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The Snowman Special Edition [DVD]

Dianne Jackson    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
Price: £4.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Snowman Special Edition [DVD] + Father Christmas [DVD] + The Snowman and the Snowdog [DVD] [2012]
Price For All Three: £20.06

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Product details

  • Directors: Dianne Jackson
  • Producers: John Coates
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Nov 2010
  • Run Time: 26 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00450AESO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,986 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman is one of the most beautiful and charming films ever made. Adapted from his best-selling book and nominated for an Oscar© in 1982, it is the story of a boy whose snowman comes to life at midnight, and the two embark on a series of magical midnight adventures. Awarded the British Academy Award© for best children’s entertainment of 1982, The Snowman is an essential children’s classic. This special edition comes with a sticker sheet and bonus colouring in booklet.


The Snowman has been a Christmas staple ever since its original release in 1982. Based on Raymond Briggs' classic children's book, the tale of a solitary little boy whose snowman comes to life in the night and takes him on a series of adventures which culminate in a meeting with Father Christmas. It's uncluttered by modern standards and told with a gentle simplicity which renders it utterly poignant.

The Snowman deservedly won awards for its animators. But they had the best material to work with: Briggs' softly absorbing original illustrations which magically combine Christmas fantasy with the stark realities of life and death.

For this new special edition a new audio narration has been provided by Mel Smith which will help to bring it alive for younger children. The rest of us will probably be satisfied with Howard Blake's evocative soundtrack and, at the cynic-damning moment when the snowman takes the boy's hand and they soar into the sky, the tingling strains of "Walking in the Air" sung by Peter Auty, (not Aled Jones who had the chart hit on the strength of a commercial). It's enchanting, from beginning to end.

On the DVD: The Snowman Special Edition is presented in 16:9 aspect radio with a stereo Dolby Digital soundtrack, fusing Raymond Briggs' soft, glowing pastel work with Howard Blake's sympathetic score in 26 minutes of animated perfection. The extras are fascinating: David Bowie's original introduction, demanded by the US producers who needed a celebrity to front the project (he looks ridiculously exotic); and a documentary in which the surviving collaborators and Briggs talk with touching awe about the little bit of magic they created. The commercial might of The Snowman as a marketing brand is also revealed. The lumpen vox-pops are the only irritation. --Piers Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
211 of 215 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cropporama 25 Dec 2003
By A Customer
The Snowman was, and still is, a fantastic animation for Christmas, and until last year, was shown in it's original aspect ratio of 4x3.However, with this being the digital age, somebody has taken it upon themselves to convert this classic into widescreen, by brutally cutting off the top and bottom of the screen. This leaves many scenes with heads and faces missing, and in the flying scene, the Snowman and the boy are nowhere to be seen. Beware of this so-called special edition - get the version bundled with the other Raymond Brigg's tale Father Christmas, which is presented in it's original aspect ratio.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Snowman blu-ray 6 Nov 2012
By AV1
Whilst the colours do look a little brighter on this HD release it's worth noting that the video is the cropped widescreen version. Tops of heads are cut off, detail at the bottom of the screen missing. Also all 3 of the introductions are on the bonus features menu, the story itself starts without any intro at all from the title screen. Dissapointing considering they could have included all 3 versions on 1 blu-ray disc (a cropped and the original version too) for the viewer to choose their favourite version. (it is after all only 25 minutes long). 30th anniversary special edition? Cheap & poorly produced disc of a much loved classic more like.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where is the truly original introduction? 5 May 2008
By nicktgb
The rubric for this disc describes "David Bowie's original introduction". Not so - the introduction of the original film was truly atmospheric: a lone figure (Raymond Briggs?) walking through a winter landscape with the sky heavy with impending snow. This was later replaced by the appalling tosh by David Bowie and still later by an animated "Father Christmas" introduction. The true original now seems impossible to acquire - a dreadful act of cultural vandalism.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Snowman is a beautifully illustrated classic film so what on earth has been done to it?! You can find the original introduction with David Bowie under "Extra Features" and "Alternative Introduction". Firstly, how CAN they call it an alternative introduction - it's the original!! I never liked the "Father Christmas" film so was hugely disappointed to see they have Father Christmas introducing it instead of David Bowie. The other thing is that if you choose the alternative introduction it cuts off just as the films starts!!! So, you have back up to the main menu to choose the Father Christmas introduction so you can watch the whole film! And, totally agree with the other reviewers - the film has been chopped top and bottom so heads are cut off.

If you know and love the original Snowman don't buy this so called special edition DVD. However, if you are introducing your kids to The Snowman they won't know any different!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sadly mutilated classic 16 Dec 2011
Raymond Briggs's The Snowman is one of the most beautifully atmospheric Christmas stories. The animated version reaches even greater heights, enhanced as it is by Howard Blake's truly moving score.

However, the version presented on this DVD has been mutilated by converting the original's 4x3 aspect ratio to 16x9. This has been done by brutally cropping the top and bottom of the screen.

It would be barbaric enough to have so thoughtlessly edited an animated classic, where the visual element is so rich, but it also results in some scenes that now hardly make any sense. One such example is when the little boy - waking in the morning and realising it is snowing - dresses so quickly he forgets to put on his shoes and socks, which is pointed out by his mother. However, and somewhat farcically, the brutal cropping has resulted in the boy's feet being out of view when his mother does this and she may as well be pointing at the floor.

The really annoying issue here is why this change to 16x9 has been done. My guess is that the publisher has decided that we are now all so philistine that we would simply refuse to watch an "old-fashioned" 4x3 picture, unable to comprehend why two black bars appear down either side of the screen. Better to mutilate a classic to make sure that our gargantuan wall-mounted plasmas are filled to the brim.

Whatever you do, avoid this release, and seek one that has the original 4x3 - as I will now be doing.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unhappy with the edition.. 11 Dec 2010
No original introduction ! DVD features the Father Christmas introduction rather than the one we all remember. I'm not sure why after all this time they had to alter it ? Watched my old VHS tape instead.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ice man cometh to melt hearts. 13 Dec 2004
Can it really be over twenty years since this delicate, captivating animation graced the screens of the fledgling Channel 4? As a voice-over announcer with the station I have introduced The Snowman many times, along with its permutations such as 'the making of' (which I'm glad to see is a bonus programme included here) yet I've never tired of its pastel wintry landscapes and sublime music.
Kids love it, but grown ups will love it even more, especially those of a certain age who yearn for open fires and a simple rural childhood.
As with all Raymond Briggs' stories there is pathos and poignancy, but you're left wanting to watch it again and again and I'm afraid that lump in the throat will remain like a stubborn frost.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Steve
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Okay, it's The Snowman, a classic. I had to get this version because it has the original intro and is not cropped from the original presentation, this being 1.33. However, the bluray being at 1.78 is not a simple crop - it actually has more width - so although both are compromises from the original film frame, I firmly believe the 1.33 version as shown originally and as intended is still the best ratio.

But here's the problem with this disc. The disc is only 1/4 full. Whoever encoded this video was basically an idiot - it's covered in MPEG2 artifacts. All while the disc lays mostly empty. How on earth did they manage this? Who knows.
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