The Snow Queen Movie Poster Image

The Snow Queen



CGI fairy-tale remake features the occasional fright.
  • Review Date: October 11, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn about the Snow Queen fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Positive messages

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.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

Insults like "useless," "stupid"

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

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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.

Families can talk 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?

  • 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 11, 2013
DVD release date: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

This review of The Snow Queen was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Great handpicked alternatives

  • Sweet fairy-tale classic for little princes and princesses.
  • Scary witch may be too intense for very young kids.
  • Gross-out laughs meet a marvelous fairy-tale mix.
  • Classic story is less scary than most animated fairy tales.

What parents and kids say

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Educator Written bymmcgrego December 25, 2015

Liked it more than Frozen!

In theory Frozen is based on the same Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale as Frozen, but I still am struggling to find the similarities. About Snow Queen: Snow Queen has a strong, brave, and positive heroine, Gerda, who perseveres to overcome several trials and villains in her quest to save her brother who has been captured by the Snow Queen. Gerda is able to win with the power of love, and doesn't harm anyone. She shows compassion for the villain, a stranger she has never met and who has inflicted a good deal of violence to the world. The movie contains a captivating story with (finally!) a true positive female role model, who isn't distracted by a romantic love interest or saved by anyone. There are a few scary scenes which I appreciate Common Sense Media explaining, so I could prepare the kids. We are familiar with the story as we own the book, so that helped as well. I especially appreciate the positive message that is emphasized in this version of the Snow Queen of overcoming hate with love and am looking forward to watching this movie again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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