So I thought I’d watch another of Raymond Briggs Christmas films, and watch the sequel to the Snowman, which is the Snowman and the Snowdog. I also thought I’d continue it because it’s short and I am running out of time in the day (I know, I know, I promised I wouldn’t be late again – I’m trying!)
This story starts with a young boy and his mum moving into a new house (the house from the Snowman) with their old dog, the young boy finds a picture of James and The Snowman and when the snow falls decides to make him again as well as a snowdog (with socks for ears). O course at midnight they come to life and after the snowdog gets used to being alive and the snowman sees the photo of him and James, they go off to the yearly party at the North Pole. On the way to the party the snowman loses his nose and they have to land to look for it, they find an old plane and decided to fly the rest of the way in that. At the North Pole Billy and his snowdog get into a sledging race and only just win beating many other snowman and some penguins. Father Christmas gives Billy a present and they fly home. Once home Billy opens his present to find a collar which he puts on the snowdog and he changes into a real dog just like the one that Billy asked Father Christmas for. In the morning the Snowman has melted again but the dog is still alive.
It’s a story written for the 30th anniversary of The Snowman and it feels right, they pay homage by having Billy make the snowman the same way as well as seeing the motorbike and lots of other small features in reference to the original film. But it also feels like it can stand up on its own, the party is different and the sledging race is good fun. I cheered when Billy beat the penguins and ignored the part of my brain that reminded me that penguins live in the South Pole.
It’s a happy film, reminding you what happened in the past but not getting too bogged down in it, Billy doesn’t know that he’s not the first child to go on this type of adventure and although there are small references in the house there is nothing else that screams out that it’s a sequel, which I was very impressed by.
The party at the North Pole is brilliant, I want to go. The snowmen are all having fun, the penguins migrate, there are races and presents from Father Christmas that turns snow animals into real animals. Who wouldn’t want to go there? Plus there is still a snowman with a gun on his hip, in my mind the original child still does it every year and taught their children to do the same.
The story is similar, but it would be difficult for it to be different and it’s just different enough that it doesn’t matter. When I first watched The Snowman and the Snowdog, last year I wasn’t sure what I thought but now I’ve had a year to sit on it and I’ve watched it again, I’ve decided that I enjoyed it.
They made a good sequel to a classic and any uncertainty I have about it is mainly because I love the original so much I feel like I’m being unfaithful to it. But teh music is good, the animation is still spectacular and it’s one I will definitely watch again over the current Christmas period.
See you tomorrow