The Snowman

Howard Blake (1982)

The Snowman is an animated television film based on Raymond Briggs’ 1978 picture book The Snowman. It was directed by Dianne Jackson for the British public service Channel 4. It was first shown on 26 December 1982, and was an immediate success. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and won a BAFTA TV Award.

The story is told through pictures, action and music, scored by Howard Blake, and is wordless, with the exception of the central song “Walking in the Air”. The orchestral score was performed in the film by the Sinfonia of London and the song was performed by Peter Auty, a St Paul’s Cathedral choirboy.

The special ranks #71 on the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes, a list drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, based on a vote by industry professionals. It was voted #4 in UKTV Gold’s Greatest TV Christmas Moments. It came third in Channel 4’s poll of 100 Greatest Christmas Moments in 2004. Its broadcast, usually on Christmas Eve, has become an annual festive event

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