The Russian “Snow Queen” Will Open This Friday

If you can’t wait until November to see Disney’s Frozen, there’s another CG film based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Snow Queen opening in the U.S. this Friday. It’s a Russian pic called, simply, The Snow Queen. This is the second time the fairytale has been made as an animated feature in Russia; the first time was Lev Atamanov’s 1957 feature of the same name.

This new CG version, which sticks more faithfully to Anderson’s original story than the upcoming Disney version, was produced by Voronzh, Russia-based Wizart Animation. It looks fairly cheap, but keep in mind its budget was $7 million (or somewhere in the ballpark of 1/25th the cost of Frozen). Directed by Vladlen Barbe and Maksim Sveshnikov, it has grossed over $10 million worldwide including $7.5M from Russia (where it was released in 2012), $1.5M from South Korea and $1M from Brazil.

Upstart indie distributor Vertical Entertainment will release the film theatrically in the U.S., and a DVD release is scheduled for the day before Disney’s theatrical release. The film’s official Tumblr has some details on the few theaters, so far, that will screen the film.


  • George Comerci

    Looks ok. Obviously, Frozen’s going to beat this one in terms of story and animation…but this looks ok. Probably due to the low budget that this looks mediocre. And the snow queen’s design is just completely bland and forgettable. Frozen’s going to be better.

  • Mike

    Despite the toss-ups in character design and the tired gags, something about this intrigues me. I like that it’s a little rougher around the edges than its gleaming Disney counterpart.

  • Inkan1969

    “The Snow Queen” needs a NY or LA release, though. I only found a “chino hills” release.

    • Eric Graf

      It has to be LA County, says the rules. I know East Coasters will have their minds blown by this, but New York doesn’t count.

      It can be anywhere in LA County (Long Beach, Lancaster, Claremont, Malibu, wherever). But you are correct … Chino Hills is juuuuuust on the wrong side of the San Bernardino County line. So if they think this is a qualifier run, I’ve got some really bad news for them.

      (See also: Last Flight of the Champion, which had its “LA run” in Ontario.)

    • Eric Graf

      UPDATE: The Chino Hills release is a weekend matinee only, and the movie will be released on VUDU this Tuesday according to their blog. So there’s no way it can qualify for an Oscar, unless some theater ran it earlier in the year and nobody noticed.

  • elliot Lobell

    despite the slightly cheaper animation, this looks a billion times better than frozen. and even though there’s clearly not as much money put into it, it seems like there was definitely more thought put into it.

    • DarylT

      Are you kidding?

      • http://joecorrao.blogspot.com/ Joe Corrao

        Ya Frozen looks good…the story may or may not be hackneyed but it looks good

  • DarylT

    Anyone who thinks this will better than Frozen has got to be kidding themselves.

  • Cheese

    I’ve read the junior novelization of Disney’s “Frozen,” and in my opinion, there were too many plots borrowed from Disney’s previous animated features, including Pixar’s “Brave.”

    For Wizart’s “The Snow Queen,” it looks adaptable to the original story, but in modern perspective just as the director of this version promised.

    • Lily

      “Including Pixar’s Brave” who actually borrowed it’s plot from Brother Bear. Disney has has putted so many works out there that is almost inevitable they repeat some small details.

  • Jason Cezar Duncan

    For 7 million dollars this doesn’t look bad at all.

  • Cheese
  • truteal

    In my view, they are trying to push the Troll too much (but he’s still more appealing than the snowman)

  • Anton

    Poor. No own unique ideas. Looks like a mash up between labyrinth, Mulan and the golden compass.

    • It’s a fairy tale

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  • Auroratrek

    I think this looks okay, for $7 mil, tho I’m watching with the sound off as I run on my treadmill since it’s pretty clear the writing isn’t great. The one thing I do find interesting is that the last Russian animation I saw years ago back in the USSR days was a short about a magic flying boat that is given to a boy with the stipulation that anyone who wants to ride on it can’t be denied–equal share for all, the purported goal of communism. This movie has a rich guy with the two selfish kids who insist on equal share of everything to the point of absurdity, and it leads to eventual disaster. How times have changed!

  • Kirill Kir

    Do you know that they produce a sequel – Snow Queen 2? It looks better … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL5lOFz61i8