The Snowman is a 27-minute animated special produced by Dianne Jackson for the fledgling Channel 4, based on a 1978 children's book by English author Raymond Briggs. It was first shown on Channel 4 on December 26, 1982 and was an immediate success. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1982. It has been shown every year since and has become a part of British and international Christmas popular culture.
The book is wordless, as is the film except for the introduction and the song "Walking in the Air". The story is told through picture, action and music. The cartoon version was scored by Howard Blake who wrote both music and lyrics of the song and also composed and conducted the complete orchestral score for the film with his own orchestra, the Sinfonia of London. The film's one song, "Walking in the Air," was written specially for it and performed by a St Paul's Cathedral choirboy, Peter Auty.
In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, the film was placed 71st. It was voted 4th in UKTV Gold's Greatest TV Christmas Moments.