The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice Movie Poster Image
Some weapons, peril in engaging fairy tale adventure.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 80 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Loosely mentions aspects of the Snow Queen and Hansel and Gretel fairy tales (written by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm), but it's definitely meant to entertain more than to educate.

Positive Messages

Overwhelming message is to stay true to your family and those you love. Also illustrates the danger of being ambitious to the point of selfishness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gerda is brave and kind. She loves her brother even though they part ways on a sour note. Kai is clever and ultimately protects Gerda. A new character seems ambitious and courageous but then proves to be duplicitous and selfish.

Violence & Scariness

Several scenes of peril and destruction: Pirates point their guns at a teen who thinks he can defeat them, and the fire demon's and snow queen's powers manifest themselves in dangerous ways that can destroy an entire town and nearly kills Gerda. Characters are pursued, sometimes by trolls with weapons. The fire demon possesses a character and tries to burn an entire village and its inhabitants.

Sexy Stuff

Flirting and hand-holding between Gerda and Rollan.

Language

Insults/phrases including "what the heck," "chicken," "selfish narcissist," "ungrateful," "helpless," "stupid."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice is the third installment in the series of Russian-animated Snow Queen films, which were inspired by the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Like the previous films, this one follows orphaned siblings Gerda (voiced by Laurie Hymes) and Kai (Jason Griffith) on an adventure to defeat the powers of evil -- this time not just the Snow Queen's lingering powers but those of a Fire Demon as well. Expect scenes of peril when the siblings (as well as new characters) are faced with life-or-death situations and are nearly overrun by flowing lava. Pirates point guns at a character, trolls with weapons pursue characters, and two characters are possessed by evil spirits. There's also some mild insult language ("stupid," "chicken," etc.) and flirting. But ultimately the characters learn the importance of standing by and protecting your family and the danger of being ambitious to the point of selfishness.

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What's the story?

THE SNOW QUEEN: FIRE AND ICE follows orphaned siblings Gerda (voiced by Laurie Hymes) and Kai (Jason Griffith) as they eke out a living speaking about their adventures defeating the Snow Queen. One day, while visiting the troll Orm (Billy Bob Thompson), they meet Rollan (Graham Halstead), an ambitious Spanish teen who hopes to become legendary. Rollan convinces Gerda that they should go on a quest to find a troll treasure that will grant them any wish. After fighting and parting ways with Kai, Gerda hopes the treasure will bring back their dead parents. But once Rollan and Gerda find the magical orb, it unleashes the evil spirits of the Snow Queen, which enters Gerda's body, and a Fire Demon, which enters Rollan's. If they don't rid themselves of their curse in time, the spirits will take over their bodies permanently.

Is it any good?

The third installment in the Russian-animated Snow Queen series will amuse adventure-minded younger viewers, even if it's not as slick or memorable as the best examples of the genre. The movie doesn't require viewers to be fully familiar with its two predecessors, although several of the characters carry over, and knowing something about The Snow Queen and The Snow Queen: Magic of the Ice Mirror will make it easier for kids to understand the main relationship dynamics. Gerda's instant chemistry with Rollan is a bit reminiscent of a central couple in Frozen. The two connect and are immediately thrown into an adventure that changes both of their lives.

The animation is better here than in the first movie; the landscapes are more detailed, and the moments of peril are filled with appropriate suspense. What's original about this particular adventure is that just when you think it's about to follow a predictable storyline, there's a plot twist that raises the stakes. The game-changer may even take some adults by surprise, creating an emotional, action-packed final act. The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice isn't a great movie, but it's actually more serviceable than its predecessors.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of movies based on fairy tales. What makes them compelling? Do you think there should be more movies in the Snow Queen series?

  • What do you think of the movie's scary scenes? Are you more or less frightened by events in animated films vs. live-action ones?

  • Did watching The Snow Queen: Fire and Ice make you interested in reading the original Hans Christian Andersen story?

  • How would you describe the movie's message? What do the characters learn?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fairy tales

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