4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
THE SNOWMAN (1982) was an incredible christmas movie.But enventhough it had no talking and just music in it,I would give it 5 stars (or more if possible).It was apted from the wordless story THE SNOWMAN (1978) by Raymond Briggs,renewed in 1990 with words.The book was great,too.I have the special 1990 editon of the book.I DON'T have the movie,but I rented it once and saw it in school when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.In this 23 minute cartoon ,James builds a snowman and it comes to life.When it comes to life,James invites the snowman to his house and the snowman gives James a flying trip.The book and the movie are both good for preschoolers.If you like Disney's film FANTASIA(1940)(wich also had no talking and just music),Buy this film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2004
The story and superb animation to the Snowman has to be the most enjoyable, shortest(23 minuite) movie i ever seen.
It all started when my grand children came to greet me on christmas day, as i am a very old man i cant do anything besides watching TV. Then we all sat together and flicked threw the channels to see anything interesting to watch on christmas day.
All of a sudden, the snowman came on tele. My grand children sat next to me as i was smoking my pipe and we watching the most amazing and very enjoyable animation ever. After watching it, i orderd 9 dvd versions for my grand children and even one for myself.hehehe
I personally recommend this cartoon for all ages, it is one of those movies which will remain in your memory the rest of your life.
THE SNOWMAN  [30th Anniversary Edition] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Enchanting, delightful, timeless! Leaves Memories with You That Will Never Melt Away!
‘The Snowman’ which was adapted from Raymond Briggs’s classic picture book, is a family favourite. A beautiful story of a boy whose snowman comes to life at midnight, it has captured the imagination of generations--and continues to enchant. Nominated for an Oscar in 1982 and awarded the British Academy Award for best children’s entertainment in the same year, no family film collection is complete without James and his wondrous friend.
Cast: David Bowie and Raymond Briggs
Directors: Dianne Jackson and Jimmy T Murakami (supervising director)
Producer: John Coates
Screenplay: Raymond Briggs (book)
Composer: Howard Blake
Music: Peter Auty (treble) and Sinfonia of London
Art Department: Dianne Jackson, Hilary Audus, Jill Brooks and Joanna Harrison
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Audio: English: 2.0 LPMC Stereo
Running Time: 26 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal Pictures UK
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: Christmas wouldn’t be the same without another showing for the heart-melting fantasy about a boy whose snowman creation magically comes to life. The original Oscar-nominated ‘The Snowman,’ famed for the scene of the boy and his snowman taking flight to the swelling choral ballad "Walking In The Air" has been screened every Christmas by Channel 4 since 1982.
The tale of ‘The Snowman’ follows the story of a young boy on one winter's day, as he decides that he wants to build a snowman. After much effort put into building his frosty creation, at the stroke of midnight whilst the young boy is fast asleep, the snowman suddenly springs to life. We then follow the snowman whilst accompanied by the young boy, as they impart on a magical wondering which leads them on a journey all the way to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.
Dianne Jackson's and Jimmy T. Murakami's masterful direction of The Snowman would struggle if it had tried to be more of a thriving example of an adaptation done right. Within being obviously robbed of its 1983 Oscar for best animated short, The Snowman is still an incredibly underrated Christmas special that could not be more faithfully adapted from its original source that is Raymond Brigg's original 1978 classic story book. The Snowman also features the unquestionable talent of David Bowie and Raymond Briggs (depending on the UK or US release) as the older version of the young boy and as the narrator before the story begins.
The most obvious highlight of ‘The Snowman’ is easily it's hauntingly beautiful use of sound and animation. From the jaw dropping voice of angelic St Pauls Cathedral choir boy Peter Auty, and featuring an incredible orchestral score by the Sinfonia of London; Walking In The Air is a dazzling piece that is almost guaranteed to stay with you throughout the film, and long after the final credits roll. I will not lie to you and say that ‘The Snowman’ is an entirely happy concoction, however despite it's somewhat melancholy ending, this story still stands out to be a must see Christmas classic, for even those who are usually only loyal to their happy go lucky cinematic fiction.
Although, ‘The Snowman’ is undoubtedly heart-warming, the film doesn’t sugar-coat it’s sad ending as the life of ‘The Snowman’ is shown to be all too short and fleeting. It is testament to this respectful and sensitive adaptation that the embellishments made from the source material work so well. The first half, sticking closely to Briggs’ story, is full of charming little details as the Snowman is invited into the young boy’s home and experiences the wonders and dangers of everyday objects we all take for granted. The film then takes flight, quite literally, and abandons the confines of the original story to embark on an epic and joyous journey. Both halves perfectly compliment the other and it never feels haphazardly stitched together.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘The Snowman’ is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and far exceeded my expectations. Considering the age of this film, the transfer is superb. This transfer has been re-mastered and the results are evident for all to see. The animation for this movie is pretty simple, but even so the colours and detail are evidently of the highest quality. The colour palette is bold and lifelike, blacks are solid and the image is in pristine condition. There is no sign of damage or dirt on the print and it is safe to say that the movie has never looked so good. There is a small amount of grain but this is not distracting. Edge enhancements are nowhere to be seen and compression artefacts are also non-existent. Overall, this is an amazing transfer which Universal should give up on trying to improve, as it simply cannot be done!
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Universal have supplied just the one soundtrack with this release of English 2.0 LPMC Stereo, but that shouldn't really come as any surprise. The soundtrack in question is a simple English Stereo track which does everything asked of it. The dialogue levels are audible throughout and the enchanting soundtrack is also clearly reproduced. For some reason, Universal Pictures UK has decided not to include subtitles with this release. The menus are animated and feature the main soundtrack.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Snow Business Documentary: The Story of The Snowman [23:00] This documentary is the ultimate companion to the film featuring a new audio narration by John Coates. It starts off by showing some footage of Raymond Biggs where he talks about how the idea of the film came about. Raymond Biggs is heavily featured throughout and often gives his insight into various topics surrounding the movie. As expected, the animation is featured heavily, and there is also the obligatory interview clip with Aled Jones. My favourite part of this documentary is the section where several mistakes in the story are pointed out. These are not obvious mistakes, but nevertheless they are funny to watch. This is a quality documentary which leaves no stone unturned.
The Animatic and Storyboards: This extra features John Coats (producer) first attempt to create the film from Raymond Briggs’ book. What he did was to get two members of his staff to cut copies of the book into pieces and develop the story from that. The illustrations from the book, together with the new drawings of the developments were then shot under the camera to produce this seven minute ‘animatic’ version of the film. Fans of the animation film will be mesmerised by this extra, and it is a welcome addition to the disc. Next up is the Storyboards, of which there are three in total. These are Goodnight, A Different Nose and Morning. As expected these are three of the most important sections of the movie. Each storyboard has to be viewed individually.
Introductions from David Bowie and Raymond Briggs: The final extra on this disc is the Alternative Introduction, which was produced to help promote the film animation overseas and in particular in North America. David Bowie (crazy haircut and all!) was brought in to do the introduction which lasts for just over a minute and a half. Even though this introduction differs only slightly, it would have been nice to have a choice of which one to watch with the main presentation.
Finally, if you are looking for a Christmas movie which you will return to each year, then look no further than ‘The Snowman.’ It is easy to see why it was nominated for an Oscar and even thirty years on the animation is still a delight. Recreating Briggs’ scratchy illustrations and pastel colours is no easy feat in animation but the tactile aesthetic is still just as wonderful. There is an ageless quality to the art direction and animation that will make, ‘The Snowman,’ just as fresh and original in another thirty years’ time. The beautiful images are perfectly accompanied by Howard Blake’s sweeping orchestral score whilst the signature song, ‘Walking in the Air’ has become a classic in its own right. ‘The Snowman’ is a perfect Christmas treat for young and old alike. The highlights of this disc are without doubt the transfer which is stunning, and the elaborate documentary. The Snowman deserves to be part of everyone’s collection so don’t hesitate, buy this today! That is why as soon as I saw this for sale I had to have it in the ultimate Blu-ray format, as it shows off this magical animation in its full glory and will ever be associated with Christmas and should be an annual event over the festive period, than watch it when it is broadcast on your television. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
on April 10, 2000
This video will always be one of our family favorites. It is so simple we have been watching it since my daughter was two, yet we can still watch it with the same enthusiasm today as we enter her 11th year.
The story is about faith and belief--a sense of wonder, but in a way that is more spiritual than religious. Like the reviewer below, we would heartily agree that being Christian is not a pre-requisite for enjoyment, despite a delightful dance scene with Santa Claus, (the only character in the movie directly related to Christmas).
The movie touches a place in the heart which some may associate with religious belief, while others may be satisfied to find satisfactory the magic and mysterious nature of a child's imaginary world.
In our home, every member of the family is delighted by the movie's magic, without any reservation. The story emphasizes the power of a child's belief, and his creative imagination, and is greatly aided by its lack of conversation or narration, reflecting the wordless storybook which inspired it.
The score, which includes a beautiful, haunting piece of instrumental music for the boy's journey to the North Pole, is mysterious and soothing--very European and modern, yet perfectly appropriate for this movie. I can't think of any reason not to buy this video for every child you know--it's really the type of movie children should grow up with.
on November 20, 2000
Together by the fire, my 2 1/2 year old daughter and I curl up under blankets, sipping hot chocolate and ooohing and ahhhing over "The Snowman." I am moved to tears by this beautiful dream. My daughter hugs me hard and watches intently as James, the lovely boy, enters a world we all desperately want to believe exists- a world where snowmen come to life and fly- even amongst other snowmen! We are privy to a magical world where snowmen gather in the snow laden forest, while the rest of the world sleeps, dancing and playing silent instruments.
After we watch "The Snowman," I usher my daughter off to her nap, and she snuggles in tightly under her covers and speaks-in a dreamy voice-- of the snowman, and how she can't wait for snow to fall.
"The Snowman" has shaped her imagination in a way I never thought possible. Thank you so much, Mr. Briggs, for bringing such magic into our lives.
on March 28, 2002
Believe in magic.
I was a young lad when I first saw "the Snowman." Watching cartoons like "Silverhawks" and "The Mighty Orbots" had left me jaded, cynical, and violence-prone. Following that course would have ended me up in heaps of trouble--I might've even been wanted by the C.I.A.!
Fate intervened on a cold, wintry day in fourth grade, when our wonderful teacher treated us to an in-class video. Little hooligan that I was, I scoffed when the title "the Snowman" appeared. Before long, however, I was swept into a world of beauty, love, and swirling snow. I was transfixed by the image of the Snowman and the little boy soaring o'er the countryside, able to leave all their cares below.
From that day, I've spread joy, peace and love to others. It amazes me that I was once so foolish and cruel. A simple, lovely cartoon changed all that.
Believe in magic.
on December 23, 2003
I watched this video for the first time when I was a very young child and always enjoyed it. Over the years, I grew up and forgot about it and how much I enjoyed it... until a teacher showed it to my class again in 8th grade. I instantly remembered the movie and fell in love with it again. It brought back such warm memories of my childhood that gave me a strong sense of peace. Ever since then, I have watched it once a year around Christmas time, along with "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I hope that I watch this video every single Christmas for the rest of my life. I can't wait to share it with my little ones so that they can enjoy it as well. The music is absolutely fantastic and part of the reason why I love it so much. So, to possible buyers... Please buy this for your children! It will be something that they enjoy and treasure for the rest of their lives, as I have!
on March 31, 2000
My three-year-old son and I were equally rapt as we watched this movie. The flying sequence is breathtakingly perfect, and my son, who will never sing in front of me, after the second viewing started to unself-consciously sing along with the boy soprano. The purity and innocence of his sweet little boy voice reaching for the high notes - that alone brought tears to my eyes, but when I finally got to see the ending, I cried just about as much as at the end of E.T. (I'm 34 and my friends thought I was nuts). I'm buying another copy, even though my friend gave me hers when she saw how attached we were to it - I figure it will make a wonderful present for some other small child. If you've got children, make it a point to watch this with them, then move on to "When the Wind Blows" when they're in junior high - both teach values you'll want to explore together.
on May 23, 1999
In a world where big, loud and violent seems to be the popular trend with children, I was most impressed by the way this movie captivates all who are within hearing distance of it. Also I was suprised at my yound five year old sons immediate "hands downs" choice of this movie over all other videos. It is true quality and a movie for which parents do not have to worry about overall content or story line. It is simple and for many, may be the first example of true hand art and symphonic music perfectly blended together. GREAT JOB, WE NEED MORE MOVIES LIKE THIS! Put this one on without introduction and just observe the way it captures your childrens imagination. Even though it is typically a story centered around the Winter/Christmas time of year it is viewed by all of us all year.
on March 20, 2001
If you want wholesome christmas entertainment that the entire family can enjoy year after year, grab a fuzzy blanket, a hot mug of cocoa, and each other and snuggle up to THE SNOWMAN.
The colored drawing effect of the cartoon will delight children of all ages. The peaceful soundtrack will make you forget the lack of dialogue. This film stimulates the imagination of all who watch it! Its simplicity is just pure magic.
Fortunately, I own this film on DVD (which is actually a double feature with another holiday classic: Father Christmas- check it out if you have a DVD player), so I no longer have to worry about our copy breaking from over-use.
I highly recommend making The Snowman the next addition to your holiday collection. It's sure to become a favorite!