An "electronic puppet" version of the Humperdinck opera, adapted for children and using spoken dialogue as well as Humperdinck's music.

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(original play), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Anna Russell ...
Rosina Rubylips - the Witch (voice)
...
Mother (voice)
Frank Rogier ...
Father (voice)
Delbert Anderson ...
Sandman (voice)
Helen Boatwright ...
Dew Fairy (voice) (as Helen Boatright)
Apollo Boys' Choir ...
Angels / Children
Constance Brigham ...
Hansel / Gretel (voice)
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Storyline

With brilliant imagination and technical wizardry, this 1954 feature film used stop-action animation, and hand-sculpted dolls and sets to create a fantasy land of unearthly beauty. Set to Engelbert Humperdinck's classic 1892 opera, sung by some of the most acclaimed performers of the 1950's, this recording was nominated for a Grammy Award. This may be the definative production of one of the greatest fairy tales ever told, and it is now on DVD. Written by VIEW Video

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The miracle that happens only once to the very young...at heart! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hansel and Gretel: An Opera Fantasy  »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The stop-motion puppets were called "kinemins" by producer Michael Myerberg, who claimed they were controlled electronically. In truth, however, the only thing electronic was the electromagnetic plate that served as the floor of the sets and which kept the stop-motion figures in place. Interviews with Kermit Love and Don Sahlin, published in "Closeup" magazine #2, 1976. See more »

Connections

Version of Hansel and Gretel (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Children's Prayer
Music by Engelbert Humperdinck
English Lyrics by Padraic Colum
Sung by Constance Brigham (as both Hansel and Gretel)
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User Reviews

 
Magical version of "Hansel and Gretel"
2 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

This film has always been one of my top favorite childhood films. "Hansel and Gretel" was not always easily accessible to kids. Although it had sporadic television showings back in the days of black and white televisions, kids normally had to wait about every three years for it to be theatrically re-released to see it. I remember seeing it once on television back in the days before we had color television sets and then seeing it several years later on the big screen (in all of its Technicolor splendor) and it captivated me by being the definitive version of the famous tale. I liked it so much that when they re-released it some years later I went to see it again! After the mid-seventies it more or less disappeared and it seemed to have become a forgotten film (shown occasionally on early cable T.V.). However, in the early eighties I was surprised to see it on VHS through a company called Media Home Entertainment. Sadly, their print had a terrible mono soundtrack making the film inaudible and the scene where the the stars form in the heavens (after the Sandman floated away) looked like it was set in the daytime instead of at night-time. Later, in the eighties a no-frills video company released the same print with a marginally better soundtrack. When HBO showed it in the early nineties, they showed a restored quality print. One with perfect sound and with the stars in the heavens forming in the evening (keeping to the evening setting of Hansel and Gretel asleep under a tree in the forest). Not long afterward, that restored version was put on to VHS by Vestron and I was delighted. Too bad that Vestron didn't hold on to the rights long enough to put out a DVD edition of the film. It has since fallen into the hands of another company and they've evidently used a not exactly perfect VHS print of the film as the master source for their DVD presentation of "Hansel and Gretel". The evidence of VHS decay are sporadically obvious during the film. It's annoying that the company probably had the means to give us "the" perfectly restored version of the film on DVD, but instead decided to gyp us with a low-budget video to DVD transfer of it. I hope that another company will obtain the rights to this film and put a good copy of it on the market soon. "Hansel and Gretel" must have been a pretty big hit in its day (1954). There was a comic book and a record album of this film. I know that the two times that I saw it in the theaters it played to packed movie houses. Let's hope to see a restored DVD edition of it the near future!


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