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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Snowy Day is an adaptation of Ezra Jack Keats' acclaimed picture book of the same name. It builds on the original story of young Peter's adventures in the snow by setting them in a bustling city neighborhood brimming with ethnic diversity. The narrator's words closely follow the book's, giving it a familiar rhythm and sound for those who know and love the original story. Peter's experiences illustrate the true joys of the holiday season found in being grateful for sharing time with family and friends. An all-star cast rounds out this sweet retelling of a classic.
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What's the story?
In THE SNOWY DAY, a young boy named Peter (voiced by Donielle Hansley) sets out on a snowy walk to his grandmother's (Angela Bassett) home to escort her -- and her traditional macaroni-and-cheese dish -- back to his house for a Christmas Eve party. Along the way, he meets neighbors, makes new friends, and plays in the snow, until a mishap threatens to ruin the day for him altogether. As Peter reconsiders the meaning of the holiday, he comes to see that it's not the Christmas traditions that make the day special so much as it's the people with whom he shares them.
Is it any good?
With an accomplished voice cast and animation reminiscent of the look of the written work, this interpretation takes viewers along for Peter's many discoveries in his neighborhood. Building on a story that broke racial boundaries in children's literature of the time, The Snowy Day highlights the ethnic diversity so notable in its urban setting. As it fills in the gaps between the pages of Peter's adventures in the book, it introduces the audience to a true melting pot of cultures and faiths that exists in his community.
With the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, and Boyz II Men (who pop in as a capella singers on the street) among the voice cast, this simple TV retelling's polish has broad appeal. It's a gentle story with familiar stanzas from the book and warm themes about family, friends, and diversity to set the scene for the holidays.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about holiday traditions. What are some of your family's favorite things to do around the holidays? How do they reflect your faith or heritage? How does gratitude fit into your traditions as well?
How does Peter's experience with diversity compare with yours? Is your community very diverse? How do our differences make us better as a whole?
If you've read the book, compare it to this screen version. What holes in the story did this fill in for you? Did the additions of characters contribute to the story in a positive way?
- On DVD or streaming: November 25, 2016
- Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Regina King
- Studio: Amazon Studios
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship, Holidays
- Character Strengths: Gratitude
- Run time: 59 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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