I sat down today to watch that seminal festive British classic – the original Snowman, for probably the 80th time. I must not have seen it from the beginning as I was surprised to see David Bowie appear in the first 5 minutes of it.
With his early 80’s; ‘Dancing in the street’ blonde swept back teddyboy hairstyle and tight xmas jumper. He produces the blue scarf which the Snowman gives to the boy, and begins to talk about meeting the snowman, all those years ago.
Well you can understand what a revelation that was to me – having laboured under the impression the boy in the Snowman was just a regular boy.
I had never seen this intro to it before and wondered if I was being a bit of a divvy, so I looked it up.
Apparently, the Bowie intro was not part of the original 1982 film, it was added later in 1983 – when channel 4 premiered it.
The “other” version featured creator Ray Briggs himself, talking about creating the Snowman.
The Bowie version hasn’t always been shown – either, sometimes the Ray Briggs intro, and sometimes without either. I did record this off of channel 4 and the Bowie intro must be their ‘thing’.
It truly is the Xmas film that keeps on giving!
Of course, last year marked the release of the ‘Snowman II’, or the ‘Snowman and his Snowdog’.
Raymond Briggs didn’t have much to do with it, other than give his agreement to it being made. He had been pestered for years to make a follow-up but had always declined. He probably regretted it having watched the finished thing.
I mea its well made and looks pretty – and the story of the boy whose dog died was pretty harrowing, only for the Snowman to make a snowdog, come to life for the boy.
But it just wasn’t as good as the original. The friendship between the boy and snowman was lost somewhat, due to the inclusion of the dog – (three being a crowd!). And the snowman himself was pretty redundant for most of it, as it was really about the boys relationship with the snowdog.
And the ending lacked a bit too, with the snowdog becoming real. I mean, it was nice for the boy to get his dog back. But what made the original Snowman so great was the feeling of loss at the end, after he melted.
Anyway, as Bowie himself once sung :- “I’m just looking for a friend”. Did he mean the snow variety?
MERRY XMAS ALL!