The Snow Queen is back, and by Snow Queen I don’t mean Elsa. Disney isn’t the only studio having fun adapting the classic Hans Christian Anderson story, Russia based animation studio Wizart has released the teaser for their fifth upcoming title in their Snow Queen series! The trailer is available below.
What makes these movies stand out compared to the Disney movies is that they follow the original story a little more closely… at least the first film that is. That’s what especially makes these movies worth a look rather than a pass-off and labeled a “Disney bootleg.” The Snow Queen follows Gerda, the protagonist of the original short story, as she sets off to rescue her friend Kai who had been kidnapped by the Snow Queen. Along the way Gerda is guided by Orm, one of the Snow Queen’s henchmen trolls. Friendships are made, secrets are revealed, and success was in Wizart’s future. The film premiered in 2012 and was widely successful both domestically and worldwide, earning $13.6 million back from its $7 million budget.
Of course, the success of the film meant that Wizart was going to revisit these characters. The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King premiered in 2014 and focused on Orm the troll. The troll king promises a grand prize to whoever can rescue his family from the now abandoned palace of the Snow Queen, and Orm jumps at the opportunity. The Snow Queen 2: The Snow King was equally as successful as the first film, earning $15.6 million back from its $6.5 million budget! Wizart officially had a franchise now.
The studio was quick to work on the third installment in their Snow Queen series, in 2016 they delivered with The Snow Queen 3: Fire and Ice. The third adventure sets the focus back on Gerda and Kai as the pair set off to visit Orm in the land of Trolls. There, they meet a boy named Rollan, who tells the two of a mysterious wishing stone. Gerda teams up with Rollan to find the stone, hidden away in a trap filled temple. When the two finally find the stone, a curse is unleashed. Gerda is given the power of ice, while Rollan is given the power of fire. The kids are now tasked with undoing the curse before it’s too late! This film was especially successful, earning $24.6 million back from its $6.3 million. Wizart was on a roll!
With success like this, Wizart straight away went to work on the fourth installment. In 2018 The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands was released. The film follows Gerda and Kai, now reunited with their parents after the events of The Snow Queen 3: Fire and Ice. Gerda is frustrated, the family is revealed to be full of magic wielders, including her brother, but Gerda has been blessed with no magic whatsoever. The kingdom they move to is ruled by King Harald, who is also a master inventor. One day, Harald invites all magicians to his palace, but it is revealed to be a trick. With all magic users banished to the Mirrorlands, Gerda is separated from her family. Gerda sets off to reunite with the family she lost, while Kai and her parents journey through the Mirrorlands to find a way out. The film was another hit for Wizart, earning $10 million back from a $6 million budget.
The Snow Queen Returns
Now, here we are, with Wizart returning once again to their successful world of magic and ice! This time, however, there is a twist. While the Snow Queen herself is officially back, the film will focus on a brand new star, her daughter Ila. Animation Magazine summarizes the upcoming film.
The Snow Queen & The Princess, the fifth movie in the series, will introduce a new charismatic character: the misbehaving little wizardess Ila, The Snow Queen’s daughter, who lives in the Mirrorlands and accidentally frees the dangerous Icy Spirits from their centuries-long imprisonment in Lake Gao. The Icy Spirits break free into the Mirrorlands and enter Gerda and Kai’s peaceful, quiet town, intending to freeze all its inhabitants. Having realized her mistake, Ila ventures to the outer world to ask Kai and Gerda for help. Together, the heroes set off on an exciting adventure to save both the human world and the Mirrorlands. In this journey the little wizardess will learn to master her magic and overcome her childish whims, selfishness and fears.
What especially makes the Snow Queen movies stand out against the Disney mega-franchise Frozen is the expansive world-building and fun concepts. Whether you see them as cheap knockoffs or genuine fun attempts at fairytale adventures, it’s always a blast to see studios from around the world gain success and grow. And I’m sure fans of Gerda, Kai, Orm, and now Ila, are ready to bundle up and get ready for another unforgettable adventure.