This is a retelling of the tale based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Many stories and films have used elements from this classic tale for years and will continue to do so for years to come. It is a classic good verses evil tale but instead of the gallant knight coming to the rescue it is instead the damsel in a dress that is going to save the day. When you look at fairy tales as a whole it is usually the men saving the women and not the other way around. This one particular rendition by BBC is trippy and would be best seen when you are not thinking clearly and the world is more full of color for you. If you don’t know what that mean then you need to crawl back under your rock for a few centuries. For those that do know, grab your drink and have a pleasant hour getting confused and entertained.
While there is nothing wrong with Anderson’s original story, other then it is trippy as well, this one was shot all on blue screen to give it a gritty surrealistic view, which it does. It is also taking an operatic play and turning it into a musical film. While that doesn’t mean that it cant be done I think that if the producers, directors and actors would have had more time to devote to the story telling this film would have been a lot more accurate and entertaining. I will say that the voice overs for the raven crow, in the story it was 2 ravens and not just one, were beautifully executed by Patrick Stewart. Who doesn’t like anything with him in it and he loves doing voice acting anyway so I say let him do as much as he wants to. As it is this film does stand on its own but is not really going to make a mark on things. It will be interesting to see how this film might influence other renditions that are sure to follow.
One cold and wintery night a young girl, Gerda (Sydney White), and her mother (Juliet Stevenson) are on their way home and see a boy, Kay, shivering on the side of the street. The mother just wants to get home and out of the cold but Gerda is concerned for the boy and her mother gives her a coin to give to the boy so that he might be able to go and get something to eat. Soon after turning in Gerda throws Kay (Pax Baldwin) a blanket from her window and waves goodnight. Shortly after that the mother goes and sees that the boy is still there and that her daughter’s blanket is wrapped around him. His is literally at deaths door and she takes him inside and makes a pallet for him in Gerda’s room. From then on the 2 children are inseparable and continue to be so till the next winter comes around. Everything seemed to be perfect but the boy yearned to see the Snow Queen (Tiffany Amber Knight) as he saw her just before being taken in. As most kids, Gerda doesn’t believe him and he says that he will show her one day.
While thinking of the Snow Queen he opens the window to watch the snow as it is falling as he fantasizes. At that moment a gust of wind blows a shard of glass into his eye at the same moment that he thinks he saw the Snow Queen. This is no ordinary glass for it is a shard of glass from the Troll Mirror that the devil himself has mad to trick and taunt man. If you get a piece of it in your eye or use glasses made from the foul mirror then the only thing that you will see is the worst of everyone around them no matter how good or kind they might be. It turns them in on themselves and they become creatures of evil that are full of vanity and selfishness. The next day Kay steals a sled and then bullies his way to the road and hitches a ride on the Snow Queens sled. He thinks it is a grand time and doesn’t care how his leaving is going to affect those around him. He can literally not see what is happening. He even trows the stolen sled into the river as he flies off with the Snow Queen.
Once the spring thaw starts and the fish start their runs an old fisherman finds the sled and takes it to the mother and Gerda. Both are heart struck by the thought that Kay might be dead and Gerda goes down to the river where the sled was found. In her misery she cries out to the river to tell her what happened to her Kay but it is the Raven that tells her that Kay is not dead and that she must search for him down the river. She is so fearful that something is happening to Kay that she takes off straight away not even letting her mother know. It sets her on a path for some wild adventures and many close calls before she ever makes it to the Snow Queens’s palace of ice and snow. Through it all she never gives up and manages to find help every step of the way as the Raven constantly guides her with words of warning and encouragement.
Even though this rendition is not all that good it is still worth a view and can even help your kids see what is right and what is wrong. I would suggest that you actually read Hans Christian Andersen’s tale first so that you can fill in the obvious gaps and plot holes that are in this film.
I give this film a Musing review of