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Encyclopedia > The Snowman
The Snowman
Directed by Dianne Jackson
Produced by John Coates
Written by Raymond Briggs (book)
Music by Howard Blake (composer)
Peter Auty (treble)
Sinfonia of London
Distributed by Channel 4
Release date(s) December 31, 1982
Running time 26 min.
Language English

The Snowman is a children's book by English author Raymond Briggs, published in 1978. In 1982, this book was turned into a 26-minute animated movie by Dianne Jackson for the fledgling Channel 4. It was first shown on Channel 4 late on Christmas Eve 1982 and was an immediate success. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1983. It has been shown every year since and has become a part of British and international Christmas popular culture. Professor John Henry Coates, FRS (born January 26, 1945) is a mathematician who holds (since 1986) the position of Sadleirian Professor (of pure mathematics) at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. ... Raymond Briggs (born January 18, 1934) is an English illustrator, cartoonist, and author who has achieved critical and popular success among adults and children. ... Howard Blake is an English composer (born October 28th, 1938 in London), particularly noted for his film scores, although he is prolific in several fields of classical and light music. ... Peter Auty is a former choirboy who sang with the St Pauls Cathedral. ... Treble (or Boy Soprano in slang) is a term applied in music to a young male singer with an unchanged voice in the soprano range. ... The Sinfonia of London is an Orchestra based in London founded by Muir Mathieson, the director of music for Rank Films in 1955 for the recording of film music. ... This article is about the British television station. ... is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Raymond Briggs (born January 18, 1934) is an English illustrator, cartoonist, and author who has achieved critical and popular success among adults and children. ... This article is about the British television station. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ...


The book and film have no words, instead telling the story through picture, action and music. The cartoon version was scored by Howard Blake who wrote both music and lyrics of the song "Walking in the Air" and also composed and conducted the complete orchestral score for the film with his own orchestra, the Sinfonia of London. The film's one song, "Walking in the Air," was written specially for it and performed by a St Paul's Cathedral choirboy, Peter Auty. The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these 6 frames. ... Howard Blake is an English composer (born October 28th, 1938 in London), particularly noted for his film scores, although he is prolific in several fields of classical and light music. ... Walking in the Air is a song written by Howard Blake for the animated short The Snowman, which has been broadcast on TV and published on videotape and DVD; also released as a single, LP and CD. In The Snowman, it was performed by a St. ... The Sinfonia of London is an Orchestra based in London founded by Muir Mathieson, the director of music for Rank Films in 1955 for the recording of film music. ... This article is about the cathedral church of the diocese of London. ... Peter Auty is a former choirboy who sang with the St Pauls Cathedral. ...


In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, the film was placed 71st. It was voted 4th in UKTV Gold's Greatest TV Christmas Moments. 100 Greatest British Television Programmes was a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI) chosen by a poll of industry professionals, to determine what were the greatest British television programmes of any genre ever to have been screened. ... The British Film Institute (BFI) is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and... UKTV Gold, (previously known as UK Gold until March 8, 2004), is a British television channel that shows mainly classic BBC entertainment programmes. ...

Contents

Plot

Brigg's illustration of the snowman.
Brigg's illustration of the snowman.

The Snowman is the tale of a boy who builds a snowman one winter's day. (The day appears to be either Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, but this is not explicitly stated.) That night, at the stroke of twelve, the snowman comes to life. The first part of the story deals with the snowman's attempts to understand the appliances, toys and other bric-a-brac in the boy's house, all while keeping quiet enough not to wake the boy's parents. The two then venture back outside and go for a ride on a motorcycle, disturbing many animals: pheasants, rabbits, a barn owl, a fox and a brown horse. Raymond Briggss The Snowman This work is copyrighted. ... Raymond Briggss The Snowman This work is copyrighted. ... A classic snowman. ... Nativity of the Lord redirects here. ... New Years Eve is a celebration held the day before New Years Day, on December 31, the final day of the year. ... The term bric-a-brac refers to a selection of items of low value, often sold in street markets. ...


In the second part of the story, the boy and the snowman take flight — the song "Walking in the Air" appears at this point. They fly over the boy's town, over houses and large public buildings before flying past a pier and out into the ocean. They continue north past many sights and animals. Flying into the aurora borealis they reach their destination. Aurora borealis Polar aurorae are optical phenomena characterized by colorful displays of light in the night sky. ...


The two wander hand-in-hand into a snow-covered forest and attend a snowmen's party, at which the boy is the only human. They meet Father Christmas and his reindeer, and the boy is given a scarf with a snowman pattern. This article is about a community of trees. ... This article is about the article of clothing. ...


The story ends after the return journey. However, the sun has come out the next morning and the boy wakes up to find the snowman has melted. The viewer begins to wonder if the night's events were all a dream, but the boy discovers that he still has the scarf given to him by Father Christmas. Sol redirects here. ...


Alternate beginnings

After the initial showing on Channel 4, and in its initial showings on U.S. television, an alternative introduction was sometimes used. Instead of Raymond Briggs describing how much it had snowed the winter he made The Snowman, while walking through the field that morphed into the animation of the same landscape, David Bowie was shown walking into a boy's room reciting the same speech while holding a scarf that resembles the one given to the boy towards the end of the film. The Universal DVD The Snowman & Father Christmas (902 030 - 11), released in the UK in 2000, uses the Bowie opening. (The Bowie intro is actually missing on some Sony DVDs, despite being featured on the packaging.)[1] David Bowie (pronounced ) (born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947) is an English musician, actor, producer, arranger, and audio engineer. ...


To celebrate the film's 20th anniversary, Channel 4 used an alternate opening directed by Roger Mainwood, with Raymond Briggs' interpretation of Father Christmas recounting how he met the boy. Father Christmas is voiced by comedian Mel Smith. Channel 4 have used this opening since 2002. This version is also cropped to 16:9 widescreen. Mel Smith Mel Smith is an English actor, film director, writer, producer born in London on December 3, 1952) He attended New College, Oxford. ... Cropping refers to the removal of the outer parts of an image to improve framing, accentuate subject matter or change aspect ratio. ... The Wikipedia main page as viewed with a widescreen monitor. ...


Production notes

The song "Walking in the Air" was released years later as a single, reaching number 5 in the UK charts, sung by Welsh chorister Aled Jones. Jones is often wrongly assumed to have sung the song in the film (e.g. in a BBC review),[2] but in the film it is sung by Peter Auty. Auty had a credit added to the 20th anniversary version. A collection of various CD singles In music, a single is a short recording of one or more separate tracks. ... This article is about the country. ... Aled Jones (born 29 December 1970) is a Welsh singer and television/radio personality and broadcaster who first came to fame as a boy soprano. ...


Though the boy in the book is unnamed, in the film we discover he is named "James." This is clear on the tag for the present he receives from Father Christmas, added by one of the animators who decided to use her own son's name.


In the film, the boy's home seems to be in the South Downs of England, near to Brighton; he and Snowman fly over what appears to be Brighton; the Royal Pavilion and Palace Pier are clearly depicted. Later in the film, the tag on his present confirms this. Near Beachy Head The South Downs is one of the two areas of chalk downland in southern England. ... For other places with the same name, see Brighton (disambiguation). ... Brighton Pavilion redirects here. ... The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier is a pleasure pier in Brighton, England. ...


References in popular culture

The Snowman formed the basis for a commercial for the Christmas Irn-Bru advert in which the slightly edited song tells the story of a boy and a snowman flying though Edinburgh, over Loch Ness, and over Glasgow before The Snowman drops him into the snow near George Square due to the boy not giving the snowman a taste of the drink. Raymond Briggs was unhappy with this use of his character, later stating "It is galling to find that the innocent character one has created for young children is being used to promote junk food and drink, and also to decorate the packaging of lavatory paper." Referring to the similar use of Paddington Bear in a TV advertisement for Marmite, Briggs added "It seems grotesque that Michael Bond and I have no say in the matter. Furthermore, we are then blamed for the crass exploitation, of which we knew nothing."[3] The Snowman also features in another television advert in Ireland, for the national postal service An Post. Irn Bru Irn Bru is the most popular caffeinated soft drink in Scotland. ... George Square and Glasgow City Chambers George Square is the central square in the Scottish city of Glasgow. ... Paddington Station-Bronze of Paddington Bear Paddington Bear is a fictional character in childrens literature. ... A jar of the British version of Marmite Marmite is a British and New Zealand savoury spread made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing. ... Michael Bond, OBE, (born January 13, 1926 in Newbury, Berkshire) is an English childrens author. ... The An Post logo An Post (English literal translation: The Post, English official title: The Post Office) is the State-owned provider of postal services in Ireland. ...


Viz magazine printed a parody of The Snowman, featuring a snowman who was a surly, unshaven drunk who enjoyed horse racing and breaking into cars, accompanied by an eager young boy who he generally disliked. Cover of Viz (issue 57) Viz is a popular British adult comic magazine that has been running since 1979. ...


See also

  • Granpa, Dianne Jackson's second animated film for Channel 4, with music by Howard Blake.
  • Father Christmas – Briggs' earlier two works Father Christmas and Father Christmas Goes on Vacation were combined into a film which was released in 1991.
  • Another Raymond Briggs book, The Bear, was adapted into a film in 1999.

Granpa is a 1989 English family-oriented animated film based on a 1984 childrens illustrated story book by John Burningham. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Customer Discussions: Review Comment Thread. Amazon.com. Amazon.com (November 2006). Retrieved on 2008-05-24.
  2. ^ Barclay, Ali (2000-12-04). The Snowman (1982). BBC – Films. BBC. Retrieved on 2008-05-24.
  3. ^ "Snowman 'exploited' by the ad men", BBC News, BBC, 2007-09-23. Retrieved on 2008-05-24. 

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... is the 338th day of the year (339th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • The Snowman at the Internet Movie Database
  • Official site
  • Recordings of The Snowman & Walking In The Air
  • Toonhound: Book (1978), Animated short (1982)
For the in-memory database management system, see In-memory database. ...

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