Cold winter days are just right for curling up with some hot cocoa to watch DVDs filled with the pleasures of winter. And it is always wise to have some on hand for those days when it is too cold or snowy to go outside. One movie every family should watch is The Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, a wordless lyrical fantasy about a boy whose snowman comes to life. The exquisite illustrations and score perfectly complement the story, evoking the simple joy and childhood magic of playing in snow. The boy first brings the snowman into his world, showing him his home — unsurprisingly, the snowman does not like the fireplace but does like the ice cubes. Then, in a moment that still makes even grown-ups catch their breath, the snowman shows the boy his world, flying with him through the night sky to the ice lands, where they meet the snowman’s friends, including Santa Claus.
Some children may be upset when they see that the next morning, the snowman has melted. But even small children can understand that the boy will always cherish his time with his special friend. This movie can inspire children to build their own snow friends, and should lead families to talk about how what is most familiar to us (like a light switch) can seem interesting or strange or even scary to others. And what is familiar to others (like the Northern Lights) can seem exotic and thrilling to us.