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The Snowman (1982/1984)

In 1984 Bowie appeared in the introduction to this animated film (originally released without the Bowie intro in 1982) based on a children’s book. I never read the book, and to tell you the truth I have never watched the film, but thanks to YouTube, here it is. I’m including this mostly for Bowie’s intro, which is less than two minutes long, but it seems like the animation is pretty good, so I might get around to watching the whole thing at some point.

Bowie’s appearance here is treated by fans as something of a joke, along the lines of his earlier appearance with Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs. 1984 was the height of Bowie’s family-friendly, pop incarnation but even still he wasn’t too far removed from the edgy, Glam and art-rocker singing about drug addiction, dystopian futures and gender nonconformity. The scarf he’s wearing has become a kind of totem for the camp in-joke. That said, there’s nothing about what Bowie says or does in his brief appearance that would throw off the intended audience for this film from simply getting in the mood to watch it.

This brief clip has been in the news lately because Bowie’s son, the filmmaker Duncan Jones, rediscovered the scarf and made his own video, paying homage to this briefest of his father’s works. Unfortunately the Duncan Jones video isn’t on YouTube yet, but when it is, I will post that, too.

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