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Snow Queen

The Snow Queen – an adventurous film based on the fairy tale by H.C. Andersen

This DVD arrived just before Christmas and could have been a perfect preparation for the holidays, but I have to admit the film was forgotten and surfaced just after New Year. Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen it appeals to both children and the nostalgic adults.

In a village we meet Gerda (Sydney White) and her mother (Juliet Stephenson) who one day also let in the homeless boy Kay (Pax Baldwin) into their home and lives. Gerda and Kay develops a close friendship but one day Kay changes character after being hit in the eye by a splinter from the sky. It is the snow queen passing by in the sky.

The next day Kay on his kids sled hangs in a rope after the snow queen’s sleigh and disappears. When the spring comes a local fisherman finds the sled in the river and Gerda’s mother think that Kay is dead. But not Gerda. She starts her search for Kay at the Snow Queens castle up in the north.

Now the story enters the classic scheme with several tests and some good helpers on the way to find the prince – here Kay – in the end of the story. We meet both a friendly talking crow and a witch living in a garden with talking flowers before Gerda arrives a castle on her way north. The resident king (Kenneth Welsh) is introduced to Gerda’s mission and thinks he know the reason for Kay’s change in behavior. He tells her the legend of the looking glass created by a wicked magician. A mirror where good looking were ugly in the mirror and the ugly were 10 times worse. The mirror fell to earth and broke in a million pieces and the pieces were spread all over the earth. If Kay has a splinter in his heart the snow queen has power over him as his heart is cold as ice. Gerda may have the power to free him, this power comes from the heart of a loving child.

Several more tests are passed with new good helpers; a robber maiden, the Laplander and finally the heroic rein deer who fights the ice bears guarding the Snow Queens castle. And surprise surprise – Gerda’s powers are strong enough to fight the evil spell of the Snow Queen.

The film impresses both in the story line, actors, and the overall quality delivered from the BBC. The combination of animated scenes and live acting creates a nice feeling of a fairy tale’s unreality. Several parts of the story is told to us through songs and you have to pay attention in these parts to get the bits and pieces of information from the songs to puzzle the story together, but they are not crucial to the story. The use of graphics and colors are really impressing and contributes strongly to the tensions and tenderness of the scenes. The Snow Queens palace of ice is magnificent and the use of red colors in the ice is moving.

I am really sorry I didn’t see the film as a preparation for the Christmas holiday, but perhaps next year. This is a film for the whole family looking for an hour of adventure.


Making of The Snow Queen

Hiro – slightly moved and engaged by this fairy tale

Movie facts

Title: The Snow Queen, based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen

Director; Julian Gibbs

With Juliet Stevenson, Kenneth Welsh, Sydney White and Pax Baldwin

Producing company; BBC Video

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