Title: Snow Queen
Directed by: Vladlen Barbe, Maksim Sveshnikov
Starring: Doug Erholtz, Wendee Lee, Marianne Miller, Cindy Robinson, Christopher Smith, Jessica Straus, Kirk Thornton
Running time: 80 minutes, Unrated (PG), VOD on October 10, 2013 and in Theaters on October 11, 2013
Orm the troll narrates the story of the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen has set out to capture and destroy all artists – painters, musicians and wizards in order to keep mankind’s morale low enough to control and manipulate. Her last target was Master Vegard, a man who made magic mirrors, and unbeknownst to her, had two children who still pose a threat. She sends Orm to find the mirrormaker’s heir and bring them back to her. What Orm finds is Gerda, an orphan working in a glove factory and a young artist named Kai, whom is Gerda’s long lost brother. Their reunion is short lived when Orm breaks a charm given to him by the Snow Queen to magically whisk him back to her palace. Gerda, her ferret Luta and with Orm in tow set off to the Snow Queen’s palace to rescue Kai, where they encounter dangers and several odd characters along the way.
Positive: The animation is attractive. Luta is an adorable silent character that kids will love. Orm is not a typical looking troll, but kids will like that he can change into animals. His one so far unobtainable goal is to change into a fierce polar bear is where the message “hard work and determination to reach your goals” comes into play.
Negative: I didn’t really understand why the Snow Queen wanted to get rid of all of the artists. The Snow Queen started off as a misunderstood girl that could perform healing magic whom was bullied by the children of her village…okay, maybe I missed something, because I don’t get why she hates artists and magical people if she’s one herself. Then some 90’s psychological therapy makes it all better when Gerda embraces the Snow Queen’s inner child. Okay that part to me was kind of funny.
Snow Queen is based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale, and with the anticipation of Disney’s Frozen, this 3D animated film’s release is quite timely. The animation, story and score is enough to help this film stand on its own. I give this film bonus points because it won’t drive the parents nuts if their kids want to watch this repeatedly as there are no musical numbers or annoying high pitched squealing characters.
Total rating: B-
Reviewed by: JM Willis