A still image from the Channel 4 ident, showing the Channel 4 logo in a wintry setting where it oversees The Snowman, The Snowdog and James, the boy from the first The Snowman film, playing in the snow.


Category: News Release

Animated ident celebrates the 40th anniversary of the much-loved animation’s debut on Channel 4

Channel 4 has commissioned award-winning production company Lupus Films (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt) to produce a snowy seasonal ident featuring the beloved characters from The World of The Snowman™ (part of Penguin Random House Children’s), created in collaboration with Channel 4’s in-house creative agency, 4creative. The 20-second film has been made to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the very first transmission of The Snowman film adaption on Channel 4 and pays tribute to both the original animation and to the magical sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog which was first broadcast in 2012.

The latest in a long line of iconic Channel 4 idents, the film transports the Channel 4 logo to a wintry setting where it oversees The Snowman, The Snowdog and James, the boy from the first The Snowman film, playing in the snow. The ident marks the very first time that all three characters will be seen on screen together. It will premiere on the channel before Jamie’s Easy Christmas at 8pm on Tuesday , 6th December and will be shown regularly over the festive period.

The ident has been produced by Lupus Films – the producers of The Snowman and The Snowdog – and directed by Robin Shaw who was responsible for the iconic flying sequence in that film.  The beautiful animation, in Lupus Films’ trademark hand-drawn style, has been lovingly hand-crafted by Robin Shaw and a small team of top animators using traditional 2D techniques in animation programme TVPaint.

Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer, Channel 4  said: “The Snowman has been a part of Christmas for four decades so what better way to mark the 40th birthday of both Channel 4 and the animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’s beloved character than with a set of hand crafted idents featuring James and the Snowman. It may or may not snow this month but it is guaranteed to be a white Christmas on Channel 4.”

Co-founder of Lupus Films Camilla Deakin said: “We are really honoured to have been asked to bring The Snowman back to life for Channel 4 for the 40th anniversary of this very special animated Christmas classic.  It’s particularly poignant for us at the time of the tenth anniversary of The Snowman and The Snowdog and after the death earlier this year of our long-time friend and collaborator, the inimitable Raymond Briggs.”

For Channel 4 Creative the Executive Producer is Lynsey Atkin, the Creative Director  Dan Chase the Producer Alison Laing, Head of Marketing Laura Ward-Smith, Marketing Lead Laura Bedford and Marketing Executive Victoria Cheng.

Thomas Merrington, Creative Director of Penguin Ventures (part of Penguin Random House Children’s) said: “The Snowman has been an enduring part of Christmas television for over 40 years and we are thrilled that Channel 4 has commissioned a wonderful piece of animation that celebrates Raymond’s original creation and sees The World of The Snowman beautifully realised, once again, by Lupus Films and Robin Shaw in this brand new ident.”

Adapted from the iconic picture book by the late author and illustrator, Raymond Briggs and published by Puffin (part of Penguin Random House Children’s), the timeless story of The Snowman was adapted and first shown on the newly-launched Channel 4 on Boxing Day 1982 and has been repeated on the channel every Christmas since. Audiences around the world were entranced by the magical adventures of James and the Snowman and the 26-minute film went on to win a BAFTA and be nominated for an Oscar.  In 1984, music legend David Bowie pulled on a Christmas jumper to record a special introduction to the film for Channel 4.

Created with Raymond Briggs’ blessing, The Snowman and The Snowdog is the animated sequel to The Snowman which premiered on Channel 4 ten years ago in 2012 on Christmas Eve and was directed by Hilary Audus and Joanna Harrison. The sequel tells the story of Billy who moves into the house which features in the original story of The Snowman and discovers a snowman-making kit under the floorboard of his bedroom, thereby launching a brand-new magical adventure.  The film has won several awards – including five Kidscreen awards – and featured on the front cover of the Radio Times’ prestigious Christmas issue in both 2012 and 2013.

The Snowman, The Snowman and The Snowdog and Lupus Films’ other festive animated specials We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Tiger Who Came to Tea are all transmitting on Channel 4 over the festive period.


For further information contact:

For Lupus Films:

Valerie Taylor

Email: valerie@valerie-taylor.co.uk

Tel: + 44 (0) 7889 666594                                                                                                                                       

For Channel 4:

Elena Kemp, Group Communications Manager, Scripted

Email: EKemp@Channel4.co.uk

Susie Mackean, Corporate Communications Manager

E: smackean@channel4.co.uk

For Penguin Random House:

Jen Cooper, Brand PR & Comms

E: jcooper2@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk


About Lupus Films

Lupus Films is one of the UK’s foremost producers of high-quality films and television programmes for children and families, set up by Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding in 2002. Their productions have been sold to over 150 countries worldwide and they are known internationally for beautifully crafted animation and stylish film adaptations of classic children's literature.   www.lupusfilms.com


Originally published in 1978, THE SNOWMAN™ was created and illustrated as a wordless picture book by the late Raymond Briggs.  Beautifully illustrated with pencil and crayon, the story follows a boy, James, who builds a snowman in his garden one winter’s day. That night The Snowman comes to life and a magical adventure begins.  Producer John Coates adapted the THE SNOWMAN as an animation, which launched on Channel 4 in the channel’s inaugural year in 1982.  The film was a huge success, earning an Academy Award nomination and winning a BAFTA TV award.   It has been repeated every Christmas on Channel 4 in the 40 years since. 

In 2012, the highly anticipated sequel, was announced - THE SNOWMAN™ AND THE SNOWDOG premiered on Channel 4 on 24th December 2012 and was seen by over 10 million viewers during that festive period. THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG takes place in the same house that features in THE SNOWMAN and tells the story of a boy, Billy, who discovers a snowman-making kit hidden under the floorboards of his new home on Christmas Eve.  Billy builds a snowman and, with a little leftover snow, a snowdog.  As the clock strikes midnight, the two come to life and Billy joins them on a magical, fun-filled journey across the skies to attend a party filled with snowmen and Father Christmas himself.  

During 2022 Penguin Random House Children’s will be celebrating Ten Years of Friendship and Fun with THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG as well as marking 40 years of THE SNOWMAN film adaptation.  We will be paying tribute to Raymond Briggs via a dedicated campaign comprising a series of special events and digital activations to ensure that THE WORLD OF THE SNOWMAN remains a central part of festive family festive traditions.

THE WORLD OF THE SNOWMAN continues to enjoy an international audience with global broadcast of the animation, along with an array of publishing from Puffin and consumer products; live and immersive experiences managed by Penguin Ventures.  Snowman Enterprises Limited (SEL) is a Penguin Random House company.