Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: "The Snow Queen" Classic a Month #12.2014

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson
2 out of 5 stars

I am obsessed with the movie Frozen. I've watched the movie at least half a dozen times, I have the soundtrack on my phone, I got the Funko Pop figures for Christmas, when anyone says "do you want to...", I finish it with "...build a snowman?" So when I heard that it was based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Snow Queen, I was super excited to read it for my December classic.

And after reading it...well, let me just save you the trouble. Frozen is very loosely based on this story. An inkling of an idea exists, but that's about it. I was pretty disappointed, to be honest. The story kind of went all over the place and didn't make a lot of sense. The few parts that I actually enjoyed were super short and it moved on to something else.

Now then, let us begin. When we are at the end of the story, we shall know more than we know now; but to begin.

This is a story of magic, as most fairy tales are. We begin with a sprite, or fairy, who creates a mirror that shows evil and ugliness in its reflection. The mirror is broken into thousands of pieces all around the world and wherever it lands, the evil is multiplied. The worst is when a sliver lands in a person's eye or their heart. (Small reference to Frozen.) Then, they are forever frozen against love and goodness.

A little boy and girl (Kay & Gerda) are the best of friends, until Kay gets one of those slivers in his heart. He runs off and meets the Snow Queen, who takes him as her own. Gerda is devastated and decides to go looking for him. The rest of the story tells of her adventures, first with talking flowers who tell long, convoluted tales of their own. "I don't understand that at all," said little Gerda. (and me) Then she meets a prince and princess with the help of a Raven and a robber maiden who first wants to kill her and then decides to help her, a reindeer (Sven?) who takes her to Finland and finally the Queen's castle made of ice. Even though she is just a girl, she gets no help from anyone beyond that.

"I can give her no more power than what she has already. She must not hear of her power from us; that power lies in her heart, because she is a sweet and innocent child!"

Gerda arrives at the castle barefoot and freezing but she says the Lord's Prayer and is saved by a legion of angels. She finds Kay, who is nearly black with cold, and wraps him in a warm hug. "Then little Gerda shed burning tears; and they fell on his bosom, they penetrated to his heart, they thawed the lumps of ice, and consumed the splinters of the looking-glass." The children make the long trip back home, nearly grown-ups now, and the journey is really just a dream to them.

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