Born: 18th January 1934 Wimbledon, London, England.
Birth name: Raymond Redvers Briggs
1) Raymond Briggs
Born to working class parents, Ethel and Ernest, Raymond Briggs studied painting at the Wimbledon School of Arts and typography at the Central School of Art. After completing two years of National Service, he returned to further his studies with the Slade School of fine art, graduating in 1957. He became a professional illustrator and began to become popular from various cartoon strips and comics.
In 1982 Channel 4 was launched and Paul Madden was appointed as animation consultant. Their decision to commission programs from outside deemed more profitable than making their own. One of their first productions was an adaptation of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman (1982), where a young boy and his beloved snowman fly to the north pole to meet Father Christmas. Staying true to his wordless story, "The animators who worked on The Snowman retained the soft crayoned look of Raymond Briggs' original illustrations. It was nominated for an Oscar and won the BAFTA for best children's film 1983. It has become one of the studio's best-loved films." (Beck. 2004:282.) One that has been repeated for every subsequent Christmas.
2) The Snowman
The success of The Snowman meant Paul Maddon could finance other young animators, including the Quay brothers. Briggs' next involvement would be the poignant tale of Jim and Hilda Bloggs, middle class senior citizens trying to avoid nuclear fallout in "When the Wind Blows" (1986). "James and Hilda Bloggs are a most unlikely hero and heroine, and ''When the Wind Blows'' is a most unlikely entertainment. Here is an animated film (with live-action inserts) about the end of civilization, a subject much beloved by the makers of dreary, numbingly arty cartoons shown at film festivals." (Canvy. 1988).
3) When the Wind Blows
Briggs continued to produce books and teach illustration at the Brighton School of art until 1986. In 1991 he introduced a grumpy Santa in Father Christmas and later was recognized in 1993 by achieving the Childrens Author of the Year by the British Book Awards. He resides in Westmeston, Sussex and continues to write and illustrate books.
Beck, Jerry (2004). Animation Art From Pencil to pixel, the histroy of Cartoon, Anime and CGI. London, Flame Tree Publishing.
Canby, Vincent. New York Times review When the Wind Blows 11th March 1988
http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=940DEFDC103FF932A25750C0A96E948260 Accessed 29/03/11
1) Raymond Briggs picture http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/BOOKS/Pix/pictures/2010/12/1/1291199607475/Raymond-Briggs-and-Father-005.jpg Accessed 29/03/11
2) The Snowman http://www.manchestereventsguide.co.uk/img/full/pop/snowman%20front.jpg Accessed 29/03/11
3) When the Wind Blows http://flickfeast.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/when-the-wind.jpg Accessed 29/03/11