I love the Christmas animation, The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs. I think it is a family event for some families; the kind of event which encourages people to sit together and watch at home, especially if there are children around on Christmas Day.
As a child, I loved it because of its magic. Wow!…this snowman came to life and flew with the boy who built it. Maybe this could happen to me if I build one.
As an adult, I love it because it holds memories of how easy it was to be transfixed by make-believe as a child – the memory is sad because life has taken over since and reality, which I find increasingly hard, is not something we can run away from. And if we do have the chance to run away for a brief moment, we are reminded that happy moments don’t last forever. As with the snowman, he melts.
But I do love it also because it does present that moment we have either within imagination or within real life, to escape – and learn from it – or even be changed forever by it. The boy invites the snowman into his life to share some part of his human life:
and uses it to share some of ‘snowman world’ with the boy, when on their flight they drop in on a snowman party –
I guess again, I am making the point for good entertainment having a point to real life – since much of the time it is about real life. The Snowman is about the need to imagine. In the real world, imagining opens us to other worlds and other poeple. In the case of this story, both snowman and human are able to live in each others’ worlds for a little. There is always a risk when we open our minds – but most of the time it is because good moments are had, and good moments don’t always last – but the memory does and the morals learnt are not forgotten. The risk is that we will be sad to lose something we love, but we will be likely better off for the experience.