Snowman - walking again!
Hard to believe it's been twenty-nine years since The
premiered on Channel4. TVC's adaptation of Raymond
picturebook first aired in December 1982 and it feels like
been broadcast every year since. It remains precious
untouchable to so many of us. Viewing the film has become
something of a Christmas tradition here in the UK. America
has those Rankin Bass creations and Charlie Brown, whilst
we have "The Snowman". The film and the characters
become ubiquitous in our High Street stores and its story
and that song lovingly lampooned and referenced across
media too. This year, it even features in a jolly Argos
Oh, did you notice the use of the word "untouchable",
It's there for a reason. You see on top of all that
emotional connection and the industry plaudits, "The Snowman"
was and still is a tremendous cash cow for everyone associated
with the production. It made money. And it continues to make
money. And money talks. Which is why, for every year of those
same three decades, there's been lots of talk about
for a sequel to the film. And whilst, in the past, such talk
consistently thwarted and rejected and postponed, this
as the film closes in on its thirtieth anniversary milestone,
those frozen barriers have finally melted.
So at last we come to today's Big News Story. And it's
We're geting another
Snowman story - not a remake, as that news
article implies, but a whole new winter story, with
a new boy and
Snowdog and a flight sequence taking in the likes
of The London Eye.
There'll be a brand new song to accompany it too. The
new film is
being produced by Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding of
at a cost of £2m. They're putting together a 45-strong production
team which will include the likes of Hilary Audus and
Harrision. The theory is, thirty years is a long time, and
not to to attempt another one. But many folks will surely
disagree with them."The Snowmen" is quite perfect as
thank you very much. It was snowy lightning in a bottle,
need a companion piece at all...
Yes, as you can imagine, it's all kicked off around the web,
social media, with folks decrying the project before
it's even out of
the starting blocks.
So what does The Hound think? - Well, it's a very brave
Tinkering with "The Snowman" really is playing
with fire. The
risks are huge. But they've got the right team, and just
importantly, they have the author's blessing. Here's Raymond
Briggs quoted in that Guardian article:
am keeping a polite distance. I haven't written the
new story. I was against making a new version for
years and refused to agree. But there has been such
a huge elapse of time, 30 years, a lot of people have
died in that time..."
"An awful lot of the old team are being reassembled to
make it, that is good. I am not grumpy at all about
So if he's not grumpy, we shouldn't be either. And when one
a step back and looks at the project again, it's easy
to see how
there might be other stories still to tell here... other
around the world... boys and girls everywhere who might
own special Christmas encounter...
If there's one big issue to clear, it's that the original
presented to us as a very personal account from the author's
It was shared with us, a precious memory, unique to
there are other stories out there, the magic diminishes.
Phew-ee! - You don't envy the creative team on this
a feeling they'll be damned, either way. But this commentator
wishes them the very best luck in the world. He wants to
believe, and we all know, if you believe hard enough
can come true.
Goodness, it's going to be fascinating to see exactly
how the film
shapes up, and how it's received by the industry, critics
public alike. We'll get to see it next Christmas, when
as part of a season of programming to celebrate Channel 4's
anniversary. Right here, right now, however, there's the
of "The Snowman", still in singular form,
and just as wonderful
as ever. It airs on Channel 4, at 2.30pm, on Christmas Day....