Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stories for the Season: The Fir Tree

I have a lot of these stories I still want to highlight for you (and it's still not a 'complete' collection by any means) so please forgive me if the rest of these Stories for the Season posts are on the brief side!

The Fir Tree is a Christmas story by Hans Christian Andersen and is unusual in that it's told from the perspective of the discontented fir tree who wishes to become the grandest thing there is (a Christmas tree) and gets his wish - at a price. You can read it HERE.

Just in time for Christmas is a new comic book adaptation of the tale (cover pictured at the head of the post) and it's getting good reviews.

Here's an excerpt from one:

The Fir-Tree is Lilli Carré's sometimes enchanting graphic interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic Christmas tale.

... This is a fine adaptation of a beloved, abeit bottom shelf Yuletide narrative, but Carré squeezes the drama out ad infinitum. (The ShamWow® guy would be proud.)

... The lesson that the tree learns at the end is slightly cruel and aligns well with Andersen's slightly dark storytelling (the original The Little Mermaid.) Even though the plot is extremely slim, Carré has a masterful grasp of the clear line style and imbues a lovely watercolor palette into the mix.

You can read the whole review HERE.
Illustration for Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales
Jiri Trnka 1959

I want to point out that this tale always brings to mind the "Friends" TV series Christmas episode* where Phoebe is very concerned that all the not-so-great-looking Christmas trees for sale, achieve their 'Christmas destiny'. The scene with the resolution of this plotline is particularly heart-warming. :)

* Season 3 Ep 10 "The One Where Rachel Quits" - available to see in 2 parts on YouTube HERE and HERE
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