The Snowman

  • Review Date: November 14, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1982
  • Running Time: 26 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Charming, wordless, book-based holiday fable for all ages.
  • Review Date: November 14, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1982
  • Running Time: 26 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it matters that the story 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

Theatrical release date:December 26, 1982
DVD release date:October 24, 2006
Cast:Raymond Briggs
Director:Dianne Jackson
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Book characters, Friendship, Holidays
Run time:26 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Snowman was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byGad zooms December 31, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

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 anyone, no bad language obviously, and no silly faces that your children will imitate. The only thing that you may hear repeated is the beautiful melody sung by your children. Our family shares this movie with other families every chance we get.
Parent Written byTheMammy March 2, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

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) and at 4 worried about the snowman and the boy melting at the end. I was puzzled, but when you watch it, you see that the boy kneels down in the snow, and then the screen goes white so to a child it does look like he melted too! For less sensitive kids I can't imagine there being any issues.
Parent Written bylimegreensneaks@gmai June 2, 2015
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Gorgeous

The music is fabulous and the story is gentle. This is a fun film to compare to the book (which similarly has no words, just pictures).

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