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Father Christmas & Snowman [VHS]

76 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Auty, David Bowie, Raymond Briggs, Mel Smith
  • Directors: Dave Unwin, Dianne Jackson, Jimmy T. Murakami
  • Writers: Raymond Briggs, Dianne Jackson, Michael Adams
  • Producers: Gower Frost, Iain Harvey, John Coates
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: June 2, 1998
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0800196171
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,524 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Two animated features. FATHER CHRISTMAS tells the story of grumpy but loveable Father Christmas and what it is really like to be him. In THE SNOWMAN, a young boy's Snowman comes to life at midnight and together they set out on a wonderful adventure.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Brooklyn John on November 19, 2000
Format: DVD
When I first saw the Snowman, I was just enthralled with the style and care taken in the animation. Not to mention the charming story. When, later, I learned that there would be a sort of Snowman part 2, I was very happy indeed. Father Christmas was hillarious. Partly because of the story of the hard working Father Christmas' time off. But also because of the brilliant voice talents of Mel Smith. Smith, a very well know actor and comedian in Europe. But Mel Smith's Voice has been removed from the Americanized version shown on the DVD. A Los Angelino has been brought in to soften and re-direct the story. Makeing the brithish accent more accessable by an american audience and making the comic story of a slightly grumpy Santa, who just wants to have a nice vaction, thinner and more geared toward America's sterilized "children in a vacum" nature.
I was very disappointed in this change. This has gone from being a classic Christmas comedy for the whole family... to watered down pap suited only for those 5 and under. If the video version still has Mel Smith, I urge you to get that. Or just watch it during it's seasonal run on local PBS stations. Where they're not afraid to treat an artist's work with the respect it deserves and not change it to suit their likes. This, in my opinion in exactly tragic as Colourizing films.
It's still a great show, they haven't figured out a way to tamper with the great animation... But it's not as great as it was before some misguided executive decided to make it "better".
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By "piratebearus" on December 12, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the first time that the Snowman has been on dvd. Added is an American version of Father Christmas. The Snowman Comes intact, and complete. All the charm and stunning animation is complete. It is wonderful to get the snowman on dvd. Slowing down someof the flight sequences are stunningly beautiful.
BUT,The of Raymond Brigg's Father Christmas is a Butchered Americanized version. Narrated by an American actor, this version looses all the charm of the English version voiced by Mel Smith, the Original Father Christmas! This is NOT that version! This is a censored chopped version that just doesn't translate well over to American audiences.
In Father Christmas, Santa is not the Politically Correct Santa that prudish Americans would like you to see. He is a cantankerous Santa whom complains, and grumbles all the while that he is doing things. So much so, that he takes a vacation to Scotland, where he drinks at a Pub/bar. Vegas, were he gambles and smokes around bikini clad women. This Santa is shown as a normal person. At a couple times, they even show his [behind], to which my God daughters think is the most hilarious thing. It gives a very strong impression that he is a real person. The American version is trying for that rankin/bass whimsical Christmas thing, but it just doesn't work with English Humor. Even the Finally song sung by the American actor shows a more benevolent, Richard Attenburough figure. The Elf-boss (Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer) is more cantankerous than the actor in this one. The original is more like an annoyed Bob Hoskins. ...
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 2002
Format: DVD
I bought this DVD mainly for Father Christmas, as I had almost worn out my VHS version, taped off PBS years ago. As others have said, the version on this DVD is a travesty, with the gruff, but lovable Mel Smith's voice replaced by a much too benign voice that rather resembles Sebastian Cabot's as Mr French from the old "Family Affair" show. This feature definitely got the "PC" treatment, as all Santa's witticisms were cut, and phrases like "happy bloomin' Christmas" were changed to "Merry Christmas".

On the flip side, I was quite pleased with "The Snowman", which was a beautiful and haunting little film, with a fine musical score. If you get this DVD, get it ONLY for The Snowman. Don't even watch Father Christmas! What are you doing? I said don't watch it! Not even once!

If you have a DVD player or computer capable of playing region 2 DVDs, you can order the British version and hear Mel Smith in all his bloomin' glory.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2003
Format: DVD
First, the DVD is defective. Only the Father Christmas story plays. This version is a sanitized American version which eliminates the British Engllish expressions that give life to the story. SKIP THIS DVD! If you ever have a chance to see a British PAL video, you'll see why.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By derek laney on November 30, 2003
Format: DVD
I have purchased this DVD twice and have tried to play them on our regular DVD player as well as on two laptops. No matter what I've tried, The Snowman has never played. Only the very different and very awful Father Christmas will work. I finally gave up and bought the VHS tape of The Snowman, so that my children could see the most wonderful and haunting Christmas movie ever made.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "piratebearus" on December 6, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Beautiful animation based on Raymond Brigg's Books. Although the Snowman is intact to its origional content. It's a wonderful tale of a boy who builds a snowman who comes to life, and has a north pole adventure in the middle of the night, Meeting santa, and returning home. In the end the snowman melts. Bitter-sweet, and wonderful, its told not in words but in action.
Father Christmas has been re-narrated by an american actor. The Charm of the British version is lost. The origional hosts a cranky, cantankerous Brit Santa who, sick of the cold, wet snow-time job, goes on a vacation in different parts of the world. His adventures are full of tongue-in-cheek Brit humor that adults can watch, and children will not notice. The movie shows a Santa who kicks back eats, drinks, gambles in Vegas, and complains along the way. There are even two parts cut out of this version: One is of santa in the outhouse, Second is part of a Scottish pub scene were Santa and the musician there have a few drinks, and He ends up barefoot in the bar dancing with a number of onlookers. It's all tastefully done to British Standards. The American(P.C) version of this show a chipper Santa, and looses all the charm of the origional. Even the song: 'Bloomin Cristmas' looses all humor with an American Voice-over.
I recommend this to anyone who wants a dvd of the snowman, but I would skip the whole Father Christmas of this video. Find the origional F.H.E version on Ebay, or somewhere's else.
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