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The Snowman (DVD)

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Genre: Children's DVDs / Theatrical Release: 1982 / Director: Dianne Jackson / Actors: David Bowie, Peter Auty ... / DVD released 12 November, 2007 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    19 Reviews
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      26.11.2013 01:29
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      5 stars!

      I felt I had to write a review about this after introducing it to my three year old niece for the first time. Seeing her face light up as she saw a Snowman brought to life filled me with nostalgia and lots of happy, warm memories of my childhood came flooding back. As a child I would watch this every year on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with my two sisters and my brother. This is a tradition that has stayed with me as a young adult and one I hope to continue with my own children in the future.

      If you don't know what 'The Snowman' is, it was originally a children's picture book without words by author Raymond Briggs, which was then adapted into a short animated film which debuted in 1982. Like the book, the film tells the story without words, just using picture, motion and sound. The only words included in the film are said through the famous song 'Walking in the air' sung by a young Aled Jones.

      The basic storyline is as follows: It is Christmas time and snow has begun to fall, a young boy builds a snowman and at the stroke of midnight this snowman comes to life. That night, together, the boy and the snowman have various adventures including the snowman getting to grips with various household objects, a motorcycle ride and of course when the two take flight together, which is the magical moment where the famous song plays. This is the standout part of the film and is what it is most known for. The two continue to go to a snowman party where they meet lots of other snowmen as well as Father Christmas!

      The film also has it's share of heartbreak but I won't spoil it just in case (Although you must have been hiding under a rock for twenty years if you don't know what happens - haha). It's surprising how emotional an animated film with no words can make you! 'The snowman' does not need words to be funny, magical, poignant and enjoyable for both children and adults alike. It is an enchanting, beautiful story which takes you through many emotions. This to me is a sign of a very powerful and clever piece of work.

      If you have children you must show them this! As the title says, it truly is timeless.

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        30.11.2011 22:32
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        An absolutely charming film, and if you have missed it, you should definitely try and see it.

        I am a true child of the 1980s. One of my all time favourite movies at Christmas time was The Snowman. I grew out of this slightly as a teenager as it was my 2 year old brother's favourite when I was 13, and I got fed up of watching it over and over with him, but I introduced it to my sons last year, and they are equally enchanted with it. Last year, we were stuck in the house because of the snow, so I went on youtube and found that this is shown in its entirety over 2 or 3 10 minute videos. Because my sons enjoyed it, I saw it in Tesco the other week for £5 and decided to buy it as a treat for them as an impulse buy.

        My version as a child was on video cassette, and was introduced by David Bowie wearing a very fetching Christmas jumper. This version I picked up is a DVD, and is introduced by a cartoon version of Santa, setting the scene that it happened in a year so cold that even he couldn't get out because of all the snow. We then get into the cartoon that I am so familiar with, and it is just as good and appealing to kids now as it was back when it was first released in 1982. The graphics might not be quite as with it as some modern animations, but it is the heartfelt story that really draws you in.

        The story is based on the book of the same name, by the childrens author, Raymond Briggs. The book and the film both have no words. The film is about 27 minutes long, and in the whole animation, the only words you hear are the lyrics to the song, Walking in the Air, sung in the film by the chorister Peter Auty, and made famous when the Welsh school boy Aled Jones released it as a single. I don't know how many times I watched this as a child without noticing the lack of words, but I certainly did not miss any of the emotion or action because it was all conveyed perfectly by the music and actions in the film.

        The story is about a young boy called James, who wakes one morning to discover that there is a deep blanket of snow outside his house. His mum lets him go out and play, and he makes a giant snowman. After playing all day, he is sent to bed. When his parents are asleep, he gets out of bed and goes out again to see his snowman, and as the clock strikes midnight, the snowman comes to life. James takes the snowman in the house, with hilarious consequences as he shows him things like the telly, his parents clothes and his mums make up, and all the appliances in the kitchen. After a while, the snowman gets too hot, so they go back outside, where they have a dramatic drive on a motorbike before the snowman takes hold of James' hand, and they fly over the countryside to the North Pole. There they have a merry old dance with lots of other snowmen, and Father Christmas. At the end of the night, they have to go home.

        The story is enchanting, and I view it as pretty timeless. Whatever animation giants like Pixar come up with, they can't stop this from appealing to the young and the young at heart. I can see this still being popular in another 20 years time and me sitting with grandkids watching it.

        The music takes you through excitement, happiness, sadness, curiosity, magic, danger, wonder, and sadness, all within the 27 minutes of the film. It was composed by Howard Blake, who wrote scores for 14 films including The Snowman between 1969 and 2000. In parts, it reminds me of the drama in Peter and the Wolf, though Blake did not work on this, and must be due to both being instrumental scores.

        My DVD is a special edition, which contains a few extras, such as showing the story behind the Snowman, the storyboards and the alternative ending I remember so well from childhood by Bowie. At £5 I felt this was quite a bargain price, and I am glad I stumbled across it. I can't wait now to watch it when it snows, all warm and snuggled up with hot chocolate, as it isn't quite the same when it is sunny out.

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          01.02.2010 20:50
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          A Christmas classic that will delight kids and adults alike

          I can't even remember when I first fell in love with The Snowman. As a young child, I loved nothing more than to sit with Raymond Briggs's beautiful book, poring over the gorgeous pencil crayon pictures. And the film of the same name, released before I was born, has been a Christmas classic for as long as I can remember.

          The story is very simple- a young boy wakes up one morning and is thrilled to find the world outside transformed by a thick blanket of snow. He spends the day building a snowman, and when night falls, he creeps outside to look at his new friend.

          The snowman comes to life before his eyes, and together they explore the house and go on an exhilarating motorbike ride. But the most magical moments are still to come, as the snowman and boy fly to the North Pole for an extravaganza of a party with snowmen from all over the world, and Father Christmas himself!

          I don't know anyone who hasn't seen this film, but just in case there is someone out there, I won't spoil the ending for you. Suffice to say it's not a happy one- as a child I shed many tears over this film, and to be honest, not much has changed!

          The animation in this is simply beautiful. Drawn largely in pencil crayon, the film captures the gentle warmth and picturesque nature of Briggs's illustrations. The characters are really brought to life by the skill of the artists involved in making this. And the film itself is great fun to watch- the many little details of the snowman trying on hats, basking in front of the fridge and scaring the life out of the cat will delight kids and adults alike. And at just 26 minutes long, it's perfect for kids who would be restless sitting through a longer film.

          Mention must be made of the beautiful soundtrack by Howard Blake, which includes the classic 'Walking in the Air'. The orchestral music perfectly blends in with the animation, and, being a film without words, the soundtrack plays a large part in telling the story.

          The special edition DVD I was given last year is available to buy for around £5-6, and comes with the option of audio narration by Mel Smith. I found this spoilt the beauty of the film though, as it really doesn't need putting into words, particularly by a harsh voiced 'Father Christmas'! It also has a very interesting documentary about the making of The Snowman, which is well worth watching.

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            31.01.2010 21:23
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            Must see!

            Wow! A classic film.
            The Snowman is just such a wonderful DVD that demands to be shared with children and adults alike!
            The Story
            A young boy (James) rushes outside when he notices it has snowed overnight. He builds a wonderful Snowman. That night, he wakes in the middle of the night worried that his snowman is lonely - he looks out of his bedroom window and the snowman turns around!!! He rushes outside and together James and The Snowman have adventures through the night!! When he wakes the next day and looks out of his window he has melted and all that is left is a small pile of snow, hat and scarf :(
            But...James has a little souvenir in his pocket from the adventures in the night!!

            Overall
            A true classic with the fantastic Aled Jones sing 'Walking in the Air' when The Snowman and James are flying!!
            I would recommend getting the version without the voice over. I have used the 'silent' DVD a great deal and have found that this is amazing in hooking into children's own thoughts and descriptions of what is happening, without someone telling them. Often, demonstrating such original and hearfelt ideas - linked to their own experiences.
            When my own 2 year old watched this during the recent snowy spell - when he had melted she so innocently kept saying 'Pick him up!'

            A wonderful DVD for all ages - especially perfect at Christmas or on Snowy Days!

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              29.12.2009 11:32
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              A MAGICAL CHRISTMAS FILM

              The Snowman is a cartoon short film that is based on a book by Raymond Briggs. The film is usually shown on television around Christmas time and this year it was shown on Christmas eve on Channel 4. The Snowman is now on a DVD to buy and this costs around £5.

              The Snowman is the story of a young boy called James who is out playing in the snow at his home one day and decides to build a snowman. What he does not know is that the snowman will come to life later on and take James on a magic adventure where he will even get to meet Santa Claus!

              There is no speaking in The Snowman and it means that there is a nice atmosphere in the film but I think that it does not keep younger kids attention to well which I put down to it being a sort of silent film. There is music played through the film which goes well with the story of The Snowman but this is the only sounds that are played. There is a very famous song played in the film which is about half way or so. The song is called 'Walking in the Air' and is famous because it made the charts when it came out which was over twenty years ago. The song is played as The Snowman starts to fly with James and it is one of the most famous parts of the film.

              The film is a bit old fashioned looking when you look at it nowadays and all the fancy things they can do when making a cartoon or animated film and some of the effects they can do now are very believeable. The Snowman is nothing like this and it looks like sketches that have been put together so the whole film looks a bit dated. I don't think this ruins the story or anything though and it is still enjoyable to watch.

              There is a nice Christmassy feel to the film when watching it and it has one or two parts near the start that make me laugh such as when The Snowman is in James's house with him and is trying on some of his mother's make up and feels like he is going to sneeze. This is one of my favourite parts of the film.

              The ending of the film is very sad. I will not spoil it for anybody who has never seen the film but the first time I watched the film I had not seen it coming and I felt a bit sad at what had happened. It does not ruin the story of the film or anything though and I would still suggest giving it a watch.

              The film is from the early 80's and it was popular in its day. I think it shows the magic of the story when it is still being shown in 2009! It still has a lot of appeal and I enjoy watching it at Christmas time when it is on TV.

              The film is not very long and only runs for about forty minutes. The certificate of the film is U and it is fine for young ones to watch as there is no violence or anything in the film. I would suggest giving it a look to put you in the Christmas mood.

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              25.12.2009 11:17
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              One I look out for every year!

              The Snowman is an animation that is based on a book of the same title by Raymond Briggs. It is introduced by Father Christmas and tells the story of a young boy called James who is aged around 8. James wakes up one morning and finds to his delight that it has been snowing all night. He rushes down the stairs excitedly and out into the garden where he has a great time stomping through the snow. He then decides to build a snowman, which he completes just before his bedtime. James wakes up at just before midnight, heads downstairs and peers out of the window to check on his snowman. As the clock strikes midnight, to his utter amazement the snowman comes to life.

              The young boy invites the snowman inside and they have a great time exploring the house. The Snowman is intrigued by modern appliances such as the television, light switches and running water and has a great time trying these out. They then head upstairs to James' parents room where the Snowman tries on Dad's clothes and false teeth and Mum's makeup. This part was really funny and it is heart warming to see the friendship developing between the two.

              They then head out into the garden and the Snowman takes James' hand and magically the two start to fly. The sequence is amazing both in terms of the animation and the detail captured and also due to the mesmerising song ' Walking in the air'. This is sung by a young choirboy called Peter Auty from St Pauls Cathedral school and not by Aled Jones as widely believed. Aled Jones sang the song on the soundtrack that was released after the animation.

              As they head to the North Pole they fly over the ocean, past killer whales and cruise ships to a Christmas party with many other snowmen. My favourite bit in this sequence was when they are spotted by a man on the cruise ship who is holding a bottle of wine and thinks he's clearly had too much to drink. When they arrive at the North Pole they have a great time dancing around at the party and then James is introduced to Father Christmas. They then fly back home and after saying goodbye James heads off to bed. When he awakes the next morning he is heartbroken to discover the sun has come out and melted the Snowman.

              I have enjoyed watching the Snowman for as long as I can remember and always look out for it at Christmas time. The animation consists of a series of hand drawn pictures that have been coloured in using colouring pencils. This is quite different to many animations and visually it is a delight to watch. It is amazing to see the detail that has been captured using this style. For example there is a sequence where a horse is running through a field and the movement of his mane has been captured flawlessly. None of the characters speak in the story, except at the very beginning where Father Christmas introduces the story. All the emotions are conveyed through body language, facial expressions and also through the excellent score. The story is quite moving and captures the innocence of childhood perfectly.

              The animation was made in 1982 and 27 years later it is still as magical as the first time I watched it. It has certainly in my opinion stood the test of time and I am sure it is enjoyed as much by young children today. The animation is rated a U and lasts around 25 minutes. If you've missed it this year The Snowman is also available on DVD. For me Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without The Snowman.

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                19.11.2009 21:46
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                A sweet animation which will carry on for years and years

                What a classic! The Snowman!

                As you can probably tell by a few of my reviews, we are a big fan of Christmas films in our house.

                We bought this animation for our daughter when she was 3, she's now almost 6.

                My poor daughter really cried when she saw this for the first time, and when I say cried I mean absolutely broke her heart at it. So beware it is a bit emotional.

                The Snowman was written as a children's book published in 1978 and it was written by an author named Raymond Briggs. The book was then turned into an animation which was 26 minutes long. It was shown on Channel 4 in 1982 on Christmas Eve.

                The animation was a huge success and it has been broadcast every single Christmas since and of course also sold as a VHS and DVD.

                The characters do not speak in this film at all, the soundtrack is amazing.

                The Story:

                I'm really going to keep this short as I would hate to spoil it if you have never seen it before.

                The animation, The Snowman is a story about a little boy who after discovering that there was lots of snow on the ground outside, made a big snowman.

                When the boy wakes in the night, he discovers that the snowman comes to life.

                They become friends and the two of them have lots of fun and go on an adventure together.

                The famous song "Walking in the Air" Is played as they fly through the sky hand in hand. They attend a snowman party, and meet Santa Clause where he is given a gift.

                That's all I am going to say about the story as not to spoil anything.


                The Website:

                There is a website for this film www.thesnowman.co.uk
                I wouldn't say it is a very good website. It does give information about the creator and events, however it's not very child friendly which I was surprised about. There are some nice snowman colouring pages to print out and colour though.

                Cost:

                The DVD is on sale at Play.com for £3.33 with free delivery.
                I have purchased this from Asda last year for a gift for someone for £3. They may do this deal again this year.

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                19.12.2008 12:08
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                One of the best Christmas films of all time!

                (Please note: this is a 'film' only review - thanks!)

                'The Snowman' is a classic Christmas film; whether you love or hate the festive season, you will certainly have seen this film at least once in your life. 'The Snowman' didn't come to life in the form of a movie immediately; it was a children's book before hand, written by Raymond Briggs and released in 1978. Four years later Channel 4 with the help of Dianne Jackson, who had worked on the animation for The Beatles cult classic 'Yellow Submarine', turned the story into a short movie and later went to work on another Briggs story, 'Father Christmas'.

                BASIC PLOT
                T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring - except for a young lad who was eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus! So, that is what most kids do. However, before the times of global warming or any other geographical fad, this young boy wasn't just excited about the arrival of Santa, although I'm sure that was a crucial part of the anticipation. However, he could be guaranteed one thing so precious that his life would be complete and totally, awesomely happy: snow.

                That's right kids, you read it here first: he got a WHITE Christmas! Well, the snow is an essential part of the film for more than one reason; not only does it denote what Christmas was meant to look like many, many years ago - before we started killing the atmosphere and all - but it also helps to have more than a handfuls worth of snow to help build a snowman, right?

                The unlikely but lovable (as in that little kid looks so precocious) duo become the best of friends but how does their journey begin and - more importantly - how does it end?

                MUSIC BUT...NO WORDS?!
                This to me is one of the reasons why 'The Snowman' is such an endearing film; the fact that it uses music as a way to convey the characters emotions is wonderful and certainly easy to follow. As the only diction throughout the entire film is a one off lyrical interlude in the middle, it makes the movie one that can be enjoyed and appreciated by both the young and old; both the Grannies and kids can watch it with nobody feeling the need to cringe or show a fair amount of fake shock when the 'f' word pops up.

                'We're Walking in the Air' is one of the true Christmas song classics, mainly because it links back to this film so well and rekindles many happy memories to those who have watched and loved the film beforehand. In spite of the fact that Aled Jones did re-release this track a couple of years after the film debut, a young choirboy called Peter Auty did the initial vocal effort, although this was only credited on the re-mastered version of the film in the 21st Century.

                Many may mock Auty's vocal effort on this song because of the stigma attached to Jones; I don't because it makes the movie seem to be that much more whimsical and magical. 'The Snowman' could be seen as an ordinary animation with a limited amount of plot but the music in between is captivating , fitting each mood fantastically well, and making the film seem a little bit special.

                THE ANIMATION
                It would be unfair to class 'The Snowman' as an ordinary animation as it is one of the most cherished features of the film. Like the storyline itself, it is simple but still maintains a degree of charm about it that other films involving snowmen could never hope to do. Take 'Jack Frost' for example, the one that bombed at the box office because it tries too hard to replicate the idea of a snowman coming to life and having a positive influence on a child's life. It just didn't work, not just because it was corny but because it wasn't animated.

                The animation here makes the film seem more dream-like and a lot more mystical than if it had been made with actors. Otherwise, 'The Snowman' would have been made to look like a poorly acted silent film which wouldn't entertain and enchant the young mind. Instead, it would scare them into cowering under the Christmas tree, waiting for that rather large man to sneak into their house at the dead of night with his very own kind of swag bag to save them from such a travesty.

                The animation isn't perfect but it's old-school; taken straight from the pages of the child's picture book, as Jackson had hoped to achieve, it's unique and has a glorious appeal that although should look extremely dated, never seems to. Forget the Disney Pixar perfect computer generated imagery of today; 'The Snowman' looks as if every scene had been sketched with such intricate detail that every shot could be seen as a work of art in itself. It's rough in places but again, that adds to the overall appeal of the film in my view as it looks completely different to contemporary films.

                OVERALL: WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH 'THE SNOWMAN' THIS CHRISTMAS?
                'The Snowman' is perhaps the classic Christmas film; it's uplifting, jolly and enjoyable to watch, even if it isn't directly linked to Christmas, only through the festive decorations in the background...and of course the snow!

                One of the drawbacks could actually be for some people that there is no dialogue throughout the film, only when good ol'Auty starts to sing. I personally like that aspect of the film as it seems more magical and enchanting but for some people, it could get a bit boring because of that fact. Also, if you tried watching this film over and over again, then I can imagine you'd get very bored indeed with it.

                It is one of those films however that you could relish in every Christmas. The 'happy-go-lucky' attitude gives you the feeling that all of this could have occurred; ok so maybe the animation side of things may take away from the idea of realism but, especially with David Bowie's occasional introduction, the idea of a snowman coming to life is a lovely idea and you do find that the film never tires in a sense because of this yearning for it to be true.

                'The Snowman' doesn't have a sophisticated plot; in fact, it is so simple to watch that a child of two could quite easily follow without being confused in any way. However, in spite of the fact I am now 19, it is still an integral part of Christmas for me; my Mother, who is a lot older than 19, always watches it with me and we both enjoy it each and every year. Could it be a case of 'small things pleasing small minds?'. Quite possible, yes, more on my part than Mums!

                Yet, it is important to remember that 'The Snowman' is a beautiful film in an understated, charismatic way which doesn't necessarily have a serious meaning to it.

                Only to enjoy the snow while it lasts.

                QUICK STATS
                Year: 1982
                Time: 26 minutes
                Age Certificate: U
                Website: http://www.thesnowman.co.uk
                Watch: Channel 4, Christmas Eve, 3pm
                (Posted on other review sites under the same name, MizzMolko)

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                  30.10.2008 12:32
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                  A great animation with good music, especially the theme tune

                  I remember when i was a child a couple of weeks before christmas every year when mum would be the tv guide i would look all the way through to see when this animation was coming on tv. Every year without fail i used to sit and watch this. Now that i'm a mum myself i went and brought this dvd for my own children to watch before christmas.

                  This animated short film which lasts approximately 25 -30 minutes is a magical christmas story about an only child who lives in the countryside with his parents. One night when the boy goes to bed it snows heavily and the next day he rushes outside to build his snowman. That night the boy's so excited he can't help but go to his bedroom window to look at his snowman and at the stroke of midnight he sees his snowman magically come to life.

                  He puts on his dressing gown, runs out and hugs him then invites him to try all different things in his garden and house. He rides a motorbike, watches tv, tries out different fruit for his nose instead of the satsuma he has. Goes into the boy's parents bedroom and dresses in dad's trousers and puts on mum's make up and perfume.

                  After this the snowman takes him into the garden and rides the boys dad's motorbike and the snowman begins to get warm so the boy shows him their large freezer and the snowman begins to cool again. After this they then together run down the garden then they start to fly. He then takes the boy to the party for all snowmen of which father christmas is there. They dance, eat, drink and of course the boy gets a present off father christmas. They then fly home and the boy goes back to bed.

                  The following morning though the snowman has melted by the sun and although the boy wonders if it was all a dream he realises it isn't as he has his present he got (a scarf with a snowman pattern all over it) to remind him of his magical night.

                  Their is no voices in this cartoon just music and the one track we all know "Walking in the air".

                  This is available to buy from a good dvd stockists for approximately £5.00 which i think is a great buy

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                    12.08.2008 16:15

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                    classic film for all ages, great christmas film

                    This is a very good film based on the book by raymond briggs, it seems like this film is on tv every christmas, but one i seemingly always miss. So last year i bought the film, and i have to say it was money worth spent. This is quite a short film, but its content is excellent and though there is very little talking this works extremely well with this animation.

                    The music is extremely well known, and always gets me in the christmas mood. The story is all about a little boy, who wakes up to find it has snowed, so decides he builds a great snowman, but cant beleive his eyes when it comes to life. There are some funny scenes, when the snowman where his fathers clothes, and the feel of this film is very magical.

                    This is a definite one to watch, its great for children and adults alike. My nephew loves this movie, and cant think of anything i didnt enjoy about this movie. recommended

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                    27.12.2007 00:16
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                    magical film

                    This short film is a must in British Christmas culture.

                    The Snowman is a magical film that lasts for only 26 minutes. Made for cash strapped new Channel, Channel 4 in 1982 this film is based on picture book by Raymond Briggs.

                    Either on Christmas Eve or on New Years Eve a boy finds that his snowman has come to life, together they go for a ride; snowman plays with modern gadgets and toys owned by the boy. Then the boy and the snowman take a ride on a bike and than remarkably the boy and the snowman fly to meet Santa in Finland, attend a party thrown by the Santa and than make a return journey home. Sadly the ending is upsetting as the demise of the snowman is shown, it simply melts away. Oh how sad. This short film is shown every year by the C4 and also there is a DVD. My favourite part of the movie is when they are flying to Lapland. On the way they see or are seen by various people and animals, sheep, fish, little girl, drunken man partying on a boat with a bottle of whiskey in his hand.

                    A film without a dialogue. It is a poignant film with old fashioned themes and magically journey.
                    Rumour has it that, that I may have cried when the snowman melts away. This could be a lie or happened many years ago because I can't remember. I do remember wishing to fly.

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                      10.12.2002 19:14
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                      The Snowman, A classic tale of a young boy and his dreams that unfortunatly dont last. Isnt it the same for most people? However children may get upset at the fact the snowman disappears but atleast they know he will come back next year. And look at all the fun the boy and the snowman had. Living in England we dont get much snow but that doesnt stop people from wantng to build a snowman and as they cant this is the next best thing. The magical part of the story is when the snowman comes to life. However being old enough to know that when you close the curtains the snowman wont come to life and fly away still doesnt spoil this fantastic film from Raymond Briggs. It appears that this timeless classic is one that will never be forgotten as it brings happy smiles to all the family from my two year old cousin to my 65 year old nan who incidently, still likes to sit down every christmas and watch it. I cant blame her. I love the story. It doesnt matter what you have been doing, i can sit down and watch the Snowman and get lost in the story and for a little while forget what i was worrying about before, as i get lost in the fantasy, that is the Snowman. The soundtrack is also well known as everyone sings along. (well to the first line anyway) It captures the hearts of people everywhere and for the time that it is on keeps everyone engrossed and quiet. I find it really amazing how such a popular film that everyone loves goes the whole way through without one word being spoken between anybody. This also adds to the fun as the child can sit and 'make up' what everyone is saying. I know i did. Even all the tough guys sit down and watch the snowman because it is just such a capturing film. So do yourself a favour and try not to think of the things like, snowmen cant walk or fly, or wouldnt the snowman melt inside the house, and just sit down and watch it. You will have a much more magical christmas. I know i cant wait for it to come
                      on. This was my first review so before people start saying how bad it was take that into account. And if you are going to make a comment can i only have the helpful ones and not the hurtful ones??? Thankyou.

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                        04.01.2002 16:17
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                        Here we are again, another attempt at a film review by yours truly. After the relative success of my first film review and bowing to the many requests to write another I decided to write a review about another Raymond Briggs story made into cartoon. That and we bought the video for Christmas, for the kids of course. This short film is probably the most famous cartoon adaptation from one of Raymond Briggs' books ever. It is the story of a small boy who builds and then befriends a Snowman. Of course I'm sure most, if not all, of you have seen this cartoon haven't you? Yeah, thought so, anyway let's continue. This 'film' is only 25 minutes long, or thereabouts, and what a magical 25 minutes they are! David Bowie introduces the film, and we join him in an attic where he tells a very brief account of an event when he was a boy and then from a chest or box he pulls a silky blue scarf adorned with pictures of Snowmen. Now the animation starts and after a few more words from David Bowie, setting the scene, the cartoon starts proper and there isn't another word spoken for the remainder of the film. The whole story is told to music. This is how the story unfolds - we see a young boy in bed, it is morning and it has been snowing heavily, all through the night. He wakes, jumps out of bed, rushes to the window and surveys the now whitened landscape. The boy is very excited and quickly gets dressed; there isn't a moment to lose! All that snow just waiting for him to do with what he wants. You see this young boy is lucky, he doesn't live in a street or a town his home is in the middle of a group of fields, on the outskirts of a small village. Now dressed the boy puts on his wellies and rushes out into the morning air and now his adventure begins. He enjoys making fresh footprints in the virgin snow, making tracks and shapes and this is fun for a while, then he makes himse
                        lf a large snowball and throws it. Mum isn't happy when it hits the window so this activity stops. Now though the boy is getting bored. After a while though he starts aimlessly rolling snow into a ball until it gets larger and larger, then the idea strikes him to build a Snowman and so he sets about this task with great enthusiasm. This is when the magic really starts. For kids that is and some of us adults of course. However after watching this again as an adult I now see something else. Sadness. Yes, I now find the film quite sad. It seems the boy is an only lonely child and living where he does, doesn't appear to have any friends close by either. His Mum is too sensible and busy to play with him and Dad, well he doesn't seem like he can really be bothered. So the boy is left to his own devices somewhat and this is where his imagination takes over. Or does it? The Snowman is nearly built and after a few finishing touches like borrowing an old hat and a scarf from Mum the boy completes his masterpiece and on doing so stands back and admires his work like some proud sculptor. Next is the fun bit, the innocence of youth, the belief that if you wish for something hard and long enough it will come true. This is what the boy does. Now back indoors he keeps looking out the window at the Snowman, his Snowman, waiting for something magical to happen, waiting for his wish to come true. Alas nothing happens and soon enough it is time for bed but not before the little boy steals a few more glances out the window to check his Snowman. Then to sleep, but the boy is restless and sometime in the night wakes up and goes to the window, looks out and as he does something fantastic happens, the Snowman comes to life! Now the adventures begin. I won't say anymore, I won't spoil it further but I think you all know how it goes from here and if you don't then go
                        and watch it. Of course one of the highlights, if not the highlight of this film is the song 'Walking in the Air' which seemed to make young choirboy Aled Jones famous overnight. This is sung during the famous sequence where the Snowman takes the boy flying, off to a faraway magical land, and even more adventures. Now to the end of the film, the boy and the Snowman have had a long night, many adventures and a lot of fun but it is nearly morning and so the boy must return home and the Snowman return to his place in the boy's garden. Just in time, phew! The boy falls asleep and sometime later wakes, remembers what happened through the night and rushes downstairs to see the Snowman. When he opens the door and goes outside into the garden what does he find? Was it all a dream? Was the Snowman just a figment of the boy's imagination, an imaginary friend for an only lonely child? You decide but there is one clue, one thing the boy has in his dressing-gown pocket that makes him and us, the viewers wonder if it really happened. Despite it being quite short this is a good little film/cartoon and one the kids are bound to love. Being short it doesn't stretch a child's normally short attention span too much and the magic of a Snowman coming to life inspires their imagination. I know I said I thought it was also a sad film, that is only my opinion, but it is still a very magical film mainly because my kids have enjoyed watching it so much and has helped keep their belief going that wonderful things can happen. ~~~~~ RANTY BIT ~~~~~ I do have one gripe though, not about the film but about the way the video was packaged and sold. In the lead up to Christmas 2001 this film and the other Raymond Briggs favourite 'Father Christmas' (both in VHS video format) were packaged in very nice boxes. Blue for 'The Snowman' and green for 'Father Christmas'. <br> However they were both labeled as 'Collector's Edition' which leads one to think there is something extra something special about the product. But alas no, they are both just the bog standard original video, nothing has been added. I have also noticed these aren't the only films this has happened to recently, IMHO it was just a way to justify charging 10 quid each for films about 30 minutes long and nearly 20 years old. ~~~~~ END OF RANTY BIT ~~~~~ There, finished my second film review, it's a little bit shorter than my normal efforts I know, I thought I'd give you lot a breather! I hope you enjoyed it and as usual all constructive comments are gratefully received.

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                          24.12.2000 17:03
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                          This may not be everyone’s favourite but this to me is a mild reminder of my youth, and them Christmas days when we’d watch it on channel four, it’s so sad, so wonderfully written, this is no ordinary Christmas movie it is done in the style of an animated cartoon. The story is ordinary, and predictable, but yet the music and the snowman and the little boy contribute to it be one of my favourites. This children’s movie is based on the book which was written by Raymond Briggs. The ‘Snowman’ is about a boy called James and his snowman that he has just made after waking up and finding snow everywhere. Like all kids he starts to make a snowman and then leaves it, but unlike the snowman my kids or yours make, James's snowman comes to life. During the night he suddenly wakes to find his Snowman is alive and here his adventures starts,, and from their they enjoy each other’s company and the start of their adventures. Eventually they end up at place where there are more snowmen all who have come to life. This is where the music, the dancing contributes to making it so good. The Snowman becomes a part of the boy but when the excitement from the part is over they fly home and the tearful goodbye takes place, and in the end what is left of the Snowman is a puddle. With Music by Howard Blake ‘We’re walking in the air’ and the rest of the music in the Snowman by him, he has to be given allot of credit as the music makes it just as much as success as it is. This has to be one of the best Children’s movies ever made. So touching, so simple. The picture of the boy and the Snowman will stay in your head after you have watched this film. This has to be a movie that you should encourage your kids to watch, so easy to understand, and so Christmasy.

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                            06.12.2000 15:54
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                            The Snowman is a short cartoon film about a young boy who build's a snowman in his back garden! During the night he is awoken by sounds in his bedroom!! To his shock its the Snowman walking around his bedroom! The Snowman which the little boy made!!! The little boy and the snow have great fun together, and the snowman takes the little boy to a place high up in the woods where all the other snowmen are! And to the delight of the little boy Father Christmas in there as well!! Not giving to much away, you should see this film as their is an unhappy ending.... Thanks James

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                        • Product Details

                          Two Raymond Briggs' animated classics, The Snowman and Father Christmas are here sensibly paired for maximum yuletide delight. Based on Briggs's classic children's book and crafted in a coloured-pencils-on-paper look, like fluffy, hand-drawn illustrations, The Snowman is a gentle fable of friendship and the power of imagination. It's the story of a small boy whose lovingly constructed snowman comes to life and takes him flying over the white-blanketed landscapes, in a beautiful rotoscoped (traced) sequence based on live-action flying footage. Part of the charm of the film is the gentle, everyday quality of its fantasy adventures: the snowman is invited in to try on clothes and play with the Christmas decorations, then plays host to the boy at a party in the woods, at which his snowy relatives do country dances. --David Chute In Father Christmas, an irreverent Santa breaks from tradition in many ways. He has no Mrs, owns only four reindeer and decides to convert his sleigh into an airborne motor home for a pre-Christmas holiday. He finds France too snooty, Scotland too cold and Las Vegas just right. Tanned and rested, he returns to the North Pole in time to sort through the mail, pack up the toys and hit the skies. He also narrates his own story (splendidly voiced by Los Angeles stage actor William Dennis Hunt), but fans of the 1973 book will find the animated version far less cranky than the original. Although the book was aimed at children between the ages of 4-8, this may have a wider appeal, depending on how you feel about the children seeing Santa gambling at the casino tables, dreaming of bikini-clad babes and suffering a bout of diarrhoea. --Kimberly Heinrichs