"The Little Match Stick Girl" is a Disney short adaption of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. Very familiar territory for Disney with their success with the "Little Mermaid" and the upcoming adaption "Frozen". This short was nominated for best animated short in 2006 at the Oscars.
For starters, besides being entirely wordless, "Little Match Stick Girl" is a surprisingly accurate adaption of the original fairy tale with the notable change being the switch in scenery from a Danish town to a Russian City. In addition the main reason why the girl has to urgently sell match sticks in the first place is not mentioned beyond the reason she has to earn money to survive in the economic conditions. However the short makes it very clear that like in the fairy tale times. living conditions are grim, as emphasized in the short's very muted grey tone colour palette and bleak snowy conditions.
Just like in the fairy tale, when the girl starts lighting her few remaining matches, visions of happier times spring forth until finally a vision of her grandma appears to comfort her with warmth and a Christmas dinner. The glowing visions of the match stick flames are the only things in the short that are awash with colour and fittingly (obvious;y) light. In keeping with the short's geographical setting, the traditional Russian motif is abound for example the city is a bleak urban, stone landscape however when the girl rides on a horse drawn sleigh in the happy snow covered country side to her grandma's house, which is a traditional wood plank Russian style house. I was stunned to find that the short still retained the bitter sweet ending of the source material, not going to say what it is.