Snow Queen (2002 film)
Official DVD cover
|Directed by||David Wu|
|Produced by||Matthew O'Connor|
|Written by||Hans Christian Andersen (original story)|
Simon Moore (teleplay)
|Based on||The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen|
|Music by||Lawrence Shragge|
|Edited by||Yelena Lanskaya|
|Distributed by||Hallmark Entertainment|
|Box office||$1.25 million|
Snow Queen is a 2002 made-for-television film made by Hallmark Entertainment, directed by David Wu, and based on the story The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. The film stars Bridget Fonda as the title character and Chelsea Hobbs as her rival and the story's heroine, Gerda. The film originally aired on Hallmark Channel as a two-part miniseries, but has since been released as a full-length film on DVD in the United States. The DVD came out on November 9, 2009, in the United Kingdom, and on September 2, 2011, in Australia. This was Bridget Fonda's last acting role to date.
The film's story is roughly based on Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Snow Queen" but features a number of significant changes. Most prominently are that Gerda and Kai are openly romantically attached to each other, instead of simply being best friends. Another significant change is that the opening and ending portions of the film take place in a modern "realistic" setting, while Gerda and Kai's adventures are dream-like and surreal. It is never explained whether the events experienced by Gerda and Kai really took place.
Gerda and Kai
Gerda is initially in mourning over the death of her mother. Although her mother died nine years previous, Gerda has not been able to move on until she meets Kai. In this version Kai is a new staff member at the hotel owned by Gerda's father, and he immediately sets out to befriend Gerda and help her heal. It is because Kai has helped Gerda find new purpose in life that she sets out to rescue him when he is kidnapped by the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen refers to Gerda and Kai's relationship as "true love".
The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen in this version is intentionally malicious towards Gerda and desires to keep Kai for herself. Throughout the movie it is slowly revealed that the Snow Queen has been hoarding power for some time, intending to destroy all the other seasons and ruling the earth alone. She intended to achieve this goal using the Devil's mirror, which was shattered into thousands of pieces above the earth. The Snow Queen initially kidnaps Kai because the final piece of the mirror fell into his eye, but she takes him to her palace and charges him to fix the mirror the way it was. Additionally, it is implied that the Snow Queen caused the death of Gerda's mother because she was also a magically inclined rival of the mighty Snow Queen. There is also a minor sub-plot involving a fierce talking polar bear who is the Snow Queen's henchman, and stays by her side because he is in love with her. After her defeat he carries her off and is seen taking the form of an elegantly dressed man.
The Four Seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn
Various characters that Gerda meets in the story have been altered. The witch of eternal summer has become the motherly "Spring Witch", the prince and princess of the palace have been merged into the cunning "Summer Princess" and the Robber Girl's mother has become the fierce "Autumn Robber". In the film all three women are sisters of the Snow Queen who, like their winter sister, want to keep Gerda for various differing reasons. Together, the four sisters are known as the "Four Seasons". Gerda has to escape from all three women before she can face the Snow Queen herself. It is stated in the legend that the three sisters have been severely weakened by their sister's attempt to take almighty power. When they hold Gerda they explain that they are doing it to protect her, as their sister is much stronger than they can ever imagine.
The magic mirror is the central piece of the plot and the catalyst for Gerda's adventure to rescue Kai. Listening to a legend being told to Kai by the Polar Bear, it is learnt that the mirror was forged by Satan, who gave it to the Four Seasons so they could admire their work. When Spring, Summer and Autumn looked into the mirror it reflected the essence of their power and the promise of life, while Winter saw a cold and barren reflection, which was the way of her season. Satan however had made the mirror twisted so that, as Winter gazed at her reflection, she desired for the power of her season to be absolute. Thus, one day, Winter steals the mirror, taking it to the Arctic wastes, where no one can find it. Thus, she became the Snow Queen, and the world became colder. But this was not enough for the Snow Queen, since her sisters still lived, though greatly weakened. Taking the mirror up to the sky, she flew to Heaven to demand that winter be made the dominant power on Earth. However, the magic of the demonic mirror and the magic of Heaven did not sit well together and the mirror shattered before she could reach Heaven, scattering to the four winds and starting the Snow Queen's quest for the recovery of the shards that fell into human eyes.
- Bridget Fonda as Snow Queen
- Chelsea Hobbs as Gerda
- Jeremy Guilbaut as Kai
- Robert Wisden as Wolfgang
- Wanda Cannon as Minna
- Meghan Black as Robber Girl
- Jennifer Clement as Spring Witch
- Kira Clavell as Summer Princess
- Suzy Joachim as Autumn Robber
- Duncan Fraser as Mayor
- Rachel Hayward as Amy
- Jessie Borgstrom as 8-Year-Old Gerda
- Robert D. Jones as Priest
- Alexander Hoy as Chen
- Trever Havixbeck as Sergeant-at-Arms
- John DeSantis as Satan
- The town scenes were shot in Fort Steele, British Columbia, a heritage town in British Columbia, Canada
- The interior of the White Bear Hotel was a set built on a sound stage, the same set being covered in synthetic snow for later scenes
Saturn Award (2003)
- Best Single Television Presentation - Nominated
Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards (2003)
- Best Cinematography in TV Drama - Won
Leo Awards (2003)
- Best Female Lead Performance in a Feature Length Drama (Chelsea Hobbs) - Nominated
- Best Overall Sound in a Feature Length Drama - Nominated
- Snow Queen. Behind the Scenes/Making Of (DVD)
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