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5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one film ... The Snowman should be it!
Having read hundreds of film critiques on Amazon (and understanding, of course, that opinions are only relative to the viewer)I feel compelled to finlly share words of praise for what I believe to be the most wonderful children's and family film ever produced. There is only one film in our collection that is watched all year long and always raved about by all who see it...
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by Sobai

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Half The DVD is Good
I bought this DVD mainly for Father Christmas, as I had almost worn out my VHS version, taped off PBS years ago. As others have said, the version on this DVD is a travesty, with the gruff, but loveable Mel Smith's voice replaced by a much too benign voice that rather resembles Sebasitan Cabot's as Mr French from the old "Family Affair" show. This feature...
Published on Dec 23 2002


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5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one film ... The Snowman should be it!, Oct. 31 2003
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
Having read hundreds of film critiques on Amazon (and understanding, of course, that opinions are only relative to the viewer)I feel compelled to finlly share words of praise for what I believe to be the most wonderful children's and family film ever produced. There is only one film in our collection that is watched all year long and always raved about by all who see it (including adults). The grand babies can't wait to get to Nana & Papa just to see The Snowman (even in the dog days of summer!). This delightful film even provoked conversation about Aurora Borealis, which they all have now learned about at such a young age! Raymond Briggs brought magic to the book and just when you thought that could not get any better, it was made into a film. What is so magical about this film is that a child's imagination is set free to explore the animated illustrations and soothing music WITHOUT any distraction from narration. Even adults are captivated as they sit quietly holding little ones, who have long since stopped moving and chattering when this film comes on. Undoubtedly, I believe this to be the very best children's film available. No violence, no distasteful language, nothing objectionable. How could there be ... only glorious music and beautiful illustrations come to life in a childs imagination. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, this is the sweetest film you'll see. Our 3-generation family gives this film 5 big stars!
P.S. We have watched the VHS version for years. Having not seen the new DVD version(which comes with the tag-along DVD) I cannot comment on the Father Christmas DVD. However, from all of the negative comments, it does not seem to be worth watching(?). However, for the price of this dual set - you can certainly toss Father Christmas if you don't like it and still be way ahead of the game with just the purchase of The Snowman (which I believe is now being offered on DVD for the first time ever!). What a shame it was not released as a single DVD. Hmmmm...maybe that was the only way to move Father Christmas?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Half The DVD is Good, Dec 23 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
I bought this DVD mainly for Father Christmas, as I had almost worn out my VHS version, taped off PBS years ago. As others have said, the version on this DVD is a travesty, with the gruff, but loveable Mel Smith's voice replaced by a much too benign voice that rather resembles Sebasitan Cabot's as Mr French from the old "Family Affair" show. This feature definitely got the "PC" treatment, as all Santa's witticisms were cut, and phrases like "happy bloomin' Christmas" were changed to "Merry Christmas".
On the flip side, I was quite pleased with "The Snowman", which was a beautiful and haunting little film, with a fine musical score. If you get this DVD, get it ONLY for The Snowman. Don't even watch Father Christmas! What are you doing? I said don't watch it! Not even once!
If you have a DVD player or computer capable of playing region 2 DVDs, you can order the British version and hear Mel Smith in all his bloomin' glory.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Snowman:Great - Father Christmas:Butchered, Dec 12 2002
By 
"piratebearus" (Charlotte, NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
This is the first time that the Snowman has been on dvd. Added is an American version of Father Christmas. The Snowman Comes intact, and complete. All the charm and stunning animation is complete. It is wonderful to get the snowman on dvd. Slowing down someof the flight sequences are stunningly beautiful.
BUT,The of Raymond Brigg's Father Christmas is a Butchered Americanized version. Narrated by an American actor, this version looses all the charm of the English version voiced by Mel Smith, the Original Father Christmas! This is NOT that version! This is a censored chopped version that just doesn't translate well over to American audiences.
In Father Christmas, Santa is not the Politically Correct Santa that prudish Americans would like you to see. He is a cantankerous Santa whom complains, and grumbles all the while that he is doing things. So much so, that he takes a vacation to Scotland, where he drinks at a Pub/bar. Vegas, were he gambles and smokes around bikini clad women. This Santa is shown as a normal person. At a couple times, they even show his [behind], to which my God daughters think is the most hilarious thing. It gives a very strong impression that he is a real person. The American version is trying for that rankin/bass whimsical Christmas thing, but it just doesn't work with English Humor. Even the Finally song sung by the American actor shows a more benevolent, Richard Attenburough figure. The Elf-boss (Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer) is more cantankerous than the actor in this one. The original is more like an annoyed Bob Hoskins. ...
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4.0 out of 5 stars The American Version, Dec 6 2002
By 
"piratebearus" (Charlotte, NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
Beautiful animation based on Raymond Brigg's Books. Although the Snowman is intact to its origional content. It's a wonderful tale of a boy who builds a snowman who comes to life, and has a north pole adventure in the middle of the night, Meeting santa, and returning home. In the end the snowman melts. Bitter-sweet, and wonderful, its told not in words but in action.
Father Christmas has been re-narrated by an american actor. The Charm of the British version is lost. The origional hosts a cranky, cantankerous Brit Santa who, sick of the cold, wet snow-time job, goes on a vacation in different parts of the world. His adventures are full of tongue-in-cheek Brit humor that adults can watch, and children will not notice. The movie shows a Santa who kicks back eats, drinks, gambles in Vegas, and complains along the way. There are even two parts cut out of this version: One is of santa in the outhouse, Second is part of a Scottish pub scene were Santa and the musician there have a few drinks, and He ends up barefoot in the bar dancing with a number of onlookers. It's all tastefully done to British Standards. The American(P.C) version of this show a chipper Santa, and looses all the charm of the origional. Even the song: 'Bloomin Cristmas' looses all humor with an American Voice-over.
I recommend this to anyone who wants a dvd of the snowman, but I would skip the whole Father Christmas of this video. Find the origional F.H.E version on Ebay, or somewhere's else.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Snowman, Nov. 26 2001
By 
I. Westray (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
"The Snowman" is among my family's enduring few favorite videos. It's just wonderful, marvelous, magic, and all those warm things you say about a great little gem of a show. Basically it's a simple story about a boy who makes a snowman. That night the snowman comes to life, and they have some fun together. The story's all told without words, excepting the lyrics to one song.
You'll never appreciate how fantastic this little film is on those terms, though. It's the music, and the graceful timing, and the way the animators worked with the images from the original picture book, and just the whole gently smiling package that wins over everyone who sees this thing. Honest, it's really pretty unusual for me to write unqualified praise of something, but this one deserves it. It's a perfect, flawless kids' show.
The music, especially, is just a treat. It's a graceful soundtrack, charmingly woven through the wordless images of the video. One holiday season, I talked myself into buying a new stereo just to play the video tape version of this over more than one speaker. It turned out the sound on our tape was flawed -- we'd worn it out I think -- so I bought a DVD player and the DVD version. Okay, sure, I'd been thinking about DVDs for a while, but this little movie is just THAT good.
Why four stars instead of five, then?
Well, first of all, the Father Christmas half isn't quite up to The Snowman's standard. It's pleasant enough, but it just isn't quite as charming or well-timed. For some reason they've got an American actor dubbed over the original English one, though the story's clearly set in Britain anyway. Those sound like quibbles, but let's just say I wouldn't go out of my way to watch that one.
The other problem is the DVD quality. The first copy we got of this had horrible jitters to the image, actual breakup, as if the disc had been badly mastered. The second copy, which we've kept, won't let you select The Snowman from the main menu; whichever button you use, you go to Father Christmas. (We use the info panel on our player to move to the other title on the disc.) The sound and image quality are fine, if you can get a good copy, but there's a quality control thing going on somewhere.
Honestly, though, this disc is worth a tiny hiccup or two. Snowman ranks up there with all the Christmas classics I remember from being a kid -- Charlie Brown's Christmas, Rudolph, and so on. It's got class, and it's fun, and it's beautiful. Buy yourself a new stereo and dig in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Snowman/Father Christmas Double Feature, March 20 2001
By 
sillygirl412 "sillygirl412" (Ossining, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
Grab some hot cocoa, a warm blanket and each other and snuggle up for this annual Christmas favorite!
The Snowman / Father Christmas double feature DVD is great for families with children of all ages. Short but sweet, each of these shows are roughly 24 minutes in length, making them perfect for parents who don't want their kids parked in front of the tv for hours.
The colored drawing effect of The Snowman will delight viewers while the relaxing soundtrack makes one forget there is no dialogue. Its simplicity nurtures the imagination.
Father Christmas, narrated by none other than Santa himself, has a more modern cartoon feel to it but manages to bring the viewer back full circle to The Snowman with a scene borrowed from it called "Snowman's Party". Go along for the ride in Santa's flying camper as he vacations in France, Scotland and even Las Vegas!
If you want a wholesome Christmas DVD that the whole family can enjoy year after year, you've found it. ENJOY!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful X-Mas Animation, But beware..., Nov. 19 2000
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
When I first saw the Snowman, I was just enthralled with the style and care taken in the animation. Not to mention the charming story. When, later, I learned that there would be a sort of Snowman part 2, I was very happy indeed. Father Christmas was hillarious. Partly because of the story of the hard working Father Christmas' time off. But also because of the brilliant voice talents of Mel Smith. Smith, a very well know actor and comedian in Europe. But Mel Smith's Voice has been removed from the Americanized version shown on the DVD. A Los Angelino has been brought in to soften and re-direct the story. Makeing the brithish accent more accessable by an american audience and making the comic story of a slightly grumpy Santa, who just wants to have a nice vaction, thinner and more geared toward America's sterilized "children in a vacum" nature.
I was very disappointed in this change. This has gone from being a classic Christmas comedy for the whole family... to watered down pap suited only for those 5 and under. If the video version still has Mel Smith, I urge you to get that. Or just watch it during it's seasonal run on local PBS stations. Where they're not afraid to treat an artist's work with the respect it deserves and not change it to suit their likes. This, in my opinion in exactly tragic as Colourizing films.
It's still a great show, they haven't figured out a way to tamper with the great animation... But it's not as great as it was before some misguided executive decided to make it "better".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, Nov. 11 2000
By 
Chuck Beard (Tallahassee, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
I had never seen "The Snowman," but took a chance on it because of the low price. Wow! I'm so glad I did. "The Snowman" is one of the most beautiful cartoons I've ever seen . . . In fact, the word "cartoon" doesn't do justice to this lovely film, which has the feel of a moving colored-pencil drawing. The music is whimsical and shimmering, and I sometimes play it without even watching the film. Even with the continuous music, the film has a silent feel to it because of the absence of dialogue. The only words are in the one lovely vocal song, "Walking in the Air," sung by a boy treble, haunting and beautiful. This has become one of my favorite holiday DVDs, and I'd recommend it to anyone who still finds magic in Christmas. (On the other hand, I can't recommend the DVD's second feature, "Father Christmas." It's irreverent and depressing, showing Father Christmas on vacation on a sunny beach; one of the most un-Christmasy things I've ever seen.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Nov. 24 2003
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
Although both animations are lovely, 'The Snowman' is the real masterpiece of the two. The Briggs book is brought to life, and the story is actually enhanced by the lack of narration.
Having loved this video since I was young, I wanted to introduce it to my young son (he's 5). I had a suspicion that, as fast-paced as today's shows and games are, he would find this dull. I was pleasantly surprised that the story won out, and that he was into it from beginning to end. (I also recommend the 'Kipper' series of videos for this calm but engaging style of storytelling.)
'Father Christmas' is nice enough. It's a good bonus feature, but isn't quite as wonderful as 'The Snowman,' and doesn't hold my son's interest (or mine) as well. I understand that the British version is racy and lot more charming.
Anyhow, it's a real treat to be able to share this movie with my son!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Snowman Cometh, June 4 2001
By 
Jack L. Aiello (Bronx, New York United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Father Christmas and Snowman (Double Feature) (DVD)
Although it's a great 2-in-1 treat, The Snowman is by far the superior of the two Christmas tales in this DVD. Told entirely through a gorgeous arrangement of music, and free of dialogue, this story of friendship between a boy and a Snowman literally leaps to life. The soft pastel strokes of animation evoke a dreamlike quality that propels this story into the realm of artistry. While The Snowman is ideal for children of all ages, make no mistake that adults will be moved by this too. No fair to give away the ending, but it's a heartbreaking metaphor for the exact moment in our young lives when we all "grow up"; it's perhaps the most moving thing I've ever seen.
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