A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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?
At less than 30 minutes long, this heartwarming tale is a good holiday pick for preschoolers just starting to sit still for movies. 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, The Snowman and the Snowdog is 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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Snowman and the Snowdog'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?
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