The Snow Queen (1957)

THE SNOW QUEEN (1957)
aka SNEZHNAYA KOROLEVA
Article 2121 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-5-2007
Posting Date: 6-3-2007
Directed by Lee Atamanov and Phil Patton
Featuring Art Linkletter, and the voices of Sandra Dee and Tommy Kirk

When a young boy insults the Snow Queen, she lays a curse on him and spirits him away to her castle. The young girl who loves the boy sets out on a perilous journey to find and rescue him.

At the time of this writing, the movie HAPPILY N’EVER AFTER has just been released to theaters, and it seems to be part of a recent trend to take classic fairy tales, turn them on their ear, and use the opportunity to make hip in-jokes. The classic straightforward fairy tale seems to be a thing of the past, and this is a loss; there’s something special about a movie that can tell one straightforwardly and simply, and let the tale work its own magic. This Russian animated movie version of a Hans Christian Andersen tale does that very well, and though I’ve heard that it’s better in its original language, the dubbed American version is very effective. The tacked-on prologue with Art Linkletter is unnecessary, but it even manages to have its own charm and once it’s over, it leaves the movie to tell itself. The songs are kept to a minimum (you might not even notice that they’re there), and it has a wonderful sense of fairy tale adventure. Many of the scenes are quite touching; my favorite involves a young thief who captures the young girl with the intent on keeping her a prisoner (along with his other pets) who finds himself unexpectedly moved by the story of her plight. A good fairy tale can indeed be magical, and when filmmakers decide to abandon hipness and embrace their power again, we will all be that much richer.

 

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