A perfect film for young children; Little teeny Thumbelina,
Taran Wanderer | Chicago, IL | 09/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Thumbelina", produced in 1993 by Golden Films, is a retelling of the timeless fairy tale about the little girl, no bigger than one's thumb who faced many troubles and complications before finding her rightful place in the world. For this adaptation, the classic story from Hans Christian Andersen was altered a bit, but without harming its essence, rather improving it, I think. The story begins when the old watch keeper of the dam, a man no smaller than a regular human thumb, is talking to his beautiful daughter about the danger he foresees. The old man had been watching over the dam for many years and now he's been noticing a couple of cracks on it that worry him. He explains his fear that when spring comes, the snows gathered atop the mountains will melt and come flowing down filling the pond nearby. The water in the pond will rise, the dam will not handle the pressure and it'll crack, then all the water will flow over the meadow of the tulips where hundreds of tiny creatures such as his daughter and himself live. The man knows that he is too old to travel to where the prince lives and ask him and his men for help to repair the dam, for this reason, he asks his daughter to go instead. The little girl, keen on helping her father, agrees and she is soon a step ahead on her long journey to the prince of the little people. As she stops to rest in the inside of a tulip, an old medicine woman comes and takes her away in order to sell her to a lonely woman who could not have children. The woman is delighted with her new daughter and seeing her small size, she names her "Thumbelina". Now Thumbelina tries to explain her important mission to the woman, but in her excitement, she refuses to listen. With help from many different creatures, some with good intentions and some with bad, Thumbelina advances on her long journey, but at times she finds herself against big troubles. Troubles such as hungry animals desiring to eat her whole, or the wrath of a cold, snowy winter. Luckily for Thumbelina, kind Big Bear is there to help her whenever he can, but when Thumbelina falls victim of Mona and Mr. Mole's evil and greedy clutches, Thumbelina will have to rely on an old friend, a kind-hearted singing swallow, if she expects to reach the prince and save the little people before it is simply too late.
I was introduced to this delightful animated adventure when I was very young, when I received as part of a six-film collection featuring other titles from Golden Films. There's so much to love in this movie that I simply don't know where to begin. For one thing, the story is trully captivating, remaining true to the original Hans Christian Andersen story, while at the same time, improving everything in it; from the simplistic plot, to the somewhat bland characters. Film producer Diane Eskenazi turned the once humble and dependent character of Thumbelina into a remarkable heroine worthy of the name; Thumbelina is, without a doubt, one of my favorite female protagonists of all time. Some new characters were introduced to the story, such as Big Bear, and what would this film have been without him, I don't want to imagine. In fact, I think the most touching scene in the entire film is one that strengthens the relationship between Thumbelina and Big Bear. Seeing her friend in trouble as he is attacked by three wolves, Thumbelina runs in his aid, causing, or so she believes, the wolves to run away frightened. Not until she turns around does she understand that in fact, the wolves had run at seeing a new pair of wolves approaching. As Big Bear kindly thanks her for her bravery, I could not help but feel very moved; that scene is simply beautifully done. Part of what made that particular scene so wonderful was the use of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Ave Maria", in fact, many classical compositions from different classical composers were used as the soundtrack for this film, rather than an original one. This way of introducing classical music to young viewers is nothing short of amazing, it's just like introducing the most important of life lessons and morals at an early age. The film does feature one original song, "Little Teeny Thumbelina"; a cute little tune that plays as the film opens, and is later instrumentally re-prised as the film closes. Made under a tight budget "Thumbelina" suffers from one small flaw; that is the quality of animation. Yes, the animation is not top-notch, and anyone who will only accept an animated film with high-quality animation should stay away from this. The animation is not bad by any means, but it's simply not as elaborate as you'd expect from better-known animated films. High-quality animation does not mean an intriguing story; simply compare this little gem to its 1994 counter-part produced by Don Bluth. Making up for the somewhat mediocre animation is a delightful variety of colorful painted backgrounds. The scenery in this film is of very high quality, perhaps not up there with "The Three Musketeers" (1993) in terms of sharpness, but the details are all there, creating a soft atmosphere for the story and at the same time, arousing a soft, warm feeling of nostalgia. Finally, the voice acting is top-notch, all the actors play their roles remarkably well, especially the actress playing Thumbelina; she has a lovely voice, put to the test during the beautiful song, "Edelweiss". I do wish the actors and actresses had been credited for their fantastic contribution to this lovely gem of a film. So, to wrap it up, Thumbelina still remains a perfect example of what a film for young children should be like, in my opinion. Films like this are simply not made anymore and our children deserve the very best. Highly recommended!"
"No one could have a better friend than you."
Dani Nymeyer | Arizona | 02/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Goodtimes' Thumbelina is an imaginative, charming film that any child is sure to enjoy (Although my father really enjoyed watching the film as well, so the movie is really suitable for anyone looking for a sweet story to dive into).
Surely the title, Thumbelina, rings a familiar bell to anyone's ear thanks to the popular fairy tale about the girl no bigger than one's thumb presented originally by Hans Christian Andersen. Now this story has been retold countless times through books and movies and even just by the passing of words. Goodtimes also took a shot at retelling this popular tale, and ended up with a very nice result.
Goodtimes tells the story of an innocent Thumbelina living with her father in a beautiful meadow along with many other "little people." They live happily but are confronted with a problem - the snow in the mountains are melting, and when the snow melts, all the water will come down into the valley where the little people are. Worried that the dam will break, brave little Thumbelina sets out to go find the prince and bring some help to the meadow before the snow melts. Thumbelina finds herself in a world of hurt along the way, running into characters that mean her harm or want to use her for their own gain. Poor Thumbelina is held back countless times while trying to triumph, luckily, along the way Thumbelina is also confronted with characters who intend to help Thumbelina as much as they can. Resulting in sweet character relationships and scenes.
Sweet, timeless melodies accompany this heart-filled story, all beautiful classical melodies that match so perfectly with the scenes. There's also a sweet song in the beginning of the film, and we are even treated with hearing Thumbelina herself sing "Edelweiss."
There aren't too many films made like this anymore, the world today seems to focus on violence or comedies (a lot of the comedies these days are full of forced humor and not even funny). It's nice to look back on these older films, to see how charming and sweet they are, invigorating and peaceful. Thumbelina is one of those films that possesses all those qualities, any child will enjoy watching Thumbelina. "
A recreated thumbelina story
Javia Chan | Boston, MA | 12/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not the original story of thumbelina. The major diffences in this DVD is right in the beginning. Thumbelina and her father are worried that when the river overflows the rising water will washes out the little people. Therefore, thumbelina was set to go alone to warn the little people and to find help to make a dam. When growing up as a kid thumbelina was a girl who was gifted from a fairy to a woman who wishes to have a child of her own. One day a prince came into her house and they fell in love however the prince left that day and promise to be back... Later that night thumbeline was kidnapped by frogs but she'd gotten away and began to find her prince...and at the very end of the movie, thumbeline and the prince got married and as they kiss thumbeline grew wings of her own. Other than that the story is similar. However the scenes with the bears and wolves are a new take on old thumbelina. I was going to give it a 2 stars but it really wasn't a bad movie but just wasn't as I remembered it. There's a lot of music in the background not much singings. But it is still a good movie the kids can enjoy."
Jessica R. Mullens | dublin, va | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My niece loved this movie so much she cried. I made the best purchase ever when I bought this for her. I am her favorite aunt now!"