A review of the American release:It is not uncommon for U.S. companies to buy a film from another country and then try to make it look as if it were a local product. As there are very few spoken words in this short film, the dubbing is hardly noticeable, and then the credits are removed. Fortunately they didn't rename the translated title or then it would have been hard to trace back to the French original. The copyright date was 1954 which seems to indicate a later U.S. release. Many of the Little Match Girl films stray from the brief 3 page original story, and this one is not an exception. The real time line, which most adhere to, is New Years Eve. Here it is Christmas Eve. At least the main character is a "little girl" unlike the lead in Jean Renoir's 1928 version! A similarity though is the snowball fight. She did lose her shoes, that part was not omitted. What became of her mother? In Andersen's story it is left up to conjecture. It might be assumed she died very young. In this film, she is referred to as the "lost mother". To those who remember the fairy tale as it was 1st written, the only relation to take part in the story was the grandmother, and here it is instead the mother. Other filming's have almost been done in such a way as to leave you depressed at the end, this one avoided it. If you are a big fan of the story, you really don't want to get depressed every single time. It starts out with the little match girl out on the cold dark street selling her (unlike all other versions) very long matches. Boys throw snowballs at her, she loses her shoes while running away. Alone, she lights a match. Another strange variation: Santa appears, or should we say Papa Noel. Then a ballet takes place with the very famous Janine Charrat. You might do some research here to check out the fire connotations. There also are snow-people and elves. When this disappears, the flame next brings about a Christmas tree, the toys underneath come to life. And later her mother materializes. The narration is good as is the pictorial quality. It is more readily available now and Andersen fans will want to see it.
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