Why does the idea persist that Hans Andersen's stories should still be enjoyed by children? These three tales are preciously middlebrow in appeal: a combination of choreography, live-action and stop-frame animation, contemporary in setting but frankly Victorian in spirit. A fey and sinister Andersen (Melvin) introduces sickly little episodes in which death and gloom are never far away. For example, in the middle episode, a poor Asian girl from Dickensian East End slums meets a crazed tramp who sends her up West, where she dies after imagining that she has seen the Queen (!).
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