“There are several versions of the ferry tale with pretty extreme differences, and this film is more or less faithful to the best known version from Gebrüder Grimm. Only the beginning and the end are a bit different: the king and the miller meet, when the king hurts his ankle in a forest close to the mill. He boasts in front of the nobleman, which he does not recognise as his king, that his daughter is able to spin gold out of hay. So the king invites the daughter to his castle and forces her to spin gold. From here the story goes as usual. Every night a little gnome comes and in return for a little present, the gnome spins the gold. On the thrid and last night the gnome blackmails the maid to promise him her forst born. The king is so impressed, that he marries the millers daughter. When she bears her first child, the gnome comes back and asks for his reward. When she refuses he gives her one more chance: if she is able to find out his name within three days, she shall keep her son. The queen sends out all her servants to collect names. By chance, one of the servants eavesdops on a little gnome in the forest and comes back with the right name. The queen tells it to the gnome and from here the film again leaves the known version: instead tearing itself into pieces and vanish into the ground, the gnome only says the well known “That the devil told you” and offers her one more wish – the queen wishes the grumpy old minister to vanish, so Rumpelstilzchen turns him into a donkey. End of story.
Though the film has no remarkable features, surely the Rumpelstilzchen myth has its interesting aspects: the packt with the gnome that includes giving away the child and the folie with the name, whose knowledge means power over the ghost who owns it, are surely connected to the coming of age story of the young maid that has to ovecome certain obstachles and make experiences unknown to her husband, which is somewhat included in the ferrytale.” — MichelangeloAntonioni