Sunday, February 21, 2021

Review of "Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classics: Thumbelina," DVD

 Review of

Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classics: Thumbelina, DVD

Five out of five stars

One of the most touching fairy tales

 The story opens with a woman conversing with a witch and she expresses her desire for a child. In response, the witch gives her a barleycorn and tells her to plant it. She does this and in a short time a plant grows, and the flower opens, revealing a very tiny girl. Small enough to fit into a walnut shell, she is given the name Thumbelina.

 One night while she is sleeping, Thumbelina is carried off by a mother toad that wants her to be the bride of her son. With the help of some fish and a butterfly, Thumbelina escapes, only to be captured by a stag beetle that wants to use her to impress his version of the ladies. He abandons her when they reject Thumbelina.

 Alone and nearly frozen as winter sets in, Thumbelina is taken in by a female field mouse. One of her friends is a mole and she tries to play matchmaker and have Thumbelina marry the mole. Out of gratitude for saving her life, Thumbelina reluctantly agrees. Fortunately, she is rescued by her friend the swallow and she eventually encounters a fairy prince her size. They quickly fall in love and she receives a pair of wings so that they can fly away together.

 The concept of the arranged marriage is much older than the concept of marrying the person that you want to, particularly for women. In this story, the small and vulnerable young girl manages to avoid her assumed fate until the right “man” comes along. The animation is excellent, the vocalization clear and well-stated and the facial expressions of all the creatures are cute and charming. Children will love the humanized creatures and the concluding romance.

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