(7/20/07 10:41 am)
My problems with the plot of "Thumbelina"
Let me first say that Hans Christian Andersen is one of my favourite authors, and I believe that on the whole, of all the classic fairy-tales, his ones are generally the best. However, I find one of his most popular tales, "Thumbelina", to be rather weak. It contains some wonderful elements (I particularly like Tom Thumb tales and I find the whole flower birth here enchanting), yet I find the plot on the whole clumsy.
It's not so much that it's episodic. Episodic stories don't necessarily make for bad stories. Admittedly, the episodic nature here isn't as well handled as in some others, mainly to do with it being somewhat repetitive, with XYZ an animal wanting to marry Thumbelina. Yet I find the main problem is the ending. Thumbelina escaping the mole's lair and meeting the Fairy Prince is a sweet one on its own, yet considering that in the context of the story she is implied to be loved greatly by her mother, it doesn't work very well. If she is actually of this race of fairies and the witch who gave Thumbelina's mother the seed from which they are born from, just as Heidi argues in her annotated story on this site, then it makes more sense, yet wouldn't Thumbelina want to see her mother? Even if Andersen were to mention something rather far fetched like "since Thumbelina hadn't seen her mother for so long, she forgot that she had one", the whole story would seem to make sense. However, with no mention of what became of the mother, I feel the story goes into messy mode. It's not particularly dreadful, but if the ending were better, it wouldn't appear as mediocre to me as it does.
Anyway, the original fairy tale is not dreadful like the Don Bluth version is. :-S
Edited by: Wonderlicious at: 7/20/07 10:43 am