The Little Matchgirl (2006 film)

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The Little Matchgirl
Poster of the movie The Little Matchgirl.jpg
Directed byRoger Allers
Produced byDon Hahn
Baker Bloodworth
Screenplay byRoger Allers
Kevin L. Harkey
Ed Gombert
Mark Walton
Ralph Zondag
Based onThe Little Match Girl
by Hans Christian Andersen
Edited byJessica Ambinder Rojas
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date
  • September 7, 2006 (2006-09-07)
Running time
8 min
CountryUnited States

The Little Matchgirl is a 2006 animated short film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios1 and released by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Roger Allers and produced by Don Hahn. It is based on an original story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, published in 1845.


During Christmas in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, not too long before the Russian Revolution, an impoverished girl tries to sell matchsticks on the streets but everyone is completely indifferent towards her. Later that night, the girl huddles up in a snowy alley trying to warm herself against the cold. Eventually, she decides to strike some of her remaining matches for warmth. As the matches burn, she has visions about being in a warm home, well fed, and with her loving grandmother who has died. After using up all her matches, eager to see her grandmother, the little girl dies in the night from hypothermia. The next morning, her grandmother's spirit finds her and takes her to heaven. Then, as in the original play, a comet soars across the sky, meaning that someone has died, according to her grandmother.


The story's popularity far exceeded Andersen's original intention, which was to call immediate attention to the plight of Europe's suffering children. The differences between the Disney version and the original Andersen text are slight, such as the change of geographical location from the author's native Denmark to Russia. The storytelling also places a reduced emphasis in the beginning of the film to the little match Girl's cruel and overbearing father and the death of her grandmother.


Allers and Hahn previously were involved in Disney animated films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. This short, which was originally intended for the scrapped Fantasia 2006, also represents Disney's final use of its CAPS system in animation.

The film made its debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France on 5 June 2006, and was released as an extra on The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition DVD. It was re-released on The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray on 2013.

The Little Matchgirl was released on the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection Blu-ray on August 18, 2015.[1]


The film is set to the third movement of Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2 in D Major by Alexander Borodin. For the filmmakers, the production was not about politics, but was treated as a visual style piece set to music, told entirely without sound or dialogue.



  1. ^ Doty, Meriah (June 4, 2015). "'Frozen Fever' (and Easter Eggs!) Coming Soon on Disney Shorts Blu-ray (Exclusive)". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 4, 2015.

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