Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greatest Tales, Inc.: The Snow Queen (1983)

Year Released: 1983
Country of Origin: Japan*
Run Time: 22 minutes.
How I Watched It: Youtube.

Adaptation Accuracy: It's 22 minutes long. How accurate can it be? Well, it tries pretty damn hard. This time the mirror is created by a demon, and a broken piece still manages to makes it into the eye aspiring flutist Kay. This time Gerda actually witnesses the Snow Queen taking her friend. The Witch is cut out entirely and three years pass before she makes it to the Robber Girl. Three years. I mean, fuck. Three years. That's some kind of record in these adaptations.

Kay is entombed in ice when she finds him. She plays his magic song and they escape. And how do they beat the Snow Queen? Prayer. Literally, they start praying and she starts vomiting pea soup and her head rotates 360 degrees. All right, not really, but that's how it ends, with the power of prayer.

Two awesome things about this adaptation: 1. Gerda's family thinks she's nuts even though she actually sees the Snow Queen take Kay. Usually, Gerda has no idea what's going on, she just leaves. 2. The Robber Girl! She tells Gerda to give up because men are nothin' but trouble. She knows. She had a boy break her heart. I don't think we've ever been given this amount of back story. Way to go, shortest version ever!

Overall Likes: Accuracy; Brevity; Nice Kay; Kay's music; Gerda's family; Doubt; THREE YEARS; Robber Girl's neuroses.

Overall Dislikes: Too much time spent before the journey; No witch; Prayers.

Final Thoughts: Honestly, I'm surprised there aren't more half-hour/Saturday morning cartoon/direct-to-video versions of The Snow Queen. I mean, Christ, how many are there of Cinderella? Public domain! Whatever. For 22 minutes, I can't really complain. This version is better than not. Since it's so short, I recommend checking it out on Youtube. Plus, there are some great old commercials advertising Return of the Jedi merch. Yub nub!

*All right, maybe it's not Japanese, but I couldn't find any information about this series. It's not even on IMDb.

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