The Snowman

Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
The Snowman Movie Poster Image
Charming, wordless, book-based holiday fable for all ages.
  • NR
  • 1982
  • 26 minutes

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The Snowman is intended to entertain, rather than educate, but there are sweet messages about friendship.

Positive Messages

The Snowman celebrates the magic of the holidays and the joys of childhood and curiosity/discovery.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The boy and the snowman are both curious, friendly, and eager to explore. They wear helmets while riding a motorcyle, which is a good safety example.

Violence & Scariness

There are brief moments in which characters are angry or nervous/frightened, but they pass quickly. After getting too hot near a fire early in the movie, the snowman eventually does melt in the end, which could bother some young/sensitive kids, but the boy doesn't seem too distressed by it.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The snowman briefly has a pipe in his mouth. A man on a boat drinking champagne sees the snowman flying by and looks at his bottle like it might be to blame. During the party at the North Pole, the snowmen are seen with a wine bottle.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Snowman is a charming, whimsical, totally kid friendly adaptation of Raymond Briggs' classic picture book. At only 26 minutes long, it's brief enough to hold even the youngest viewers' attention. And there's very little content that's likely to bother them, though some might get a tiny bit nervous when the snowman is near the fire and/or when he and the boy fly away from home. Wine and champagne bottles are seen very briefly, and the snowman momentarily has a pipe in his mouth. The snowman melts in the end, but the child in the movie doesn't seem distressed by it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byGad zooms December 31, 2013

Absolutely beautiful

The music is beautiful and the illustrations are calming. This is one movie that you can feel good about exposing your children to. The is no harm done to an... Continue reading
Adult Written byTheMammy March 2, 2014

Lovely, gentle family film that is perfect Christmas viewing

We watch this film every Christmas and the kids love it. The music is wonderful. My son found the ending heartbreaking the first time he watched it (he was 2)... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymishacringe December 21, 2017

What an amazing film to watch!

You should definitely watch this with the whole family, as we do every Christmas Eve. I rated it 5+ as some scenes could be emotional for younger audiences.

What's the story?

Based on Raymond Briggs' classic picture book, THE SNOWMAN tells the story of a boy's magical Christmas adventure. After the snowman he builds comes to life in the middle of the night, a young English boy and his new friend explore, starting off inside the boy's house and then moving outside after things get a little too warm. Ultimately, they take flight, soaring over the wintry countryside until they wind up at the North Pole, where they join a festive party with Santa and many other snowmen before heading back home.

Is it any good?

This is a mostly animated tale that blends whimsy, nostalgia, and holiday magic to create a feel-good fable that viewers of all ages will enjoy. There's an extremely brief live-action intro that sets the main action up as a boyhood flashback.

The Snowman's flickering, broad-strokes animation style truly makes the movie look like a picture book come to life, and the story is simple -- and engaging -- enough that the lack of narration and dialogue doesn't matter a whit, especially since Howard Blake's score is so lovely. Even the youngest kids will be able to follow this tale of friendship, curiosity, and the joy of discovery.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it matters that The Snowman doesn't have any talking. Do you need words to understand what's going on?

  • What do the boy and the snowman learn from each other? Why do they have so much fun together?

  • Although The Snowman takes place at Christmas, it's not about presents. What else is Christmas about? How does your family celebrate the holidays?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love wintry fun

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