There’s several different versions of the story of Thumbelina. Most people are familiar with the Don Bluth version, but I’m more familiar with what turns out to be the anime version. Originally an anime series, it was pieced together into a full-length movie that my grandmother had on VHS. I was obsessed with this video for some reason or other. I’ll never know or quite understand considering the darker elements of the story didn’t naturally gel with my anxiety.
In this version, Maya’s mother is desperate for her out-of-control daughter to behave. So desperate, she asks the local witch for help. The witch gives her help in the form of a magical book that sucks in whoever is reading it into the story. Maya has to travel through her mother’s dreamworld and wake her mother up, without falling into the hands of the evil witch Cassandra.
With the help of her sugar fairy sidekick Nobel, she has to navigate obstacles like avoiding an arranged marriage to a frog and being eaten by shapeshifting fox. By the end of her journey, Maya has learned to be brave, respectful, and selfless.
It’s a strange spin on a familiar tale that only the Japanese could come up with, and I mean that as a compliment! This was a fun nostalgia trip! You can find this in thrift stores or in good quality on Youtube which is how I watched it. A fun movie for kids, but some images might be too scary for younger children.
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