The Snowman (1982)

the-snowmanBy: Oberst Von Berauscht (A Toast) –

A Young Child builds a snowman, who comes to life on Christmas Eve.  The Boy and the Snowman embark on a series of Hallmark card-worthy shenanigans.  The boy invites the snowman into his house, and shows him around.  The snowman takes the father’s motorcycle for a ride, and finally the two fly off to what appears to be a snowman summit being led by Santa Claus… You know what?.. This is pretty much impossible to summarize without sounding ridiculous, and the film doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment.  I call upon the magic of Youtube, just watch it, the 26 minutes of your time will be well spent:


A Toast

This film, based on the bestselling children’s book by Raymond Briggs, is nothing short of a masterpiece.  The animation style is something like watching an expressionistic painting come to life.  The colors are vivid, evoking the bitter chill of the winter landscapes and the inviting warmth indoors.  The animation moves with a kind of dream-like fluidity which flows perfectly with the music.

Speaking of the music, much like Peter and the Wolf, the score serves not only to set the mood of the story, but also voices all of the characters too.  The score by composer Howard Blake is perhaps the strongest suit of the production, both memorable and magnificent.  The film features the Blake-penned song “Walking in the Air”, sung by the then-eleven year old Peter Auty, whose voice is haunting and beautiful.  The lyrics to the song are the only words spoken during the entire movie.


Above: Not from the Snowman… but a pretty funny parody.

There may have been more famous Christmas specials, but few approach the artistic heights on display here.



Oh, and David Bowie introduces it… can’t be bad!


Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for silent movie style sound queues in the music.

Take a Drink: when the snowman does something silly with a “human” object

Do a Shot: At the ending, look around the room, and take an extra shot for anyone crying.  (Double it if it’s you)

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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