Vietnam's 3D animated film 'The Little Match Girl' to be released this Christmas

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The famous story "The Little Match Girl" written by Dane Hans Christian Andersen has been adapted into a 3-D, animated, short film by a group of local animators.

Twelve animators of TrueD Animation Studio, a film studio based in Ho Chi Minh City, worked on the seven-minute film for two years.

They released the film's trailer on YouTube on Nov 22. Already, the one minute, 24-second trailer has been watched over 35,000 times and received hundreds of comment from netizens.

According to TrueD, the non-dialogue film follows the original story by the Danish author about a dying child's dreams and hopes on a cold New Year's Eve. The story was first published in 1845.

The Little Match Girl is poor and sells matches on the street. On New Year's Eve, she is freezing, but she is afraid to go home because her father will beat her for not selling any matches. She takes shelter in a nook and lights the matches to warm herself. In their glow, she sees several lovely visions, including a Christmas tree and a holiday feast.

The girl looks at the sky and sees a shooting star, and remembers her deceased grandmother saying that a falling star means someone has died and is going to heaven.

As she lights her next match, she sees a vision of her grandmother, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. She strikes one match after another to keep the vision of her grandmother nearby for as long as she can. The child dies, and her grandmother carries her soul to heaven.

The next morning, passers-by find the dead child in the nook.

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Doan Trong Hai, the film's director, was quoted by Tuoi Tre as saying that "The Little Match Girl" was chosen because it is a short story with few characters. The film's characters are the girl and a wild dog is her only friend. Total investment into the film was about some billion VND.

Hai said that most of his animators learned the 3-D technique from the Internet because they have not yet been trained in 3-D animation, although many of them are working for foreign animation film studios based in Vietnam.

To create street scenes of 19th century Europe, the group took pictures of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City.  

TrueD is in discussions with local cinema theaters to screen the film free of charge between other movies. If theaters don't agree to that, besides cartoon festivals, the film will be released on YouTube, similar to the trailer.

In future, the group will work on other projects to adapt a humorous Vietnamese story into a 3-D animation film.

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