The Snow Queen (1995 film)
|The Snow Queen|
|Directed by||Martin Gates|
|Produced by||Martin Gates|
|Written by||Sue Radley
|Studio||Martin Gates Productions|
|Running time||75 minutes|
The Snow Queen is a British animated film directed by Martin Gates and inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, featuring Helen Mirren in the titular role. A direct sequel, The Snow Queen's Revenge, was released the following year in 1996.
Ellie (Ellie Beaven) and her brother Tom (Damian Hunt) listen to their grandmother reading them a story about the evil Snow Queen (Helen Mirren) and her trolls. When their younger sister Polly (Sylphide Strallen) asks Tom if the Snow Queen is coming to their house, Tom says that she only exists in the story. However, the Snow Queen really does live in an icy palace in the North Pole with her three troll servants: Eric (David Jason), Baggy (Colin Marsh), and Wardrobe (Russell Floyd). The Snow Queen's plan is to set up her magic mirror (that Wardrobe is convinced turns anyone who looks into it into stone) on a mountain so that it will freeze the world so she can take it over. They take the mirror on their flying machine and set it up against a pickaxe to keep it in place on the mountain; however, at the last second, the pickaxe breaks and the mirror goes flying off the mountain and lands on the propeller blades of the trolls' flying machine, causing it to shatter into pieces. Two of the pieces go flying to the village and hit Tom in the eye and the heart, controlling him with an evil spell.
The Snow Queen sends her bats to retrieve the pieces. Naturally they cannot take the two that are inside Tom, so the Snow Queen goes out to kidnap Tom so she can take the pieces from him. Ellie and Tom connect their sleds to a bigger sled that is revealed to be driven by the Snow Queen. She takes Tom to her palace and cuts Ellie off of her sled, causing her to fall onto a talking bird named Peeps (Hugh Laurie). He tells her about the Snow Queen, and she goes out to save Tom from her. He reluctantly decides to go with her. While walking through the snowy forest, they find a house belonging to an old woman (Julia McKenzie), who appears nice and gives Ellie a room to sleep in, but is actually an evil witch who is planning on killing Ellie and using her heart for her elixir of life so she can be eternally young. Peeps discovers this but is locked beneath a glass beaker by the old woman. Ellie hears Peeps yelling and goes downstairs, where the old woman locks her in a cell. Peeps tricks the old woman's cat, Cuddles, into chasing after him and knocking over the elixir of life, and while the old woman is scolding Cuddles, Peeps takes her key and unlocks Ellie's cell. Ellie and Peeps escape and close the trapdoor to the basement, placing a heavy chest on it so the old woman cannot get back out.
They then see two humanoid birds named Les (Richard Tate) and Ivy (Imelda Staunton), who, from Ellie's description of Tom, tell her that Tom is going to marry the princess (Scarlett Strallen), so Ellie becomes a member of the staff to serve the princess her food. However, she soon discovers that the prince (Rowan D'Albert) is not Tom. Meanwhile, Tom is rebuilding the Snow Queen's mirror, as he is good at puzzles. The trolls try to warn him that the Snow Queen will kill him to get the last two pieces, but the Snow Queen convinces him otherwise and kisses him, putting him into a hypnotic state while his veins are full of ice, and will kill him when it reaches his heart.
The princess and the prince give Ellie and Peeps a royal vehicle to ride to the Snow Queen's dominion, however they run into a gang of robbers that are humanoid rats. The Robber King (Rik Mayall) promises his daughter, Angorra (Imelda Staunton), that Ellie can become her slave, but later changes his mind because he is, according to himself, "really rotten". Ellie is locked in a room with a flying reindeer named Dimly (Gary Martin) who crashed into a tree and was captured by the robbers. Peeps enters the room and unties Ellie's hands, and she unties Dimly. Angorra enters, but they knock a barrel on top of her and trap her. Dimly flies them away, but the Robber King grabs onto the rope that is still wrapped around Dimly, resulting in the Robber King crashing into several objects, ending with him slamming into the side of a building and falling over the edge on top of Angorra.
Dimly does not know where the Snow Queen's castle is, so he goes to his flying reindeer school and asks Freda (Julia McKenzie), a woman from Lapland who runs the flying school. After packing up supplies for fighting off the Snow Queen, she has Dimly fly them over to the Snow Queen's palace. There, they meet the three trolls, who ultimately decide to help them. Tom does not have much time left, and has finished putting the mirror together except for the two pieces that are inside him. Freda reveals that the two pieces inside him will kill him then makes a potion that will dissolve the mirror. Ellie tells Tom to drink it, but just as he is about to, the Snow Queen blasts the vial with her magic staff and impales it on an icicle. They fight the Snow Queen and Eric and Freda are frozen. Baggy and Wardrobe grab her staff just as they are frozen as well. The battle eventually causes the vial to fall on top of the mirror and shatter, dissolving the mirror and forming an icy cyclone that chases after the Snow Queen's flying carriage and freezes her solid as she attempts to escape.
The mirror pieces inside Tom dissolve and the effects of the Snow Queen's kiss go away, Freeing him. Freda and the trolls are unfrozen. Freda says that the Snow Queen is not destroyed and will eventually return. She has Dimly take Ellie, Tom, and Peeps back to the village, and then come back for her and the trolls. Dimly crashlands in the village and Ellie, Tom, and Peeps go to listen to the rest of the story as Dimly heads back to the Snow Queen's palace. The film ends with a close-up shot of the frozen Snow Queen's eyes, sparkling with anger.
Home releases 
Both films were separately released on the DVD by UCA Catalogue in 2004, and then together as a double-pack in 2005. Previously, the two films were also released on the VHS by Warner Brothers. It was also later made available through Netflix.
- The Snow Queen at the Internet Movie Database
- The Snow Queen's Revenge at the Internet Movie Database