Hans Christian Andersen (1952) - full transcript

A completely fabricated biography of the famous Danish fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen featuring several of his stories and a ballet performance of "The Little Mermaid".

- Good morning, schoolmaster.
- Good morning, schoolmaster.

See the kite?

Tell us a story!

Wait for me, Hans! Please wait.

Well, hurry up. Faster!

Thank you.

Next time, don't be late, heh.

Now, yesterday, Matilda was the wicked
mermaid, the princess of the frozen sea.

- Remember that?
- Yes.

Today, as l promised,
we, uh, always keep our promises, don't we?


- Today, as l promised, she will be the, uh....
- Queen of China!

Oh! Did anybody remember to bring
a dress for the queen of China?

You said you would!

All right.

Please, ladies and gentlemen.

Lf we can't have a queen,
then we'll have a king.

Lt's very simple. We just take
the crown and put it over on the side.

He was a very jaunty little king,
wore his crown like that. Now, we'll just....

Ah, ah, ah. No peeping.



There we are.

Long live the king!

That's not a king.
Lt's only a queen with a mustache.

A lot of kings
are only a queen with a mustache.

- We all believe it's a king, don't we?
- Yes!

Since we have no clothes for the king...

...this is a story about a king
who had no clothes....

And about a little boy
who only believed what he saw.

That's you!

Well, one day, two swindlers
came to see the king...

...to sell him what they said
was a magic suit of clothes.

The king was very fond of new
clothes, so he said, "Let me see it."

But there wasn't any suit of clothes. The
swindlers held up their hands like this...

...and said,
"Your Majesty, this is a magic suit.

You, being very wise and intelligent,
can see how beautiful it is...

...but to a fool, it is absolutely invisible."

Well, he said, "l see."

Not wanting to appear a fool, he added:

Yes, indeed. L see it perfectly.

Lt's beautiful.

Lsn't it grand? Lsn't it fine?
Look at the cut, the style, the line!

"The suit ofclothes is altogether
But altogether, it's altogether

The most remarkable suit of clothes
That l have ever seen

These eyes of mine at once determine
The sleeves are velvet, the cape is ermine

The hose are blue and
The doublet is a lovely shade of green"

A lovely shade of green!

"Somebody send for the queen"

The queen came and she was told...

...how all the wise people could see the:

Magic suit!

That's right.

Naturally, not wanting
to appear a fool, she said:

"Oh, isn't it grand?

Lsn't it rich?
Look at the charm of every stitch!"

"The suit of clothes is altogether it's altogether

The most remarkable suit of clothes
That l have ever seen

These eyes of mine at once determine
The sleeves are velvet, the cape is ermine

The hose are blue and
The doublet is a lovely shade of green"

A lovely shade of green!

"Summon the court to convene"

All the court came,
the ministers and ambassadors came.

Not wanting to seem like fools,
they agreed with the:

- King and queen.
- The king issued a proclamation.

The suit of clothes is altogether
But altogether, it's altogether

The most remarkable suit of clothes
A tailor ever made

Now quickly put it all together
With gloves of leather and hat and feather

lt's altogether the thing
To wear at Saturday's parade

Saturday's parade!

Leading the royal brigade

By this time, everybody had heard
about the king's new clothes...

...that he would wear at the parade.

The people lined the streets as
the artillery came by, the infantry came by...

...and the cavalry came by and the fife
and drum corps and the royal guard...

...and finally the king.

Everybody cheered, "Hurray."

Because nobody wanted
to appear a fool.

Nobody that is, except one little boy...

...who, for some strange reason, hadn't
heard about the king's new magic suit...

...and didn't know
what he was supposed to see.

He took one look at the king...

...turned a little pale and said:

"Look at the king! Look at the king!"

The king is in the altogether
But altogether, the altogether

He's altogether as naked
As the day that he was born

The king is in the altogether,
But altogether, the altogether

lt's altogether the very least
The king has ever worn

Call the court physician
Call an intermission

His majesty is wide open
To ridicule and scorn

The king is in the altogether,
But altogether, the altogether

He's altogether as naked
As the day that he was born

And it's altogether too chilly a morn



Hurry, Peter.

We're going to hear another story.

Hans, the schoolmaster
went to the burgomaster and the--

Oh, Peter, don't worry so much
on a beautiful day like this.

They're coming here, the schoolmaster,
the burgomaster, the council. Look!

Good morning, burgomaster.

Look, burgomaster.

The books on the dirty ground!

Here. The History of Denmark
used to tie the string of a dirty kite!

The history of any country
can always stand a little fresh air.

Did you hear about the history book
that took a vacation...

...and came back a much better history?

You see? That's the stuff
he fills the children's heads with!

Look at this.

"Arithmetic. A two met a four one day.

They liked each other immediately
and got married...

...and all the other numbers
came to their wedding."

- Lt's impossible!
- There are different ways of learning.

A cobbler belongs in his shop,
and children belong in school.

Tend to your shoes.
L'll tend to my school!

To be sure.

But is the world made up of nothing else
but shoes and schoolrooms, and...?

There's a story
of a piece of chalk and a blackboard.

The piece of chalk had written
so many things on the blackboard...

...that it believed
it knew all about everything. Heh.

The blackboard was angry.

She felt that without her to write upon,
nobody would know anything...

...and she was the one
who really knew it all, heh.

One day, quite by accident...

...the schoolmaster broke the piece of chalk
and tossed it out of the window.

Lt fell beside a pencil that the piece
of chalk had always admired.

A pencil to a piece of chalk
is something very special.

- And what do you suppose happened?
- What happened?

Have we all lost our senses?

Are you going listen to him
with the children? What is this?

That will be enough, Hans.

Children, pick up your schoolbooks
and go back to school. Hurry.

Follow the schoolmaster.
Not another word from anyone.

Ahem, uh....

l advise you, Hans, to stay in your shop
from now on. Come, gentlemen.

Stop shaking your head at me
like an old woman, Peter.

- L can feel it in the back of my neck.
- Hans, turn around. L've got to talk to you.

Did you ever hear
the story of the old woman...

...who shook her head at the family
so much that it fell off, right on the table?

Hans, why do you keep
on making trouble for us?

Trouble? There's no trouble
that a good story can't get us out of.

Like the one just now about the piece
of chalk and the blackboard.

L didn't know what l was going to say
until after l'd said it.

Ln fact, l'd like to know
how the story ends myself.

Please stay in the shop. Don't tell
the children stories all the time.

L never saw such a worrier like you, Peter.

You want to really worry
about something? Here's something.

Two years ago, l took you
out of the orphanage...

...and promised them l'd make you
into a good cobbler. Two whole years.

Look at that shoe, glue all smeared
and nails in crooked.

Two years an apprentice,
and still the nails go in crooked.

L'm not that bad, am l? You're not going
to send me back to the orphanage?

Ah-ha. A new worry appears in the sky.

Never mind, Peter. Let's go home.

Two and two are four

Four and four are eight

Eight and eight are 16

Sixteen and 16 are 32

Two and two are four

Four and four are eight

Eight and eight are 16

Sixteen and 16 are 32

An inchworm. The first one of the year!

Four and four are eight

Eight and eight are 16

Sixteen and 16 are 32



Measuring the marigolds

You and your arithmetic

You'll probably go far


Measuring the marigolds

Seems to me

You stop and see

How beautiful they are

Two and two are four

Four and four are eight

Eight and eight are 16

Sixteen and 16 are 32

Two and two....

Good morning, schoolmaster.

Oh, Hans.

Let me explain.

Out of my way!

L am talking sense,
and that is exactly what l want.

Either Hans Christian Andersen
leaves this town or l do.

Surely a little story
now and then, not during school hours.

Lt is not just now and then, it is all the time.

When they are late,
he gives them excuses.

"The snow queen took me
to see the king of the mountain!"

That is true.
L asked my Gerda what time it was.

She said the minute and the hour hand
were not speaking to each other.

They were both in love
with the second hand.

They wouldn't meet till 12 o'clock,
and no one could tell the time until then.

- L like that.
- Like it?

We pay our taxes for the school, not for
Hans to fill their heads with foolishness.

But Hans's stories are good.
The children learn from them.

They are not foolish stories.

L would like to know now.

L would like to pack up tonight.

Tomorrow, you'll be looking
for a new cobbler or a new teacher.

Gentlemen, uh....

lt is decided. The cobbler must leave.

- But....
- Quiet!

L'll tell Hans myself. Lt will not be pleasant,
but has to be done.

Perhaps it's for the best.
Tell Hans to wait in the shop for me.

L'll talk to him before supper.
Come, gentlemen.

Hello, Hans.

Hello, Peter.

- Was it nice by the river?
- Oh, just perfect.

Did we have any customers today?

- Not one.
- Hmm.

Lt just gets slower and slower.

- Hans?
- Hmm.

Don't you think we should go to a larger
city where shoes wear out faster?

And be stuck in the shop all day? Heh.
No, sir. L like business to be a little slow.

There's time enough for everything here.

That's what l mean, Hans. No shoes
wear out. No one ever leaves.

Not one person in this village
has ever been to Copenhagen, have they?

That's true, but why should they?
L never think about Copenhagen, do you?

Do l? What do you suppose
Copenhagen is really like?

Lt's a funny thing, now you mention it.
L used to think about Copenhagen a lot.

L used to make up the most wonderful
stories about going there.

L used to think about Copenhagen
a lot when l was your age.

My husband says the shoes hurt.

- They squeak and the left one doesn't fit.
- That's not too bad, Mrs. Berta.

L sometimes think
shoes have a life of their own.

The ones that squeak
don't like to leave the shop...

...and the ones that hurt
don't like whoever's wearing them.

Please, Hans, just fix the shoes.
L've got my own life to worry about.

When Mr. Berta's feet hurt,
he drives the whole house crazy.

Hans, what kind of stories
did you make up about Copenhagen?


l used to dream about having
the finest cobbler shop in Copenhagen.

L wasn't just an ordinary cobbler.
L only saw people by appointment.

First l looked at them
before l even looked at their shoes...

...and if l didn't like them, no shoes.

Do you know that people--?

Where are you going?
Don't you want to hear the rest?

- What's that?
- Your bag. Lt's all packed, Hans.

- My bag?
- Go to Copenhagen right now.

Are you crazy, Peter?

That was a story l was telling.
Didn't you understand that?

Of course l understood,
but part of it must be like you imagined...

...and maybe even great carriages
with fine horses...

...beautiful houses three stories high.

Don't you want to see it for yourself? Lt's
not so far from here, your bag's packed.

All you have to do is walk out of that door.
Quick! Before you change your mind.

Before l change my mind? Who said
l was going? Just like that, this afternoon?

What's got into you, anyway?

You forgot about Copenhagen
all these years.

You may forget about it again
until you're too old to go.

No, someday l'm really going
to Copenhagen.

- That's the one thing l'm sure of.
- Who knows?

Has anyone from this village gone
to Copenhagen before? Of course not.

They keep putting it off.
Lmagine, Hans, you'll be the first.

What a to-do there'll be tomorrow.
They'll talk of nothing else for days.

"Hans has gone to Copenhagen!"

"Hans has gone to Copenhagen."

Yes! Uh....

What a sign it would make!

"Hans Christian Andersen,
gone to Copenhagen"...

...with little shoes pointing
the way out of town!

L'll make the sign tonight. L see it exactly
as you do, the little shoes, everything!

Goodbye, Hans. Aren't you excited?

Excited? You mean
l really should go, Peter?

Why not? Lt's only a few days away.

You stay a little while and then come
back, but you've been to Copenhagen.

Oh, but it's a big step, Peter.

Still, what's to stop me? Heh.

My goodness, l am getting excited!


Lf anyone had told me this morning
that l'd decide to go to Copenhagen....

- Start walking!
- Lmagine, Peter.

L've decided to go to Copenhagen,
just like l made it up in a story.

- Goodbye, Hans.
- Goodbye, Peter.

Goodbye, Peter, and take care of yourself.
L'll only be gone a few days.

- Tell the children goodbye for me.
- L will.

Lmagine, Peter, Copenhagen!

Goodbye, Peter.


Oh, my goodness. My feet hurt. Unh!


L cannot understand
why these shoes hurt me so.

L made them myself, heh. You're lucky.
You don't have to wear shoes.

L can never understand why people
use that expression, "A dog's life." Heh.

Every dog l ever knew
seemed to have a very nice life indeed, heh.

You've no idea, and maybe
it's just as good you don't.

Back in the village, if people
saw me talking to you like this...

...do you know what would happen?

Every head would shake for a week,
and yet how pleasant this is, huh?

L can say anything l want to, and there's
no sound except the wag of your tail.

And people do the strangest things too.

Oh, yes, my friend.
Even me. Myself included.

For instance, if you were to ask me...

...what l was doing on the road
to Copenhagen, do you know something?

L couldn't tell you.

L was trying to figure it out a little
while ago, what Peter said, what l said.

All of a sudden, l find myself
on the road to Copenhagen. Heh.

Do you know something else, my friend?

L'm a little bit frightened.

Copenhagen is a very big place.

Still, what can happen, huh?

People are nice.

That's the nice thing about the world,
my friend, people.

So, what can happen?

L'll walk through the gates of the city,
go up to someone and say:

"How do you do?
L'm Hans Christian Andersen." Heh.

L'll walk through the gates of the city, and
l'll say, "l'm Hans Christian Andersen."

L'm Hans Christian Andersen

l've many a tale to tell

And though l'm a cobbler
l'd say l tell them rather well

l'll mend your shoes and l'll fix
Your boots when l have a moment free

When l'm not otherwise occupied

As a purple duck or a mountain side
Or a quarter after three

l'm Hans Christian Andersen
That's me

l'm Hans Christian Andersen
And this is an April day

lt's full of the magic l need
To speed me on my way

My pocketbook has an empty look
l limp on a lumpy shoe

So l turn into a flying fish

Or a millionaire with a rocking chair
And a dumpling in my stew

l'm Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen, that's who

Hans! Hans!


Peter, what are you doing here?

What's this? You've got
the whole shop on wheels.

Copenhagen sounded so wonderful,

...l got to thinking maybe
you wouldn't come back for a while.

Maybe for a long while,
so l thought maybe you'd need the shop.

Sometimes l think you put ideas
into my head that aren't even there.

Me? Oh, no, Hans.

L'm not at all sure l shouldn't
send you back right now.

- But, Hans....
- Still...

...as long as you've come this far...

l sail up the Skagerrak

And sail down the Kattegatt

Through the harbor and up to the quay

And there she stands

Waiting for me

With a welcome so warm and so gay

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Friendly old girl of a town

'Neath her tavern light

On this merry night

Let us clink and drink one down

To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Salty old queen of the sea

Once l sailed away

But l'm home today

Singing Copenhagen

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
For me

There she is!

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Friendly old girl of a town

'Neath her tavern light

On this merry night

Let us clink and drink one down

To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Salty old queen of the sea

Once l sailed away

But l'm home today

Singing Copenhagen

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
For me

Copenhagen Weekly Gazette

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Matches! Matches! Matches!

Please buy my matches

Matches! Matches!

Bric-a-brac! Bric-a-brac!

Nice red roses

Nice red roses

Pots and pans! Pots and pans!

Chimney sweep!

Sweep your chimney!

Bass! Bass! Buy a bass!

Nice fresh clams!


Fresh fish!

Buy rhubarb! Rhubarb! Buy rhubarb!

Sausages! Sausages!

Sausages! Sausages!

Pretty flowers!

Cheese, butter and eggs here!

Cheese, butter and eggs here!

Buy your bread from Bertha!

May l have a half loaf, please?

- Five skillings.
- Thank you.

- Hans, why don't we set up shop here?
- Hmm.

Here? Well, what are we waiting for?

L'm Hans Christian Andersen

The pride of the cobbler's trade

Permit me to show you
A great discovery l've made

A shoe goes squeak
And a shoe goes squawk

A squeak-iddy-squawk all day

Though you'd figure a shoe can't talk

lf you listen close
To the squeak and squawk

You can plainly hear it say:

"Let Hans Christian Andersen
Fix me right away"

ln Hans Christian Andersen
Your feet have a loyal friend

The sort of a doctor, l'm sure
Your toes would recommend

l work all night if a shoe's too tight
To see where the pinch comes from

l raise my hammer and shut one eye
And l sometimes hit on the reason why

And l sometimes hit my thumb

- Oh.
- Ha-ha-ha.

What's your name?

L'm Hans Christian Andersen

- You're under arrest.
- Under arrest?

Disrespect for the king's statue.

- Get that boy!
- Oh.

Run, Peter!

Do you want the new ballet ready
for the tour, Otto? Then do as l say, now!

- You heard what we said.
- Niels, be sensible.

All right, don't do it. Stand there and argue.

L'll get a cobbler
while you go and teach them the ballet.

Why is it a matter of life and death
to have a cobbler right now?

Because you have a ballerina
who is so pig-headed...

...that l must make an example of her
in front of the entire company.

That's awful perfume.

- Sir, l know where--
- Go away!

She won't get away with this.
L know her far better than you do.

- Very well. You know her.
- Otto, the ballet is only half finished.

No cobbler, no ballet. L guarantee it, Otto!

- L know where you can get a cobbler, sir.
- What's that?

L said l know
where you can get a cobbler, sir.


- You'll have to use a little influence.
- Lnfluence?

With the police. We should hurry, sir.

L know where one is sitting right now!

- Hello.
- Hello.

- Hello!
- Hello!

Are you all alone in there?

Well, uh, in a way, yes.

- Are you scared?
- Hmm?

- Are you scared?
- Scared? No.

Nobody's ever really alone.
Did you know that?

As a matter of fact,
l'm expecting company right now.

Would you like me to introduce you?
Are you sure?

Absolutely sure?

Don't go away.



Lsn't she pretty? Her name is Thumbelina.
Say hello, Thumbelina.

Now you say hello to her.


Oh, she's very unhappy.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.
What's the matter, Thumbelina?

Are you unhappy
because you're so little, huh?

That's nothing to make
such a sad face about, is it?

Here. Come on.

Though you're no bigger than my thumb

Than my thumb, than my thumb

Sweet Thumbelina, don't be glum

Now, now, now, ah, ah, ah,
Come, come, come

Thumbelina, Thumbelina
Tiny little thing

Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing

Oh, Thumbelina, what's the difference
lf you're very small?

When your heart is full of love
You're 9 feet tall!

Oh, she's still unhappy. What's the matter,
Thumbie? Would you like a playmate?

You would? Here.

There. Say how do you do.

Want a kiss? Uh-huh.

Would you like to dance?
You would? Well, here we go.

Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing

Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing

Thumbelina, what's the difference
lf you're very small?

When your heart is full of love,
You're 9 feet tall!

Open up.

- Hans!
- Peter!

- What are you doing here?
- You're a cobbler?

- Yes.
- Hurry.

You are in the custody
of the Royal Danish Ballet. Come along!

- What am l in the custody of?
- Shh, you're out, that's the main thing.

- They didn't treat you badly?
- No.

- Where's your coat?
- Here.

- Where are we going? Who is that man?
- What are you doing? Come along!

Come on, Hans. We've got our first job!

Straight! Straight!


Keep the line straight!

Up! Up!


- This is the most--
- Shh, dress rehearsal.

All right.

We'll do it all over again.

Ladies, the pirouettes were impossible.
Gentlemen, the lifts have to be higher.

The ballerina's performance
l won't begin to discuss.

That would take till tomorrow morning.
We'll do it again.

Not with these shoes, darling.

L told you before, remember?

Stop! Everything stop.

Ls the cobbler here yet?

- Here l am.
- Come up here, cobbler.

Come on. Hurry up!

Cobbler, this, uh, lady will explain to you
what she wants you to do.

Lt's a trifle complicated, but she's no
ordinary dancer. She's something special.

Of all the dancers in Denmark, she is
the only one who cannot follow my steps...

...without special shoes
that exist only in her mind.

All this she will make clear to you, perhaps.

We cannot understand
so great a ballerina!

We must only bow to her every wish.

Not quite low enough, my dear!

Come, sir. We can talk more quietly
over there, l think.

Lunch, everybody.

You've seen the ballet
when l make a jete?

You know, when l jump.

L want to rise and then remain motionless...

...as though l were standing
on nothing but air.

Lt is impossible with these shoes...

...but if you could put something in the tip
of each one, l'm sure l could do it...

...in spite of that unkind man.

Oh, l would so love to show him
it is not impossible.

Lt is possible, isn't it?

Could you do it?

Uh, yes.

Yes, l can do it.

L'll find something.

Something soft and silent.

L'm sure l can do it.

- You could really seem to stand on air.
- Oh, you have it!

L can see you have the idea perfectly.

L shall be so grateful to you.

- Can you do it now, quickly?
- Yes.

Lt would be such a service.
L would be forever grateful. Thank you.

Louise, my slippers!

You have to go out this way.


Goodness, you were a long time!
Have we got a job?


- What are you holding?
- Slippers.

Slippers? L never saw slippers like that
before. Who wears a thing like that?

- The loveliest lady l've ever seen.
- Why does she wear these?

She dances, no, she floats.

When she smiles, your heart skips
a beat and then melts.

She smiled and stood close to me.
She even touched me, heh.

Where's the barrow?

- L promised these to her quickly.
- Right over here.

L hid it here in the theater storeroom.

She wants shoes that will walk on air.
This afternoon.

Well, she'll have them.

L wish she had asked me something
really impossible.


Are you hungry?

Do you love me?

Yes, even half-starved, l love you.


Sit down. Let me feed you.

Here. A sip of this to put you
in a better temper.

And, look.

L asked Helga
to make this especially for you.

My darling, was l cruel today?

You were, my friend. You were indeed.

L was almost in tears.

- Doro, l'm sorry.
- Niels, don't be sorry.

Lt's just as it should be.
Don't you see that, my angel?

Professionally, we fight like two tigers,
but afterwards....

That's what makes it so good afterwards.

Lsn't it good now?

Lt's wonderful. Why do l forget that
the minute you start to dance?

Then l see only my mortal enemy,
the ballerina, in front of me.

Because the ballet is your life,
just as it is mine.

Don't you think l sometimes forget
you are my husband when l am dancing...

...and want to kill you
for some of the things you say?

You really want to kill me?

Of course l do. Lsn't that as it should be?

L would hate it any other way,
wouldn't you?

Oh, Niels, we are lucky,
and l do love you so.

L'm sorry about the shoes. L will behave
beautifully this afternoon, you will see.

- Sorry about the shoes?
- There was nothing wrong with them.

L just did that to torment you.

You did?

L know exactly how to torment you,
don't l, darling?

And you look so wonderfully poetic
when you are in a rage, my dear.

Never mind how l look. So, uh, you just made
up that little bit about the shoes, huh?

But you were being terrible.
You deserved it.

You, uh-- You let everyone sit around
while you took your petty revenge, huh?

You forget what you said in front
of the entire company about my dancing?

Oh, no, l remember every word of it.

- L was right!
- Oh, you were?

Yes, and if you've finished stuffing
yourself, l can say it again...

...because we're going
back to the rehearsal.

You danced the waltz
like an elephant in a snowdrift!

What did you say?

L said you danced the waltz
like an elephant in a snowdrift!

Like an elephant who fell down
and was trying to get up!

Can you hear me? Ls that loud enough?

How dare you! L slave to make
each step you give me just right.

L make your foolish little dance steps
acceptable to an audience.

You don't slave hard enough.
Move in time to the music once in a while!

You are not just cruel,
you are completely heartless.

You love to say cruel things to me! You
would like to see me grovel at your feet!

You'd see those steps clearer that way!

How can l stand it?

How do l bear it?

You can cry harder than that.
L've heard you cry much harder.


That, my girl, is for thinking up
those shoes.

On stage, everybody!

Let's see what you can think up
for this afternoon's rehearsal.

Oh, you've fixed the shoes? Good.

- Do you see what he's doing to her?
- Of course.

Never interfere between a husband
and wife. Lt's the best rule l ever heard of.

You mean she's married to him?

- To that man?
- Very much married. Outside, please.

No one is allowed in the theater during
rehearsal. Another very good rule.

How much do we owe you for the shoes?

How could you do it?

How could a girl like you
marry a man like that?

How can l help you?

Dance! Dance!

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Help me!

Help me! Help me!

Help me!


Cobbler! Thank you for the shoes.

You left before l had a chance
to thank you.

They were wonderful.

L really floated on air. Thank you.

Thank you.

Don't tell me what to do!
They'll work tomorrow.

They'll work till they get it right.
L'll see them drop in their tracks.

And you have my coat ready for me
when l'm ready to leave!


What funny people they are over there.

They laugh and kiss, then they scream
and beat each other. Kind of crazy.

What are you doing, Hans?

- Writing.
- A letter? To the children?

- Say something for me to them.
- Lt's not to the children.

What? Who are you writing to, Hans?

The ballerina.

Stop bothering me, Peter.

Why are you writing
to the ballerina, Hans?

L heard him talk to her.
L saw him slap her face.

But, Hans, they're married.

L know that.

L heard them talking
before you came in, Hans.

Lt was different.

Peter, you're a child.
You don't understand.

L saw him make her cry.

- But they--
- Don't bother me.

L must finish this tonight.

"The Little Mermaid.
A story for Mademoiselle Doro.

And so, gradually, the little mermaid
began to understand.

She had sought love
from the wrong man."

Come in.

L'm sorry, sir, but he insisted
on seeing you immediately.

Shh. Shh. Shh.

She's asleep. What's the trouble?
Who's this little boy?

This is addressed to Mademoiselle Doro.
He was in the theater trying to take it.

Lt seems to be a story,
and it is addressed to her.

Why were you trying to take it?

- L wasn't trying to steal it. Lt's mine.
- Then why is it addressed to my wife?

- Niels, what is all this?
- Lt's mine! Please give it to me.

Who wrote this?

L did.

You did?

Suppose you tell me why you happened
to write this story to my wife?

Lt's nothing to do with you or her.

Lt's just a story.
He made up a story, that's all.

He's always making up stories,
and he made up this one.

Would you mind telling me
who he is?

We know you didn't write it, so you might
as well stop lying. Who is he?

A friend of mine.

- Ha, ha.
- What's his name?

Hans Christian Andersen. The cobbler.

Darling, it's the cobbler.

The cobbler who fixed my shoes
so beautifully yesterday.

- He's written me a story for a ballet.
- Heh.

- L don't believe it!
- Heh, oh, tell him l am delighted to have it.

What was his name, Hans?
L will read it carefully.

- The Little Mermaid! Heh.
- Oh, honey, stop it.

Lt is all very innocent and quite touching.

L haven't said good morning yet.

Good morning, darling.

Where have you been?
L've lost it. L can't find it any place.

Help me look, will you, Peter?

Just when l need you most, you disappear.

L'll have to write it all over again.

- You don't have to write it again.
- Don't stand there. Start looking.

- You don't have to write it again.
- What?

She's got it.

What did you say?

She has it, Hans. Right now.

She has?

But how did she get it?

L was reading it
and it blew out of my hands.

You took it?

But why? Never mind that, Peter. Go on.

Lt blew into the window
of the theater, and....

That's how she got it.

A wind took it to her.

Lt's an omen, Peter. An omen.

She's reading it now.

Don't go over there, Hans, don't.

L must, Peter. L've got to talk to her.
L can help her.

That chair and this sofa.
Let's get them on the wagon.

What's going on here?
What are you doing?

The ballet's moving out.

Moving out?

Excuse me.

- Ls it true the ballet's moving out?
- That's right. Their yearly tour.

Where to? How long will they be gone?

Oh, there's the school bell.
Off to school. Hurry up.

Off with you. Tomorrow's
another day and another story.

L don't want any trouble with
the schoolmaster. Hurry, children.

What's the matter? Are you unhappy?

Would you like me to tell you
a special story?

Come on up here.

Come on.

L'm not going to hurt you.
Go up a little faster.

Now, let me see....

There once was an ugly duckling

With feathers all stubby and brown

And the other birds, in so many words
Said, "Quack, get out of town

Quack, get out, quack, quack

Get out, quack, quack
Get out of town"

And he went with a quack
And a waddle and a quack

ln a flurry of eiderdown

Shall l tell you the rest?

All right.

That poor little ugly duckling

Went wandering far and near

But at every place
They said to his face

"Now, quack, get out of here

Quack, get out, quack, quack
Get out, quack, quack

Get out of here

And he went with a quack
And a waddle and a quack

And a very unhappy tear

All through the wintertime
He hid himself away

Ashamed to show his face
Afraid of what others might say

All through the winter
ln his lonely clump of weed

Till a flock of swans spied him there
And very soon agreed

"You're a very fine swan indeed"

"A swan?

Me a swan? Nah, go on."

They said, "Yes, you're a swan.
Look at yourself in the lake. You'll see."

And he looked and he saw
and he said, "l am a swan!"


L'm not such an ugly duckling

No feathers all stubby and brown

For, in fact, these birds
ln so many words said, tsk

"The best in town

Tsk, the best, tsk, tsk
The best, tsk, tsk

The best in town"

Not a quack, not a quack
Not a waddle or a quack

But a glide and a whistle
And a snowy white back

And a head so noble and high

Say who's an ugly duckling?

Not l

Not l

So it shouldn't make any difference
if they won't play with you.

But it does. L want to play with them...

...but they make fun of me because l was
sick and the doctor shaved my head.

Yes, but look what happened
to the ugly duckling.

Huh? One day soon,
you'll look in the mirror...

...much sooner than you think...

...and your hair will be grown out,
and you'll be just like the ugly duckling.

You'll be better than any of them,
l promise.

- Are you sure, Hans?
- Very sure.

You'd better run off to school.
You're late now.

- Bye, Hans.
- Goodbye.

Oh, uh, cobbler, are my shoes ready?

Oh, yes, ma'am. L have them here.
One mark, please.

- As much as that?
- Yes, ma'am. They're practically new.

How beautiful!

What kind of shoes are they?

Ballet slippers. L made them myself.
Every inch of them.

How lovely they are!

Oh, please, ma'am. They might soil.
You understand.

Who wears such lovely things?

A lady who dances.
Her feet twinkle like little stars.

L assure you, the slippers won't even
be noticed, she's so beautiful herself.

- Uh, thank you.
- Oh!

Thank you. Please come again.

Her arms were warm

As they welcomed me

Her eyes were fire-bright

And then l knew that my path must be

Through the ever haunted night

For anywhere l wander

Anywhere l roam

Till l'm in the arms of my darling again

My heart will find no home

Anywhere l wander

Anywhere l roam

Anywhere l wander

Anywhere l roam

- You're Hans the cobbler?
- Yes, sir.

- L'm pleased to know you.
- How do you do?

You've no idea
what this is all about?

- No, sir.
- L'm the father of the ugly duckling.

- Does that mean anything to you?
- Oh, ho, ho, ho, you're Lars' father. L see.

That little story helped him
over a bad time. L'm very grateful to you.

When l made inquiries, l found
you had a lot more of these stories.

- The children are full of them these days.
- Heh.

Do you ever write any of them?

- Oh, no, sir.
- L've a little surprise for you. Come.

Give me a small sheet of paper.


Thank you very much.

- Lt's the finest present l've ever had.
- L'm delighted. Lars will be too.

Could l say something, sir?
You wouldn't mind?

Of course not. Say anything you want.

Well, instead of "Hans the Cobbler"...

...could it say "Hans Christian
Andersen," like a real writer?


Lf you write some of those stories down,
just the way you tell them to the children...

...l'll print them, and pay you for them.

L can hardly believe it!

- When will this be in the paper?
- Tomorrow.

Lt'll say "Hans Christian Andersen"
all day tomorrow.

All day?

- Well, goodbye, sir.
- Goodbye.

All day?

- Oh, thank you, sir.
- Thank you.

"The Ugly Duckling
by Hans Christian Andersen."

L'm Hans Christian Andersen

That fortune has smiled upon

Although l'm a duckling today
Tomorrow l'm a swan

A tale l told and it turned to gold
As gold as a tale can be

l laugh ha, ha, ha, but l blush a bit
For l realize while l'm reading it

That it's also reading me

"By Hans Christian Andersen"

l am a swan!

L write myself a note each day

And l place it in my hat

The wind comes by, the hat blows high
But that's not the end of that

For round and round the world it goes
lt lands here right behind myself

l pick it up and l read the note
Which is merely to remind myself

l'm Hans Christian Andersen



L'm Hans Christian Andersen

l bring you a fable rare

There once was a table who said,
"How l'd love a chair"

And then and there
Came a sweet young chair

All dressed in a bridal gown

He said to her in a voice so true:

"Now l did not say l would marry you
But l would like to sit down"

l'm Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen's in town

"The Ugly Duckling
by Hans the Cobbler!"

You're looking at a writer. A real writer.

Tomorrow, the newspaper will say,
"Hans Christian Andersen" all day!

- Was that what the newspaper wanted?
- Uh-huh. Yes.

They've printed one of your stories!

And the way it happened
is like a story in itself. Wait till you hear.

From now on, if anybody
asks who you're working for...

...you can say a writer.

You are working for a real writer!

- "The Ugly Duckling by Hans the Cobbler."
- Uh-huh.

L can hardly believe it!


Can you imagine...?

Can you imagine
the schoolmaster's face?

One day, a newspaper
arrives from Copenhagen.

He opens it up and he looks,
and suddenly....

He can't believe his eyes!
"Hans Christian Andersen?" He says.

"Hans the Cobbler?

A story by Hans Christian Andersen?

Mm. Fine story." Have a bite.

- There's something on your hand.
- Hmm.

- That must be from the printing machine.
- Hmm.



- "Royal Danish Ballet returns from tour."
- Yes, Peter.

She's back!

Oh, what a day!
Everything is happening at once!

Hans, we promised some shoes
for today.

L'll do it later. L couldn't possibly sit still.

She's back! L've got to walk! She's back!

Never before and never again

Never before and never again

No two people
Have ever been so in love

Been so in love

- Been so in love
- lt's incredible

No two people have ever been so in love
As my lovey dove and l

This is unique, the positive peak
We are the most unusual couple on earth

No two people have ever mooned
Such a moon, juned such a June

Spooned such a spoon

What he means is that no two people
Have ever been so in tune

As my macaroon and l

And when we kiss

- And when we kiss
- What verse is this?

Lt's hysterical, it's historical

- Let me tell it
- Certainly, darling

No two people
Have ever been so in love

Been so in love

lt's impossible
No two people have ever been so in love

As my lovey dove and l

This is the cream
The very extreme

The sort of a dream
You couldn't imagine at all

No two people have ever been so in love
As my lovey dove and l

No two people have ever been so in love

Been so in love
Been so in love

No two people have ever been so in love

Mrs. Andersen.

Mr. Andersen.

Mrs. Andersen.

Mr. Andersen.

Mr. Andersen.

Mr. Andersen?

Heh, Mr. Andersen.

How sweet of you to be here
the very moment we return.

How did you know we were going
to do your ballet?

Never mind. Your real reward will come
tomorrow night when l dance it for you.

You will come, won't you?

Perhaps you will have words for me
by tomorrow night, huh?

Come, Louise.

What would they say back in the village?

You and me getting ready to go
to the opera house in Copenhagen.

Heh. To see my ballet! Heh.

Would they believe it? Never.

"One of the cobbler's stories," they'd say.
"How can the children believe them?"

But even l wouldn't dare make up a story
like this, and it happens to be true.

Ls it all right if l don't go with you?


- L said is it all right if l don't go?
- No!

Lt's not all right if you don't go with me.
What's the matter with you?

Something's wrong with you.

Come inside.

What's the matter, Peter?
Come on. Out with it.

L've been trying to tell you
something, Hans, all day.

All right, Peter. Tell me now.

Lt's hard for me, Hans.
L don't know how to say it.

Never mind. Just say it.

L tried once to tell you,
but you wouldn't listen.

Then they went away,
and l thought you'd forget about it.

- They?
- L don't like people who laugh at you.

Lt hurts me when people laugh at you.

Back in the village when they made
fun of you, l wanted to kill them.

Laugh at me? What are you
talking about, Peter?

Her and him. You don't understand them.

What don't l understand?

You're making up a story about them,
like you do about everything else...

...only this time it's about them,
not clocks and flowers and stars.

- She'll laugh at you, Hans!
- So that's it.

L thought so.

Ls she laughing at me
when she does my ballet?

Was she laughing at me
when she kissed me?

- She kissed you?
- Yes.

You didn't know that, did you?

- L don't care. Lt's true what l'm saying.
- L'm sorry you said that, Peter.

You never lied to me before.
You don't have to come with me tonight.

Maybe you'd better see if you can
find work with somebody else.

You're old enough now
to be by yourself...

...and l think we'd better part company
altogether because....

Because l don't think
we like each other anymore.

L beg your pardon.

No one's allowed in
before the performance.

L am Hans Christian Andersen.

- The author of the ballet they're doing.
- Oh, heh, good evening.

Don't you read the posters
outside your own theater?

Make it lower.
Up, down again, around, that's it.

That's it.

Stay together.


That's much better. Keep it up.

That's it. Now go around.
Come around this way.

Who are you? Get out of here!

Don't deliver shoes before a performance!
Leave them with the doorman.

- Try the arabesque again.
- The name is Andersen.

- Hans Christian Andersen.
- Andersen? The ballet writer!

L'd like to deliver these shoes
to Mademoiselle Doro.

Be a good fellow and get out now.

- Will you move the big shell upstage?
- Yes, sir.

Go out front and watch your ballet.

- L'll give her the shoes myself.
- No! Don't you touch them.

You can't give them to her now.
No one sees her before an opening.

Can you show us
where you want the shell?

L can't be everywhere at once.
Just move it on stage.

Will you please escort Mr. Andersen
to the stage door? Quietly but firmly.

But l have these, ugh....

lf you please, l'd like to leave alone.

You again! Don't you understand
this is no time to bother anybody?

Mademoiselle Doro
would not agree with you.

Oh, why am l plagued with authors
on opening nights?

- Overture in three minutes.
- Ln three minutes, we begin!

Ladies, take your places!

Open that door! Let me out of here!

L can see it.

L don't have to see her with my eyes.

L can see it all.

Come in!

- Good morning, madame.
- Good morning, Celine.

- Lt's not a very nice day, l'm afraid.
- Lt looks lovely to me, Celine.

And how good it feels to be
back in my own room. Lt seems years.

That it does, and what
a wonderful success last night!

L can hardly ever remember
the audience being so excited.

Lt was the new ballet.
They were enchanted with it.

And it is enchanting. L love to dance it.

What a curious fellow he is.

- He never turned up at all.
- Who, madame?

Hans, the cobbler. You know?

L wonder if he was even there. Do you
suppose he was there and was too shy?

- Oh, good heavens!
- L thought you were fast asleep.

- The cobbler's locked in the prop room!
- What are you talking about?

L locked him up last night,
just before the performance. L had to.

He insisted on giving you some shoes
five minutes before the ballet began.

He never saw the ballet?
You kept him locked up?

- L forgot, l tell you.
- You big fool!

L had other things to think about just then!

Quickly, Celine. Go to the theater
and bring him back here.

That poor dear man!

And you, you monster,
you'd better stay under there.

Try popping your head out
and see what you get, heh.

- The lamp over it, l promise you!
- Oh, heh.

Oh, Hans.

L shall call you Hans. What a dreadful
thing to have happened! Are you all right?

Lt's just like him to have done
such a thing. Come.

Sit down.

- Would you like a cup of chocolate?
- No, thank you.

You missed seeing the ballet.
We will do it again two nights from now...

...and you will see it then.

- But l did see the ballet.
- You did?

- Yes, heh.
- How?

- L thought you were--
- l was, but l could hear the music.

L knew the story the music was telling.

L didn't have to see you dance
with my eyes.

Oh, Hans, how very dear you are...

...and how l love to dance it.

L don't know quite why. Lt's very strange.

Even when we rehearsed it,
l felt something sad and tender.

- L don't know why.
- L know why.

- You do? Tell me.
- Mm-hm.

- L think it was your answer.
- My answer?

L let my heart speak to you
with the story, and....

Last night, you answered me with yours.

Hans, tell me something. How did you
come to write that story for me?

How else could l tell you how l felt?

That l knew how miserable
you were with him?

Miserable? With my husband?

Yes, uh, l don't think you knew l was there,
but l saw the way he treated you.

L saw him slap you.

L heard you cry.

Oh, Hans.

- How else could a cobbler speak to you?
- Lt's arrived, my darling. Lt's here!

Good morning, Andersen. Your present,
angel. My apologies for last night.

You must forgive me. Lt was your ballet
l was thinking of, not you.

Did you tell him what a great success
it was? For a great lady of the ballet.

Open it! We shall be poor for the next
year, but l had to have it for you.

The best part's on the other side.
Turn it over and read it.

Read it aloud. L'm not a poet like you,

...but once in a while,
even a fool like me can speak of love.

Are you pleased, my darling?
Read it for me.

Not now, Niels. Later.

Heh, you're not shy suddenly? Never mind.
You can do anything you wish.

She danced like an angel.
L could cover you with kisses.

Please don't, Niels.

Oh, haven't you forgiven me?
Andersen has, l'm sure.

Oh, she was furious at me for locking
you up, but no harm has been done.

Heh, it's even rather amusing.
Oh, heh, don't you look so stern, my dear.

You were laughing about it yourself.

Don't tell me l didn't hear you laughing,
l did. Heh, even under the covers.

- Be quiet.
- What's the matter with you, Doro?

Hans, it doesn't matter
why you wrote the story for me.

Lt's a beautiful story, whatever the reason.

Lt's a lovely and tender story by itself...

...but l shall remember what you told me
every time l dance it.

- Andersen, we haven't paid you for it.
- Niels, do be quiet.

We want to pay him, don't we?
We'd like you to write more for us.

- Have you any other stories we can use?
- No, um, that one was just an accident.

L don't think l'll be writing any more.

L guess it's all right to deliver these now.

Some shoes from the cobbler.

Thank you, Hans.

- But, Andersen, l--
- Niels, let him go. Goodbye, Hans.


Doro, what is it, my darling?


Hello, Peter.

Do you mind if l walk along beside you?

L don't see how l can help it.

We both seem to be going in the same
direction, and there's only one road.

Are you going back to the village?

L'm going back to the village too.

Bread and butter!
And you know something, Peter?

L'm never telling another story,
not even to myself.

L've told my last story, Peter.

Especially to myself.

Cobbler, stick to your last.

Lf any man ever learned his lesson
and learned it good, it's me.

- L think you'll go on telling stories, huh.
- No, l won't.

- Oh, yes, you will.
- No, l won't.

Why do you keep on saying that?

Why? Because
you're Hans Christian Andersen.

That's why!


You'll tell stories.
You'll write stories.

You'll even sing stories.

Over and over and over again.

L'm not such an ugly duckling

No feathers all stubby and brown

For, in fact, these birds
ln so many words

Said, "Tsk, the best in town

Tsk, the best, tsk, tsk
The best...."

Remember your trip
to Copenhagen? Tell us about it!


Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

Friendly old girl of a town

'Neath her tavern light

On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down

To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen

- Tell us about the king! The king!
- Yes, the king!

The king is in the altogether
But altogether, the altogether

He's altogether as naked
As the day that he was born

The king is in the altogether
But altogether, the altogether

lt's altogether the very least
The king has ever worn

Hans! My favorite, huh?


Though you're no bigger
Than my thumb

- Than my thumb
- Than my thumb

- Sweet Thumbelina, don't be glum
- Don't be glum

- Now, now, now
- Eh, eh, eh. Come, come, come


Thumbelina, Thumbelina
Tiny little thing

Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing

Thumbelina, what's the difference
lf you're very small?

When your heart is full of love
You're 9 feet tall

Hans Christian Andersen