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Animation: 'The Snowman' has a sequel!

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Snowman and SnowdogOne of the most beloved Christmas animated TV half-hour specials, Britain’s Channel 4’s famous adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, directed by Jimmy Murakami and Dianne Jackson and animated by TVC London, with a live intro featuring David Bowie and the haunting song “Walking in the Air” (video) composed by Howard Blake, has been an annual fixture on British TV since 1982. The Cartoon Brew reports that, for its thirtieth anniversary, it is getting a Christmas Eve sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog.

The CB announcement includes the trailer for The Snowman and the Snowdog (The Guardian has more), a 8’35” The Making of The Snowman and the Snowdog, and a link to the entire 26’09” The Snowman. Anthropomorphic snowmen at Christmastime are nothing new, but if you have never seen The Snowman, you have missed what is arguably the greatest of all.

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I loved that special but if I recall the snowman already had a sequel about santa's vacation

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I don't think so, at least for the Raymond Briggs Snowman. Maybe there was another animated Christmas TV special about a live snowman that had a sequel about Santa taking a vacation.

There is an Official Website for the Raymond Briggs book, the 1982 TV special, and the 2012 sequel with the Snowdog: http://www.thesnowman.co.uk/

Fred Patten

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I remember related canon though and a brief cameo by the snowman I got it on vhs somewhere

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I thought there was a sequel, but maybe I'm thinking of some other Raymond Briggs animated stories that are often packaged with it... haven't seen them, but the Snowman is one of the very best things. Brit animation hit some other high points around that time too. That color pencil on frosted cel look has so much warmth and charm. (Canadian animator Frederic Back is a master of it too.)

Worth looking up- I think there were several versions (for TV, for video) and the Bowie intro is only one of them and not the only official one (but it's cool).

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The Bowie intro was not the original intro. That was with Briggs himself. But it is the official intro now. See the Wikipedia article on The Snowman. Incidentally, I take that article's history of the 1982 special and its mention of the 2012 sequel, but not of any other sequel, as evidence against any other sequel.

Fred Patten

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I hope it's nothing like the sequel to When the Wind Blows, in which the old couple emerge from their sleeping bags with super powers and defend London from radioactive zombies.

Hint: there was no such sequel.

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Hint: there was no such sequel.

It would have been cool, though! That ending was such a downer.

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Are you old enough to remember how tense the Cold War got in the 80s? Yes it was a downer but a downer was precisely what the story and the times called for.

See also another Briggs story (soon to be a movie): Ethel and Ernest. Spoiler alert: his parents grow old and die at the end.

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Are you old enough to remember how tense the Cold War got in the 80s?

No; I have never known a world without The Snowman. I'm glad to see this for future generations!

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I am old enough to remember the Cold War, and I don’t remember that it was much worse in the 1980s than it was in the 1950s. Read “Foster, You’re Dead” by Philip K. Dick (Star Science Fiction Stories No. 3. January 1955), or “On the Beach” by Nevil Shute (1957; movie 1959). I laughed at Canales’ & Guarnido’s anthropomorphic Blacksad #3, Red Soul (2005), set during the Red Scare 1950s, which shows the Hollywood millionaire Gotfield frantically digging a nuclear shelter in his estate. I remember the wealthy Los Angelinos in the 1950s putting in nuclear shelters, and they certainly didn’t dig them personally; they hired professional construction companies. (I think that the one on the estate of “The Amazing Criswell” is still there.) Briggs’ “When the Wind Blows” (1982) was one of the last of the genre.

It’s a brilliant picture book (and movie), but, as you note, extremely depressing. I am glad that it is out of date today. “The Snowman” will long outlive it.

Fred Patten

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It looks slightly familiar but I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen the whole thing. I'm not hugely excited about a sequel though. I generally feel sequels are poor in comparison to their predecessor, especially if they are done long after the original and even more so if they only planned afterwards.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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On further reflection, I've decided that any sequel to The Snowman is a bad thing. The Walking in the Air sequence was magical specifically because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The boy's scarf is special because it came from a friend who had but one day to live. It was a special Christmas memory that the snowman gave to one boy in the whole world. Having him come back to life and do it all over again cheapens the original short.

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics