The Little Thumb with a Big Heart
teek_oz | Sydney, Australia | 07/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Thumbelina" is a fantastic retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, "Little Thumb".Produced in 1983 (and released the following year), as part of Shelley Duvall's charming live-action "Faerie Tale Theatre", the narrative is told with good humour, imagination, and a great sense of fun. The magnificent cast adds much colour and warmth to the proceedings. In particular, Carrie Fisher, in the title role, delivers a captivating performance. She makes an extremely attractive heroine, not to mention one who's "more than just another pretty face". She's an absolute delight, adding her unique qualities to the role. Not only is she pint-sized in real life (although not quite as tiny as a thumb!), she has a lovely, deep voice that is quite at odds with her diminutive stature. When she sings, it is a beautiful and rewarding experience. Indeed, she sings with "an angel's voice". (This is also a highlight for any Carrie Fisher fan, as she began her career as a singer, and yet she only sings briefly in "Hannah and Her Sisters", 1986, and in the Walt Disney live-action comedy, "Sunday Drive", also released in 1986.)Carrie Fisher is supported by equally delightful character actors. The late Burgess Meredith is in top form as Mr Mole, the second would-be husband of Thumbelina. Likewise, William Katt makes a very positive impression as the Prince of the Flower Angels.This wonderful fairy tale is further enhanced by excellent production values, including great music, atmospheric sets, and good costumes and creatures like Mother Toad, her hapless son, Herman, the Fieldmouse, and the Swallow.The script faithfully follows the original story, although the gender of the Fieldmouse has been changed, making for a more convincing friendship with Mr Mole to exist, as well as creating a heartfelt guardianship of Thumbelina along strictly platonic lines.This well-written and perceptive tale ("I'm always the bride, but never the bridesmaid") makes for enchanting family entertainment. "Thumbelina" delivers a great message, too, but above all, it's storytelling at it's most memorable. I applaud executive producer Shelley Duvall, and all involved, for giving such a wonderful gift. It's up there with Jim Henson's equally engaging "Storyteller" anthology series, produced in the late 1980s, and the "The Doll", an Emmy Award winning episode of "Amazing Stories" (of the same era).For me, it's an extra special treat because Carrie Fisher became much more than just Princess Leia with this performance. Besides, she continues to melt me every time she smiles as the Ultimate Flower Angel! Let's hope that this "Faerie Tale Theatre" production, along with my other favourites like "Beauty and the Beast", are re-released soon. Preservation on DVD for future generations is highly recommended."
Carrie Fisher in a lovely performance
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 11/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FAERIE TALE THEATRE's adaptation of THUMBELINA is one of their most imaginative, featuring Carrie Fisher in the title role.
A lonely char-woman (Conchata Ferrall) is given a magical barley seed, which sprouts into a lovely flower. When the flower opens, out pops beautiful Thumbelina (Carrie Fisher). The char-woman's wish to be a mother has been granted, and the pair could not be happier. But Thumblina's happy life with her mother is short-lived when the tiny creature is kidnapped by Mother Toad...
A beautiful entry in the series. Co-starring William Katt as the Prince of the Flowers and Burgess Meredith as Mr Mole. Carrie Fisher is radiant in her performance."
mindmenagerie | Tempe, AZ, USA | 01/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My three-year-old daughter fell in love with this the first time we borrowed it from the library. I enjoyed it myself; my only gripe is Conchata Ferrell's performance. This usually very talented actress seems bored to tears and injects absolutely no feeling into her role as Thumbelina's mother. It's as if she was directed to perform as stoically as possible. I don't get it at all. I am also not impressed with Carrie Fisher's singing here. I know she is capable of singing quite beautifully, I just don't think the folkish songs in this tale are well suited to her instrument. It's hard to pull off such dirges unless the singer has that ethereal, almost mediaeval quality to her voice (think Loreena McKennitt, Mediaveal Baebes). But those minor complaints are of no consequence whatsoever to the intended audience. Children will certainly be enchanted! It's witty script and a fun production."