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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.
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...
Published on 13 Dec 2004 by garyterzza.co.uk

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211 of 215 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cropporama
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...
Published on 25 Dec 2003


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211 of 215 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cropporama, 25 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Raymond Briggs' The Snowman (Special Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
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
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 (Herefordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling mutilation of a beautifully illustrated classic film, 13 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Snowman [DVD] (DVD)
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
By 
John Jones (Welwyn Garden City, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Snowman [DVD] (DVD)
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
By 
garyterzza.co.uk (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Snowman [DVD] (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Original Raymond Briggs intro on this specific version.. but.., 25 July 2013
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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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood imagination has never appeared so clearly, 6 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: The Snowman [DVD] (DVD)
A young boy builds a snowman on the verge of Christmas and late one night, the snowman takes him on a journey.

If we are very lucky, then it will snow. It may not be at Christmas but the magical effect snow has on us never fails to cheer us up and it creates and brings back memories.

This charming Raymond Briggs tale tells the story of a boy who builds a snowman on the eve of Christmas and the pair go on a trip around the country and the world.

The simple concept of building snowmen is something that anyone of any age can enjoy but this animation short is all about James' imagination.

Christmas is the best time of the year for any child for the imagination it conjures which is justified in this fantastic film.

Santa, reindeers and the mystery of presents is something any child anticipates and they are able to appreciate the delicacy of imagination.

Any viewer will utter a gasp when we first see the snowman has come alive and from there we are treated to a truly magical festive tale of imagination and exploration as the snowman and the young boy share time together.

This festive cracker looks at differences in life styles. We see the snowman adapting to the human's life by examining all their household items such as clothes, freezers and a joyous motorbike. Then we see James exploring the life of the snowman when he visits the North Pole where Father Christmas and many other snowmen are gathered in festive celebration. These differences are quite remarkable, almost material against personal possession which gives the film a sentimental depth.

This 1982 animation is remembered for one of the saddest moments in festive cinema history and the flinching moment never goes away no matter how many views it takes. 27 years on and it is still as significant as it was, a timeless piece of film.

The fact that there is no dialogue through out the half an hour makes it unique and special. It communicates through the movement and actions of its characters, particularly James who is now an iconic character.

His character continues to be debated today. Lonely? Friendless? Imaginative? All possibilities and the fact that the film finishes so dramatically, it leaves plenty of questions unanswered which are a joy to work out.

This festive film is a timeless classic through its semiotic imagery and its wonderful depictive version of childhood Christmas.

10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic that never gets old, 1 May 2008
By 
This review is from: The Snowman [DVD] (DVD)
this is one of those films that no matter how busy you are in the middle of the Christmas rush, if it comes on TV you will stop everything and sit down to watch it. Buy it and bring a little Christmas magic to your children. My dream evening of animated classics indulgence would be watching this film and Suzie Templeton's more recent but equally magical Peter & the Wolf.
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