WATCH: Sneak preview of new Christmas attraction of Snowman classic at zoo
PUBLISHED: 18:42 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 30 November 2019
It was an unusual setting for Raymond Briggs' classic tale The Snowman when it launched at Banham Zoo. And bosses even managed to create some extra winter magic.
Visitors to the zoo, near Diss, couldn't believe it when snowflakes started to fall - albeit man-made from a snow machine but still adding wonder to a wintry world premiere.
The zoo today launched its new Christmas attraction, open to the public until January 5, which kicks off a world tour of The Snowman and the Snowdog, made from hundreds of thousands of toy bricks.
The trail, inspired by the animated Christmas tale, the sequel to The Snowman, includes large figures including the Snowman himself, the little boy Billy and the snowdog. They've been created by London-based firm BRICKLIVE and although they look like Lego, are not associated with this product.
As well as the large brick models there are 12 smaller displays dotted around the zoo and a 1.8m 'head in the hole' zone of the famous trio, the Snowman, Billy and the snowdog flying through the air, for people to take selfies.
The attraction will be at the zoo until January 5 and is included in the usual admission price. There's a trail map and competition for children.
The model of The Snowman stands at 1.8ms tall and used 53,851 bricks to build; the figure of Billy building The Snowman is 1.3ms and used 42,901 bricks and the 75cm high Snowdog used 11,526 bricks.
David Field, CEO of the Zoological Society of East Anglia, which manages Banham Zoo, said: "There is no better family time than Christmas and no better family place to visit than the zoo so we've brought the two together. It's a way of encouraging more people to visit in the winter, we feel we need to offer something different so as well as the Snowman figures, we are also staying open until 7pm on Saturday evenings until December 21 so people can enjoy the trail under the festive illuminations.
"Come and see our snow leopards at the same time and Father Christmas will also be in residence in his new workshop until 6.30pm."
The Snowman was created by Raymond Briggs as a picture book and published in 1978, selling more than 5.5mn copies globally and translated into 21 languages. The animation film launched on Channel 4 in its inaugural year in 1982 and has been repeated every Christmas since. The sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog premiered on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 2012.