This is one of four fairy tales master animator Ray Harryhausen made between 1949 and 1953 by hand, using stop-motion photography perfected as an apprentice under mentor Willis H. O'Brien of "King Kong" fame. The other three were "The Story of 'Little Red Riding Hood,'" "The Story of 'Hansel and Gretel,'" and "The Story of King Midas." Harryhausen originally intended them for educational use in public schools. All four are nothing short of magic, giving life to traditional children stories, transferring them successfully to a new medium.
Rapunzel is amazing to watch even by today's high tech standards. How Harryhausen could depict human emotion and changing facial expressions by his technique is astounding. Equally hypnotizing is the colorful background settings for the story, the tower in the wood and the later desert landscape which resembles John Ford's Monument Valley scenery.
Del Moore's narration does justice to Charlotte Knight's retelling of the famous fairy tale. This plus Harryhausen's production, direction, and creative input, makes "The Story of 'Rapunzel'"a film short for children of all ages to enjoy again and again.
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