It opens with a montage sequence, with various scenes fading into each other. Here are a few of the frames.
Proclaimed Boxoffice magazine on November 13, 1937:
Here is a cartoon that is ideal for the Christmas program. It is a natural for the holiday trade and good enough not to be overlooked any other time. It is about a poor, homeless match girl who is spurned by the crowds on New Year’s Eve. She lights her matches to keep warm and when she falls into her final slumber, beautiful visions of shimmering fountains, doves, flowers, tinkling bells and a Christmas tree with presents take form. In the end, a beautiful and merciful angel takes the girl with her.Not exactly a Disney ending, is it?
It’s a matter of opinion whether the artwork is on Disney level but it’s certainly rich for a Mintz effort. And the wind ripping apart the Little Match Girl’s happy dream before she dies is a powerful scene. Leonard Maltin’s Of Mice and Magic revealed the bulk of the animation was by Emery Hawkins. Alas, the only artist who was credited was the great Art Davis, with the story by Sid Marcus. And the names only appeared on the initial release; they were removed when the cartoon was decreed a “Columbia Favorite” and a generic title card was substituted.
Thanks to Devon Baxter for the screen shots.