The Steadfast(aka Brave)Tin Soldier is one of Andersen's "Big Three". The others being, The Little Mermaid, and The Little Match Girl. It almost seems as if the stories of Hans Christian Andersen were always destined to be a part of the film world. They are a match made in heaven! Most of the film adaptations make changes, but the central theme always shine through! In this particular Russian animated adaption the storyteller himself is partially seen and heard at the start of the movie. Another change includes the part of the soldier's owner, a boy, not really included in the movie. There are other minor changes, but far less than previous adaptations. The ending is brutal, but less so. At the time of this writing, this version is the 2nd most popular on Youtube. The 1st, Disney's Fantasia 2000 segment, which replaces the final scene with a non tragic one. Most adaptations(excluding this one) change the goblin in a snuff box with a jack-in-the-box, which really does no harm at all. What sets this Russian film apart is the distinctive animation, the tin soldier's haunting songs, and the exquisite music. It is like poetry on film. Not unlike what was done with another Andersen story for the feature motion picture, The Emperor's Nightingale(Czech,1949). Other noteworthy film adaptations include The Steadfast Tin Soldier(Canadian, 1955), Rabbit Ears Steadfast Tin Soldier(1985)-kind of like a book on film with superb narration, and the more recent Hardy Tin Soldier(2006) that's part of the DVD series Hans Christian Andersen: The Fairy Tales.
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