Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Snow Queen (1995)

Year Released: 1995
Country of Origin: England
Run Time: 78 minutes.

How I Watched It: Netflix. Then I later found out the whole thing was on Youtube. Damn it.

Adaptation Accuracy - I'll be honest with you, dear readers. I had seen this version before and fast forwarded through most of it because it was that fucking awful. It would be cheating to fast forward this time around, so I came prepared. Throughout the film, I drank a mixture of Bacardi Torched Cherry and Lemon-Lime Gatorade, a decidedly unfit pair. And luckily, it made the film far more tolerable. In fact, it wasn't as bad as I remember it to be. Still not good, mind you. But it's not like that awful '86 Russian version.

Way up North lives the Snow Queen (Helen Mirren. Yes, Oscar winner Helen Mirren) who has an evil magic mirror. She plans to put it on the highest mountain peak so when the sun hits it, it will reflect away and the world will freeze from lack of sun. But since royalty never does its own dirty work, she sends her three inept troll toadies to do the job (Oh yeah. The Snow Queen controls the trolls). But faster you can say unfunny antics, the mirror is broken and a piece flies into the world. The Snow Queen sends her bats to collect all the pieces. (Oh yeah. The Snow Queen has bats in her Arctic home. But I guess if she can have trolls, she can have bats. I digress.)

However, the bats do not collect all the pieces because two are stuck in a little boy named Tom (Damian Hunt). His sister, Ellie (Ellie Beaven), grows worried when he turns mean and goes on a rampage of putting puzzles together. TOM and ELLIE. Because Gerda is the name of a fat old hag and Kay is a girl's name. Moving on...The Snow Queen takes Tom and he generously offers to put the broken mirror together. But after he finishes, she will murder him to remove the last two pieces.

I must pause to give this movie some due respect. We actually see the Snow Queen being evil (or at least having some evil intent). And the evil involves the mirror, making it more than just a reason to fuck up Kai, excuse me, Tom. Of course her plan is ridiculously stupid and reminiscent of Mr. Burn's plan to block the sun from Springfield.

Secondly, we finally have a decent reason for the Snow Queen to take Kai...arg, Tom and an even better reason to keep him alive. Let me tell you, the mirror is fucking huge and she needs someone to put it back together. Someone who isn't bumbling trolls.

All right, back to business.

Ellie's journey is also pretty accurate with little flairs here and there. The whole way she is accompanied by an irritating crow named Peeps (Hugh Laurie. Yes, Dr. House Hugh Laurie). The Witch needs the heart of a little girl to complete her Elixir of Life. Ellie disguises herself as a maid to sneak into the Princess's palace. The robbers are actually giant rats for some reason. And they have a song. (Why the fuck must the robbers always have a song?) Ellie escapes on a Cowardly Lion type reindeer who takes her to Freda (Julia McKenzie) the Lapland Woman who teaches the reindeer to fly. (Okay.)

So Ellie, Peeps, and Freda storm the palace. Ellie tries to get Tom to drink this heart-warming potion. But the bottle breaks, shit happens, a tornado (?) freezes the Snow Queen. Then Ellie and Peeps cry on Tom and he is restored to normal.

All seems well, but there's a sequel, The Snow Queen's Revenge. And no, I'm not reviewing it.

Overall Likes - Snow Queen's plan; Tom's puzzle skills; Snow Queen's plan for Tom; Adapted Witch, Princess, Robbers, and Lapland Woman; Good pacing.

Overall Dislikes - Name changes; Grandmother and other sibling; Fucking Jar Jar trolls; Why doesn't she kill them?; Peeps; That cat; All the songs; Especially the Robber song; Scaredy reindeer; Freda goes with them; Peeps' tears.

Final Thoughts - Please don't be fooled by my review, it really is terrible. Only those who are reviewing versions of The Snow Queen should watch it. Otherwise, it's just crap. It had a very Don Bluth type feel to it and I can't help but wonder what he would do to HCA's story...perish the thought, Jordyn! He's still alive. It could happen.

Through and through this is a kids movie made to entertain the most simple minded rugrat. The songs make you want to puncture your eardrums with a screwdriver. The voice acting and characterization are stereotypical and cardboard. And the animation is what I imagine Glen Keane wipes his ass with. Still, my biggest is beef is making Tom and Ellie siblings. This decision robs The Snow Queen of some of its magic and heart. Not being related to Kai, Gerda is under no obligation to go on a perilous journey to find him. But having the children tied through blood makes the quest necessary instead of just optional.

That and it sucks out romantic possibilities. :-(

Come on! They don't even look related!

1 comment:

Andrew Testerman said...

Comic happenstance, involving trolls.