Release dateOctober 18, 2002 Based onHansel and Gretel
by Brothers Grimm WriterJonathan Bogner, Timothy Dolan, Gary J. Tunnicliffe
TaglineMagically Delicious! A Real Family Treat!
Hansel and Gretel is a 2002 film adaptation of the Brothers Grimm children's story. It stars Jacob Smith and Taylor Momsen as the eponymous characters. It includes the Sandman, played by Howie Mandel and Sinbad as a raven.
The film begins in a modern home with two children, Andrew (Thomas Curtis) and Katie (Dakota Fanning), about to go to bed during a thunderstorm. They ask their father to read them a story to help them feel better about the storm. The father finds a dusty, old book and decides to read the story of Hansel and Gretel.
Hansel and Gretel (Jacob Smith and Taylor Momsen) are living with their father (Gerald McRaney) and stepmother (Delta Burke) in a very tiny shack. The children know their stepmother is evil, but the father does not. Since they are very poor, the father decides to sell Hansel and Gretel's biological mother's necklace, but the stepmother substitutes a pebble. The next day, the stepmother forces the children into taking a walk in the scary forest. Once they get far enough into the forest, the stepmother abandons them.
Afterward, Hansel and Gretel go looking for food and are tricked into going to a lazy troll's (Bobcat Goldthwait) house. They get caught, but are then saved by the Sandman (Howie Mandel), whom they befriend. They also let Wood Fairy (Alana Austin) free, whom they also befriend. Throughout the story the Sandman and the fairy are always bickering which causes problems at times.
One night when the Sandman goes out to get some food for the kids, and the fairy goes out for one reason or another, Hansel and Gretel wander off to a house made of candy and chocolate. The lady (Lynn Redgrave) that lives there invites them in and they eat some delicious food and then go to bed. They wake up the next morning and find the house is just an empty shack with an old lady in it. A raven (Sinbad) comes to the window to tell them that the old lady is actually a witch. The witch walks into the room, locks Hansel in a box, and makes Gretel cook and Hansel eat. She does this because she is going to eat Hansel and wants him nice and fat. Because of certain principles, Gretel breaks a mirror and the witch becomes ugly. The Sandman and Wood Fairy walk in and help Hansel and Gretel get the witch into her cauldron. Then they put her in the oven, killing her. The father finds them and they do not worry about the stepmother who had gone to the troll's house who then abandoned her after she made him cook and clean for her.
The scene returns to the bedroom of the two kids and their father who say goodnight. The Sandman and the troll drop by, say hello to the children, and take the Hansel and Gretel book. They explain to the children that they are real, which is how the Brothers Grimm were inspired to write the story. The Sandman sprinkles the children with his sleep dust, ending the film.
Jacob Smith as Hansel
Taylor Momsen as Gretel
Thomas Curtis as Andrew
Dakota Fanning as Katie
Howie Mandel as Sandman
Alana Austin as Wood Fairy
Gerald McRaney as Father
Delta Burke as Stepmother
Lynn Redgrave as Woman / Witch
Sinbad as Raven
Bobcat Goldthwait as Troll
Tom Arnold as Boogeyman
The film has a 0% "Rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes. IMDb gives it a 3.6 out of a possible 10.