With the holiday season approaching, I remembered one movie I saw when I was a kid that I cannot remember the name.
It was about an orphan (got to have one) who was raised by, if I remember correctly, her step mother and her daughter. Those 2 were very selfish and took happiness to make the little girl's live miserable. However, that girl, sometime along the movie, befriend, again if I remember correctly, the 4 spirits of winters or the seasons. Where she live, the princess was very curious about those spirit. When the step mother learned about the girl's 'friend', she disclosed it to the princess. Under pressure, she was forced to lead them to the spirit. The princess gathered an escort and they all went to meet the spirits.
However, along the way, the day suddenly turned to a snow storm, the wind grabbing the orphan, destroying the carriage with the princess and blowing away every single winter clothing everyone had. Left without any mean of transportation or any mean to warm themselves, the princess, her guards and the wicked step mother/daughter are left to wonder what will happen to them. Freezing, the princess spot a lose coat. The mother and daughter run after it and start fighthing over it. Seeing this, one of the guard generously give his coat to the freezing princess, and let a remark that those two were fighting like two dogs for a bone. As he finishes saying that, the woman and daughter, as they throw themselves at each other, suddenly turn into 2 dogs, who break fighting and run away.
The remaining of the group start to wonder, until they reach the center of the forest where they see the girl and the 4 spirits. They apologies for their behavior and promise the girl a better future. The 2 dogs, former humans, then arrive. The spirits then tell them that, if they're behave for a whole year, they will get their former human self.
I believe this was an european made movie, back from the late 80. If anyone can point me toward what this movie could be, I would really appreciate it.
Another show /short / movie I'm looking forth tells the story of an evil warlock, who locate and raise many orphans an teach them magic. However, each kid has to hold his own and do whatever the warlock tell them. Some of the magic include shapeshifting. The protagonist, befriend a few of the other orphans. At one point, one of his elder friend is called by the warlock. After a certain amount of time, the wizard would pick the eldest of his apprentice and challenge him to a duel, which always end with him being victorious. Seeing the disappearance of his friend, our hero want to leave this place. When another of his friend is caught doing something wrong (I can't remember what), the wizard tell him to turn his friend into a cattle, then go to the market and sell him.
However, he won't do it and on his way, turn the kid back into a human and turn himself into a bull. His friend lead him to the market and sell him, using the money to ran away. However, the one who purchased him was simply his master in disguise, who spur him to blood and exhaustion back to the house. As his punishment, he would spend the rest of his day doing chores and studying, while spending the night as a crow. During that time, he woulds spy on a girl, as a crow, and feel in love with her. She would, in time, realizes that the crow was actually a boy turned raven.
This disobedience really angered the wizard, who grab the girl, challenging her to identify which one of his apprentice was the boy she was in love with. Considering she never saw the boy, it would be impossible. However, she knew and went straight to the right boy, saying that this boy had the right heart.
The wizard then turned into flames and all the orphan were released. That movie / short actually used some sort of weird technique for the animation. I think they used cut back paper, as most of the animation was mostly monochrome, with black for the character silhouette with an orange or other color for the background. To emphasis on the paper, when the wizard burst to flame, we see him burn like if he real paper was being burnt.
After many failed attempts, I finally managed to locate the second one... in 10 minutes. Thanks Wikipedia.
Thanks to 'paper cut animation', one of the listed entry that caught my eye were "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
Huh. The plot of the first thing you described sounds weirdly like the various Russian Fairy Tale adaptations I saw in my Russian Fairy Tale class last semester. It especially sounds similar to the film "Jack Frost", though that film was made in the 1960s. Definite fairy tale elements, though I can't say I've ever heard of it...