In this review I would like to strip the film down to its core components simply because as a whole I found it to be a very random piece and at times rather disjointed. This does not mean that it was not enjoyable to watch though. The film is a collection of three classic stories by Hans Christian Andersen told in the setting of 1970’s london in a cinematically appealing way. It relies heavily at times on its stop motion animation team in a wonderful amalgamation of both live action and stop motion to bring these literary gems to life first on the big screen and now in your own home.
So then what is Stories From a Flying Trunk about? In this film we follow Hans Christian Andersen as he walks the streets of London in 1979 after being brought there by the titular magic trunk on a search for stories. Upon his arrival he looks into a kitchen window as a family are leaving for an afternoon walk. He observes as the various utensils come to life and entertain each other with stories of their past and poems. This is the first of the stop motion pieces in the film which also includes footage of how matches are made. In this story my favorite part is the story of how the silver sugar bowl got its dent.
The next story we see is told to us by Han Christian Andersen and I have to say on a personal note that this is a story that I have loathed ever since I first read it as a child due to its very sad nature, The Little Match Girl. This story follows a young girl as she goes looking for the queen in a truly heart wrenching adaptation with some superb imagery. I have to say if you are watching this with kids it can be a bit upsetting for them. The part of this section that struck me most was the marching toy soldiers which although creepy was rather impressive.
Our final installment on the film is in my eyes the most random of them all. It uses a combination of both stop motion animation and live action to tell the story of the vegetables’ fight to become ballet dancers. The vegetables start with the stop motion then as they start dancing are played by the wonderful royal ballet. Although it is a bizarre story the dancing in it is, in my eyes, above reproach.
It was an enjoyable film to watch but I’m not sure it has managed to stand the test of time and may even be seen as poor quality in this day and age. It is available now and is worth giving a go at least once. As always I hope you enjoy.