Thumbelina (Don Bluth)

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Thumbelina (Don Bluth)
Don Bluth's Thumbelina.png
♫Who would believe the wonder of the world I see? Each little minute brings a new surprise. There's only one peculiar thing that bothers me: Seems I'm the only one my size!♫
Gender: Female
Type: Whiny, Immensely Weak and Moronic Heroine
Age: 16 (Less than a week old by birth)
Species: Human (later a fairy)
Portrayed by: Jodi Benson
Status: Alive
Media of Origin: Thumbelina


Thumbelina is the main protagonist of the 1994 Don Bluth film of the same name. She is a tiny, thumb-sized girl who wants to marry Prince Cornelius who lives in the Vale of the Fairies.

Why Anastasia Blows Her Out of the Water

  1. Right off the bat, her original book counterpart, as well as many other characters from Hans Christian Andersen's stories (with the notable exception of Gerda from The Snow Queen), isn't a well-written character to begin with for animated film standards, since most of his characters are basically weak and reactive characters where things happen to these characters instead of them doing something to drive their plot, which doesn't make an interesting or compelling character for the screen. But here in Don Bluth's film adaptation, she has been drastically flanderized to become a much worse character by making her a lot dumber, more passive, more immature and more male-depending than her book counterpart, so much the point that it makes her seem like a caricature of her original book counterpart (in a BAD way), due to the various reasons as listed below.
    • Her original book counterpart may have been a weak, whiny and passive character, but not to this extent like how Bluth made her out to be.
  2. FIRST AND FOREMOST, her only defining character trait is being a ludicrously weak damsel-in-distress whom is nothing more than a useless crybaby. She is a very weak and whiny protagonist who is unable to stand up for herself because she is incredibly dumb and passive and gets demotivated whenever something goes wrong for her.
    • Worse, she cries way too frequently throughout the film to the point that it gets annoying after a while, even over stuff that aren't that big of a deal, such as when Berkeley Beetle calls her ugly and when she gets lost on the way home. In fact, she cried for a total of about six times throughout her film;
      • First and second times she cried was when she find it impossible to get off the lily pad she was stuck on and then to find her way home after being saved from drowning, as well as her not being able to be with her love interest Prince Cornelius in both instances.
      • Third time she cried was later that night when she re-encounters Jacquimo, where she was crying because she's cold, lost, hungry, and Berkeley called her ugly.
      • Fourth time she cried was when she flat-out given up on finding her way home after merely falling into a pool of frozen pond water and therefore feeling cold as a result.
      • Fifth and sixth times she cried was upon finding out of the presumed death of Prince Cornelius, with the sixth time also caused by a rather unintentionally insensitive Jacquimo who fails to realize the reality of Prince Cornelius's presumed death despite Thumbelina's constant reminders due to his stupidity and delusion, hence unintentionally hurting Thumbelina's feelings and making her situation felt even worse than before.
      • In short, all she does throughout the film is basically just whining, moping or crying whenever something goes wrong to her in her life, even when it is something that is relatively minor.
    • Even the Disney Princesses created before and after her (e.g. Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine) do have scenes where they break down and cry, though at least they have valid reasons which are relatable to audiences and they still remained strong no matter what unlike Thumbelina, and not to this extent of oversaturation that it gets annoying.
    • She easily gets demotivated over whenever something goes wrong for her that she frequently whines and laments that "it's impossible" to the point where it gets old.
  3. She is way too much of a weak damsel in distress, even when compared to past heroines in other media created before her, including earlier damsels-in-distress characters created before her such as Ann Darrow, Willie Scott, Princess Peach, etc., so much to the point that it makes these past heroines much stronger in comparison, which is absolutely ridiculous and also unacceptable since most female characters created in the 1970s and beyond are strong female characters in any way, regardless whether it is physical or inner strength, or both.
    • Even the earliest Disney Princesses created before her such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, despite their more reactive nature compared to the later Disney Princesses created after them since Ariel, are shown to have moments of inner strength and resilience which makes them strong female characters, such as how they managed to stay optimistic and courageous no matter how much bad luck and abuse they had to endure throughout their respective films. Thumbelina, on the other hand, has none of that AT ALL.
    • Speaking of weak, not only does she have no inner strength whatsoever, she is also a complete weakling on the physical side to ludicrous degrees as well, even for a person her size, such as how she easily passes out unconscious in the most minor moments of peril or danger, such as when Mama Toad kidnaps her when in her walnut bed and when she is saved from drowning in the river by some background fish and the jitterbugs when Jacquimo's attempts at saving her proved to be completely useless, hence making her unintentionally cataplexic.
  4. She gets little to no character development, nor does she have any purpose in life or personality outside of being with her love interest Prince Cornelius, hence making her a bland, flat character for the most part. Does that sound familiar?
    • During the first 11 minutes of the film, we barely get to know more of her as a character aside on how she's generally unsatisfied with her small size due to the various dangers she'd have to encounter even from her own home because of it as mostly reflected during the musical number "Thumbelina" (see WSS #17) and how she's yearning for companionship in someone her own size, hence making her a huge waste of potential of a character when viewers were first introduced to her.
    • Speaking of character development, despite being relatively minor (see RQ #7), the scene where she stands up against the idea of marrying both Mr. Mole, Berkeley and Grundel by the film's climax comes completely out of nowhere, as the film already has established her as a complete weakling with no agency of her own whatsoever and is unable to stand up for herself and therefore is a total doormat that is easily manipulated by anyone. Not only that, she never showed any hinting of her ability to stand up for herself as the film progresses so her all of the sudden standing up for herself here feels like it comes out of nowhere, only because she remembers the good memories she had with Prince Cornelius via flashbacks of she and him singing "Let Me Be Your Wings" together as she miserably walks down the aisle to marry Mr. Mole, hence giving a bad message to girls that "you only need a man in order to be strong" which is not true. She could've started off in the film as a weak doormat as she first started since the time Mama Toad kidnapped her while in her walnut bed but slowly learns to gain some moments of agency and to stand up for herself as the movie went on, and by the end she would be a strong independent character who could decide things for herself with a mind of her own. But instead, she just starts the film off as a weak doormat with zero agency whatsoever and is kept that way for most of the film's entire runtime and then suddenly gains some form of agency of her own without much proper build-up or development to it.
      • To add salt to the wound, after Jacquimo returns to pick up Thumbelina from Mr. Mole's home to take her to the Vale of the Fairies he recently found, she goes back to her old whiny ways, such as how she gets demotivated over how Cornelius isn't coming back to life despite Jacquimo's persuasion when at "the Vale of the Fairies", it practically undoes that brief moment of character development she had in her previous scene, making the entire scene of the film where she stands up against those lustful antagonists of hers extremely redundant.
  5. Despite that she is the main protagonist and gets a fair amount of screen time, she barely has any agency of her own nor does she have an active role in doing anything important throughout her film, hence making her more of a plot device than a character.
    • It should also be noted by Don Bluth that he originally intended that Thumbelina to play a more proactive role in the story than in the final film where she is offered several options that she could think and choose what she wants from her life, but just about everyone else involved in the making of the film down-voted his idea.
  6. She is so dumb and super-naïve beyond belief, that she displays a lot of questionable moments of stupidity throughout the entire film. For example:
    • Despite that Prince Cornelius (literally) breaks in into her room window and accidentally frightens her with his sword, for some reason she quickly forgives him when he apologizes, and after Prince Cornelius introduces herself, she figures it's okay to go on a bumblebee ride with this guy who, just broke into her room and waved a sword at her. And despite that Cornelius accidentally lets her fall of his arms literally as he's saying, "And I'll never let you fall." during the song sequence "Let Me Be Your Wings", she still falls in love with him very quickly, and once he proposes to her by the end of the film despite having spent with each other for only one night, she immediately agrees to marry him on a whim without any further second thoughts.
    • Despite the earlier breaking and entering from Cornelius, Thumbelina doesn't bother to close her room window at night, and consequently she gets kidnapped by Mama Toad. Even Marina, another damsel-in-distress character from Bluth, was resilient enough with priorities and she at least takes advantage of preoccupancy to escape (albeit always backfiring). Thumbelina, however, doesn't even attempt, let alone fails, to get out of distress.
    • She is so easily influenced and manipulated into almost everything by anyone, regardless whether it is harmful to her general wellbeing or not, thinking that these people in question exactly have her best interests at heart every time. Like how Mama Toad manipulated her into either pick between marrying Prince Cornelius or having a career as a singer in the Toad family's Singers De Espana show and Ms. Fieldmouse manipulating her to marry Mr. Mole turned out to be very easy on these villains' parts after their respective villain songs because Thumbelina herself is incredibly dumb as a bag of rocks that she'd fall for everything. She is also even easily manipulated and deceived by Berkeley Beetle's sweet talk as well, even going so far as to do a favor for him by singing for him at the Beetle Ball, thinking that the beetle exactly has her best interests at heart when his later actions proved otherwise.
    • Why does she happily dance to all the villain songs with a smile on her face with her enemies when they are the one who force her to marry them against her will?
    • After the musical number "On The Road" with the toads, why did she even thank Mama Toad once she becomes famous for her singing voice among the pond creatures despite the fact that Mama Toad was the one that kidnapped her earlier that night?
    • After the musical number "Follow Your Heart" by Jacquimo, she then takes Jacquimo's advice of "following her heart" and "nothing is impossible" literally at face value without even knowing exactly what he meant with those words anyway for most of the film, even though that Jacquimo himself isn't really that bright to begin with, which ultimately resulted her to make a lot of questionable decisions for the rest of the film, such as her mindlessly wandering around places to find her way home when left alone by Jacquimo the next day, which consequently caused her to fall into a pool of frozen pond water and therefore feeling cold as a result.
    • Her butterfly dress falls off during "You're Beautiful Baby" and she is seen wearing her underwear, but keeps on dancing anyway.
    • She is so clingy and dependent on almost anyone, to the point that she is blind to the fact that some people she's heavily dependent on are potential abusers. This is widely reflected in the scene following Prince Cornelius' presumed death, she, under persuasion from Ms. Fieldmouse via the villain song "Marry the Mole", decides to marry Mr. Mole in hopes that he could take care of her, despite the fact that she doesn't even love him at all, as well as the fact that Mr. Mole himself is heavily implied to be an evil serial killer who outright kills insects and other small living creatures for taxidermy purposes.
    • She is incredibly slow to pick up even the most simplistic of information that is in front of her, such as when she notices an unconscious Jacquimo in Mr. Mole's lair and nurses him back to health, she fails to notice the thorn on his wing until Jacquimo wakes up from unconsciousness, despite that his injured wing is obviously shown right in front of the audiences' faces.
      • Worse, her stupidity isn't funny, cute or endearing in the slightest, but rather irritating and frustrating.
      • Though some of the Disney Princesses created before (and to a lesser extent, after) such as Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Giselle, and Anna for example are naïve at times and occasionally had done some questionable decisions in their respective films as the result, however, they are still far from foolish, shallow or stupid and they at least do have some degree of intelligence and resourcefulness in their own unique ways, and considering that most of them are between the ages 14-19 range (with the notable exception of Elsa whom is 21 years old) and therefore it is clearly understandable that this is how teenage girls their ages would've acted in real life. However, Thumbelina on the other hand is an incredibly too-dumb-to-live moron who is incredibly dumb as a bag of rocks with zero traces of intelligence whatsoever, even for her age (though to be fair, she was practically (or literally) born yesterday during the events of her film).
      • In fact, most of the problems she had throughout her entire film could have been completely avoided if she were smart and proactive enough to get Jacquimo to immediately fly her home on his back right from the start instead of just blindly following Jacquimo's vague advice of "following her heart" and "nothing is impossible" and finding her way home all on her own in the wide-open world without even knowing what she's doing, hence sparing her from her unending misery of getting lost and getting captured by Berkeley Beetle, Ms. Fieldmouse and Mr. Mole and therefore reduces her chances of needlessly whining and crying non-stop throughout the entire film in the process.
  7. She feels like a rip-off of the various Disney Princesses created before her, specifically Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Ariel from The Little Mermaid at some parts (the latter character is also both voiced by Jodi Benson), except with none of everything that made both Snow White and Ariel such great, likable and memorable characters. In fact, if you take away both of Snow White's and Ariel's respective bits of intelligence, maturities, resilience, inner strengths, and resourcefulness, you are basically left with Thumbelina in a nutshell.
  8. Her love story with Prince Cornelius is quite rushed and cliché because they don't take their time to know each other and get married too soon; Thumbelina and Prince Cornelius meet for only one night and the latter spends the rest of the film looking for Thumbelina, after she gets kidnapped, but winds up in danger while trying to find her way home. The two meet again and get married at the end of the film, even though they've known each other for only one night.
    • Throughout the film, she is very clingy and dependent on Prince Cornelius without logic or reasoning, hence making her male-dependent. Speaking of male-depending, she gives the bad message to girls that "you only need a man to have happiness", which is absolutely not true. Again, does that sound familiar?
    • Because of this, she outright literally "marries the guy she does met", which gives a bad message to kids since romantic relationships do not happen instantly and instead take time and therefore can't be rushed.
      • On the topic of "marrying the guy she does met", though the Disney Princesses created before (and to a lesser extent, after) her do have rushed romantic relationships with their respective love interests, at least they take their time to know each other and therefore forming believable romantic chemistry (as with the case of Ariel and Eric (The Little Mermaid), Belle and Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Jasmine and Aladdin (Aladdin), Giselle and Robert Phillip (Enchanted), Tiana and Naveen (The Princess and the Frog), Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder (Tangled) and Anna and Kristoff (Frozen)), or if they do have extremely rushed romances because of the royalty laws demanding either one of them or both of them get married ASAP which is a circumstance beyond their control (as with the case of Cinderella and Prince Charming (Cinderella) and Aurora and Phillip (Sleeping Beauty)), or is left completely ambiguous whether they got married at the end (as with the case of Snow White and The Prince (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and Mulan and Li Shang (Mulan), though the latter couple eventually got married in the sequel)). And though Anna did attempt to marry Prince Hans right after meeting him for no valid reason reason whatsoever in Frozen just like Thumbelina, at least she did receive some repercussions for her action in said film when Prince Hans turned out to be the villain who betrayed her whenever she needed him most. In contrast, Thumbelina literally did married Cornelius right after meeting him for no valid reason whatsoever and she then is outright rewarded for it, which gives a bad lesson to kids.
    • Her chemistry with Prince Cornelius, for the most part, is incredibly bland for these reasons above.
  9. Despite the fact that she's supposed to be a teenager around the age of 16, she is extremely immature and never acts her age, since she is extremely clingy (especially to Jacquimo and Prince Cornelius) and cries a lot over things that aren't that big of a deal to begin with.
    • Though some of the Disney Princesses created before (and to a lesser extent, after) her such as Snow White and Ariel for example had childlike qualities, however at least those traits are balanced out by levels of maturity, and considering that most of them are between the ages 14-19 range (with the notable exception of Elsa who is 21 years old) and therefore it is clearly understandable that this is how teenage girls their ages would've acted in real life. However, Thumbelina on the other hand, is extremely childish with absolutely zero traces of maturity whatsoever despite her being a teenager.
    • She is supposed to be 16, but she has the mentality of a toddler.
    • To add salt to the wound, she is very easy to be emotionally broken down at the smallest of misfortunes, something which no teenage girl her age would be this emotionally fragile and vulnerable, like how Berkeley called her ugly and being left stranded alone out in the wide-open world even when nothing scary or frightening ever happens to her is enough to easily send her off crying and spiraling into a self-pity crisis! Not even Disney's Snow White was this emotionally vulnerable when she got stranded in the forest with intense fear all by herself.
    • While this is understandable, given that she is actually less than a week old, it doesn't excuse the fact that she has little to no control over her life and is too dependent on others for the most basic things, such as relying too much on Jacquimo for finding her way home, despite that Jacquimo, who isn't any better, often gives completely vague advice to her such as "following her heart", and for some reason doesn't bother to fly her home on his back until near the end of the film.
  10. She gets a lot of up-skirt shots due to her skirt constantly going up and down from above her waist and therefore exposing her bare legs in the process many times, which is considered sexualization.
  11. She can be considered a Mary Sue in some way, as she immediately gains the romantic attentions of all the guys (specifically Grundel, Berkeley, Mr. Mole, and even her love interest Cornelius) because of her physical beauty and beautiful singing voice, and has nothing else to her aside from these two aforementioned quirks.
  12. Overall, she is a misogynistic man's dream come true, since if you think about it throughout her film, she basically represents every single outdated traditional female stereotype ever written in the book and every misogynistic man's stereotypical expectations of what their ideal woman should be like in the worst possible way, even more so than any other female protagonist in any animated film ever, hence consequently making her a terrible role model for girls, regardless of the times.
    • Only has her beautiful looks and nothing else to offer, so much to the point that she becomes a huge target of the male gaze? Check eleven.
    • Exists only to look for companionship with a romantic partner (in her case, Prince Cornelius), so much that she'd practically die without him? Check eight.
    • A ludicrously weak damsel-in-distress in constant need to be rescued, especially from her boyfriend? Check three.
    • Brainlessly dumb? Check six.
    • Being extremely submissive with zero agency or mind of her own whatsoever? Check four.
    • Being very over-emotional, including the tendency to whine and cry a lot? Check two.
    • Physical beauty matters so much to her that being called ugly by one person is enough to hurt her feelings? Check eleven.
    • Having zero independence whatsoever and is very clingy to others? Check six.
      • In short, she is so poorly-written for a female protagonist to the point that at times she feels more like a stereotypical parody/caricature of a typical Disney Princess archetype heroine (in a BAD way) than an actual heroine in her own right, even more so than what Giselle from Enchanted (a 2007 animated/live-action hybrid Disney film that parodies previous Disney Princess films and tropes created before it) ever proved to be, even though Thumbelina's film was rather intended to be a straight-out adaptation instead of a parody/spoof of the original fairytale, not helping is the fact that her film is basically is a rip-off of various Disney animated feature films created before it.
  13. Since she gets miserable over getting lost far from home and being unable to be with her love interest Prince Cornelius throughout most of her film, this causes her film to get too dark and depressing for younger children, despite being rated G, mainly due to her constant sadness and misery going on non-stop throughout her film without even taking a break from it. Not helping is the fact that her constant whining and crying over her predicaments throughout the film make things even worse.
    • On that topic, her film tries to make the audience feel sorry/sad for Thumbelina each time she whines and cries, but instead it makes you feel blatantly annoyed, irritated, aggravated and/or horribly depressed depending on your view, mainly due to not only does she easily get upset over the smallest of misfortunes (see WSS #9), yet she is an easily-demotivated defeatist who barely even does anything in the film other than moping and whining and therefore her sadness continues to drag on for way too long throughout most of her film until near the ending.
  14. Most of her dialogue is incredibly stupid and laughable, such as her infamous "DOESN'T ANYBODY CARE WHAT I THINK?" line.
  15. The wedding dress she wears to marry Mr. Mole near the ending looks very laughable.
  16. At the end of the film, she magically grows fairy wings and gets everything she wants. Not only does the film never explain how she got her fairy wings upon agreeing to marry Prince Cornelius, but has done nothing worthy to earn fairy wings when all she ever does is whine and mope around throughout the film, which conveys a bad message to kids: "If you only whine and mope around, you'll eventually get what you want", which not only makes her unintentionally come off as a whiny spoiled brat, yet she also influences young children, especially girls, to become mopey, whiny spoiled brats (similar to in vein of other spoiled brat characters in other media such as Caillou, Gus and to some extent, Bella Swan) in order to get what stupid thing they want.
    • This is a case when she had the potential to have decent character development for how misery builds character, but for these reasons stated above, she just fell flat with providing great morals.
  17. Because she is always constantly forced to marry various perverted male characters against her will throughout the film, combined with how her problems are made worse by her dumb but well-meaning bird sidekick Jacquimo, she can already be considered a huge punching bag in some way.
    • It doesn't help that most of the male characters she was forced to marry against her will are adult animals, which makes them zoophiles and pedophiles (considering that Grundel Toad, Berkeley Beetle and Mr. Mole are all older adult men in comparison to the 16-year-old teenage Thumbelina) and is also promotes bestiality (though to be fair, this is actually a problem which is carried over from the original source material).
    • She is basically kidnapped and sexually assaulted by various perverted male characters throughout the film, such as Berkeley, who comes out of nowhere, caresses a nearby mushroom and then Thumbelina's face with his antennae and kiss her arm repetitively even though she says, "I wish you wouldn't do that " and "I'm not your toots" which is incredibly disturbing and creepy. But if that's not creepy enough, Berkeley Beetle makes her dress up like a butterfly and dance in this bug club packed full of an audience filled with scary-looking insects, and once she's accidentally stripped down to her underwear and is deemed ugly by the beetles onstage and the insect audience, Berkeley spanks her on the butt with his cane onstage while calling her ugly.
    • Each time she gets into such bad luck and misfortunes, she always ends up actually crying, even though some of these aren't that big of a deal, not helping that Thumbelina herself is super-immature and is a huge crybaby whom is so emotionally fragile and vulnerable (see WSS #9).
    • She often finds herself randomly transported to various suspicious places by other villains (such as Mama Toad, Berkeley, and Ms. Fieldmouse) with her being completely unaware of it and not knowing where she is. And when this happens for the third time by Ms. Fieldmouse, Ms. Fieldmouse tells her off for not wanting to socialize with Mr. Mole just because Ms. Fieldmouse saved Thumbelina from the bitter cold despite the fact that she's clearly too heartbroken to do so upon finding out about Prince Cornelius' presumed death. And to add salt to the wound, Mr. Mole constantly berates and belittles Thumbelina's positive view of the sunlight when the latter first meets him, and as she walks along to his place, she had to face the horror of seeing a lot of dead bodies of insects being pinned on his wall since she does know the jitterbugs, who are insects, as her friends, which heavily implies that he is an evil serial killer who outright kills insects and other small living creatures for taxidermy purposes.
    • Throughout the film, despite Jacquimo's best intentions at helping her out, he ends up making things even worse for her, with the worst offender of such being Jacquimo's failure to realize the reality of Prince Cornelius' presumed death despite Thumbelina's constant reminders due to his stupidity and delusion, hence unintentionally hurting Thumbelina's feelings and making her situation felt even worse than before.
    • Later when she is about to marry Mr. Mole, she clearly looks unhappy about it. And once both Grundel and Berkeley find her in Mr. Mole's lair, all the villains start giving a chase at her, all because she abandons Mr. Mole at the altar since she doesn't love him.
    • On the topic of her being a huge Butt-Monkey throughout the film, even before she gets abducted my Mama Toad, she isn't safe at all even at her own home;
      • Due to her small size she constantly gets into grave dangers (albeit by accident), especially from the farm animals around her in the song sequence "Thumbelina" such as getting blown away by a talking goat to the point that she gets blown away into a water trough and almost drowns, constantly gets blown away repetitively by the farm animals around her as they sing about her, and even almost gets baked in a pie by her own mother (though fortunately she gets out of the pie in a nick before the pie gets baked).
      • After the musical number "Thumbelina", even when her mother reads her a story, it's heavily implied that she could've almost get squashed between the pages of a book by accident.
      • Despite that she is a supposed to be a teenager around the age of 16, her mother still treats her like a baby, as her mother makes her sleep in a walnut in a cradle (though to be fair, she is basically a newborn during the events of the film despite her appearance, and even acts like a baby throughout the entire film).
      • On her first day of birth, she herself is completely deprived of any new clothing aside from the one she's born with, including pajamas to sleep in with, and is made to sleep in the shoes she was born in.
      • For the love story meet-cute, in a scene reminiscent to Aurora and Prince Phillip's first encounter in the woods from Sleeping Beauty, Prince Cornelius (literally) breaks in into Thumbelina's room, vandalizes her book, and brandishes a weapon at her, which frightens her at first, though she eventually forgives him and the two quickly fell in love after the song "Let Me Be Your Wings".
      • During the song sequence "Let Me Be Your Wings", Prince Cornelius flies around holding Thumbelina, until he accidentally lets her fall literally as he's saying, "And I'll never let you fall" before catching her as she falls.
    • Overall throughout the film, with the notable exceptions of Hero the dog, the jitterbugs and her love interest Prince Cornelius (and to some extent, even her own mother), not a single character in the entire film ever takes into consideration of her opinions, including the very idea of her being forced to marry people whom she doesn't love against her will, hence her infamous "DOESN'T ANYBODY CARE WHAT I THINK?" line. Even Jacquimo, whom is supposed to be her best friend, is clearly guilty of failing to care on what she thinks, such as his failure to the reality of Prince Cornelius' presumed death despite Thumbelina's constant reminders as previously mentioned above.
  18. While not necessarily a bad thing, a lot of things that happen to her and around her are all out of pure dumb luck and plot contrivance, mainly as the result of her film's badly-rushed writing:
    • For no particular reason whatsoever, her beautiful singing voice is automatically able to attract the attention of various male characters, specifically Grundel Toad, Berkeley Beetle, Mr. Mole, and even her love interest Prince Cornelius (see WSS #11).
    • For no explained reason whatsoever, her beautiful singing voice is able to melt all the ice and frost covering the Vale of the Fairies near the end of the film.
    • Her film never even explains and elaborates on how she gets her own fairy wings at the end of the film once she agrees to marry Prince Cornelius.
  19. Her voice by Jodi Benson can be shrill and annoying at times, mainly due to her voice being incredibly whiny as well as being high pitched to the point where she sounded like she is on helium, especially whenever she yells or screams.
  20. Although she was tolerable in the first 22 minutes of the film, she went downhill once Mama Toad kidnaps her while in her walnut bed when the film reaches the 22 minute mark for reasons above.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite her poor portrayal due to her being whiny and annoying, she is sweet and kind and does care about those around her.
  2. Despite her flanderization, at least her character is fairly accurate to her original book counterpart since Don Bluth managed to recapture the passive trifling nature of her original book counterpart pretty well, though her original book counterpart isn't really a well-written character to begin with.
  3. Her design is cute, much like Don Bluth's next princess.
  4. Jodi Benson's performance as her isn't too bad.
  5. She has a beautiful singing voice.
  6. Despite crying way too much throughout the entire film, there's only one instance where Thumbelina has a valid reason to cry, and that's the scene where she finds out the news from Ms. Fieldmouse that her love interest Prince Cornelius is found stone-cold in the snow and presumed dead, which is relatable to audiences since losing a love interest to (presumed) death is incredibly heartbreaking in real life.
  7. Near the end of the film when she is forced to marry Mr. Mole, she finally stands up for herself to leave the mole at the altar because she doesn't love him, as well as to outright reject the lustful Grundel Toad who chased after her to her wedding, which are her only acts of agency throughout the entire film, meaning she does have some minor character development, though that isn't saying much, mainly due to how it came out of nowhere without any proper build-up or development to it.
  8. Despite her being extremely immature and whiny throughout her film, as well as her toddler-like mentality age, at least she doesn't stoop so low as to do things most spoiled bratty toddlers would do like throwing tantrums.
  9. To be fair, she acts the way she is in the film is because she was practically a newborn in most of the events of the film despite having the physical appearance of a teenager.
  10. Like mentioned before, she was tolerable in the first 22 minutes of the film.
  11. Don Bluth would eventually learn from his mistakes and therefore his next princess, Anastasia, thankfully avoided all these problems Thumbelina had as listed above.

Reception

Like the film itself, Thumbelina herself received generally negative reception from critics and viewers alike, with most viewers often drawing unfavorable comparisons to that of various Disney Princesses created before her, specifically towards Snow White from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Aurora from Disney's Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989) which the Thumbelina character overall shared the most number of similarities to. Common criticism towards the Thumbelina character as a whole among viewers and critics are mainly targeted at her ludicrously weak and whiny personality, her frustratingly lack of intelligence, her constant need to be rescued, as well as the fact that she, despite being the main character of the film with a good amount of screen time, has no purpose whatsoever in the film aside from being with her love interest Prince Cornelius.

Film critic Tim Brayton criticized the Thumbelina character for her overall weak and whiny nature when reviewing the film "Thumbelina herself remains a complete drip of a character, insipidly mewling her way through the film's thankfully concise running time (86 minutes), and evincing not the smallest trace of any personality that might be worth rooting for". He even criticized the film's atrocious flanderization of the Thumbelina character from the original Hans Christian Andersen book, unfavorably comparing her to her original book counterpart "She is, in fact, even less appealing than Andersen's character; I do not recall the Thumbelina of the story being such an obvious idiot".[1]

When reviewing the film, Roger Ebert criticized on how much of a complete weakling the Thumbelina character as a whole is, saying "Thumbelina's woe-is-me act got old real fast, and I couldn't care less about her matrimonial prospects."

For these reasons above, she has been considered by many to be the worst female protagonist Bluth has ever created in his animated filmography, even surpassing Rosie from A Troll in Central Park, Bluth's worst-reviewed film to date. Despite this, she still fared as a much better Bluth protagonist than Stanley from A Troll in Central Park (and to some extent, even Gus from the same film).

Trivia

  • Thumbelina is the second Hans Christian Andersen heroine voiced by Jodi Benson, the other one being Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989), whom is a far better-written character than her. Co-incidentally, both heroines do share several similarities, as both of them are also cute redhead teenage girls with childlike mindsets that want something more out of life than what their respective lives they were originally born with.
    • In addition to Disney accepting the deal with 21st Century Fox (including 20th Century Fox, which owns current rights to the character's film as of 2002) as of March 20, 2019, Thumbelina is an unofficial Disney princess and is not part of the "Disney Princess" catalog, hence reuniting both Disney's Ariel and Don Bluth's Thumbelina under the same roof. Due to Anastasia being much more successful than Thumbelina, it's more likely that Anastasia will become part of the Disney Princess catalog than Thumbelina.
  • When Thumbelina is told by her mother that it's time to go to bed "Bedtime, my dear. It's been a long day" at the 9 minute 20 second mark of the film, it heavily implies that the entire musical number "Thumbelina" takes place entirely in one day and said musical number occurs not too long after Thumbelina's birth from a flower, hence proving that Thumbelina herself indeed is practically a newborn by age in the entire events of her film despite her physical appearance.
  • This is currently the longest page on this wiki.

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