Brighton landmarks that serve as the backdrop to the iconic Christmas movie The Snowman

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A true British Christmas classic not to be missed during the holiday season.

The Snowman is a timeless film that continues to light up spirits as it watches children across the country with its magical atmosphere.

The story sees a young boy named James waking up and playing in the snow, after a night of heavy snowfall, ultimately building a large snowman.

Read more: The Lost Shops Sussex residents miss the most as Christmas approaches

As midnight strikes Christmas, he sneaks downstairs to find the snowman who magically comes to life for what would become the start of a special friendship.



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James shows the snowman around his house, playing with a variety of family possessions, while remaining quiet enough not to wake his parents.

Eventually the situation arises where the snowman is restless, having seen a photo of the arctic on a package in the garage freezer, and takes the boy in hand, running through the garden until it takes off.

The view is spectacular as the couple soars into the sky, momentarily joined by many other snowmen.

But did you recognize the views the duo hovered over that were in their animated form?

Well if you watch it again this Christmas you might be able to spot some of Sussex’s most recognizable landmarks that were chosen as the backdrop for this incredible scene.

Accompanied by the iconic and calming song “Walking in the Air”, later performed by Aled Jones, James and the snowman soar over the chalky white hills of the South Downs towards the coast.

On this trip we see the Royal Brighton Pavilion as well as Brighton Palace Pier before heading north, along the Norwegian coast, and continuing through an arctic landscape and into the Northern Lights .

The reason behind this choice was thanks to the author of the book.

The 1982 British animated film was based on the 1978 picture book of the same name by Raymond Briggs.



The Snowman
An illustration from the children’s book The Snowman

Writer and illustrator Briggs has lived in the county since 1961, living in the same house in Westmeston in East Sussex, which offers magnificent views of the countryside, 26 miles from Sussex Weald to Ashdown Forest.

The 87-year-old often links his local connections to his work, and it was no different.

The original Channel 4 intro featured Briggs walking through a field in rural Sussex describing his inspiration for the story, which then morphed into the film’s animated landscape.

The Sussex ties don’t end there with songwriter Howard Blake also a native of the county.

Returning to the plot and after meeting Santa Claus and his reindeer, they return home before the sun rises and the two say goodbye for the night.

The next morning on Christmas Day, James wakes up to find that the snowman has melted, leaving only his hat, scarf, charcoal eyes, tangerine nose and charcoal buttons in a pile of snow. fondue.



More than a childhood Christmas was captured by Raymond Briggs' snowman
More than a childhood Christmas was captured by Raymond Briggs’ snowman

James kneels by the remains of the snowman while holding his scarf, mourning the loss of his friend.

The film was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 55th Academy Awards in 1983 and won the BAFTA for Best Children’s Program (Entertainment / Drama) and was also nominated for Best Graphic Design.

The iconic flight scene has been watched almost 1.4 million times on Youtube while the film as a whole saw over 6.7 million viewers – and who knows how many of its TV shows.

The Snowman will always be a staple in Christmas movie viewing, which is all the more impressive considering its lack of words, and the fact that it features some of Sussex’s most famous landmarks is the icing on the cake. the cake.

Did you know that Sussex provided the backdrop for this incredible scene?

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