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The Little Match Girl (1937)

A small girl makes her living selling matches on the streets of New York. It's winter, and the hustling crowds at best ignore her, and some are outright rude. She takes shelter and, to try ... See full summary »

Directors:

Arthur Davis, Sid Marcus (uncredited)

Writers:

Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale), Arthur Davis (story) (as Art Davis) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Storyline

A small girl makes her living selling matches on the streets of New York. It's winter, and the hustling crowds at best ignore her, and some are outright rude. She takes shelter and, to try to stave off the cold a bit, lights a match. It gets blown out; this happens again, then on the third try, she falls into a dream. In this dream, cherubs attend her, she gets a new doll, then a new dress. The cherubs put her on a throne. Then a storm comes, and she goes toward a candle. That candle goes out, and we see that back in the real world, so did her match and her life. An angel comes along and takes her soul. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Plot Keywords:

dream | match | candle | girl | angel | See All (12) »


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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Little Matchgirl (2006) See more »

User Reviews

 
Little in match girl, big in emotion

Love animation, it was a big part of my life as a child, particularly Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry. Still love animation whether it's film, television or cartoons, regardless of the studio or director (which there has never been a bias towards or against), and still watch it on a regular basis.

Arthur Davis and Sid Marcus both did solid and more work in their careers (as well as some not so good stuff later on). Have a lot of love for Hans Christian Andersen's stories, many of them having been adapted many times and for good reason, and as a story 'The Little Match Girl' always touches me. So 1937's 'The Little Match Girl' had me interested from the get go. Seeing it, it has shocked me at how long it took for me to see it.

It is some of the best work of both Davis and Marcus and as good as the beautiful Disney short, when it comes to cartoons seen recently it's easily one of the best too.

'The Little Match Girl' is gorgeously animated. It's fluidly and carefully drawn, rich in meticulous background detail and lavish and atmospheric in colour. The hauntingly beautiful music compliments them and the emotional impact brilliantly and even enhances the mood.

What is special about 'The Little Match Girl' is the emotional power of the storytelling. It is cute but not overly-so, truly endearing with charming characters without trying too hard and genuinely heart-tugging without being over-sentimental (so easy to do when the story is already as sad as it is).

Characters are charming and easily to relate to. 'The Little Match Girl' is a masterclass of how to stir such an emotional wallop so beautifully without any dialogue or saying a word.

Altogether, big in emotion and a cartoon deserving of more appreciation and exposure. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Color Rhapsodies (1937-1938 Season) #2: The Little Match Girl See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »

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