Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fairy Tales for Every Child: The Snow Queen (2000)

Year Released: 2000
Country of Origin: United States
Run Time: 23 minutes.

How I Watched It: HBO.

Adaptation Accuracy: First a word about Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child: Are you tired of European based fairy tales featuring nothing but honkies? Well, do I have an animated series for you! From 1995 to 2000, HBO aired a series of fairy tales with an ethnic twist or sometimes a feminist twist. Their Cinderella was Latina, their Little Mermaid was Asian, their Goldilocks was get the picture. Much like Faerie Tale Theatre, famous personalities voiced the characters.

Third from their last episode, HEA transplanted "The Snow Queen" from Scandinavia to Arctic Canada making Kai and Gerda Inuit children. Robert Guillaume (who narrates all the HEA episode) tells us the beautiful and mysterious Snow Queen (Eartha Kitt, basically doing Yzma) made an evil mirror for her own amusement then she lost it, it broke, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Kai (Brandon Hammond) and Gerda (Taska Cleveland) are best friends and live in neighboring igloos. Gerda's Grandmother (T'Keyah Crystal Keymah) warns them about the Snow Queen who kidnaps naughty children. Partly from the mirror and partly from his adolescent need to prove himself, Kai goes sledding to impress the older boys and gets caught by the Snow Queen. She seduces him with her sweet siren song "Cool to Be Cold"...ugh.

Gerda doesn't meet a Witch or a Princess, but by God she does get an irritating Raven friend (Doug E. Doug). Then she's kidnapped by robbers, which plays out pretty average. Kai is working on the Eternity puzzle (Why? Because the original story calls for it, I suppose). After the tears and the forming of the puzzle Gerda and Kai attempt to leave. The Snow Queen throws an icicle at Gerda who then throws it back STABBING THE SNOW QUEEN IN THE CHEST! SHE DIES! Hands down, coolest moment.

Overall Likes: Inuit setting; Canoe; Stabbing.

Overall Dislikes: Lack of Snow Queen; No witch; No princess; Why is the crow always irritating?; "Cool To Be Cold"; Sassy Robber Girl.

Final Thoughts: Fairy Tales for Every Child continue to air on HBO every morning at 4:00 and 4:30. One Christmas break I watched them all for the hell of it. This one stacks up pretty good. I like the Inuit setting since 75% of the adaptations are African-American or Latino tinged. It's good for what it is, but quite incomplete. Seriously, they could have cut the song and added in either the Witch or the Princess.


Trip said...

Where can I find this cartoon, the snow queen with inuit kids?

Jordyn said...

Trip, some of the HEA episodes have been released on VHS/DVD but as far as I know, not The Snow Queen. I watched it on HBO Family. Currently, they have been airing three episodes each morning--5 a.m. Pacific time. It usually takes about two weeks for them to air the entire series. The Snow Queen is near the end of the cycle. I hope that helps!