Children on Fire 2: The Dreadful Story of Pauline & the Matches

In 1955, Der Struwwepeter (“Slovenly Peter”), the startlingly grisly collection of cautionary tales for children mentioned in our last post was made into a charming technicolor fantasy film by director Fritz Genschow, who had previously directed versions of other classics familiar to German children such as Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and other fairy tales compiled by the Brothers Grimm.  With the exception of a Christmas miracle which undoes all the  dreadful fates befalling the naughty children, the film restricts itself  to narration provided by the book’s poems.  Rather than speaking dialogue, the characters dance their way through each scene in a sort of ballet choreographed to exactly mimic the look of the book’s original illustrations.  You can read more about the production on Forces of Geek.  And be sure to check out the other YouTube Struwwelpeter clips featuring children having their thumbs cut off, rabbits shooting hunters, death by gluttony, and children carried off by wind-born umbrellas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *