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Hansel and Gretel (1987)

Not Rated | | Family, Musical, Fantasy | 10 December 1988 (USA)
Based on the fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel are trapped in the deceptively decorated house of the witch Griselda who wishes to fatten Hansel so that he may be baked ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Hugh Pollard ...
Emily Richard ...
Susie Miller ...
Eugene Kline ...
Warren Feigin ...
Josh Buland ...
Baker's Boy
Lutuf Nouasser ...
Beatrice Shimshoni ...
Ribbon Lady


Based on the fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel are trapped in the deceptively decorated house of the witch Griselda who wishes to fatten Hansel so that he may be baked into a delicious gingerbread treat. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sugar and spice... and a witch who's not so nice! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cannon Movie Tales: Hansel and Gretel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cloris Leachman hates cigarette smoke and had to wear a lot of prosthetic make-up for her part as the witch. Due to frequent on-set smoking by crew members, the smoke would get into her mask and irritate her. She begged them not to smoke near her, which they begrudgingly tried to remember. See more »

Crazy Credits

A gingerbread man is shown on the left side of the screen during the end credits. At the very end, he winks at the audience. See more »


Version of Hansel y Gretel (1969) See more »


Punch and Judy's Dance (Reprise)
Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
from opera "Hänsel und Gretel"
Music Adaption by Michael Cohen
Lyrics by Enid Futterman and Nancy Weems
Performed by Hugh Pollard and Nicola Stapleton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best Cannon Movie Tale? Yes
24 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Cannon Movie Tales adaptations of famous fairy tales is an interesting little series, and while there are some faring better than others and a few that are less than brilliant, others are well done and charming. Hansel and Gretel is one of the finer examples of the latter, and gets my vote as the best of the series.

It's not without its flaws, all of the films in the series do, some bigger and more serious than others. The low-budget does show in the less than inspiring and too-fancy-dress-like costumes and the witch's death underwhelms, instead of being nail-biting like in the story the way it's done here causes some unintentional humour.

Visually, however, on the most part Hansel and Gretel is actually one of the better-looking Cannon Movie Tales films. It's lovingly photographed and has charming, colourful settings and a fantastically realised Witch's House, its delicious to look at, but at the same time quite nightmarish, design being one of the standout set designs of the Cannon Movie Tales films. The songs, adapted from Humperdinck's wonderful opera, are simply lovely and are beautifully adapted, with the best performed being Sugar and Spice and the most effective melodically being A Fairy Song. The script is filled with fun and charm, and also with a real sense of dread in the second half, while the story adaptation-wise follows the Grimm story fairly closely while expanding on some parts, though actually it's closer to the story of the opera.

The storytelling is whimsical and charming, while also witty and poignant, the Witch and her scenes also effectively induces nightmares without distorting the tone (the Witch scenes are quite dark) and are pretty tastefully handled. The film's nicely directed, and the performances are solid with the standout being Cloris Leachman as the Witch. Her make-up is excellent, and Leachman clearly has a ball without over-compensating too much and is genuinely frightening. Hugh Pollard and Nicola Stapleton are appealing as Hansel and Gretel and David Warner does bring a touching degree to a character who could easily have been portrayed as an idiot going by how he was written.

Overall, a winner from the Cannon Movie Tales series and my vote for their best. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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