Снежная королева (1957)
(The Snow Queen)
If I had know when I saw some of this dubbed in English at my cousin's house, I wouldn't have reacted nearly so well, so I guess my ignorance was a good thing. Anyone who knows me knows I hate dubs, and the acting and voices for this in the English version, primarily Gerda's, in my opinion, were quite mediocre.
That out of the way, I had the blessing of viewing this in its original Russian language, and it was quite enjoyable. Though I watched it raw, after viewing it I was actually grateful for this, because while I only know a couple words of Russian, no English subtitles allowed me to better appreciate not only the excellent animation, but the culture within the movie, primarily in the language. While I'll grant you this was adapted from the book "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson, a Dutch writer, this classic animated masterpiece has a genuine Russian feel about it, again, primarily because of the dialogue. I have long had an attraction to Russian culture, but this movie only served to further my interest in and respect for the culture and for the language, which I think sounds quite pretty and unique. This is my first Russian language film, and I hope to find more ones worth watching in the future. On a side note, I read the Wikipedia plot summary along with the movie to help me understand the plot, though I think most is understood without even knowing what the characters are saying. For the Wikipedia page, go here:
This is a good family film, with little content trouble to be aware of. The worst is the elements of sorcery coming from the Snow Queen and about one side character, but I found this notably less offense than say Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". The animation is not far from the quality of the classic Disney movies in fact; again I reference "Snow White". The music is nice and befitting of the movie, and the voices are good as well. I was a little disappointed that Gerda ("GEHR-dah" with a Spanish-like "r") still sounds like an adult attempting the voice of a child, but it far surpassing the English voice actress.
In summary, Snezhnaya Koroleva is a classic animated film that I recommend to almost anyone, not just for its quality, but for its fascinating culture, which can only be fully appreciated by watching the Russian language version. It is a cute and heart-warming story about a young girl named Gerda whose heart, love, and determination help her find and rescue her beloved friend Kay (rhymes with "eye") from the evil eating away at him.
The movie is also only exactly an hour in length, so it's good for those with short viewing time. To see it, search for a torrent, or you can view it in pieces here: