THE SNOWMAN – Review (Christmas Special)


Hi guys it's Debbie and today I wanted to speak about "The Snowman" a short film which appeared for the first time on Channel 4, a British broadcaster, on Boxing Day back in 1982.

"The Snowman" is now part of the British culture and is broadcasted on television every year at Christmas.

I don't know if it's this popular in other countries so let me know with a comment here below whether you've seen it and if it's popular where you live.

"The Snowman" was originally a children's book without words, so just pictures, created by Raymond Briggs back in 1978.

Four years later it was adapted into a beautiful 27 minute long animated television special.

It was an immediate success and was nominated for the 1983 Academy Award in the category of "Best Animated Short Film".

It is now included in the list of "100 Greatest British Television Programs" and it always comes in the first places in polls regarding the best Christmas TV moments.

The film opens with a child, James, in a cozy home in a small town, presumably close to Brighton in the south of England.

On Christmas Eve James builds a life-size Snowman in his garden.

At nighttime the Snowman comes to life, he plays with the boy, he plays with James and he also enters the house, trying on the parents clothes while they are sleeping, he discovers the freezer and also the terrifying fireplace, he drives James's father's motorbike and so on.

The Snowman is also able to fly, so he starts flying and brings James, the boy, with him and they start to fly over England and then all the way to a special place while "We're walking in the air" plays.

I won't reveal all of the plot because it's definitely worth watching and you can probably by now find it anywhere on the Internet and it's only half an hour long so definitely check it out.

The whole short film is wordless except for the lyrics to "We're walking in the air" and the story is told through pictures and music performed by the Sinfonia of London.

There are various introductions to the story: in some showings it was introduced by David Bowie which recalls when he was a child and had built this huge snowman.

In other cases it was introduced by the author of the book Raymond Briggs with a different speech.

On "The Snowman"'s 30th anniversary in 2012, "The Snowman and the Snowdog" was released.

It is another animated short film, extremely similar to the original 1982 one and it features another small boy, Billy, which not only builds a snowman but he also builds a miniature snowdog.

Both the snowman and the snowdog have the same magical powers as the original Snowman had so they can fly.

"The Snowman and the Snowdog" is dedicated to John Coates the film producer which unfortunately died just a few months before the film was released.

I've seen "The Snowman" on many different occasions during many Christmas holidays and it has never ever failed to touch me.

It's just so simple and at the same time beautiful and it's incredible what the creators managed to pack in less than half an hour of just images and music.

Because that's what "The Snowman" actually is: just a really really simple story but it conveys so many feelings.

The film could trigger specific memories in people who have had a childhood in Britain because it shows us a typical British household, the typical British countryside and so on.

But I'm 100% sure that it would trigger childhood memories in absolutely anybody, from whichever part of the world.

Because it just brings us back to a time in which we would create objects even from the most simple materials and for us these things would come to life.

And obviously there is all the idea of the magic of Christmas.

And all of this is packed into a very simple idea, a very simple story.

It's just basically a snowman which comes to life.

That's the idea, that's how simple it is.

More than 30 years from the day in which it was released, everybody from children to adults, still curl up in front of the fireplace to watch this half an hour of Christmas magic.

I love the simple but also extremely accurate images, the soft dreamlike color palette, the feeling of coziness and familiarity, the snow which is always falling, the music that replaces the dialogue telling the story in such a charming and beautiful way.

The film is just a half an hour of pure Christmas magic which you just can't turn down.

Let me know with a comment here below if "The Snowman" is part of the Christmas culture in your country as it is in Britain, and I'll see you soon in a new video, bye!.