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Golden Age Series

Andersen Monogatari (Mushi, 1971)




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Andersen Monogatari (Mushi, 1971)

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A Danish elf?
Source: TV
Layers: 2
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A1 B2
Standard size

Key Cel
No Background

Added 12/16/2012
Updated 12/24/2012
Notes on this cel identify its context as “13-248,” which places it in the first part of a two-part story titled じゃじゃ馬エレン [Jaja uma eren] or "Ellen the Shrew." ("Shrew" here means a domineering woman, as in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, rather than the little furry mammal.)

It is unclear which Andersen tale this adapts, but a good guess (suggested by some online research done by my colleague Linda Kinsey in Japanese) is that it is Andersen's early tale "The Travelling Companion." That features an arrogant princess (unnamed in Andersen's original) who insists that her suitors answer three riddles before marrying her, or be executed. The hero, aided by a mysterious companion whom he meets on the way, answers the riddles, then tames the "shrew" (she actually turns into a black swan) by ducking her in a bathtub.

During the first half of the tale, Andersen includes one of his characteristically quirky interludes featuring Danish elves:


The moonlight shone down through the leaves of the trees and Johannes saw the little elves playing, for they did not mind his coming.... Some of them were no bigger than Johannes' finger....Two by two, they would swing on the drops of dew that clung to the leaves and the tops of the high grass. Sometimes the dewdrops would roll down in among the grass and how the elves would laugh. Oh, it was a joy to watch them! They sang all the songs that Johannes had learned when he was a child.

The cel above might well illustrate the anime episode's version of this cheerful interlude. Sequence number: A1 (body), B2 (mouth layer).


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