• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting
File:Hans christian andersens thumbelina.jpg

Don Bluth's adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

It sticks to the basic story fairly closely. A woman pines for a child and, magically, she is gifted with a little girl no bigger than her thumb. Thumbelina, as she is promptly named, is a happy person but secretly pines to meet someone tiny like herself. Over the course of the film, she gets into several misadventures with various characters who want to marry her (come to think of it, this is a pretty odd story). Eventually she finds the enchanted Fairy Prince of her dreams. They get married and Thumbelina transforms into a Fairy and good times are had by all.

Thumbelina shows examples of the following troperoonies:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Jacquimo wears only a hat, a scarf and boots.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Say what you will about the overall quality of the movie, but most of its weird and or confusing points (e.g., Thumbelina being born out of a flower and inexplicably growing wings at the end) were already in the original story by H. C. Andersen. The romance between Thumbelina and the fairy prince was, if you can believe it, even more abrupt in the fairy tale. Also, Thumbelina's toad suitor and the beetle were never heard from after their initial appearances, whereas the film expanded their roles.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Why doesn't Jacquimo just take Thumbelina on his back and fly her home?
  • Affably Evil: Ms. Fieldmouse. While she is greedy and does push for Thumbelina to marry Mr. Mole, she is very kind and warm.
  • All Animation Is Disney: When test audiences first saw this movie with the Warner Bros logo, the reviews were mediocre at best. When aired with the Disney logo, reviews on average were much higher.
  • All Knowing Singing Narrator: Jacquimo.
  • Almost Kiss
  • Analogy Backfire: Jacquimo's examples of love conquering the impossible, suggesting he should probably read more:

 Jaquimo: Samson loved Delilah... Romeo, et Juliet... oh, impossible!

    • The weird part is that "Marry the Mole" uses Romeo and Juliet properly as an example of love causing more trouble than its worth.
    • It could be Fridge Brilliance in that he's listing impossible romances that failed before getting to the 'most impossible romance of all"... that succeeded.
  • Animal Talk
  • Animated Musical
  • Award Bait Song: "Let Me Be Your Wings".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: If you stop and think about it, there's a pretty messed-up world view presented in this here story. The Powers That Be wait around as the woman pines away for a child. Then she says, offhand, "I don't even care if it's as tiny as my thumb." And then that comes true just to inconvenience everyone.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Grundel Toad and Mr. Mole both seek to marry Thumbelina, but both parties are independent of one another.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Any scene with Cornelius or the other fairies; it's somewhat justified in that their wings are really sparkly.
  • Born as an Adult: When Thumbelina is born, she is at least a teenager.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Jacquimo interrupts a sentient fox hunting a sentient rabbit. Everyone involved treats the situation strangely matter-of-factly.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Ms. Field Mouse is a bit... off her rocker. If you wear a pincushion as a dress while singing about Romeo and Juliet's death, you are a Cuckoolander.
    • Being voiced by Carol Channing does not help matters.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • The song "Let Me Be Your Wings" from Thumbelina has a dark reprise halfway through the movie, called "Once There Was The Sun". She sings this in lamenting Cornelius' apparent death.
    • When Thumbelina goes missing, her mother sings a sad reprise of Thumbelina's "I Want" Song "Soon".
  • Disney Death: Cornelius, twice.
  • Disney Villain Death: Averted with The Toad, because the credits show that he survived with a broken leg and married a toad who is as ugly as he is.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Cornelius and Thumbelina exchange tokens, Cornelius gives Thumbelina a ring, which he places on the third finger of her left hand, where the engagement ring is traditionally placed. Even though he never actually makes a marriage proposal until several months later, its evocation of betrothal is made far from subtle by Thumbelina's statement "I think I'm gonna marry him" and a later scene when she looks at the ring as she walks down the aisle to marry Mr. Mole and is reminded of her love for Cornelius, which she cites as a reason for refusing to go through with marrying the mole. It's additionally brilliant for those who know that back when the story takes place, betrothal to a third party was considered a legitimate impediment to marriage between a man and a woman.
  • Down on the Farm: Where Thumbelina initially lives with her mother.
  • The Dragon: Berkeley Beetle becomes this to Grundel, and he is not happy about it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Emo Teen: Thumbelina after the bugs throw her out for being "ugly."
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Fairy wings are very sparkly.
  • Expy: Jacquimo is basically a dreamier version of Henri from An American Tail. French birds in Don Bluth films who sing a bouncy number early on about never giving up? Yeah.
  • Fainting: Mocked mercilessly by The Nostalgia Chick: "And like all animated heroines she has a tendency towards fainting. Boom! Unconscious!"
  • Fairy Companion: The Fairy Prince, literally. Jacquimo the Swallow, to some degree, though he's much larger than Thumbelina.
  • Follow the Leader: Take a shot for everything in this movie that appears to have been cribbed from a recent Disney film.
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Four-Legged Insect: All of the insects except for the Fairy Prince's pet bumblebee.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Thumbelina falls in love with a fairy prince after half an hour and goes on a quest to find him and marry him. This is all just because he's the same size as she.

 Thumbelina: I think I'm gonna marry him.

The Nostalgia Chick: I mean I've known him for all of twelve hours!

    • Incidentally, this is a step up from the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, which has Thumbelina meet the prince for the first time, fall in love with him, and marry him at the very end of the story.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Thumbelina.
  • Furry Confusion: The Fairy Prince's pet bumblebee the only realistically drawn animal in the entire movie. According to some it's the fairy equivalent of a motorcycle, but it's still noticeable as there is a cartoony bee in the Jitterbugs gang. As a whole, the Jitterbugs look like they've wandered off the set of a different movie entirely.
  • Gag Boobs / Non-Mammal Mammaries: Mrs. Toad. They're not massive, exactly, but there's just no ignoring them.
  • Gay Paree: The prologue takes place here. Odd, since the rest of the film has nothing to do with Paris and given the author's nationality you would expect the story to take place in Denmark.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The beetle spanking Thumbelina after her bug costume comes off, and her reaction to said spanking.
  • Happily Ever After
  • Heroes Want Redheads
  • He's a Friend: The dog wants to attack the prince, as Thumbelina forgot to greet him as a guest.
  • Humans Are Ugly: The opinion of the bugs at the club after Thumbelina's bug costume falls off.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The entirety of the Yer Beautiful Baby musical segment.
  • "I Am" Song: The title song.
  • Idiot Ball: Thumbelina. Every time she gets kidnapped, she keeps letting the kidnappers take advantage of her, and while she does eventually stand up for herself, it's not really until about ten minutes from the end of the movie. However, she's also led quite the sheltered existence until recently and doesn't understand the outside world. She takes Mrs. Toad's word for it that she'll be allowed to see her mother again later, Mr. Beetle pressures her to perform for him before helping her (and balks on the actual helping part), and Mrs. Field Mouse shoves her to marry Mr. Mole while the poor girl is in mourning over the apparent death of Cornelius.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The movie's full title is Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina.
  • The Ingenue: Thumbelina, to the point that she cannot defend herself in any way until the end of the movie.
  • Ink Suit Actor: Mrs. Toad was modeled after her voice actress. Jarringly so.
  • Interspecies Romance: Discussed by the mole.
  • "I Want" Song: "Soon".
  • Love At First Note
  • Marry for Love: Thumbelina. Ms. Field Mouse begs to differ.
  • Mars Needs Women: Against her will, Thumbelina is very popular with other species, though it's partially subverted at the end of Yer Beautiful Baby when the crowd realizes she isn't a bug, but "an ugly human".
  • Melee a Trois: In the climax, Cornelius ends up fighting the Big Bad Ensemble for Thumbelina's hand in marriage, and wins.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Don Bluth must love this trope.
  • Mole Miner
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Mrs. Toad. Good God, Mrs. Toad.
  • Non Standard Character Design: See Furry Confusion above.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: The fairies are responsible for changing the seasons.
  • Pep Talk Song: "Marry the Mole" is a strange pseudo-example. While Miss Field Mouse thinks she's giving Thumbelina good advice and encouragement, she's also telling her to marry someone for their money and that love is over-rated.
  • Pop Star Composer: Oh, Barry Manilow.
  • Random Events Plot: Thing is it's not all the movie's fault either, the original fairy tale is just that odd.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Even when Thumbelina has her hair in a high ponytail, it still goes down to her thighs.
  • Redheaded Hero: Thumbelina and Cornelius.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Cornelius covers a surprising distance (considering his size), nearly dies in a frozen lake, and fights a large irate frog to save Thumbelina.
  • Sealed with a Kiss
  • She's A Man In The Original Fairy Tale: Ms. Field Mouse.
  • Shout-Out: Mr. Beetle's first name is Berkeley, though the ballroom sequence isn't a Busby Berkeley Number.
  • Songs of Solace: "Soon" is sung by Thumbelina to comfort herself because she's lonely. Her mother later sings it to comfort herself over her missing daughter.
  • Species Surname: Mrs. Toad, Mr. Beetle, Miss Field Mouse, and Mr. Mole.
  • Spexico: Los Sapos Guapos say they come from Spain. Yet the song has snippets of samba (Brazil), conga (Cuba), tango (Argentina), and mentions Mexican foods. Mrs. Toad may be parodying Charo, but her hairstyle looks more like that of Marie Antoinette (from France). And the Toad boys are dressed like Harlequins (from Italy). Spain is spelled as both Espana and Espagna. And though the troupe is called Los Sapos Guapos (The Handsome Toads), they seem more like frogs at times and Mrs. Toad says "ranitas" (frogs) once as well.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: In an equal-opportunity instance of this trope, almost every animal sports some kind of clothing or hairstyle that marks him or her as male or female.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Yes, you see Thumbelina grow a pair of wings and her wedding with Cornelius right there in the trailer.
  • Troperiffic: The strongest amalgam of Disney tropes before Enchanted.
  • True-Blue Femininity: Thumbelina.
  • Villain Song: Depending on who you consider to be the villains and who are just mean, we have "On the Road", "Yer Beautiful Baby", and "Marry the Mole".
  • What Happened to the Mother?: This is something that's been bothering people about the original story. This is averted in the movie as we see clips of Thumbelina's mother worrying about where Thumbelina is. Later we see her at Thumbelina's wedding at the end of the film.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Oh, hell yes, but it all comes from the original story. Thumbelina is courted, over the course of the story, by a toad, a beetle, and a mole. She finally marries the cute Fairy Prince.
    • And it's also played with (and again, it has roots in Andersen): the Beetle intentionally disguises Thumbelina for the Beetle Ball because, to bugs, she is ugly. When the disguise falls apart, she's jeered so badly that he has no problem helping the others kick her out.
  • Wonder Child
  • You Have Waited Long Enough: Miss Field Mouse pressures Thumbelina into marrying Mr. Mole when she has only just been notified of her true love's apparent death.