Friday, December 14, 2012

K.A.C. 2012 - T - 11 ...

     Today we celebrate another staple of the season ... the snowman. While not a part of Christmas, per se, many families have fond memories of building snowmen as children in preparation for Santa's arrival. I always wondered about that as a kid ... turns out it was a way for the parents to get some peace and quiet in the house and a good way for the kids to let off their excess energy! And here I thought it was all about just building a guy made out of snow ... huh.

     One of the perennial holiday songs to rear its wintry head this time of year is 'Frosty the Snowman'. No, no, don't fear ... I can guarantee you won't see (or HEAR) anything more about him in this article - he's been done to death. Instead we have something MUCH more interesting for your perusal. Entitled Der Schneemann (also known as The Magic Snowman), it is a rarity to have survived at all. Why? It was made in 1944, during the height of World War II and created in Nazi Germany. What makes it even rarer is it is NOT a propaganda film, just a touching little tale about a snowman who comes to life and his adventures.

     The animation is rather reminiscent of the Fleischer Brothers Studios, especially at the 5:25 mark where the snowman approaches a cottage and skates along the fence to find the front door. It looks almost exactly like the multiplane camera process that both the Fleischer and Disney studios had in use at the time and is the only example of it I've seen outside of their cartoons.

     Go and take a look at the cartoon (courtesy of Xmas Flix on YouTube) here: 

     Oh, and if your German is rusty, here's the Wikipedia link to find out what he is singing at the end of the cartoon ...  

From German snowmen to modern times, we fast forward to this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special. Entitled "The Snowmen", it will air on Christmas night here on BBC America. I COULD tell you the plot, but that would be spoiling things. Instead, I'll leave you with the trailer and the announcement that just came out on what major star is voicing the head Snowman!

Trailer -  

Voice Actor Announcement -

     I'll spare you the 'Jack Frost' movies and their ilk and just say, "Why don't you get up from that computer and go out and build a snowman?" 


     Come back tomorrow as we begin our final 10 days of the K.A.C.! 

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