Hansel and Gretel

Watch Hansel and Gretel

"Magically Delicious! A Real Family Treat!"
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 4.5  (1,462)

Once upon a time, there was a brother and sister named Hansel and Gretel who lived in a small village. Their mother died, and their father remarried with the intention of starting a new life. Unfortunately, the new wife was wicked, mean, and selfish. She had a daughter of her own, whom she fancied more than Hansel and Gretel. One day, in the absence of the father, the stepmother abandoned Hansel and Gretel in the woods. She did this because she couldn't bear the burden of feeding them in a time of famine.

Hansel and Gretel wandered through the forest for hours, getting lost and becoming exhausted. However, they eventually stumbled upon a beautiful cottage. They soon discovered that it was made of candy and cakes, and out of hunger, they began devouring everything they could eat.

Inside the cottage, they met a kind, old woman named Matilda who took care of them. But unbeknownst to them all, Matilda was indeed a witch who had lured them to her home to fatten them up so that she could cook them.

Hansel and Gretel eventually found out and with the help of Matilda's old pet crow, escaped from the evil witch's clutches. They returned home to find that their father had passed away, and they lived happily ever after with their newfound morality and new family.

This is the basic story of Hansel and Gretel, and it has been adapted into countless forms over the years. Some adaptations stick close to the original tale, while others dance and fiddle with the plot until they are unrecognizable.

The 2002 version of Hansel and Gretel, starring Lynn Redgrave, Jacob Smith, and Taylor Momsen, offers a secular, family-friendly, and somewhat airier interpretation of the iconic fairytale.

This movie posits Hansel and Gretel's father as a working-class, single parent who is doing his best to take care of his children. The new wife is certainly mean and treats Hansel and Gretel as second-class citizens, but unlike other adaptations, she is not a cackling connoisseur of evil.

When Hansel and Gretel are left in the woods, they do not spend all night wandering aimlessly. Instead, the trees come alive and lead them to Matilda's gingerbread cottage. This version of Matilda, played by a delightful Lynn Redgrave, is kindly and motherly, with just the smallest hint of wickedness at the corners of her smile.

The film also features songs, which one could probably deduce from the fact that Taylor Momsen, best known for her work with rock band The Pretty Reckless, plays Gretel. Despite the presence of music, however, the acting is all delightful, with the three main stars embodying their roles with depth and emotion.

Overall, this is a charming and worthy addition to the Hansel and Gretel oeuvre. While it may lack the sinister intensity of some of the more macabre adaptations, it offers a gentle and accessible take on the classic fairytale.

Hansel and Gretel
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    4.5  (1,462)