|Written by||Simon Moore|
Snow Queen is a 2002 made-for-television Hallmark Entertainment film directed by David Wu and based on the story "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen. The film stars Bridget Fonda as the title character and Chelsea Hobbs as her rival and the story's heroine, Gerda. The film originally aired on the Hallmark Channel as a two-part miniseries, but has since been released as a full-length film on DVD.
Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the creature effects for the movie. The Polar Bear puppet was performed by Dan Payne and Richard Coombs, and voiced by Jim Byrnes. Payne also played the Bear after he was transformed into a human Prince.
The film's story is roughly based on Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Snow Queen", but features a number of significant changes. Most prominently are that Gerda and Kai are openly romantically attached to each other, instead of simply being best friends. Another significant change is that the opening and ending portions of the film take place in a modern "realistic" setting, while Gerda and Kai's adventures are dream-like and surreal. It is never explained whether the events experienced by Gerda and Kai really took place.
Gerda and Kai
Gerda is initially in mourning over the death of her mother. Although her mother died nine years previous, Gerda has not been able to move on until she meets Kai. In this version Kai is a new staff member at the hotel owned by Gerda's father, and he immediately sets out to befriend Gerda and help her heal. It is because Kai has helped Gerda find new purpose in life that she sets out to rescue him with he is kidnapped by the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen refers to Gerda and Kai's relationship as "true love".
The Snow Queen in this version is intentionally malicious towards Gerda and desires to keep Kai for herself. Throughout the movie it is slowly revealed that the Snow Queen has been hoarding power for some time, intending to destroy all the other seasons and ruling the earth alone. She intended to achieve this goal using the Devil's mirror, which was shattered into thousands of pieces above the earth. The Snow Queen initially kidnaps Kai because the final piece of the mirror fell into his eye, but she takes him to her palace and charges him to fix the mirror the way it was. Additionally, it is implied that the Snow Queen caused the death of Gerda's mother because she was also a magically-inclined rival of the Snow Queen. There is also a minor sub-plot involving a fierce talking polar bear who is the Snow Queen's henchman, and stays by her side because he is in love with her.
Spring, Summer and Autumn
Various characters that Gerda meets in the story have been altered. The witch of eternal summer has become the "Spring Witch", the prince and princess of the palace have been merged into the "Summer Princess" and the Robber Girl's mother has become the "Autumn Robber". In the film all three women are sisters of the Snow Queen who, like their winter sister, want to keep Gerda for various differing reasons. Gerda has to escape from all three women before she can face the Snow Queen herself.
- Bridget Fonda as Snow Queen
- Chelsea Hobbs as Gerda
- Jeremy Guilbaut as Kai
- Robert Wisden as Wolfgang
- Wanda Cannon as Minna
- Meghan Black as Robber Girl
- Jennifer Clement as Spring Witch
- Kira Clavell as Summer Princess
- Suzy Joachim as Autumn Robber
- Duncan Fraser as Mayor
- Rachel Hayward as Amy
- Jessie Borgstrom as 8-Year Old Gerda
- Robert D. Jones as Priest
- Alexander Hoy as Chen
- Trever Havixbeck as Sergeant-at-Arms
- Dan Payne as Polar Bear Puppeteer / Polar Bear Prince
- Richard Coombes as Polar Bear Puppeteer
- Jim Byrnes as Polar Bear (voice)
- Long John Baldry as Rutger the Reindeer (voice)
Jim Henson's Creature Shop
- Jamie Courtier: Project supervisor
- Myf Hopkins: Producer: Creature Shop
- Tacy Kneale: Art finish supervisor
- Nike Lyons: Fabrication supervisor
- Adrian Parish: Animatronic designer
- Mark Ross: Electronic supervisor
- John Sleep: Special effects coordinator
- Sharon Smith: Art director
- Guy Stevens: On set supervisor
- Ian Whittaker: Sculptor
- Kenny Wilson: Mould shop supervisor
Saturn Award (2003)
- Best Single Television Presentation - Nominated
Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards (2003)
- Best Cinematography in TV Drama - Won
Leo Awards (2003)
- Best Female Lead Performance in a Feature Length Drama (Chelsea Hobbs) - Nominated
- Best Overall Sound in a Feature Length Drama - Nominated