A giant builds a wall to keep children out of his garden, but then winter sets in permanently.



, (short story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Paul Hecht ...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Récitant / Narrator (French Version)


A giant builds a wall to keep children out of his garden, but then winter sets in permanently.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Short


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Release Date:

26 November 1971 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Der selbstsüchtige Riese  »

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Excellent (and quite faithful) adaptation of an Oscar Wilde children's story.
13 December 2002 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

Oscar Wilde has always fascinated me. A controversial figure, he is arguably the most successfully literary figure, certainly in terms of range, in the English language. He wrote verse, prose, plays with equal skill and success and wrote short stories and novels with the same facility. His work has often been adapted for the screen and usually the adaptations are remarkably faithful to the source material, something Hollywood in particular is not noted for.

The Selfish Giant is Wilde at his best. The story is, like all great children's literature, for young and old alike. At times funny and sad, it touches the audience and stays with you. I read the story first, before seeing this. I generally make allowances for adaptations, particularly to film. Such allowances are unnecessary here. It's beautifully done, with care and an obvious affection for the original. The animation, backgrounds, the music, all works marvelously, but the narration is the key. It is, essentially, Wilde's story converted to voice-over and dialogue. Wonderful! I saw this first not quite thirty years ago, twice, and, when I recently got a copy, recalled virtually every scene in detail. This needs to be re-issued. Well worth tracking down. Most highly recommended.

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