Saturday, February 20, 2021

Review of "Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classics: The Emperor’s New Clothes," DVD

 Review of

Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classics: The Emperor’s New Clothes, DVD

Five out of five stars

The price of pomposity and vanity can be high

 This is one of the best fairy tales of all time, for it depicts a vain man in power that is easily manipulated as well as those that are unwilling to state truth to power. The Emperor is a powerful and wealthy man, yet he is colossally vain and insecure. Rather than being concerned with the state of his kingdom and the people in it, his focus is on having the best suit of clothes in his known world.

 Two men hear of this and decide to make their fortune by pretending to create an outfit for the Emperor that will be talked about by everyone for all time. They arrive and through sheer bravado, convince the Emperor to have them weave the garments. As part of their presentation, they claim that the cloth will be so exquisite that if a person is a fool, it will be invisible to them.

 Hard at work making their nonexistent garments, the two men pretend to weave the cloth. When people come to investigate the progress and then the supposed finished product, none have the courage to state the obvious, that the garments don’t exist.

 This situation continues right up to the point where the Emperor “wears” them in a parade through the heart of the city.  Everyone cheers and says nothing until a child blurts out, “But he doesn’t have anything on.” This breaks the spell of silence and the crowd then begins to utter similar phrases. Knowing the truth, the Emperor continues his march through the city.

 This animated story sticks very closely to the original story, the depictions of the two false weavers is wonderful. Their names, Flim and Flam were well chosen, the term flimflam man is likely of Scandinavian origin. Andersen is Danish, so this is fitting. The story is a demonstration of the power of fairy tales to accurately parody some of the faults in human behavior.

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