10th December 2012, 4:53pm
Animation team brings Christmas classic to life
'The Snowman and The Snowdog' Three Lincoln animators are celebrating their involvement in the 30th anniversary sequel to the classic Christmas film, ‘The Snowman’.

Peter Dodd and Denise Dean, who are lecturers on the University of Lincoln’s BA (Hons) Animation course, and recent graduate, Lara Margarida, joined the team behind the original adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ iconic children’s book to produce ‘The Snowman and The Snowdog’, which will be at the heart of Channel 4’s Christmas schedule.

The much-anticipated sequel promises to reunite viewers with The Snowman and introduce a new best friend, The Snowdog, which Peter was responsible for bringing to life. In his role as Lead Animator at Lupus Films, the production company behind the 26-minute feature film, he worked alongside fellow lecturer and Assistant Animator, Denise, and Lara as Render Assistant.

Lara, who received the University award for Best Student for Animation, graduated this September before joining Peter and Denise at Lupus Films to contribute to over 17,000 individually hand-drawn and coloured frames that feature in the film. To maintain the feel of Briggs’ classic tale, the animations were produced alongside the renowned designers who also created the original ‘The Snowman’ production.

Having premiered at the Empire Leicester Square on Sunday 9th December, the film will be aired on Christmas Eve, 30 years after ‘The Snowman’ first appeared on our screens.

Simon Gape, Senior Animation Technician at the University, explained how the involvement of a Lincoln graduate and key teaching staff in the sequel to what is dubbed as “one of the most iconic animations ever made” has benefitted current students.

He said: ''It is fantastic that throughout this year both Peter and Denise have been able to relate their teaching work to such a high profile animated feature film project, in which they have demonstrated their expertise in traditional animation techniques. It has enabled them to provide our Animation students with a real-world context for the skills that they are already being taught, and this has been invaluable.

“Their unique exposure to this project has inspired a handful of our students to test for work at Lupus Films, and as a result Lara Margarida was successful in securing a position working on this unique project.  Lara has been an active part of the animation team for ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’ since early summer, and was even called back to assist the production of exclusive idents, which we are very much looking forward to seeing on our screens over the Christmas period.  

“It really has been an amazing opportunity for Lara, so it was wonderful that she was able to relate her experiences of working on the project to our current cohort of students when she returned to Lincoln. We are delighted with her success, and are sure that our other students will soon follow in her footsteps.''

‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’ will form the centrepiece of Channel 4’s Christmas TV schedule and will be broadcast on Monday 24th December. The making of the sequel, including the animation techniques used by Peter, Denise and Lara, will also be featured in ‘The Snowman Documentary’, which will celebrate the legacy of the original film.
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