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Archive for March, 2014

The Snow Queen

First, a disclaimer. The Snow Queen is one of my favorite if not my favorite fairy tale.

This adaptation by Osamu Dezaki is a very interesting one. Dezaki has a very unique animation style that works well for the story. I think in every episode there are a few seconds where it is more like stills of a picture book than of animation, which is always used to great affect.

The story itself generally follows the classic story: boy is stolen by the Snow Queen, girl goes on a long journey to find him. There are a few major differences. First, the episodic nature of the series and the journey nature of the story allows other stories to be inserted, generally also by Hans ┬áChristian Anderson. We get the story of the red shoes, the little matchstick girl, a little mermaid, and more. The anime shies away from some of the worst implications of these stories, but not by much. The other difference is that for much of the way our heroine Gerda is accompanied by a former soldier turned minstrel named Ragi. Ragi himself is not a bad character, but while i grew used to his music, I’m not sure I ever grew to love it. Certainly Ragi solves one problem of the original story, which is how a girl so young can manage such a journey all by herself.

The Snow Queen is a mysterious figure. The trolls who live with her are mostly comic relief, but they mostly work. I didn’t like the story’s villain, but we aren’t supposed to like him.

Over all, a very enjoyable and well done retelling of a classic story.

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