Cartoon Review: The Snowman

Posted: December 2, 2012 in Cartoon Review, Holiday, Reviews
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The Snowman (1982/ TVC London/ Dir. Dianne Jackson)

This is a cartoon for which I have no nostalgia. I only saw it for the first time last year and was so exhausted that I fell asleep during part of it. If I can offer an untainted perspective on any holiday movie, this HAS to be it. I only bought it because it has a tremendous reputation. The fact that it came on a DVD with The Nuttiest Nutcracker had nothing to do with it. I still haven’t watched that second feature, mainly because I watched the trailer. But we’re talking about something that I’ve been told by English and Canadians is the height of their VEWPRF season. So I bought it and watched it, and now I shall write my review of that movie. How did I think it help up? You’ll have to wait and see…

Cute kid.

Many of you know that I have an unquestioning love of any animated program that moves beyond the polished look of paint and cel. As this movie is animated with colored pencils or crayons on what I assume is paper, I already loved it before the thing really got underway. Quick check says it was on celluloid, so they were on cel, but with crayons so that helps. I don’t much care if the story is good or not, I love this thing and will hold it to my bosom. The fact that there is no voice acting is an interesting choice as well. Technically, there is one line in the opening of the film explaining that this is a childhood memory, but that can be ignored. The film itself only exists in pantomime. Evidently, the book is also just a series of drawings, so that makes it a nice touch.

Least specific TV program. Like… ever.

I’m not going to recount the movie for you, because this isn’t that kind of review. You’re grown-ups, and you can find it on youtube, or buy the darn thing. It only costs a couple of bucks and it’s not worth my time describing every moment of the cartoon. There isn’t a lot of insanity to talk about here, and there isn’t anything for me to talk smack about. At the very worst, this cartoon is inoffensive and dull. At it’s very best, this is a charming and delightful fantasy cartoon about the magic of the holidays and stuff. However, I can’t go on record saying that I love it as much as many of you might love it.


Here is the bad, so we can get it out of the way. It’s kind of boring. The events feel a bit padded, and while none of them on their own are problematic, when taken as a whole it feels like it goes on just a bit too long. And, I’m just gonna say it, what the hell is Santa doing in this movie? Talk about coming on for a paycheck. He’s not really needed and doesn’t add much to the experience for me. Minor complaints? Yes, you’re right. However, I haz dem. The movie doesn’t work as an unquestioned masterpiece for me, and there it is.

Um, I can’t help but notice the ground has gone away.

Now! Having said that, let’s talk about the good. I’ve already touched on the animation, which is delightful, but I want to talk a little more. The aerial scenes are fantastic. Every time the camera flies over something, you feel like you’re actually flying over it. The scenes with the motorcycle contain some nature scenes of heart wrenching beauty. When the two begin flying, I forgive everything animation has ever done to me. I forgive The Smurfs, I forgive Charlie Brown, I even forgive Twas the Night Before Christmas. This little section makes everything I’ve been through worth it. If this exists, then I will allow all the things that hurt me to exist as well. This is my reward for all those bad cartoons.

Nah! No one will ever see the radiation, we can drop the nuke.

That being said, the song “Walking in the Air” is a bit on the nose. It’s one of those describing what’s happening on screen sort of things like in Black Dynamite. Yeah, didn’t think I could link these two products, did you? You owe me five bucks. The music is beautiful enough that I rushed out to Amazon and bought the soundtrack the night I watched this for the first time. As much as I teased Walking in The Air a moment ago, I genuinely think it’s a truly beautiful song. The rest of the music works very well with the rest of the production and I find it to be one of those products that comes close enough to perfection for me to give it a pass on the things that don’t work. I won’t discuss the ending, because you need to decide about that one for yourself.

Official Score:
70 Degrees on the Graffiti Bridge Scale.

Yes, let’s just leave with that image.

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