“The Snowman”

     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 standing in the front yard as he joins his family inside at the end of the day and as he’s getting ready for bed.

     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.  He puts his hand in his robe’s pocket and pulls out 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 its entirety on Vimeo.

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9 Comments

  1. Gayle, this is utterly charming. Thanks for the intro. Never heard of it before. I’ve played it three times. xo

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    • Isn’t it. I love this movie and I never get enough of that song…I don’t know what it is. I’m glad you enjoyed this and so happy to see you “out and about”, Jamie. xoxo

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  2. This is darling. The magic of imagination is all we have. 🙂

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  3. Androgoth

     /  December 19, 2011

    As always, a very nice entry my great friend, and here is a little something to get you in the mood for Christmas day and evening, hey it’s not naughty or anything 🙂

    Merry Christmas Gayle 🙂 😉

    Androgoth XXx

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  4. What a sweetest greeting, Andro–very darling. Many thanks and good wishes for your happiness and prosperity for Christmas and the New Year to come!

    Gayle xoxo

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  5. What a delightful story! Sad ending but still a neat story. 🙂 Thanks very much for sharing it with us.

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  6. Reblogged this on Bodhirose's Blog and commented:

    Again, I am posting this story of “The Snowman.” May all have a blessed and happy Christmas surrounded in love…

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    Reply

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