The Little Matchgirl
2006, Walt Disney
A film adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name, this is among Disney's better work. The tasteful, semi-realistic mostly-2D animation is set to the third movement of Alexander Borodin's String Quartet No. 2. Its faithfulness to the source material—wherein the titular character dies at the end—was not met with approval from the execs, but various "happy endings" were tested and wisely rejected, so they settled for an "implied" death symbolized by a falling star. This short was originally planned to be part of Disney's scrapped 2008 sequel in their Fantasia franchise.
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