The Fir-Tree

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"The Fir-Tree"
by Hans Christian Andersen
Original titleGrantræet
Genre(s)Literary fairy tale
Published inNew Fairy Tales. First Volume. Second Collection (Nye Eventyr. Første Bind. Anden Samling)
Publication typeFairy tale collection
PublisherC.A. Reitzel
Media typePrint
Publication date21 December 1844
← Preceded by
Followed by →
The Snow Queen: A Fairy Tale in Seven Stories

"The Fir-Tree" (Danish: Grantræet) is a literary fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875). The tale is about a fir tree so anxious to grow up, so anxious for greater things, that he cannot appreciate living in the moment. The tale was first published 21 December 1844 with "The Snow Queen", in New Fairy Tales. First Volume. Second Collection, in Copenhagen, Denmark, by C.A. Reitzel. One scholar (Andersen biographer Jackie Wullschlager) indicates that "The Fir-Tree" was the first of Andersen's fairy tales to express a deep pessimism.[1]


The tale was adapted to a 28-minute video format in 1979 by Huntingwood Films produced by Kevin Sullivan, directed by Martin Hunter and filmed at Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jeff Kahnert provided the voice of the Fir-Tree. This was the first film produced by Kevin Sullivan who went on to write, direct and produce the Anne of Green Gables movies.[2]

It was adapted as the sixteenth episode of The Fairytaler.

In 2011, the story was again adapted as a short, Danish-language film directed by Lars Henrik Ostenfeld and presented in a modern setting. The story follows the tree from cone through seedling, until it is cut down by a boy and his father to be used as a Christmas tree. Unlike Andersen's tale, which ends with the burning of the tree, the film shows a cone from the tree surviving the fire and being thrown into the forest, perhaps to grow into another fir tree.[3]

In 2014, Janani Sreenivasan adapted her script "Pine", originally performed at the University of Iowa's No Shame Theatre in December 2006, into the short film "The Fir Tree", which she co-directed with Lee Jutton. In this version, we hear the tree's first-person account (in Danish) of being chopped down and attending its first Christmas party, which ends badly for all involved.[4]

Charles M. Schulz, author and artist of the world-renowned Peanuts comic strip, incorporated elements of "The Fir Tree" into his first television movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas (December 9, 1965 on CBS).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wullschlager, Jackie (15 June 2002). Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller. University of Chicago Press. pp. 256–258, 272, 379. ISBN 0-226-91747-9.
  2. ^ "The Fir Tree". Internet Movie Database. 1979.
  3. ^ "Grantræet". Internet Movie Database. 2011.
  4. ^ "The Fir Tree", Internet Movie Database, 2000, retrieved January 19, 2017

External links[edit]