In contrast to the conflicting messages of the original, where Henriette's self-absorbtion and unwillingness to keep her promises go rewarded with her prince and happy ending, this version is true to the Socialist ethic of the former East in that the princess must work and prove herself before she is able to receive her reward. Interesting also is the role reversal between the prince and the princess: here, it is the princess who must fight for her prince. As some critics pointed out, the character of the Frog Prince, who is bewitched so that he can neither love nor feel emotion, is not appealing enough to inspire desire in and of himself. On the other hand, this gives even greater strength to the character of Henriette; it is her stubbornness and determination that get her through all her trials.
Praised for the creative retelling of the tale, as well as the interesting and surprising set-design, this film was well-received by critics. Jana Mattukat was praised for her spunky and complex portrayal of the true servant Heinrich, more so than for her portrayal of the spoiled and self-involved Henriette. And Jens-Uwe Bogadtke, who was praised for his acting in the 1986 film The Bear Skinner (also directed by Walter Beck), returned to further positive reviews as the Frog Prince.