Thumbelina (1994 film)

Last updated
Thumbelina
DonBluthThumbelina.jpg
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin.
Directed by
Screenplay byDon Bluth
Based on Thumbelina
by Hans Christian Andersen
Produced by
Starring
Edited byFiona Trayler
Music by
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • March 30, 1994 (1994-03-30)(United States)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$28 million [1]
Box office$17 million

Thumbelina (also known as Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina) is a 1994 American animated musical fantasy film directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, based on the story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. The film stars the voices of Jodi Benson, Gary Imhoff and John Hurt, with supporting roles from Gino Conforti, Charo, Gilbert Gottfried, Carol Channing and Joe Lynch. [2]

Contents

The film was produced by Don Bluth Ireland Ltd., and distributed by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment imprint was released in theaters on March 30, 1994. The film was a box-office bomb, grossing only $17 million dollars against its $28 million dollar budget, and received mixed to negative reviews from critics. [3] [4]

Plot

A lonely widow longing for a child of her own is given a barley seed by a friendly witch. The planted seed grows into a flower, and a tiny girl emerges from inside, no bigger than the old woman's thumb. The old woman names the tiny girl Thumbelina and raises her as her own. Although Thumbelina loves her mother, she craves companionship from someone her own size. One night, the fairy prince Cornelius stumbles upon Thumbelina after hearing her singing. The two take a ride on Cornelius' bumblebee and fall in love. During this ride, Mrs. Toad and her son Grundel are enchanted by Thumbelina's singing. That night, Mrs. Toad kidnaps Thumbelina, desiring her to join their show troupe and marry Grundel. Thumbelina is rescued by Jacquimo, a swallow. Meanwhile, Cornelius learns of her kidnapping and returns to his kingdom, the Vale of the Fairies, to ask his parents to try holding back the winter as long as they can, but they can only hold it for a day.

Grundel learns that Thumbelina escaped, and ventures out to find her. While trying to get home, Thumbelina is ambushed by Berkeley Beetle, who promises to show her the way home if she sings at his Beetle Ball. She reluctantly complies, but her bug disguise falls off during the concert and she is denounced as "ugly" as well as being publicly humiliated in front of the audience. Beetle rejects her without helping her. She is next found by Jacquimo, who promises to find Cornelius. Beetle is confronted by Grundel and suggests that Grundel kidnap Cornelius and use him as bait to lure Thumbelina. Grundel coerces Beetle into partnership by removing his wings.

Upon the arrival of winter, Jacquimo injures his wing and loses consciousness from the extreme cold, while Cornelius falls into a pond by wind and is frozen. Beetle finds Cornelius' frozen body and takes him to Grundel. Thumbelina is forced to take refuge in an old shoe, where she is discovered by Miss Fieldmouse and granted shelter in her underground house. After relaying Cornelius' fate to her, Miss Fieldmouse introduces her to her neighbor Mr. Mole, who becomes infatuated with her and desires to marry her. Devastated by the apparent loss of Cornelius, Thumbelina gives in to hopelessness and accepts Mr. Mole's proposal. Jacquimo revives and, before Thumbelina can get a chance to explain to him what happened to Cornelius, resolves to find him before the wedding.

Beetle tells Grundel of Thumbelina's wedding. When they leave Cornelius behind, a trio of friendly insect children find and thaw Cornelius. At the wedding, Thumbelina finds herself unable to marry Mr. Mole after remembering Cornelius' promise to always love her. Grundel and Beetle arrive, and a chase ensues. Cornelius also arrives and engages Grundel in a fight, which culminates with the two falling into a chasm. Thumbelina escapes on a pile of Mr. Mole's treasure, causing it to fall at Mr. Mole and the wedding guests. Jacquimo finds the Vale of the Fairies and takes Thumbelina there. She and Cornelius reunite, and she magically grows her own pair of wings upon accepting his proposal and kissing him. With her mother and the fairy court in attendance, the two marry and depart on Cornelius' bumblebee.

The credits images reveal that Beetle's wings regrew and he resumed his pop career; Grundel survived the fall with a broken leg and married a female toad to his mom's delight, and Mr. Mole married Miss Fieldmouse.

Voice cast

Music

Barry Manilow agreed to compose the songs for three Don Bluth pictures. Thumbelina was the first, followed by The Pebble and the Penguin , and the third, a retelling of the story of Rapunzel, in which Manilow would also have a voice role, was canceled. The film's soundtrack was released for a limited time and has since gone out of print. "Marry the Mole" won a Razzie for Worst Original Song.

Production and release

Thumbelina was in production from February 1991 to May 1993 at Don Bluth Ireland Ltd. (formerly known as Sullivan Bluth Studios at that time) in Dublin, Ireland, even though principal recording and animation would not begin until early 1992. [5] The film was completed with funds from filmmaker John Boorman and Hong Kong-based Media Assets after Don Bluth Entertainment filed for bankruptcy. [6]

It was originally scheduled to be distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in North America and J&M Entertainment overseas and was also originally slated for a Thanksgiving 1993 release in the United States. However, by the time it was completed, both companies dropped the arrangement due to concerns about the bankruptcy of Bluth's studio. During Sullivan Bluth's bankruptcy proceedings, the court trustee presented the film to Disney's film distribution unit, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. The trustee ultimately declined Disney's offer to distribute the film as they were also trying to find a new owner for the studio. [7]

Warner Bros. bought the distribution rights on March 15, 1993, and Thumbelina was released on March 30, 1994. [8] [4] When released, it was preceded by the Animaniacs short, I'm Mad .

Reception

Box office

The film was a commercial failure, grossing $11.4 million at the US and Canadian box office. [9] In 24 markets internationally it grossed $5.2 million [10] for a worldwide total of at least $16.6 million against a budget of $28 million.

Critical reception

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 38% approval rating based on 13 reviews, with an average score of 5.2 out of 10. [11]

James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film 3 out of 4 and wrote: "Thumbelina is close to, but not quite at, the level of The Little Mermaid , the weakest of Disney's recent entries". [12] Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four, concluding his review: "It is difficult to imagine anyone over the age of 12 finding much to enjoy in Thumbelina". [13]

It won a Golden Raspberry Award in the category of "Worst Original Song" given to "Marry the Mole", sung by Carol Channing. [14] It was also the only animated film to win a stand-alone Razzie until 2017's The Emoji Movie , which won the awards for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screen Combo, and Worst Screenplay at the 38th Golden Raspberry Awards.

The film reportedly received higher scores during test screenings, where Warner Bros. replaced their logo with that of Walt Disney Pictures. [15]

Home media releases

Warner Home Video released Thumbelina on VHS and LaserDisc on July 26, 1994, in the United States and Canada and internationally throughout the 1990s. The film was re-released on VHS in the United Kingdom on March 20, 1995. Warner Home Video released the film on DVD on September 21, 1999. [16]

Thumbelina was re-released on VHS and DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on February 19, 2002 and on Blu-ray on March 6, 2012.

The movie was available to view on Disney+ when it launched on November 12, 2019, [17] following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox earlier that year. [18] However, it was removed on July 1, 2020. It remains available to view in other countries. [19] The film returned to the service on October 22, 2021. The movie was also available to view on Disney+ under the Star brand name when Star was launched on October 27, 2021 in Japan. [20]

See also

Related Research Articles

Don Bluth American animator (born 1937)

Donald Virgil Bluth is an American film director, animator, production designer, and animation instructor, best known for his animated films, including The Secret of NIMH (1982), An American Tail (1986), The Land Before Time (1988), All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), Anastasia (1997), and Titan A.E. (2000), for his involvement in the LaserDisc game Dragon's Lair (1983), and for competing with former employer Walt Disney Productions during the years leading up to the films that became the Disney Renaissance. He is the older brother of illustrator Toby Bluth.

<i>The Land Before Time</i> (film) 1988 animated adventure film directed by Don Bluth

The Land Before Time is a 1988 animated adventure drama film directed and produced by Don Bluth from a story by Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss and a screenplay by Stu Krieger, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall. The film stars the voices of Gabriel Damon, Candace Hutson, Judith Barsi (posthumously) and Will Ryan with narration provided by Pat Hingle. It is the inaugural film in The Land Before Time franchise.

<i>The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad</i> 1949 animated package film produced by Walt Disney Productions

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a 1949 American animated package film produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by RKO Radio Pictures and directed by Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney and James Algar with Ben Sharpsteen as production supervisor. The 11th animated film in the Disney Animation canon, it consists of two segments: the first based on the 1908 children's novel The Wind in the Willows by British author Kenneth Grahame, and the second based on the 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by American author Washington Irving.

Fox Animation Studios American animation studio (1994 - 2000)

Fox Animation Studios was an American animation production company owned by 20th Century Fox and located in Phoenix, Arizona. After six years of operation, the studio was shut down on June 26, 2000, ten days after the release of its final film, Titan A.E.. Most of the Fox Animation Studios library was acquired by Disney via 20th Century Studios on March 20, 2019.

<i>Rock-a-Doodle</i> 1991 film directed by Don Bluth

Rock-a-Doodle is a 1991 live-action/animated musical comedy film produced by Sullivan Bluth Studios and Goldcrest Films. Loosely based on Edmond Rostand's 1910 comedy play Chantecler, Rock-a-Doodle was directed by Don Bluth and written by David N. Weiss. The film features the voices of Glen Campbell, Christopher Plummer, Phil Harris, Charles Nelson Reilly, Sorrell Booke, Sandy Duncan, Eddie Deezen, Ellen Greene, and Toby Scott Ganger. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 2 August 1991 and in the United States and Canada on 3 April 1992.

<i>Once Upon a Forest</i> 1993 film by Charles Grosvenor

Once Upon a Forest is a 1993 animated musical adventure film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Based on the Furlings characters created by Rae Lambert, the film was directed by Charles Grosvenor and produced by David Kirschner, and stars the voices of Michael Crawford, Ellen Blain, Benji Gregory, Paige Gosney, Will Estes, Janet Waldo, Elisabeth Moss, and Ben Vereen.

Thumbelina Fairy tale by H. C. Andersen

Thumbelina is a literary fairy tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen first published by C. A. Reitzel on 16 December 1835 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with "The Naughty Boy" and "The Travelling Companion" in the second instalment of Fairy Tales Told for Children. Thumbelina is about a tiny girl and her adventures with marriage-minded toads, moles, and cockchafers. She successfully avoids their intentions before falling in love with a flower-fairy prince just her size.

<i>Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister</i> 1999 novel by Gregory Maguire

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a 1999 novel by Gregory Maguire, retelling the tale of Cinderella through the eyes of one of her "ugly stepsisters." In 2002, the book was adapted into a TV movie of the same name directed by Gavin Millar.

<i>A Troll in Central Park</i> 1994 film

A Troll in Central Park is a 1994 American animated musical fantasy comedy film co-directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The film features the voice talents of Dom DeLuise, Cloris Leachman, Charles Nelson Reilly, Phillip Glasser, Tawny Sunshine Glover, Hayley Mills and Jonathan Pryce. It is the final Bluth film to star DeLuise.

Warner Bros. Family Entertainment Family film and entertainment label of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros. Family Entertainment was the family division label of Warner Bros. Entertainment. It released numerous theatrical and direct-to-video family-oriented films and television shows.

The Wind in the Willows is a British stop motion animated television series that was originally broadcast between 1984 and 1987, based on characters from Kenneth Grahame's 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows and following the 1983 feature-length pilot film.

<i>Banjo the Woodpile Cat</i> 1979 American film

Banjo the Woodpile Cat is a 1979 animated short film directed by Don Bluth. It follows the story of Banjo, an overly curious and rebellious kitten who, after getting into trouble for falling from a house to see if he could land on his feet, runs away from his woodpile home in his owners' farm in Payson, Utah by catching a truck to Salt Lake City. Produced on a shoestring budget, and created in Bluth's garage, the film took four years to make and it was the first production of Don Bluth Productions, later Sullivan Bluth Studios. It premiered theatrically on November 16, 1979, and at the USA Film Festival one year later. It was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on May 20, 2014.

Thumbelina is a Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1835.

Don Bluth Entertainment was an Irish-American animation studio established in 1979 by animator Don Bluth. Bluth and several colleagues, all of whom were former Disney animators, left Disney on September 13, 1979, to form Don Bluth Productions, later known as the Bluth Group. This studio produced the short film Banjo the Woodpile Cat, the feature film The Secret of NIMH, a brief animation sequence in the musical Xanadu, and the video games Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. Bluth then co-founded Sullivan Bluth Studios with American businessman Morris Sullivan, John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman in 1985.

<i>The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina</i> 2002 animated film by Glenn Chaika

The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina is a 2002 direct-to-video animated film directed by Glenn Chaika and starring Elijah Wood, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Peter Gallagher, and Jon Stewart. Produced by Miramax Films and Hyperion Animation, the film was distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment under the Miramax Home Entertainment label.

Pat Musick American voice actress (born 1956)

Patricia Anne Musick is an American voice actress, who has provided numerous voices in many television shows, films and video games. She and her husband, Jeff Whitman, a personal manager and set construction coordinator, are the parents of actress and singer Mae Whitman.

<i>The Pebble and the Penguin</i> 1995 film

The Pebble and the Penguin is a 1995 animated film directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The film stars the voices of Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Tim Curry, and Annie Golden. Based on the true life mating rituals of the Adélie penguins in Antarctica, the film focuses on a timid, stuttering penguin named Hubie who tries to impress a beautiful penguin named Marina by giving her a pebble that fell from the sky and keep her from the clutches of an evil penguin named Drake who wants Marina for himself.

<i>Thumbelina</i> (soundtrack) 1994 soundtrack album by Barry Manilow and various artists

Thumbelina: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the 1994 Don Bluth animated feature Thumbelina and was released on February 24, 1994. The soundtrack was composed entirely by Barry Manilow. Manilow, along with lyricists Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, who wrote the songs. Bluth personally approached Manilow, who had been quoted as saying he originally aspired to be a soundtrack composer, to record the album. For his part, Manilow was enthusiastic about the opportunity to score Thumbelina, as an animated film where almost the entire runtime was soundtracked.

The Razzie Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel is an award presented at the annual Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst film adapted from some form of previous material. The category covers films that are prequels, sequels, remakes, reboots, spin-offs, film adaptations of other media franchises, and "rip-offs".

<i>Thumbelina</i> (1978 film) Japanese animated movie

Thumbelina is a 1978 Japanese anime fantasy film produced by Toei Animation and Tezuka Productions based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. The film was first shown in Japan on 18 March 1978 in the Toei Manga Matsuri. The film sees "Father of Manga" Ozamu Tezuka as character designer and former Mushi Production's animator Kazuko Nakamura as assistant animation director upon Tezuka's recommendation.

References

  1. Gary Goldman at donbluth.com Archived 2009-07-21 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 208. ISBN   0-8160-3831-7 . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. "(Movie listings)" . The Capital Times . Vol. 154, no. 92. Madison, WI. March 29, 1994. p. 3D. Retrieved December 15, 2019. Thumbelina – starts tomorrow [March 30]
  4. 1 2 "(movie listings)" . The Los Angeles Times . March 30, 1994. p. F13oc. Retrieved December 15, 2019. (21 listings)
  5. Kelly, John F. (January 10, 1992). "Getting Along Swimmingly". Washington Post . Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2019.(subscription required)
  6. Dawtrey, Adam (November 12, 1992). "Merlin's magic may animate DBE". Variety .
  7. "Behind the Scenes". Don Bluth Films. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  8. Ayscough, Suzan (Mar 15, 1993). "Bluth's toons drawn to WB" . Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  9. "Thumbelina (1994)". Box Office Mojo . Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  10. Groves, Don (August 8, 1994). "Big U.S. pix fight for o'seas B.O.". Variety . p. 19.
  11. "Thumbelina". Rotten Tomatoes . 30 March 1994. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  12. "Reelviews Movie Reviews". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05.
  13. Ebert, Roger (March 30, 1994). "Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina". Chicago Sun-Times . Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  14. "1994 RAZZIE Nominees & "Winners"". Razzies.com. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. 2005-12-04. Archived from the original on 2009-08-22. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  15. Horn, John (June 1, 1997). "Can Anyone Dethrone Disney?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  16. "Thumbelina DVD Release Date March 21, 1999" . Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  17. "Every Disney movie, TV show available day one on Disney+". 14 October 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  18. Littleton, Cynthia (March 19, 2019). "Disney Closes $71 Billion 21st Century Fox Deal". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  19. "What's Left Disney+ In July (US)". What's on Disney Plus. July 1, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  20. "スター作品ラインナップ|Disney+ (ディズニープラス) 公式". Disney+. Retrieved November 4, 2021.

Notes