Festive Film Review: The Snowman (1982)

When looking for a Christmas film, and seeking out a classic, I am sure that The Snowman would be in many people’s lists of ‘Christmas Classics’. This short, animated feature is now widely known as one of the greatest Christmas films ever made, and is likely to be a part of many childhoods.

If you haven’t seen The Snowman, this 30 minute silent film set to music tells the story of a young boy who builds a snowman which comes to life, and his adventure with the snowman in the North Pole. The film is also famous for the song Walking in the Air sung by Peter Auty in the film, and released as a single by Aled Jones in 1985, reaching number 5 in the charts.

Raymond Briggs wrote the book The Snowman in 1978. It was adapted into the short film in 1982, being shown on Channel 4 on Boxing Day. The same year, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The boy in the story lives near Brighton, as does Briggs, and they can be seen flying over Brighton Pier on their way to the North Pole. The boy in the film is called James; a little known fact, but if you are attending any festive quizzes or playing trivia games with the family over the Christmas week, this may be something you wish to remember!

Although there have been several short introductions to The Snowman produced, one of the most famous is the David Bowie introduction, where Bowie discusses why he loves Christmas. Along with the Bowie & Crosby song Little Drummer Boy, I think it is safe to assume that Bowie genuinely is a big fan of the Christmas holidays.

In 2012, on the 30th anniversary of the release of The Snowman, a short animated feature called The Snowman and the Snowdog was shown on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve. With a very similar plot to The Snowman, this film is set at the same house with a boy called Billy who builds a snowman and a snowdog which come to life. All three go on an adventure together. This sequel to The Snowman is also destined to become regular Christmas viewing for many households.

This classic is always shown on television over the Christmas season, and whether you haven’t seen it since childhood, you watch it every year or you have yet to see The Snowman, this is a Christmas classic which can be enjoyed at any age.

Read the article at firstinstinctmagazine.com


About writingsuzanne

History graduate. Freelance writer and reviewer. Passionate about film, theatre and music (film soundtracks!).
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