Christmas wouldn’t be the same without settling down together to watch The Snowman™. But how much do you know about this traditional festive favourite?
Read on to discover some fun facts about the book and film.
• The Snowman™ was created by Raymond Briggs is a wordless picture book, narrated entirely through hand drawn illustrations
• First published in 1978, the book has sold more than 5.5 million copies in 15 different languages. It is one of the best-selling picture books of all time and continues to be published by Puffin.
• The story was adapted into an animated film by fledgling broadcaster Channel 4, airing for the first time on 26 December 1982.
• The original introduction to the film features The Snowman™ author Raymond Briggs walking through a field which morphs into the animation.
• A new introduction featuring David Bowie discovering a scarf in the attic of his childhood home was shot for US television. The scarf resembles the one given
to the boy, James, in the film.
• We don’t know the name of the boy in the book. In the film he is given the name James, which appears on a tag attached to a present. It was added by one of
the animators, Joanne Harrison, whose boyfriend was called James and the pair later married.
• To celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary, Channel 4 shot an alternative opening featuring Mel Smith reprising his role as Father Christmas. This version was
used until Smith’s death in 2013 when the Bowie introduction returned.
• The song ‘Walking in the Air’ was sung by chorister Peter Auty. He didn’t receive a credit in the original version but this was rectified in the edition made for the 20th anniversary. The Aled Jones version is actually a cover and was released three years after the film’s original release.
• Raymond Briggs has lived in Sussex since 1961 and the county features heavily in the story. The boy’s home appears to be in the South Downs and he flies with
The Snowman over Brighton, passing over two of the city’s famous landmarks – the Royal Pavilion and Palace Pier.
• A sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog™, aired on Christmas Eve in 2012 to mark the 30th anniversary of the release of the original animated short film.
Copyright © Snowman Enterprises Limited 2020