At a time when most other shows for children were either low-budget productions or product-inspired cartoons that were little more than half-hour commercials, this program set out to ...
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The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."
At a time when most other shows for children were either low-budget productions or product-inspired cartoons that were little more than half-hour commercials, this program set out to produce high-quality classic entertainment that children would enjoy. Much inspired by an earlier children's program, Shirley Temple's Storybook (1958) (also known as "Shirley Temple Theatre"), Shelley Duvall hosts this program featuring some of the best-known in Hollywood performing adaptations of traditional stories. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I remember when I heard that Fairie Tale Theatre was coming out. I remember trying to find every way that I could to convince my parents to get Showtime on which they aired. When I finally did get to see them I was spell bound.
Each one of these stories is literally hand crafted by the directors (some of them famous directors like Francis Ford Coppella) and Shelley Duvall to reflect a certain style. An example being the Sleeping Beauty tale was set in Russia with the sets and costumes designed to look like scenes from classic Russian motifs, the music from the Russian ballet. Another being the direct rip off of the classic Jean Cocteau film "Beauty and the Beast".
All of these were designed with the intent of entertaining not only children but adults. Some of the best moments in these are only things that adults will understand. Christopher Reeve does a fantastic job in his multi-role part in "Sleeping Beauty" as does Malcolm McDowell as the Wolf in "Little Red Riding Hood". McDowell infuses the character with a subtle dark sensuality. His chemistry with his then wife Mary Steenburgen is strong.
Probably the best one of all is the "Three Little Pigs" with Jeff Goldblum (as the Big Bad Wolf), Valerie Perrine (as a ravishing piglette), and Billy Crystal(as one of the three little pigs). The writing in this one is completely off the wall.
The only episode I was disappointed with was Tony Bill's version of "The Princess and the Pea", featuring Tom Conti and Liza Minnelli. I saw no chemistry between Conti and Minnelli, and I think some of the stuff in it was a little too highbrow for kids.
The only overall problems that I noted with the series itself were that the pacing tended to be off in some of the shows, and some of actors tended to ham it up big time and be a little too over the top (like Vanessa Redgrave in "Snow White").
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