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Hans Christian Andersen - My Life as a Fairytale

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A magical journey through Andersen's writings includes The Little Mermaid," The Snow Queen," Princess and the Pea," The Ugly Duckling," The Nightingale" and more. 2001/color/140 min/NR/fullscreen.

Amazon.com

One of the great figures of world literature, Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is renowned for his children's tales, yet comparatively little is known of his extraordinary rise from poverty to preeminence. Hallmark Entertainment presents the story behind the storyteller, one as full of pathos as Andersen himself. In his film debut, Kieran Bew is remarkable as Andersen, an impoverished child who, at age 15, runs away to Copenhagen. Destitute, he's befriended by a wealthy benefactor, Jonas Collin (James Fox), who offers him shelter, education, and, ultimately, an audience with a publisher. As the biography unfolds, so does Andersen's brilliant imagination. The film deftly weaves snippets of his fairy tales ("The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid") into the real-life scenes of a man whose rise to fame is tangled with the strains of success and a tendency to believe his own fiction. An inventive script and strong ensemble cast make this a cinematic standout. (Ages 8 and older) --Lynn Gibson


Special Features

  • A look behind the scenes
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Kieran Bew, Emily Hamilton, Flora Montgomery, James Fox, Simon Callow
  • Directors: Philip Saville
  • Writers: Hans Christian Andersen, Kit Hesketh-Harvey
  • Producers: Clive Parsons, David V. Picker, Davina Belling, Paul Lowin, Robert Halmi Jr.
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000844IC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,178 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hans Christian Andersen - My Life as a Fairytale" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steven Cain on September 7, 2006
Format: DVD
I take David Eberhart's point about the depressing quality that weaves its way though this movie - the front end, during his early years, being the most depressing by far.

The almost Shakespearean tragedy of mis-placed affection and obsessive love that led Andersen to pursue the wrong woman is captured well, while various fairytales are woven into the real-life a story span.

Bew is almost over the top as a wacky but gifted Andersen, although his craziness gradually diminishes as the movie progresses.

Emily Hamilton gives a heartbreakingly sweet and sensitive performance as his 'adoptive' sister, whom any man in his right mind would have married in an instant.

By the time Andersen works out that he really loved Emily's character after all, it is too late...

When it works, it works beautifully, and the cast, which includes the superb James Fox and Alison Steadman (who turns in a couple of delicious cameos) all delivered admirable performances.

Not perfect, but worth a look.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Sanchez on February 2, 2004
Format: DVD
Kieran Bew and Emily Hamilton bring most of the emotional and acting highs to this delightful production.

The art direction and styling of this splendrous melding of Hans Christian Andersen and his memorable stories are unforgettable.

Bew brings a delightfully childlike and charmingly bubbly prescence that disarms one and allows us into the mind and true story of one of history's delightful creations.

I recommend this very highly. To those who cherish Andersen and those have not been spoiled by this present world of in-your-face theatrics and slam-bang storytelling. All is not happy in this tale. But that's life...as Hans readily admits.

The pace is free and easy. Buy it, make yourself a cup of tea and sit back. Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chamonix on June 15, 2007
Format: DVD
This is a brilliant movie. I have watched it many times and I cried every time. It tells the life of Hans Christian Andersen, while slipping beautifully into the stories he wrote. The genius part is the way that the SAME actors and actresses are used in the "real life" part as well as the fairytales. This really helped to show the symbolism of the story, seeing it perhaps as Andersen saw them. It has wonderful costumes and beautiful singing. It also shows, very gently at first but later far more "in-your-face" Andersen's slip into insanity.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. J Myles on April 26, 2004
Format: DVD
This version of Hans Christian Andersen is really great. Wonderful costumes scenery and good actors and also scenery and effects. Its version for children and grownups .
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sandy on February 10, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ordered this movie as research for a graduate project dealing with the way artists are portrayed by the film industry. I expected that, as a Hallmark production, it would be an enjoyable movie based on facts. I was disappointed on both counts.

My problems arise mostly from the way the main character was portrayed. Hans Christian Anderson, according to most documentation, was a homely, shy, naive man with an active imagination and a gift for storytelling. This movie presented him as a handsome, frenetic fool with an active imagination and a gift for storytelling.

The moviemakers took great liberties with both the timeline and with the facts of Anderson's life, and rewrote his fairy tales - again. The ones that he actually wrote were more concerned with presenting a moral lesson than a happy ending. For instance: The popular modern version of "Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid" is a search-for-true-love, happily-ever-after children's story. This movie's version is a love-at-first-sight, kill-him-when-he-betrays-you slice of contemporary urban behavior. Anderson's original tale was concerned as much with the search for an immortal soul as it was with selfless love, in which the mermaid dies rather than kill her love - who DID marry the other woman - and thus attained the soul that she longed for.

On the good side, the acting was good, the sets and costumes and lighting were pretty wonderful. The way that Anderson's imagination was shown turning everyday events into full-blown stories - his creative process - was very well done.

Still, overall, I expected far better from a Hallmark film.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sherry L. Ebey on December 12, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The reason I gave it a two was that I got the right case but got the wrong movie. When we opened the case which was the correct one, there was an english movie Ladies in Lavendar. Since I love that movie I am keeping it. I will have to try again after Christmas for the Hans Christian Anderson one. My grandson is waiting to watch it. He is 16 and I am so happy he got into the movie when we watched it on tv. We just didn't know that it was a 2 parter. The movie came at a fast pace. Was not disapointed on that account.
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By Rebecca on October 21, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a movie I have loved since the first time I saw it years ago. It is truly a creative gem which sticks with you for years. It is a fun and fantastic journey through a fact-based story of Hans Christian Andersen's life, delightfully punctuated with excerpts from many of his most beloved fairy tales. It is a great family movie and I would certainly recommend it to any Andersen fan.
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Although not totally accurate, the film is a good introduction to the life of Hans Christian Andersen. Based on an autobiography of the same name, the film guides the viewers through the challenges encountered by Andersen throughout his life. It helps those interested in his work to see parallels between his life and fairytales.
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