Thursday, 31 March 2011

Review on Raymond Briggs

Review on Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs, an English animator who first started in advertising then went on to do book illustrations for children. He became popular when he illustrated the book; The Mother Goose Treasury, then went on to create and illustrate his own books. Quoted from, Jules Smith goes into detail on Briggs' work. 'As well as illustrating books for authors such as Allan Ahlberg, Raymond Briggs has written and illustrated many of his own books, including the hugely successful children's strip illustration books Father Christmas (1973) and The Snowman (1978).  These books have been translated into many languages and adapted into films, plays and TV cartoons. A further strip illustration book, Ethel & Ernest (1998)- a biography of his parents' lives - tells the story of how his father met his mother, a lady's maid,  and how they continued to live in the same house for forty-one years.' (Smith, 2004) Despite Briggs' films being aimed at children the endings to his films are all unhappy, with the melting snowman in The Snowman and the nuclear disaster and suffering from When the Wind Blows. Instead of Briggs making up a fantasy where everything ends with a happy ending, he makes it more true to reality. There are tragedies where there is death and destruction, as he says himself on 'I don't believe in happy endings. Children have got to face death sooner or later. Granny and Grandpa die, dogs die, cats die, gerbils and those frightful things - what are they called? - hamsters: all die like flies. So there's no point avoiding it.' (Briggs, 2007) 

 The Snowman

The characters from his animations hold so much emotion such as those from When the Wind Blows. You can relate to them much like they are your grandparents, with their nagging and ignorance to the situation at hand. The emotional sense from this film is discussed on 'Briggs imbues Jim and Hilda with so much character you can't help but feel empathy. That the mixture of ignorance, naivety and stiff-upper-lip tighten-your-belt attitude keeps them on the right side of desperation only makes their situation more heart-wrenchingly sad.' (, 2011)  

      When the Wind Blows

List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Briggs, Raymond (2007) Raymond Briggs. [Photograph] At: (Accessed on: 31.03.11)
Figure 2. Briggs, Raymond (1982) The Snowman. [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 31.03.11)
Figure 3. Briggs, Raymond (1986) When the Wind Blows. [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 31.03.11)
Briggs, Raymond (2007) Raymond Briggs: I don't believe in happy endings. (Accessed on: 31.03.11)
Grovel (2011) When The Wind Blows. (Accessed on: 31.03.11)
Smith, Jules (2004) Raymond Briggs. (Accessed on: 31.03.11)

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