The young lady in this piece of artwork is one artist’s interpretation of a well-loved fairy tale called The Snow Queen. Written in the middle of the 1800s by Danish author, Hans Christian Anderson, it’s a story that focuses on the struggle between good and evil. The story is one of Anderson’s most read, or told, and one of his longest fairy tales. The original version is written as seven “stories,” almost like a chapter book is written today.
While Hans Christian Anderson was the author of many works, including plays, novels, and poetry, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Other such stories of Anderson’s include: The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Ugly Duckling. His fairy tales have been translated into more than 100 languages; and have been the inspiration for operas, television shows, dance pieces, video games, and films. One recent film which was inspired by The Snow Queen is Disney’s Frozen. In the early days of working on Frozen, its authors, producers, and composers followed Anderson’s story very closely. As the films story progressed, some elements and characters were adjusted into the film we know today.
The Snow Queen uses magical elements, including a mirror, snowflakes, and splinters of ice. We don’t think of such things as being “magical” in our world, but the author is the one who can choose to make almost anything “magical,” or use something common in a magical way. Using The Snow Queen, or one of Anderson’s other fairy tales, create you own re-imagined story using common items as “magical” elements in your writing. (Note: if you use The Snow Queen as your chosen fairy tale, try not to make it a recreation of Frozen. This should be YOUR adaptation!)
When writing a poem, play, opera or story based upon someone else’s original work, it’s best to read the original work first—to gather information and ideas for your own work. If you’d like, you can even make notes to use as you write your piece. And, some of your notes might lead you to research even further—looking up the location for your version of the story; reading about the time period during which the original story took place; or learning more about what types of clothing people wore “back in the day.”
***If you’d like some additional inspiration, take a look at theses resources, developed by the Disney Theatricals organization! (PLEASE check with your parents before connecting to any link online!)