Archive for the ‘fairy tale’ Category

The story of Thumbelina was originally a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. It’s the story of a thumb- sized girl and her adventures in life and love.

Here is an online version of the story on the Hans Christian Anderson website http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/Thumbelina_e.html

There is also an audio version available here http://storynory.com/2009/04/20/thumbelina/

The movie most popular film version is probably the 1994 cartoon by Don Bluth, I wrote a review on my other blog so instead of copying and pasting because I think this’ll be kind of lengthy as it is, I’ll just link it if you want to read it here.

There have  been many film adaptations of the story, here are a few I found on YouTube. I haven’t seen all of them, but it kind of blows my mind a bit at the number of different versions there are. I mean it’s a good fairy tale, don’t get me wrong, but doesn’t have the same level of popularity or publicity as do some of the other fairy and folk tales out there, so I didn’t expect this many variations of the story.

This version is probably most well-known of them all. It was done by Don Bluth who worked on other films like A Troll in Central Park and Anastasia. This was also the version I came to know first, so obviously has a special place in my heart.

Here are some fan sites for the film



This is one of the Timeless Tales movies. If you’ve never heard of them they were these films released in the 90’s hosted by Olivia Newton John and each one retold a different fairy tale. I would definitely check out the others and share them with the children in your life.

This one is very short, the whole story crammed into 8 minutes or so, so if you are unfamiliar with the story of Thumbelina, here it is in a condensed version. This is from a series of shorts called World’s Greatest Fairy Tales.

Here’s a version done by Faerie Tale Theater

Some anime version called Thumbelina: A Magical Story

A Golden books version

There’s also a Barbie version apparently, but judging from the trailer I’d assume they take some liberties with the plot

This isn’t actually the story of Thumbelina, but is from the movie about Hans Christian Anderson and it’s kind of funny. Not that it’s meant to be of course… but if you take the scene out of context as I guess I am here, he looks like a mad man.


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This is a fairy tale about a princess whose father goes mad with grief over the loss of his wife and tries to marry his own daughter. To avoid this she runs away from home, in a donkey skin dress, to become a servant in a foreign kingdom. Kind of like The Goose Girl.

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/donkeyskin/index.html Note the books on the side, they are retellings of the tale.

http://www.donkeyskin.com/book/2358-f2-donkey-skin This is not as descriptive as surlalune, but you get to flip the pages 😛 For the younger readers


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This movie is told with the air of a classic fairy tale, not the watered down versions we give our children today but the real ones with fangs and claws. There is an atmosphere of danger and suspense that constantly surrounds the girl, Ophelia and in response to that there is a persistent arousal of hope, or fantasy. Ophelia’s environment is not ideal. She is in some camp under the jurisdiction of a heartless man who has married her mother and who only cares about producing an heir. Everything around her is militaristic and hard and cold, and yet she continuously bumps into this other world of wonder and mystery, of fairies and fauns and the like. It’s like the metaphor of the flower that grows out of concrete. finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
It’s debatable whether she is actually interacting with this other world and that it exists, or if she’s creating this world to escape her less than ideal reality. I suppose your answer would come from what kind of person you are and how you perceive the world. I enjoy the experience of believing it is real with a constant skeptic in the back of my mind nay saying everything the believer says, so I guess my view would change depending on what day you chanced upon asking me. The bottom line is that story is very well put together and whether or not you believe the world the girl is interacting with to be real, you’ll enjoy it either way.

Here’s the film’s website http://www.panslabyrinth.com/

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I was fortunate to have seen this movie young. This is an extraordinary movie about a young girl who goes looking for her baby brother who was taken away by the sea. Despite the fact that there is no actual magic that happens in the movie, this is one of the most magical movies I’ve seen.

The girl’s name is Fiona and she goes to live with her grandparents for a while because her father is too busy with work to care for her. While with her grandparents she visits an island her family used to live on, also, the island where her younger brother was taken away by the sea. She snoops around the island and catches glimpses of a small boy she suspects to be her brother. as it turns out selkies have taken him away. So the girl, with the help of her cousin, begin to make the abandoned houses on the island habitable again so that they can move back, thereby getting the girl’s brother back from the sea. This film is subtle, yet superbly effective in giving you that evanescent, magical feeling. The use of storytelling is capitalized upon as the primary means of introducing the girl to stories of selkies and to the history of the island and the people on it. So many movies try to capture that evasive ‘something else’ but end up being fake and cheesy but this one makes the cut. The soundtrack is amazing as well. A great collection of celtic folk music.

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this website is a great resource for looking up fairy tales. on the side bar there are listed different faerie tales and if you click on one it will give you a brief version of the story as well as (and this is the great part) books that have adapted the story. so children’s books are obvious here but there will also be daughter of the forest by juliette marillier under six swans or east by edith pattou under east of the sun west of the moon or ella enchanted under cinderella. great for all fairy tale obsessed.


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