If you ever had a childhood, you probably watched cartoons and animated films. It’s likely that most of these cartoons were Disney products, since those tended to be the ones of the highest quality (and had the best marketing), but there have been a few put out by other animation studios that were of the same caliber. One such film is Thumbelina, an animated adaptation of the fairy tale by the same title, produced by 20th Century Fox in 1994.
Thumbelina is probably my favorite non-Disney animated film. The songs are excellent (it’s impossible not to like “Let Me Be Your Wings”), the animation is top-notch, and the story is about as emotionally believably as a fairy tale can get. It traces the story of a girl named Thumbelina, so named because she is as tall as a thumb. Her mother was childless and wanted a daughter very badly, so a fairy-godmother-figure gave her a magical seed. The seed grew into a flower, and when the flower opened, there was a tiny little girl hidden inside the petals—a fairy without wings. The years passed, the little girl grew up (as much as she can be said to grow up) to be very beautiful. Her beauty attracted the attention of a young frog, which fell in love with her and kidnapped her. The whole story traces her long journey back home, aided by a colorful cast of characters.
One such character is Jacquimo, the singing sparrow. He is probably the story’s most endearing character, since he is so instrumental in getting Thumbelina home, and has many memorable lines.
Every year, on the first day of fall, I think of this comical sparrow waking up in a pile of leaves, stunned by the sudden arrival of the new season. He looks past the fourth wall, exclaiming to the audience, “Autumn! It is Autumn!”
Today is the first day of fall. The sun shone differently today. The sky was bluer and crisp-looking, as though it had been washed of all the accumulated grunge of the summer and then ironed out and rehung above the clouds. The green of the leaves looked preemptively golden. The air felt newer today, and I knew for sure that fall is on its way.
Fall, and all the beautiful things that come with it.
Like that sparrow, I stepped out of my dorm and exclaimed in shock, “Autumn! It is Autumn!”
It’s finally here.