According to La cinématographie française, the first public presentation of the film took place during the first international cartoon festival in Paris at the Marcelin-Berthelot center which took place June 15 and 16, 1948. See more »
Paul Grimault is thought of by some as the greatest animator of all and in the post WW2 period no one could match him for the quality and evocativeness of his small number of films. The financial problems that cost him control of his feature all but created a tragedy of GREED proportions.
PETIT SOLDAT may be regarded as his masterpiece. The Andersen story was several times filmed and a Hollywood version may have taken on board several elements of this. However, in it's original rich Technicolor with it's atmospheric Kosma score and impeccable craft aspects, this stands alone, even outclassing the other Grimault cartoons.
The cream of the French art scene involved themselves in this and it shows. Those menacing crows, the passive mournful snowman, the grinning Grimault villain all inhabit a world that is uniquely that of it's creator and stand comparison with those of Disney and Miyazaki,
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