A girl no bigger than her mother's thumb feels all alone in the world knowing she is the only person her size. Her wish for a companion at last comes true when the Prince of the fairies arrives at her window sill. However, the naive Thumbelina's life goes downward from there when a toad kidnaps her. While she tries to find a way home, she begins to grow up and learns about hope with the help of the friends she always wanted.

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My friend and I sat down to watch Thumbelina last night. It was her first time, and I was excited to show it off for her. She fell in love with it, and, since I hadn't seen it in a while, my adoration of it was re-ignited. I'll be honest: you're not going to enjoy this movie if you don't like animated features. While there ARE a couple cheesy phrases in this movie, if you watch it with good humor, you're sure to enjoy it. This movie wasn't made for adults, but it wasn't made for little children, either. I think that it's best viewed with an open mind and a friend. First, I'll start with the animation. The characters' movements and appearances are very reminiscent of other Don Bluth films, such as An American Tail and Anastasia, which is definitely a good thing. Not only are all of the major movements very flowing, but smaller things are perfect, like the twirl of Thumbelina's skirt and the characters' hair. In fact, if one looks hard enough, it's noticeable in every aspect: characters have little facial expressions, little movements, little changes in their eyes that fully represent real life. I'll admit that some of the non-human characters are a little annoying in appearance and don't fit in perfectly with Thumbelina, in particular hero, the dog; but on average, they blend in pretty well. One of the things I enjoy the most about the animation is that when a character holds on to something, it actually looks like they're touching it, unlike in most animated features (in particular, Spirit, but I'll not hold a grudge against it). Secondly, I'd like to point out the scenery. It's a bit simplistic in some parts, but it always alludes to something more, and it really makes you feel as if you were there. The storyline, while a little silly, is very entertaining, and I really tended to feel the ups and downs of Thumbelina. In some parts, it gets a little tedious, but in general, it's wonderful. The movie, in my opinion, was very romantic, and, in a couple scenes, very, very sad. There's also just enough humor to keep the story flowing without so much that it becomes the main focus of the plot. Finally, the sounds are exquisite. The characters' voices are all perfect, especially the mother frog. "Always Follow Your Heart," the main theme song, is horrible and extremely annoying, but all of the rest of the songs are great. "Soon," is very sad and simple, and it fits Thumbelina's mood perfectly. "Let Me Be Your Wings," is beautiful and is a perfect song to reprise. The first time that Thumbelina and Cornelius sing it, it's very romantic. *SPOILER* When she sings it to the mole after Cornelius, "dies," it's one of the most tragic and beautiful parts of the movie, and my favorite. Finally, at the end, when she sings it in the Veil of the Fairies, it's haunting, and when Cornelius cuts in and proves that he's not dead, it's uplifting. *END SPOILER* "On the Road" is a cute song with a Latin beat, and is fun to watch. The song that the beetles sing is a little annoying, but it's bearable. "Marry the Mole," is funny and well-placed. Now, my friend is 14, and I'll be turning that age this month, so I can't honestly recommend it for adults, unless they're young-at-heart and enjoy cartoons (which, I've noticed, often have a lot deeper themes than most real-life movies). If you're about my age, and you don't think that you're too cool to enjoy an animated film, give it a try. Oh, and if you're bilingual, like me, rent the DVD and watch it in French. They dub the songs, and everyone adds their own touch to it that makes it just as good as in English.

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