Let’s get back to some old Christmas cartoons, shall we?
Well, this next cartoon is does not exactly have a Christmas theme to it. It’s strange, really; however, back when I was a kid, I would always see this cartoon being show on TV during the holidays. Maybe it’s because of the fairy tale appeal attached to it? Or maybe the concept of toys as characters in this cartoon. We all know that toys are symbolic for, or at least, prominent during the Yuletide season.
Anyway, The Steadfast Tin Soldier is the title of a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. It has been adapted into various cartoon versions since the 1930s. Here is the English translation (from Danish) by Jean Hersholt.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
A translation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Den standhaftige Tinsoldat” by Jean Hersholt. Info & links
There were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers. They were all brothers, born of the same old tin spoon. They shouldered their muskets and looked straight ahead of them, splendid in their uniforms, all red and blue.
The very first thing in the world that they heard was, “Tin soldiers!” A small boy shouted it and clapped his hands as the lid was lifted off their box on his birthday. He immediately set them up on the table.
All the soldiers looked exactly alike except one. He looked a little different as he had been cast last of all. The tin was short, so he had only one leg. But there he stood, as steady on one leg as any of the other soldiers on their two. But just you see, he’ll be the remarkable one.
There is one particular version that I remember watching when I was a kid. It was an exact adaptation of this fairy tale. Unfortunately, the videos I searched on YouTube did not match the one I watched before. Still, there are some cartoon adaptations that I have seen. Here are two:
The Tin Soldier
The Brave Tin Soldier (Comicolor)
I know, depressing endings. But at least, it still had a sweet feeling to it — bittersweet; “sweet sorrow”.
The first cartoon above is kinda funny ’cause the story is told from the perspective of two house rats, instead of from a third-person perspective or even from the viewpoint of the Tin Soldier himself.
The second, on the other hand, has a different antagonist in the person of a tyrant (and lusty) king.
The version that I’ve seen is actually more melodramatic. It even had humans in it — the people who found the remains of the protagonists. The only difference that I remember from that particular cartoon is that instead of a heart and a star (as portrayed in the two cartoons showcased above), only one heart remained (which is more in-line with Andersen’s work). This heart was formed from both the Tin Soldier and the Ballerina.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to find this particular cartoon version in the future. 🙂