Admittedly when I began The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen, I wasn’t expecting the story I would get. I’m pretty used to feeling fairly meh about the stories that aren’t in some way connected to a piece of my childhood that I loved immensely, and even then I can find myself disappointed, but this one really got to me in a lot of ways. Unlike many of the Hans Christian Andersen stories that I’ve read in recent months, The Steadfast Tin Soldier took my emotions and completely threw them for a loop, bringing me to so many ups and downs and highs and lows throughout the course of the entire story that I left it quite uncertain as to how I actually felt about the novel as a whole. It took me several days and a watch of the Disney short to finally decide what my actual thoughts and feelings were regarding the whole thing.
And at the end of it, I’ve found that I actually really enjoyed reading The Steadfast Tin Soldier. It was an emotional ride, for sure, but overall the story really grabs you and pulls you in. You don’t quite want to leave it and even more, you find yourself devastated as you reach the end of the story. I think, ultimately, a part of me does prefer the Disney animation–which did change the actual ending quite a bit–but a part of me does believe that the original has an incredible and bold ending as well. And I think, in their own ways, each story is pretty brilliant. I’m not really all that surprised that Disney made the changes they did.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier is a quick read that’s worth reading if you’re up for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. And I would definitely suggest searching up the Disney short film version of the story as soon as you’ve finished reading the story itself. While different, I think they’re both definitely worth one’s time.