The Snow Queen
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
CGI fairy-tale remake features the occasional fright.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn about the Snow Queen fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
There are positive messages about family, friendship, and believing in yourself.
Positive Role Models
Siblings Gerda and Kay are devoted to each other and summon the bravery to try and protect, rescue, and help each other -- even though it means confronting the evil Snow Queen.
Violence & Scariness
There are a few frightening sections, beginning with the moment the Snow Queen freezes the town, including Kay and Gerda's parents. The Snow Queen is, as her name suggests, frosty and unfeeling. The troll is creepy looking and can be threatening, but he's not nearly as scary as the witch. A matronly woman with an enchanted garden tries to poison Gerda with a potion for forgetting that will keep her there forever. The witch transforms ivy into a dragon-looking creature and chases Gerda and the troll. A group of pirates also pursues Gerda and the troll and pull guns on them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Snow Queen is a Russian animated adventure that was dubbed in English to reach a broader audience. Like the Disney film Frozen, The Snow Queen is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale about a world blanketed by ice thanks to the titular villain who hates just about everything. The protagonists are an orphaned brother and sister, and there are several close calls and potentially frightening sequences where they're in danger of being captured, shot at or killed, but in the end, all is well.
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The Snow Queen
Based on 6 parent reviews
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Father, when can I leave to be on my ooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn
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What's the Story?
Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, THE SNOW QUEEN tells the story of an evil Snow Queen (Cindy Robinson) who blanketed the world in ice and froze a master glassmaker and his wife. Their young son Kay (Marianne Miller) and daughter Gerda (Jessica Straus) are left orphaned and separated. The Snow Queen captures Kay and dispatches her hench troll (Doug Erholtz) to kidnap Gerda as well. But Gerda ends up befriending the troll, and together they evade witches and pirates to try and save Kay.
Is It Any Good?
The movie's animation (from a Russian studio) is reminiscent of a direct-to-DVD production -- little attention to background details, crudely rendered animals, and uninspired landscapes. There are plenty of beautiful, entertaining foreign animated films released each year (and in some cases dubbed for English-speaking audiences), like A Cat in Paris, The Secret of Kells, and all of the Studio Ghibli releases from Japan, but The Snow Queen is not one of those memorable imports.
As for the story's plotline, it's a bit muddled and confusing, but at least Gerda the protagonist is sweet -- if not very confident. Gerda's desire to save her brother Kay is the movie's biggest redeeming factor. The troll, the witch, the pirates, they're all obstacles she has to overcome to confront the Snow Queen and rescue the only family she has left.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what makes a film scary. Are you more or less frightened by events in animated films or live-action films? Did you think The Snow Queen was scary?
Why are fairy tales still so popular to remake as movies and TV shows?
Does this movie make you want to see Frozen, Disney's take on the same story? Are you interested in reading Hans Christian Andersen's actual story?
- In theaters: October 11, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: January 28, 2014
- Cast: Christopher Smith, Cindy Robinson, Jessica Straus
- Directors: Maksim Sveshnikov, Vladlen Barbe
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Brothers and Sisters, Fairy Tales
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: mild action, rude humor and brief language
- Last updated: April 20, 2023
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