Die Geschichte von der Gänseprinzessin und ihrem treuen Pferd Falada (1989)

Die Geschichte von der Gänseprinzessin und ihrem treuen Pferd Falada [literally: The Story of the Goose Princess and Her Loyal Horse Falada]
Director: Konrad Petzold
Writer: Angelika Mihan, Marion Wallroth, Konrad Petzold
Based on: the fairy tale The Goose Girl as collected by the Brothers Grimm
Cast: Dana Morávková, Michaela Kuklová, Eberhard Mellies, Regina Beyer, Peter Zimmermann, Gerry Wolff, Alexander Höchst, Karsten Janzon
Seen on: 2.12.2018

Liesa (Michaela Kuklová) is the daughter of a duke who was the enemy of Aurinia’s (Dana Morávková) father who took in Liesa after she was orphaned. Liesa and Aurinia grew up as sisters, although they couldn’t be more different. When Aurinia travels to the neighboring kingdom to marry Prince Ivo (Alexander Höchst), Liesa accompanies her. On the way, she forces Aurinia to switch roles and ultimately makes Aurinia into a goose herder. But will Prince Ivo really be tricked?

Die Geschichte von der Gänseprinzessin und ihrem treuen Pferd Falada is a nice fairy tale adaptation that I would have probably loved as a child. Seeing it as an adult, I still thought it was sweet, but I also saw some problems.

The film poster showing a girl (Dana Moráková) putting a flower crown on a boy (Karsten Janzon).

I do like fairy tales and this is a nice adaptation. But fairy tale logic – from today’s perspective at least – isn’t always so easy to take and I definitely had some issues here. Not only is good Aurinia blond and evil Liesa is dark-haired, there was also the underlying notion that Liesa, having been born to a bad father, must be bad herself. As if evil was hereditary, which is, of course, problematic in more ways than one.

At least, the ending was surprisingly mild and not (as) bloody as many other (Grimm) fairy tale endings are. That is definitely something I appreciated a lot.

A girl (Dana Morávkova) holding a horse.

What I did not appreciate as much was the soundtrack. It was very heavy on the flutes and it did get on my nerves a little. But I could weigh that against the horse bonus – and the story definitely has a horse bonus. Which is probably also why it reminded me of Fantaghirò a little, love of my childhood (ah, maybe I should re-watch that series).

The film is a classic of German(speaking) children’s films. I don’t know why I never saw it when I was a child, but I’m glad I did catch up now – it’s definitely very nice, even though it is probably better when you do see it as a child first.

A girl (Dana Morávková) kneeling in the grass while another girl (Michaela Kuklová) towers over her.

Summarizing: nice fairy tale.

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