Hans Brinker, Or The Silver Skates
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There's magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy. Disney brings to life this classic story based on Mary Mapes Dodge's beloved children's novel. Set in 1860's Holland along the famed Zeider Zee -- young Hans Brinker finds himself responsible for supporting his family after his father becomes injured in an accident. He and his sister Gretel travel to Amsterdam in search of funds to help pay for their father's operation. Their only hope lies in the city's annual ice skating race, where Hans must face off against his arch rival Ludwig Schimmel in the hopes of winning the prize money. Don't miss the heart-pounding race to the finish in this tale of courage and a family's determination to survive that will have everyone cheering!
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And a beautiful touch: The narrator seems to presume in the film's viewers a knowledge of old Dutch masters, and talks without condescension or a dumbing-down of vocabulary about the history of the Dutch and their precarious land.
Filmed in Holland and Sweden with Dutch actors / ice-skaters. Disney-color.
Hans is poor. The girl he loves is wealthy. The girl's father wants her to date only wealthy boys. The wealthy rival gives Hans trouble.
Half of Holland was once ocean; made into dry farmland, by building dikes / dams, and draining the water by windmill-driven-pumps into canals. One city in Holland reaches 23-feet below sea-level.
A story of action, adventure, friendships, and family. Will Hans win the 26-mile ice-skating race and the prize-money he needs?
This Disney-version is the best version. The other version is pleasant, and has several ok songs; but this Disney-version has more story and more drama.
The film was made for the television show "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" as a two episode movie airing January 7 & 14, 1962. It aired three years later on April 18 & 25, 1965. The episodes were edited together for European theatrical release as a movie in 1963. Unlike many Disney films, this one had not been released to the VHS rental market in the 1980's and so this is the first release for the U.S.A. home market. The new DVD was released on September 7, 2004. The picture and sound were clear and bright. The aspect ratio is 1.33:1. Total length is 90 minutes.
This films works in a big part because Walt Disney allowed his producers to go to Europe and film on location with local acting talent, scenery, and a local film crew for authenticity. No backlot recreations of Dutch villages, or dubious Dutch period costumes would do, he strove for authenticity and it shows. Leonard Maltin calls this film, "First Rate" and I heartily agree. The exciting story, cast, costumes, culture and scenery all come together just right in a quickly paced film. This is a great family film, and the way the family comes together to help each other is a great role model for any family.
THE STORY: This highly recommended period film is about the lives of the Brinker family who lives in a rural Dutch village near the Zuider Zee. The father Raff, is a fisherman and although the family is poor they are a very close and happy family. His teenage son Hans is a budding artist who helps his family, but would like to go to school to become a professional artist. His father not only supports this, but has been saving money towards his education. Teenage daughter Gretel helps at home and is very talented with her own skills in making lace. Mother Hilda keeps them all together, but when tragedy strikes the family when Raff is injured they are challenged. Hans and his sister quickly chip in to find inventive ways to earn income to eat and afford their fathers medical care. When Hans and Gretel learn of a big ice skating race with a cash prize race, they decide to join in. There is some romance as Hans and a girl fall in love, but her wealthy father will not allow her to see someone of that is not in the upper class.