Book Based Films Offer Evergreen Entertainment in a Soft Way


The Snowman is one of my all-time favorite pieces of animation. Directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by Jonathan Coates, this non-narrative film truly is filled with wonder. The haunting music by Howard Blake, “Walking in the Air,” stays with me for days every time I watch this film. Based on the best-selling book by Raymond Briggs, this animation is true to the original story and one to share with your family during the holiday season. N Circle Entertainment has done a brilliant thing in creating a DVD containing both The Snowman and the its sequel, The Snowman and Snowdog which was created to mark the 30th anniversary of the original. Also a non-narrative film, the sequel introduces a  new character and is as charming as the original. Dedicated to John Coates and featuring the new song, “Light the Night” by former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, it is an extremely thoughtful sequel and was made using traditional hand-drawn animation, not CGI. This collection is really a treasure!


KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Clayton P. comments, “The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing… Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!” Kamren W. adds, “I was amazed how, even with no voices, they are easy to follow and very enjoyable.” See their full reviews below.


The Snowman and The Snowman and the Snow Dog Double Feature – Collector’s Edition

By Clayton P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16



These extravagant films have a little touch of magic which will keep you on your toes with excitement. The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog is a double feature masterpiece that will bring families closer together for the holidays. The two short films are based on the classic UK picture book by Raymond Briggs, which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since it was first published in 1978.  This double feature collector’s edition is a true keepsake that includes the original film, and its sequel. It also includes three bonus features: The story of The Snowman, an alternate introduction from David Bowie and a behind-the-scenes documentary and interview with the writer, Raymond Briggs. The total length of the two films is 60 minutes, plus the bonus content.


In The Snowman, a young boy James wakes up one morning and finds snow on the ground. He quickly gets dressed and runs outside. He then builds a huge snowman. He gives it eyes, a nose, a scarf and a hat. He even gives it a big smiley face. After building the entire snowman by himself, it is time for James to go to bed. When he wakes up he notices that the Snowman has moved a little, so he runs downstairs and out the door. He then notices that the Snowman is glowing, moves some more and then, totally comes to life. James is flabbergasted to see a live Snowman. The Snowman and James introduce themselves and become great friends. The rest the film shows the two flying around having so much fun and adventure throughout the day.


In The Snowman and the Snow Dog, a young boy and his mother move to a new house. The boy finds a box with a snowman-making kit under the flooring. He then runs outside and starts to build a snowman.  After he is done, he uses all the leftover snow to make a little, adorable snow dog. When he is finished, it is time to go to bed. When he wakes up he sees the dog move a little, he then jumps with joy and races down the stairs to see what is happening. To his surprise, the snowman and the snow dog start to glow and move. Even more to his surprise, they come alive. He then becomes friends with them and they travel and have adventures all around the North Pole and meet a special someone.


The book, The Snowman was adapted for the screen in 1982. It was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated short film. The animation of the drawings is just amazing, bringing to life so many memories from the days of movie shorts. The silence in the film, meaning that there is no dialogue, makes it even more beautiful and old fashioned.  The music by Howard Blake, Peter Auty and the Sinfonia of London is amazing. It fits perfectly with everything the boy and the snowman are doing at given times. Each song tells a story, with each pluck of a string or push of a piano key. The songs in the movie are also catchy and addicting to sing along with.  I am sixteen and I sung along with the songs!


The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snow Dog are appropriate for ages 1 to 12.  I rate this whimsical double-feature 5 out of 5 stars. It is available on DVD now.


The Snowman and The Snowman and the Snow Dog Double Feature – Collector’s Edition

By Kamren W., KIDS FIRST! Film Review Critic, age 9



These two enjoyable silent films are made with great hand-drawn animation and easy-to-follow storylines about a little boy who builds a snowman that comes to life. The theme is very simple and fun to watch, plus, who doesn’t love snowmen? Both films remind me of the picture books by Raymond Briggs that they are based on. I was amazed how, even with no voices, they are easy to follow and very enjoyable.


The two films have been released as a double feature, the 1982 film The Snowman along with the 2012 sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog. In The Snowman, the little boy brings the snowman inside! The snowman becomes curious and starts to mess with things around the house, he even starts messing with hot water and melts a little. The snowman and little boy go on a flying adventure to a party where they meet Father Christmas. The sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog, although very similar to the first, introduces a new boy who finds a snowman making kit. In this film, there is also a dog made from snow who accompanies the little boy and the snowman on an adventure.


The animation team does not use 3D or a lot of colors. There are funny scenes in both films. In the first film, the snowman starts to dress up in the boy’s parent’s clothes. This made me think of how kids like dressing up in their parent’s clothes. One interesting thing in both films was the different cultures of snowmen. In the first film, the Hawaiian snowman stood out to me. In the second film, there are many Asian snowmen at the parties.


The musical score is played by an orchestra in both films. The music is very calming. Through the songs you experience different emotions, especially in The Snowman and the Snowdog. The boy, dog and snowman are in a race and the music is very happy and, in one scene, very fast which adds a new emotional element.


I recommend these films to children ages 2 to 6. Parents will enjoy not having to worry if it is appropriate or not. I give both films 4 out of 5 stars. There are a few bonus features which talks about how popular the classic picture book was and why author Raymond Briggs decided to make the film. This Collector’s Edition Double Feature DVD is available in stores now.



Speak Your Mind