Sunday Roast: The Snowman

Taking a break from the Thom Hartmann book this week, to enjoy the flying segment from The Snowman.  Besides being a wonderful re-visitation of my children’s younger days, I find this particular piece so moving.  This music was written by Howard Blake specifically for this cartoon.

If you’d like to watch the whole cartoon, start here.

This is our day after Christmas open thread, tell us about your presents and everything you ate!

45 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: The Snowman

  1. One of the greatest animations EVER! Curiosity and imagination – superbly demonstrated in a wordless work.

    Two of the more outstanding scenes: the cat’s frightened look upon awakening to see the snowman.
    As the young man and his new companion are ‘touring’ the parents bedroom and the snowman pops the dentures in his mouth – quite humorous.

    A lovely sentiment imparted without words – outstanding!

  2. What a joyful view for this day! My favorite parts include the whale tail/”splash” and the spectacular aurora ~ a treat indeed! Really appreciate the post, Zooey ~

    Have a wonderful AfterChristmas Party all! I now have to prepare to “display” ganache-filled snowmen … and penguins 😀

  3. Speaking of snowmen, I saw a surprising number of them (for Huntsville) yesterday as I crossed town for Christmas dinner. We had three to four inches of heavy wet snow, perfect for making snowmen. I guess the weather got some kids outside in spite of the new toys from Santa. When I swept off the car, I realized just how much snow we had gotten. In spite of that the streets were clear. They dried before they could freeze. I didn’t see any penguins, but I’m sure they would be comfortable here, given our current conditions.

  4. For the Doctor Who fans and classical music fans, and all who are both, if you haven’t seen the concert Doctor Who at the Proms, which ran yesterday on BBC America, find a way to get it.
    The Murray Gold piece “This is Gallifrey/Vale Decem”, with the accompanying video, shown on jumbotrons in the concert hall, of all the Doctors’ regenerations, and the crowd reactions to each, was astounding.

  5. Nothing like waking up the morning after Xmas to discover the drain pipe off the disposal decided to take a walk last nite after we did dishes. Nice aromatic puddle on the floor and under the sink was truly a mess.

    And to top it off, my sister and her eldest son came up from FL last night so the younger crowd is heading out to the sledding hill today. Oh, and by the way, can you cook up this big turkey dinner for all of us for when we get back? Thank doG Xmas only comes once a year. 😀

  6. (Paddy Moloney/Elvis Costello)

    I knew of two sisters whose name it was Christmas,
    And one was named Dawn of course, the other one was named Eve.
    I wonder if they grew up hating the season,
    The good will that lasts til the Feast of St. Stephen

    For that is the time to eat, drink, and be merry,
    Til the beer is all spilled and the whiskey has flowed.
    And the whole family tree you neglected to bury,
    Are feeding their faces until they explode.


    There’ll be laughter and tears over Tia Marias,
    Mixed up with that drink made from girders.
    ’Cause it’s all we’ve got left as they draw their last breath,
    Ah, it’s nice for the kids, as you finally get rid of them,
    In the St Stephen’s Day Murders.

    Uncle is garglin’ a heart-breaking air,
    While the babe in his arms pulls out all that remains of his hair.
    And we’re not drunk enough yet to dare criticize,
    The great big cup of tea he’s about to baptize.

    With his gin-flavoured whiskers and kisses of sherry,
    His best Chrimbo shirt slung out over the shop.
    While the lights from the Christmas tree blow up the telly,
    His face closes in like an old cold pork chop.

    Alternate Chorus:

    And the carcass of the beast left over from the feast,
    May still be found haunting the kitchen.
    And there’s life in it yet, we may live to regret,
    When the ones that we poisoned stop twitchin’.

    Regular Chorus Repeat

  7. This version is played closer to speed and energy. (I’ve never been able to find a copy of Elvis Costello and the Chieftains, though that one is certainly the “definitive” version):

  8. Tempting, Gary. My nephew told me a while back, after I helped him fix his car, that the day I stop grumping is the day they know it is time to bury me.

  9. I see the Vikings game at Philadelphia has been postponed due to the winter storm. They can’t catch a break at home or on the road this year, can they?

    Outstanding, how has your weather turned out? Did you decide to stay home or are you still planning a trip later?

  10. Gary, you always take me down the ‘road less traveled’ – in music. Jogging my memory of songs long forgotten by artists still in the way-back of mind.
    Not St. Stephen’s but Elvis & the Chieftains:

  11. The Snowman has been a longtime favorite around here. One of the best holiday ‘cartoons’ ever.

    But isn’t a tad dangerous to roast a snowman?

  12. But isn’t a tad dangerous to roast a snowman?

    The hat and scarf might be a tough chew –


    There’d be no evidence except the hat and scarf…

  13. The major snow missed me. I made it over the hill and back, though it was a bit slick up on the ridge. Everybody needs a one year old red-headed granddaughter!

    I think it would be safe to roast a snowman, just don’t drop one in your turkey fryer!

    • Glad you had a great time, Outstanding, and I’m glad you made it home safely. 🙂

      Does anyone want to hear a filthy Santa joke I learned this year? Heh.

  14. Meet the Press

    The 2011 Obama agenda is discussed with Valerie Jarrett. She sounds just like Axelrod, with a slightly higher voice. She says Obama is the same person she has known for over 20 years. He didn’t suddenly change to pass the recent legislation.

    On the tax cut deal:
    Jarrett: I think it’s an example of what we can do when everybody says, “What’s most important to me?” And what the president said was most important to him was not to raise taxes on the middle class, was to make sure that those who were unemployed have 13 months of benefits….What was important to the Republicans was to have tax breaks for the very wealthy and the estate tax provisions. And so when you marry the two, you ended up with a package that was able to get the bipartisan support that we needed….So in a sense, everybody got what they wanted. (No, the deficit hawks didn’t, and people like me, who see the next effort to reduce the debt, as more likely to harm me than losing a tax cut, didn’t either.)

    Gregory: We are in midst of a permanent campaign, and the, the campaign of 2012 is already upon us. And I found it interesting in one of the president’s recent interviews, he said about a potential presidential aspirant, Sarah Palin, that he doesn’t think about her. Do you think he should? (Bush said he didn’t think much about Osama Bin Laden either, but I think Sarah is a bigger danger to America than OBL. )

    Jarrett: Well, you know what I think? As the president of the United States, his obligation is to think about all of Americans every day…if he does that job well…then I think the politics will take care of itself.

    The panel is historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bob Woodward (Washington Post), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), and NBC News special correspondent, Tom Brokaw. Three fairly straight shooters, and Noonan.

    They start out talking about Obama’s success with the lame duck Congress, and how the left should be happy that DADT was repealed.

    Gregory: Bob Woodward, what’s your read on, on the president’s strong finish?

    Woodward: I mean, it’s, it’s real, and the, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a big deal. That’s a, that is a movement in civil rights…that will be noted for a long time and perhaps forever.

    Noonan: I got, on an issue like, considering the president’s position right now, an issue like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is perfect. Here’s why. It’s a liberal issue, it’s a left issue, fine. But it was in line with centrist thinking. The center supported the change. When a president of the left can make leftist moves with centrist support, he’s going to be OK. Rightist president, the same thing. So always keep in, in mind the center. (Peggy, if the center supports something, it’s not a leftist issue…)

    They get started on a tangent about ROTC programs at the Ivy League schools that didn’t really make a lot of sense. (With all the tech companies complaining they can’t get really qualified people, do we need our best and brightest in the military? Wouldn’t it be better if the offspring of the wealthy, those legacy attendees, went into the military, like George W. Bush and John McCain? Yeah, that’s the ticket!)

    Gregory: We can look at what’s happened in the last couple of weeks, he had a strong finish, but this has been a tough year for the president, for Democrats. AP wrote about it, in summing it up, and started with the passage of healthcare reform. Quoting the president, “`This is what change looks like,’ Obama said proudly, after the health care law passed.
    “But the economic recovery was too slow. The oil gushed for too long. The health care laws was too complicated. The unemployment rate too high. The political discourse too raw. The tea party too loud. Americans were in a foul mood, and Democrats got the blame.” That’s really the story of 2010. (No the real story is how corporate media ignored Republican obstruction and aided and abetted obfuscation.)

    Noonan: Well, it’s not, the way that’s written, it suggests it was a matter of fate. Oh, my goodness, decisions were made, they were not popular. You know, health care, two years into this drama, you can look at it, look at the numbers, and you realize people just don’t love that. That, that was just the wrong… (Noonan has this way of sounding so concerned, that is so obviously condescending.)

    Brokaw: They don’t understand it.

    Goodwin: They don’t understand it, yeah.

    Noonan: Well, when you’re two years in and they still, everywhere across the country, are scratching their heads, that is almost the definition of a bad idea. (It was a bad idea, without a real public option!)

    Gregory: But, Tom, do they not understand it, or do they understand too well…that in fact it’s going to help poor people in a tight economy? (Is that really a fact, David? Where ya been all year when the Tea party was calling it a government takeover?)

    Brokaw: Well, there are two different answers to that, David. I think that a lot of small businesses understand it very well, and they say, “It’s going to cost us more money, and we’re going to move our employees into the Medicaid program or something else for their–we’re not going to be able to afford to cover them.” People who are looking at it from the ground up are saying, “I don’t get it.” And it’s 2,700 pages. Most of the major health institutions that I know in this country who are going to be responsible for the care are still trying to sort their way through it. At the very highest levels, they don’t quite understand how it’s going to work. (Ask the health insurance lobbyists, they mostly wrote it!)

    Goodwin: But I think that what hasn’t been done, you know, Bill Safire always used to say, when he gave a speech, tell them what you’re going to say, then tell them–and then tell them what you told them. Somehow we never got straight what that, that healthcare bill was. A lot of people didn’t understand what was in it, and that’s a failure of the bully pulpit. Part of that is the rhetoric of the president. Part of it, it’s really hard to get anything out to the country today because everything is so distracting. You give a speech on health care and the guy says, Joe Wilson says, “You lie,” and that becomes the story. (Do you think she’s talking to the other four people at the table?)

    Noonan: There’s also this, this, growing from that, but part of what we’re talking about is this, the biggest political change in the United States in my lifetime is the sense grown-ups have that their children will not have it better. It is a, we are a happy people. You can walk along any street in America right now….and you can see people just doing Christmas and the holidays, and it’s wonderful. But there is deep down, on the third level of thought, a, a strain of pessimism that I’ve never seen before. (Yes Peggy, the country is sad and nobody but Obama is to blame. You’re sounding fakey sad again!)

    Gregory: Well, and, Peggy, look at this from our recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, people’s views on the last–on this last decade, that it’s the worst decade in history at 54 percentile. (I guess that’s all Obama’s fault too. Since the Republicans ran everything until 2007, and still had enough power to stop things getting better.)

    Gregory: What about course correction, though? Because, Bob, you talked about connecting, and this issue of how the president positions himself to deal with the pessimism, to deal with systemic unemployment, the threat of terror. Politico wrote something interesting about “Obama 2.0: Reinventing the Presidency,” and wrote–they wrote this: “`He needs to be CEO of America,’ said former White House chief of staff John Podesta, an Obama sympathizer who ran his transition to power after the ’08 election and is now urging him to dramatically refashion his presidency.
    “The West Wing makeover, as Podesta and others see it, would involve Obama no longer `being Velcroed to the Hill’ and giving more attention to powers of the presidency that don’t involve signing bills into the law.” In other words, legislating is not good for popularity. (CEO thinking won’t work, because the CEOs got us in this mess. We need a leader who does what helps the most people, not the wealthiest.)

    Goodwin: Right now, if he were to go for alternative energy in a bigger way than he has, if he would get these CEOs and say, “What kind of tax credits do you need to keep jobs here in this country?” there’s a way of making America competitive in the world again, be number one economically. (If Obama asked this of CEOs, they would tell him how to cut their taxes, and then they would still keep the jobs in other countries.)

    They take a break and start back with what methods of budget cutting will be able to pass and Noonan gets in her shots at public employees and entitlement programs. Then they talk about Reagan and how he wasn’t able to reduce spending, and if Reagan couldn’t do it, who could?

    They argued about the war in Afghanistan and how much drawdown will there be and when. Nothing you haven’t already heard, just to fill time.

    They move on to the 2012 Presidential elections, and who is the GOP going to nominate?

    Gregory: Well, what kind of candidate, Peggy Noonan, do you need to run as the Republican Party, to take on Obama? What’s the theory of the case at this stage?

    Noonan: Hm. A big thing is how the tectonic plates keep moving in American politics. Harrison Salisbury once said–a lifetime in journalism, he was asked, “What did you learn?” He said, “Expect the unexpected.” If we’ve learned anything from the past decade, it’s that anybody can arise from anywhere and become a leader. Gosh, what do the, the Republicans need to beat Obama? A credible alternative, a serious man or woman, someone with experience and some weight and heft who can get through Iowa and South Carolina. (Peggy Noonan made the dog whistle pitch for Christie using the words weight and heft! I guess that could apply to Newt or Haley Barbour also.)

    Noonan: I got to tell you, I’m one of those who thinks Palin will not run, and I happen to think if she runs, it will not work. Her people love her, support her, watch her on TV, read her books, love to cheer her. They especially love to defend her when people like us criticize her. They will not vote…

    Gregory: But it almost, as a matter of fact, I mean, she…she could run without running. She could be a factor without running.

    Noonan: They won’t vote for her for president. What I think she’ll do is sit back. She’s a realist, she’ll know she’s not going to, this isn’t going to work. And so she will sacrifice herself and support somebody else…so there’ll be a Palin primary.

    (I think Barbour will run, not to expect to win, but to gain clout, and maybe, just maybe, make it onto the ticket as VP.)

  15. Speaking of snow …
    Speaking of being out in the cold and dumped on in a major way …

    Tomorrow commences the largest gathering in my discipline, the Eastern division of the American Philosophical Association (APA). This is less a conference than a massive meat-market where the first round of job interviews will take place in the current season of ego-ablating trials in which for every job there were 300 applicants.

    I’m insulated from this nightmare by the fact that someone would actually have to be marginally interested in the abstract possibility of giving me a job. But a great many people I know are heading out that way for their “fair share of abuse.”

    “That way”, this year, is Boston.

    Boston is slated to receive 20″+ of snow starting a little while ago and continuing for some hours to come.

    If you’ve a spare moment to wish well for complete strangers, I would count it as a kindness were any of y’all to cast a kind thought towards those of my friends and colleagues desperately trying to immerse themselves in the grotesque desperation of the Eastern APA, and wading their way through a weather extremity brought down upon us by AGW to boot.

  16. Now for the important stuff. Zooey, are you going to make some time to try watching Torchwood, and what did you think of the Doctor Who Christmas Carol?

  17. Zooey, did you hand your youngest a sweater and suggest how easy it is to don and doff?
    That way he would have to heat up the whole state!

  18. “That way he would *not* have to heat up the whole state!

    (oh to be the proof reader I once was…age takes over so quickly these days ;>

  19. Okay, I confess. I liked what I had to say about something on TP so much that I want to repeat it here:

    Why do Republicans deny that they put the interests of businesses ahead of the interests of the People? This story here is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an anomaly. This is exactly the way Republicans think government should be run – with the interests of Corporate America ahead of the interests of the People of America. They are forgetting something: America is made up of People, not corporations. Corporations did not fight for our independence from the British, People did. Corporations did not draw up our Constitution and convince the colonists to ratify it, People did. Corporations are artificial entities created on paper; People are flesh and blood human beings with rights granted under that Constitution.

    I often hear Republicans say that they would like to see their party return to being the Party of Lincoln again. But they ignore the fact that Lincoln once described ours as “a nation of the People, by the People, for the People.”

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