If you’re roughly my age, you may have been made to watch the animated short film “The Snowman” repeatedly at Christmas time. If you’re roughly my age, “The Snowman” may also be part of the reason that you’re in therapy. For some reason, the people who made children’s entertainment in the 1980s hated children.
"The Snowman" is about a Boy who builds a snowman that magically comes to life, then flies the Boy to the North Pole where he dances with other magic snowmen, and meets Santa Claus. This sounds delightful, but it’s the most melancholy thing you’ve ever seen. Seriously, it makes "A Charlie Brown Christmas" look like the Rockettes Holiday Spectacular on MDMA. The scene where the Boy the the Snowman fly to the North Pole (seen here) should be a sequence of Spielbergian wonderment, but the song that plays over the whole thing (“Walking In the Air” by Howard Blake) makes it a sequence of Nick-Drake-ian despondency. It’s a beautiful song, but it will also bum you the hell out. Just like all great cartoons about a kid meeting Santa.
The music from “Walking In the Air” also serves as the main theme for “The Snowman,” so the whole thing is permeated with an air of inescapable sadness. This comes to fruition at the end of the film, after the Snowman returns the boy safely home to his home. The next day, the boy wakes up and runs outside to play with his magical new friend, only to find him dead in a melted heap. Oh, but the boy still has the scarf that Santa gave him, so he knows that the trip wasn’t a dream. The Snowman was real, and now he’s dead, and the boy will never see his friend or go on a magic journey again. Happiness is fleeting, everyone you love will leave, and we all die cold and alone. Roll Credits. Fuck you, Children. Enjoy therapy.