Nostalgia Saturdays: Thumbelina- The Magical Story

It’s always odd but the story of Thumbelina wasn’t ever really told to me as a child. As children, we all sort of knew it existed, but our teachers never really talked about it as much as they did Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, etc. It was the Disney movies that were always shown in class and rarely much else. Maybe it was because she wasn’t a princess…not until she married the fairy prince so wouldn’t that make her….you know what, never mind. Basically, no one talked about it so I’m here today to talk about it. Or at least the version I watched anyway.

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This cover is somewhat “amazing.”

I remember how there were always story books stored away in boxes in the classroom about the mainstream fairy tales we grew up with. And once in a while an author would have the balls to rewrite it into something gross and twisted and those were the ones I grew to love. I got really bored of the average princess storybook because it was the same tale written over and over again, illustrated by different people with no imagination. And I never identified myself with a princess anyway. I might have dreamed of princes and horses, but I was never really a princess myself. I used to be a transforming power rangette on a bomb squad!

The story of Thumbelina is about a girl, not so strong and not so brave, but it was an adventure far from that of a fairy tale. She was as small as an ant and yet she journeyed far and wide and that was what made the original great.

We’re not here to talk about Don Bluth’s and Gary Goldman’s version today, sadly. We’re here to talk about the anime movie which wasn’t actually a movie but a series that the English dubbers shortened by turning it into a movie. Cut, copy, paste…

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This Thumbelina movie was more of a spin-off but it doesn’t end in romance because our heroine is actually a ten year old child who gets sent to another world as a miniature girl to learn the values of life. It was more children-based and had a lot more action-packed adventure. In all honesty I loved this movie, but it’s sad how it was originally a series and not just a movie. That’s why some parts are glued together so awkwardly. And the scenes are noticeably roughly transitioned at times.

The style reminds me of a Ghibli movie, the cheaper version anyway. Or kind of like the style the early animated Sanrio films had, no surprise since it came from the 90s. I am not a huge fan of the English voices, it sounds awkward on occasion, but I gradually got used to it. Some parts didn’t come together so well especially toward the ending which felt greatly rushed, but at least character development was apparent so I guess they settled for that.

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In all honesty it wasn’t that great of a movie, but it definitely had the potential to be…if only they kept it a series. I guess it’s the style and the storytelling which takes me back to my childhood so I think back on it fondly when in reality there could be much more improvement.

I don’t think I have the patience to watch the original Japanese dubbed series now, but it’s nice to know it exists. Besides, it’s hard to find English subs for some of the more obscure children’s series.

You can watch it here by a kind person who has uploaded it up on YouTube:

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