The Snowman and the Snowdog



Sweet holiday sequel about a boy who misses his dog.
  • Review Date: December 3, 2013
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 70 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This is a secular holiday movie about a wintertime friendship between a boy and a snowman and a snowdog that come to life. Many of London's landmarks are seen in a sequence where the boy and the snowman are flying.

Positive messages

Sweet message about the closeness between a boy and his dog.

Positive role models

The snowman takes care of the boy and helps Father Christmas grant him the ultimate wish of a new pet dog.

Violence & scariness

The protagonist's dog dies, but nothing graphic is seen.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Snowman and the Snowdog is a sequel to the beloved 1982 holiday film The Snowman, based on the children's book by English author-illustrator Raymond Briggs. There's nothing a young child or even a preschooler couldn't handle, although there's a bit of sadness when the protagonist's dog dies (you see him in the backyard at the burial site) and when eventually the snowman melts. This is a gentle holiday film with no dialogue that even little, little kids will enjoy.

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What's the story?

THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG is the sequel to the 1982 adaptation of Raymond Briggs' classic holiday children's book The Snowman. The author approved of the follow-up in celebration of the original animated film's 30th anniversary. There's no dialogue in the movie; it's a simple story line about a young boy who moves to a new house and soon loses his pet dog. In an old box, he finds a photo of a boy with a snowman (along with a scarf, a hat, and a walnut shell for a nose), so, when the first snow falls, he decides to recreate the snowman with the found accessories as well as a snowdog in memory of his late pet. The next morning, the boy hears a bark, looks out the window, and sees his snowy creations move. In an exciting turn, the boy flies off with the snowman and the snowdog over London and toward a party of snowmen and even Father Christmas himself.

Is it any good?


The Snowman may be a national treasure in the U.K., but here in the States it's not as widely known. Those who haven't seen the original may not understand that the picture the boy finds is from the first movie or that this is a story that's as beloved to certain audiences as Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas are to American viewers. Without the foundation of the original, there may be less emotional connection to the new story -- particularly since there's no dialogue.

Still, if you don't mind the minimalist plot and the lack of dialogue, it's a lovely holiday tale about a boy grieving the loss of his dog. His grief leads him to make not only the snowman like the one in a photo he discovers in his new house but also a snowdog companion for the snowman, in honor of his dearly departed pet. There's a beautiful song that accompanies the most exciting part of the story, the flight the trio takes soaring above London all the way to a snowman jubilee. At less than 30 minutes long (the other 40 minutes on the DVD are bonus features), The Snowman and the Snowdog is a good holiday pick for preschoolers just starting to sit still for movies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the story's exploration of friendship and holidays. How does it compare to other snowman tales?

  • What do you think about the snowdog addition to the original story? How does the sequel continue the story from the first film?

  • What are your favorite holiday movies and why?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 1, 2013
Director:Hilary Audus
Studio:NCircle Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Holidays
Run time:70 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Snowman and the Snowdog was written by

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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.

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Parent Written byAdagirl1993 December 26, 2013

Wonderful winter story!

Wonderful, touching, winter tale of a young boy and a snowman that comes to life. Classic style story that beats out Frosty by a long shot. No words are spoken, just beautiful music. Only thing to note is that the boy's dog dies. Again, nothing graphic but most children will understand what happens when they see the dog getting older and then in the next shot, the boy is crying while looking at a picture of his dog.
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byHelen2711 December 28, 2013

Perfect Christmas Treat

Fabulous film and terrific music to inspire and move young and old alike. A real treat and even the very little will enjoy the story. Beautiful.
Parent Written byMakMom3 November 26, 2014

If you are looking for sadness, this movie is it!

I was greatly disappointed in this movie. It is very sad. My 9 year old daughter was crying at the end. The dog dying reminded her of our beloved dog that we had to put down. And I felt like the ending where the snowman melts and the boy and dog are sad is terrible for kids. There are a lot of other cheerful movies that are much better than this. Sorry, I just felt it was depressing.


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