Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Specials You Haven't Been Watching, Part 2: Raymond Briggs' The Snowman

Comparisons between this British animated special and Frosty the Snowman are as inevitable as they are absurd.  Reduced to a sentence, the stories are more or less the same: a child builds a snowman which comes to life and together they travel to meet Santa Claus.

Indeed, imagine Frosty if it were silent, save for a hauntingly beautiful score.  Imagine if it were animated with love and inspiration, using hand drawn animation to explore a three dimensional world.  Imagine if Frosty the Snowman was about the magic and wonder of childhood and the tragedy of its loss.

The Snowman isn't a complicated work, but it is a brilliant one.  It is a dream-like fantasy that explores the power of animation in a manner you've likely never seen.

Versions can be found on Youtube, though we suggest picking up the DVD to fully appreciate the depth of the animation.

Also, be aware there are multiple introductions which have been made for different releases.  With all due respect to David Bowie, be sure you get the original which was done by Raymond Briggs.

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