[brief pause]
Older James: ...and it was on that day I made the snowman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 25th Anniversary Release includes a fully animated intro from Father Christmas, voiced by Mel Smith. The DVD includes an optional audio track where Father Christmas narrates the entire film. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Kevin Bishop Show: Episode #1.4 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking in the Air
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Howard Blake
Performed by Peter Auty
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"A wonder without words"
29 September 1999 | by Tug-3See 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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