|Hans Christian Andersen/C+,B+|
| Danny Kaye is well cast as Hans Christian
Andersen, the daydreaming creator of childrens fairy tales. The colorful production
includes the memorable songs Wonderful Copenhagen and Thumblina. With production design
torn from the pages of a book of fairy tales, the film is delightful to look at even when
the pacing slows to a crawl. Kaye has many fine performance moments, serenading and
charming the children of Odense and Copenhagen, but his lovelorn moments are less than
successful. Pining over a ballerina, Kaye and the audience alike must suffer through the
screen romance between ballet master and prima ballerina played out by Farley Granger and
Jeanmarie. Songs and plotting are interrupted by several overlong ballet sequences that
freeze the action in a pirouette.
Starting out in his local village Odense where
he works as a cobbler, Hans finally musters up the courage to take the boat ride to the
big city Copenhagen. While Copenhagen is treated to the magic tales of Andersen, the
children of Odense miss their friend. When Hans realizes that his love is unrequited, he
returns to Odense and finds that is really where his heart and art thrive.
„1998 Stuart J. Kobak , all rights reserved.