Original title: (Das Zaubermännchen)
GDR, 1960, 71 min, color
In German; English subtitles

The classic Grimm's fairy tale with socially critical overtones in its analysis of work and exploitation. 


A boastful miller pretends that his daughter Marie can spin straw into gold, and so she is locked into a room full of straw and ordered to spin it into gold by the next morning. A little man appears and offers his help in exchange for Marie's necklace. The greedy treasurer makes Marie spin twice more until the only thing she has left to give the little man is the promise of her first-born child.


The delighted king marries Marie, but when their child is a year old, the little man returns to claim his payment. Because he likes the kind-hearted Marie, he allows her to save her child if she can guess his name in three days. In the DEFA version, Marie enlists the help of her husband and the entire kingdom to discover the little man's name, and it is her faithful friend Hans who happens upon the little man in the woods and saves the day.

Special features:

Also available for purchase: the Rumpelstiltskin teaching guide!

Streaming Only


Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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