Animation / The Snow Queen (1957)

The Snow Queen (1957) is a 1957 Soviet Animated Adaptation of The Snow Queen, produced by Soyuzmultfilm. The film is now in the public domain and can be legally viewed here

The story begins with Gerda's grandmother telling her and Kai the legend of the Snow Queen. When the children make fun of her, she tells the splinters of her shattered mirror to go into the eyes and hearts of those who have offended her. Kai (Tommy Kirk) grows cold and distant from Gerda, and the Queen takes him away... and Gerda (Sandra Dee) goes out to rescue him.

Not to be confused with The Snow Queen (1977), The Snow Queen (1995), The Snow Queen (2005) anime, or The Snow Queen (2012).

The Snow Queen provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Arguably Subverted by the Lapps, but aside from that, What does Gerda's grandmother do when the snow queen attacks and blows the window open to cast the spell? Nothing. She sits in her chair and knits all the while. The guards that protect the princess and prince? Incompetent to the max. One of them is leaning on his weapon and asleep.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Snow Queen was an ambiguous figure in the book; here she's an all-out villain.
  • Anachronism Stew: The film appears to be set in the 1820s, but the prince and princess wear clothes more fitting the 18th century.
  • Big Bad: The Snow Queen.
  • The Bully: Kay. Then again, he was possessed by the Snow Queen.
  • Break the Haughty: Chicky is deeply moved by Gerda's kind words and breaks down.
  • Composite Character: Here, the Snow Queen is the one to freeze Kay's heart and strike his eye, not the Devil and his mirror.
  • Disneyesque: The film has many visual similarities to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio and Sleeping Beauty (incomplete in 1957), especially the roundness, colored outlines and soft eyes of the children, and the smooth animation based on live action footage. The Snow Queen is similar in appearance to Maleficent and The Storyteller is an elderly goblin resembling Jiminy Cricket.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Snow Queen froze Kay's heart and kidnapped him over a childish joke.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Chicky, the robber girl.
    • Gerda throws her own red shoes into the river and goes barefoot until she reaches the palace.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Gerda leaves her coat and mittens at the Lapp woman's house and rides through the blizzard in her summer dress.
  • Fat and Skinny: The prince and his sister.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Kay when he is struck by the Snow Queen's mirror.
  • Half-Identical Twins: The prince and princess.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Chicky releases all her pets, gives Gerda her reindeer, and later takes her home in the stolen coach.
  • Ice Queen: The Snow Queen has a cold personality.
  • Jerkass Realization: Kay
  • Kick the Dog: Kay tramples Gerda's dead roses.
  • Knife Nut: The Bandits.
  • Magical Native American: The Lapp woman is the Northern European equivalent.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The princess wears a fancy dress in a late 18th century style.
  • Plucky Girl: Gerda.
  • Power of Friendship: Gerda's kindness turns the robber girl good.
  • Pretty in Mink: The princess gives Gerda a red coat and hat each trimmed with ermine, and a white ermine muff.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Prince and Princess lend Gerda their coach.