I want to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday and may you enjoy peace and prosperity in the New Year to come. I posted this last year and thought I would share it again…it’s a favorite story of mine and I love the haunting song in this movie.
In 1978, English author, Raymond Briggs, published the story “The Snowman”. It is a wordless book using only illustrations to tell the story. The pictures are in full color and are in a hazy softness that hints of the falling snow that brings about the story that unfolds. A movie was made of the book in 1982 and has a different ending than the book but is also wordless except for one song that is sung, “Walking in the Air”. The movie is 26 minutes long.
The movie (and the book) came to my attention in 1982 when I was approached by our family hairdresser who asked if our two daughters, then 9 and 7, would like to assist her husband in the review of a new children’s movie. Her husband, Jay Boyer, was the movie critic for the Orlando Sentinel at the time. He would interview each of them for their opinions after the screening and they would be quoted in the subsequent write up . The girls were very excited about getting to see the movie before it opened to the public and were accompanied by two other children and Jay on the day that they went to do their “job”. They also missed a day of school–even more fun.
This is the movie version:
A small boy builds a snowman after a heavy snowfall. He continues to look out at it as he joins his family inside at the end of the day.
However, the boy can’t sleep and he goes downstairs and opens the front door to check on his friend. The clock strikes twelve and the snowman magically comes to life. The snowman joins him inside as the boy shows him around the house and the wonders of TV, a light switch, running water, etc. He doesn’t care for the fireplace…the refrigerator, he loves!
They return outside and the snowman decides to show the boy his world and gently they glide up into the sky. They fly over London and off towards the North Pole to meet up with Father Christmas. Father Christmas greets the boy and gives him a gift of a scarf. The boy and his friend return to the boy’s home.
In the morning, as he awakens, the boy runs to the yard and finds that his friend has melted by the morning sun. As he puts his hand in his robe’s pocket, he finds the scarf.
The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Animated Short Film. It was scored by Howard Blake who wrote the music and lyrics and conducted his own orchestra, Sinfonia of London. ”Walking in the Air” was sung by St. Paul’s Cathedral choir boy, Peter Auty.
You can watch it in it’s entirety on Vimeo.