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Pet Sins April 2000

Thumbelina

This 1994 animated film version of the classic European fairy tale was released by Warner Brothers. As in the original fairy tale, Thumbelina gets taken in by a family of toads. The mother toad wants her to marry one of his sons. The toads are part of a circus act in this animated release. They are loud and vain. They also try to exploit Thumbelina as part of their act.

Thumbelina is a blonde voiced by Carol Channing. Charo furnishes the voice of Mother Toad. Mother Toad's character definitely has an ethnically-identifiable voice which carries into her singing. The toad son is also similarly identifiable as Latino. The Toad son, coincidentally or not, happens to be pot-bellied and has a wispy black moustache. He proves to be a jealous villain who brutally clubs Thumbelina's slender, red-headed fairy prince.

I was pretty uncomfortable watching this. I would rather have no ethnic minority characters in a film than to see only negative ethnic minority characters. It is rather ironic that this animated feature has a Spanish language release.

Z.
Jan 2000