Alexander Borodin, Alfred Discworld, animated, animated short, animated shorts, animation, charities, charity, chidren in need, child in need, child safety, Christmas, Christmas cartoon, Christmas review, christmas special, christmas story, christmas tree, Discworld, Discworld Death, Disney, disney animated, disney animation, Disney Plus, disney review, Fantasia, Fantasy, flight of fantasy, Grandma, grandmother, grandmother's house, hans christian andersen, Hogfather, Hogswatch, Little Match Girl, matches, new year, sad ending, saint petersburg, String Quarter No.2 in D Minor, Terry Pratchett, The Hogfather, The Little Match Girl, third fantasia, tragedy, unreleased fantasia
My introduction to the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Little Match Girl was through a picture book with beautiful illustrations by Rachel Isadora which I discovered in second grade. I was instantly endeared to the poor protagonist and enchanted by the wonders she experienced – though the ending left me in a state of shock. I didn’t know what to make of it. The story fell out of sight and out of mind until the Platinum Edition DVD of The Little Mermaid came out. Packaged with it was a new animated short from Disney retelling the Match Girl’s tale.
There’s an odd bit of animated symmetry this shares with The Little Mermaid: both mark the finale of a time-honored animation method. The Little Mermaid was the last film from Disney to use traditionally inked cels before switching over to the CAPS system. The Little Match Girl, meanwhile, was the final Disney product to use CAPS. While the artistry on display left me in awe each time, I rarely revisited this short on account of how it stayed true to the story. And since Andersen had a penchant for downer endings…you get the idea.
This short is brought to us by Don Hahn and Roger Allers, the producer and director of The Lion King respectively, and anyone who’s seen that movie can verify their ability to leave you a sobbing wreck. The Little Match Girl was supposed to be a part of a Fantasia continuation that was tragically canceled; as such, the story is told solely through the visuals and set to the emotional strains of Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No.2 in D Minor (my fellow theater nerds will also recognize this as the music behind Kismet’s “And This is My Beloved”).
So, are you ready to start off your holidays as a tear-streaked mess on the floor?Continue reading