Thumbelina is a phenomenal movie (the only really Disney quality animated movie I’ve found outside the Disney universe), and one I think St. Therese would have enjoyed watching as well. It’s all about loving your littleness and letting Jesus “be your wings” instead of wishing to be big. It also happens to be set in France.
Cornelius comes to her in her loneliness, from a heavenly kingdom far away, and invites her to join his family and become his bride. He gives her his royal ring, which reminds me of the Prodigal Son story, and promises to return to her soon.
Her faith in him does not go untested, though. First she is kidnapped by the toads, who represent the seduction of fame and popularity. She is attracted to this life, but upon learning that it would mean breaking her promise to Cornelius, she ultimately chooses Cornelius and escapes to find her home and her mother (Mary).
Then she is kidnapped by the beetles, representing sexual seduction. They entice her by telling her she is beautiful, but after they have used her she is rejected and feels “ugly”. Healing comes to her when the swallow (the Holy Spirit) reminds her that only Cornelius’s opinion of her matters, and he thinks she is beautiful.
Lastly she is taken captive by the mole, representing excessive preoccupation with wealth and security, and she almost goes with it — especially after being told Cornelius is dead (Good Friday) — but backs out as she realizes nothing should cause her to compromise Love. The brave prince who died seeking to rescue her, who has had nothing else on his mind the whole movie except saving her at all costs, fights off all three rejected suitors as she makes her escape to the warmth of the sun/Son.
The swallow swoops her away to a frozen wasteland that her song of faith reveals to be the Vale of Fairies, and she finally sees Cornelius is alive after all (Easter), then the beauty of spring sets the stage for their royal wedding and the gift of her very own wings (heaven).
This moving story of confidence in the love of our dear Jesus is a must-see, and if you haven’t considered this perspective of the story before, I hope this post enriches your future viewings. Let Jesus be your divine elevator, your “wings”, to the glorious heights of heaven!