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Series / The Snow Queen 2002

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A 2002 Hallmark miniseries adaptation of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. It stars Bridget Fonda in the title role, and is directed by David Wu.

The overall plot is the same as the fairy tale - though the child protagonists are now young adults. Gerda (Chelsea Hobbs) is a lonely young woman whose father has been distant from her ever since her mother died years ago. All of that seems to change when a young man called Kai (Jeremy Guilbaut) arrives to work in her father's hotel. Naturally they fall in love...until the Snow Queen comes to claim him.

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Tropes:

  • Action Survivor: Neither Gerda nor Kai are trained fighters, but they hold their own reasonably well against the other supernatural creatures.
  • Actionized Adaptation: While the fairy tale was an adventure, this miniseries includes more action. Gerda for instance has to flee the Summer Palace, tries to escape the robbers twice and fights off the Robber Girl. There's also an action-packed climax in the Snow Queen's palace.
  • Adapted Out: The Lap and Finn women are not here.
  • Adaptation Expansion: It's a three-hour miniseries so quite a lot.
    • Gerda is given a backstory of a mother who died in the winter, presumably killed by the Snow Queen. Said mother is also implied to have been a rival to the Queen.
    • The princess is holding an engagement ball, and tries to get Gerda to find someone else to fall in love with.
    • The Queen is given a polar bear servant who is secretly in love with her.
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    • The new boots that Gerda offers to the river are the gift that Kai gave her right before he disappeared.
    • There are more scenes of Gerda's family worrying where she is.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Gerda's reindeer friend is named Bae in the tale, here he is Rutger.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Each of the women Gerda meets becomes a representative of a season.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Queen becomes a lot more ruthless with her powers. She even tries to impale Gerda with icicles and her evil plan is to turn the entire world into an endless winter.
    • Kai easily falls under the mirror's influence in the original. Here he's able to resist it a lot more - even writing Gerda a note pleading for help right before he's kidnapped. He also tries to escape the Snow Queen's palace multiple times. He also pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save Gerda.
    • Gerda too, though with her it is downplayed, as she was still The Determinator in the book. She frees herself and Rutger from the robbers, and defeats the Snow Queen by using her mother's brooch.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Snow Queen becomes the Big Bad, with an evil plan of trying to turn the world into an endless winter. And yet she's redeemed at the end.
    • The princess was completely sweet in the original tale. Here she's more cunning and tries to get Gerda to stay with her.
    • The Robber Girl's Heel–Face Turn is left out, and Gerda just escapes from her. However both she and the princess do give Gerda words of encouragement in the fight with the Queen.
  • Age Lift: Kai and Gerda were children in the story (though they grow to adulthood over the course of their journey). Here they're both eighteen.
  • Arc Number: Four - Gerda now has to contend with representatives of the four seasons, Chen has auditioned four times, Kai and Gerda go on four dates, Gerda gets four suitors at the Summer Palace, Kai is kissed three times by the Snow Queen and the fourth kiss (from Gerda) frees him.
  • Asian Airhead: The Summer Princess is the Tipton variety.
  • Badass Baritone: The bear has a very deep voice.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Snow Queen has a polar bear as her Dragon. But it's ultimately he who brings about her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Berserk Button: The Snow Queen's reaction to Kai's insistence he make a fire is the only time she loses her cool. This makes sense as she's Weak to Fire.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The seasonal women of course. The Snow Queen is blonde (white blonde), The Spring Witch is brunette and the Autumn Robber is redhead. The Summer Princess adds black hair to the mix.
  • Book-Ends: The series both begins and ends with a little party in the town, with people ice skating on the lake. With Wolfgang playing the clarinet.
  • Boring Return Journey: Averted! Kai and Gerda are transported back home instantly after defeating the Snow Queen.
  • Breast Attack: How Gerda defeats the Snow Queen. The former sticking her mother's rose brooch, which has heat, on the latter's left breast.
  • Brick Joke: Kai makes a joke early on that Gerda will see daffodils outside if she goes ice skating. The very last shot, when they are skating together shows daffodils poking up through the snow.
  • Broken Masquerade: Gerda leaves notes for herself in the Spring Witch's house to break the illusion.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Kai's passion for ice skating serves him well in the Snow Queen's palace.
  • Coconut Superpowers: The Snow Queen's palace is a frozen over variant of Wolfgang's Hotel - allowing them to use the same set with snow and ice on it.
  • Composite Character:
    • The prince and princess are combined into the Summer Princess.
    • The two crows become an aspiring magician called Chen.
  • Cool Car: The Snow Queen has a motor toboggan that can also fly.
  • Cool Old Lady: Minna is a substitute mother for Gerda, gives her romantic advice and tries to keep everyone's spirits up.
  • Costume Porn: The Summer section has lots of finery from the princess and Gerda.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Gerda waits until the Robber Girl falls asleep and escapes from her hut. Too bad the guard dog wakes everyone up.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Wolfgang doesn't think Kai is good enough for Gerda.
  • Defiant Captive: Kai may be a prisoner, but he's constantly trying to find a way out of the Snow Queen's palace.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Gerda actually. She's quite solemn when the miniseries starts, but Kai livens her up. The Snow Queen herself is proved to be this.
  • Dream Spying: The Summer Princess gets this power. She has been dreaming of Gerda by the time the girl arrives at the palace.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Kai first wears his hair slightly messy and in his eyes. After he gets the mirror shard in there, his hair is worn pushed back.
  • Eyepatch of Power: The Robber Girl wears one, and claims it was because someone shot at her. It's a fake.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: In addition to the one it's based on, there's elements of Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The princess's palace becomes one of China.
  • Fiery Redhead: The Autumn Robber and her daughter both have auburn hair.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: The Snow Queen's collar is trimmed with white feathers.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: The seasonal women.
    • The Spring Witch is something of the motherly one (she's easily the oldest and tries to be a surrogate mother for Gerda).
    • The Autumn Robber is the tomboyish one, as she's an Action Girl.
    • The Snow Queen is the sexy vampy one.
    • The Summer Princess is the ditzy one.
  • Fur and Loathing: The Snow Queen shows up as the antagonist wearing fur.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Here the Snow Queen wants to take over the world.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The Snow Queen envies the life and love that the other seasons have.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: The Autumn Robber initially wants Gerda to be cooked for dinner.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Kai gets these after the mirror shard is lodged in them.
  • Keet: Chen the wannabe magician is cute, colourful and loud.
  • Knife Nut: The Robber Girl's preferred weapon is a small knife. She even sleeps with it across Gerda's throat.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Gerda's hair is shown completely down only as her romance with Kai blossoms.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: All the women in the story contrast in some way. Light Feminine - Gerda the sweet Girl Next Door, Minna the perky cook and the Spring Witch who is Creepy Cute. Dark Feminine - the vampy Snow Queen, cunning Summer Princess and aggressive Autumn Robber.
  • Light Is Not Good: The seasonal women - Snow Queen, Spring Witch, Summer Princess - all wear bright colours and have light imagery. All to show how deceptive they are. The Autumn Robber meanwhile is openly antagonistic and ignores the brighter colours.
  • The Lost Lenore: Wolfgang is devastated by the loss of his wife, even several years later. As Minna describes winter.
    "It took her mother's life, and her father's joy."
  • Magic Kiss: The Snow Queen kisses Kai three times. The first puts him to sleep, allowing her to kidnap him. The second gives him the chance to put the mirror back together. The third dislodges the mirror shard from his eye, with the price that he freezes over.
  • Man Hug: When Gerda and Kai are back, Wolfgang at first shakes Kai's hand but then pulls him into a hug.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The miniseries begins when Gerda is a young child.
  • Missing Mom: Gerda's died when she was a child. The Spring Witch tries to act as a substitute mother for her.
  • Mystical White Hair: The Snow Queen is given long white hair, and she instantly looks otherworldly as a result.
  • Nice Hat: All the seasonal women except the Autumn Robber.
    • The Snow Queen has a big fur hat she wears at the hotel.
    • The Spring Witch has a hat decorated with flowers (which is true to the original book).
    • The Summer Princess has a Cool Crown that she even wears while sleeping.
  • No Name Given: The Robber Girl's name isn't revealed. She even refers to herself as the Robber Girl.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Gerda only lost one parent but the brooch from her mother still fits. It has natural heat that's powerful enough to defrost the Snow Queen's heart.
  • Our Angels Are Different: In the fairy tale, angels appeared to help Gerda in the Snow Queen's palace. Here this comes in the form of her mother's spirit.
  • The Power of Love: It's Gerda's love for Kai that prevents her from falling under the Spring Witch's illusion, getting distracted by the Summer Princess's suitors and staying captive of the Autumn Robber.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: The Summer Princesses wears pink dresses, and has Gerda wear some as well.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Kai and Gerda were childhood friends in the original story, and they could be just Platonic Life-Partners. Here it is most definitely a romance.
  • Quirky Curls: The Spring Witch has these, and she styles Gerda's hair like this when she's there.
  • Race Lift: The princess becomes Asian, as her entire kingdom is now a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of China.
  • Related in the Adaptation: The witch, the princess and the robber queen are all sisters to the Snow Queen here.
  • Scenery Porn: The Snow Queen's palace is in the mountains - allowing for plenty of sweeping shots of them.
  • Seasonal Baggage: This version plays up the seasonal aspect of the story. After the Snow Queen kidnaps Kai, Gerda has to travel through each of the other seasons before she can get to her. There's also an underlying element of class; Summer is represented by a princess with a palace, Spring by a witch with a comfortable middle-class country house and garden, and Autumn by bandits who live in tents. Winter's representation likewise is someone who wishes to be a queen.
  • Something About a Rose: The rose motif is still present here. Although as opposed to growing roses across the roof from each other, Gerda's mother had a rose brooch that always kept everything warm. Kai also has a rose as a memento from Gerda.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: This is the form the bear takes at the end.
  • Third-Person Person: Chen always refers to himself like this; see also You No Take Candle.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Robber Girl (tomboy) and Gerda (girly girl).
  • Triumphant Reprise: A triumphant swelling version of "The Two of Us Will Always Be One" plays as the Snow Queen's palace turns into the white bear hotel.
  • True Love's Kiss: How else would Gerda save Kai?
  • Unexplained Accent: Minna has an Irish accent, when everyone else uses their own Canadian ones.
  • The Vamp: The Snow Queen is portrayed as such.
  • When She Smiles:
    • Gerda looks rather glum for the first part of the story, and only smiles when Kai charms her.
    • Wolfgang is a Perpetual Frowner and literally doesn't smile until the last scene.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's never said where the story is set, as the entire cast is Canadian (though some new characters have Scandinavian names). Minna for example is Irish, which would make more sense if the story was set in Canada. So it's unconfirmed if it's a Setting Update or everyone is just Not Even Bothering with the Accent. The Snow Queen's palace is still in Scandinavia - but it's unclear if Gerda's home is there or she just travelled there through magic.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: The Snow Queen is the antagonist and has long white hair. She does however get redeemed by The Power of Love.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Three guesses who. Although here she is literally the Queen of Winter.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Gerda when at the Spring Witch's house. Justified enough in that she nearly drowned before getting there, and so woke up being told it was her home.
  • You No Take Candle: Chen speaks this way, though still with a perfect Canadian accent.
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