This is a delightful retelling of the Anglo-Saxon tale, which is set in Denmark and Sweden, and contains nothing English whatsoever, using animated graphics; half narrated, half enacted with the spoken voices of several well-known British actors, including Derek Jacobi and Joseph Fiennes. Quite short, at 27 minutes, it is infinitely more true to the original than the recent productions by Zemeckis and Sturluson. There are no silly interpolated extra characters, sub-plots, or post-modern interpretations of the story's "meaning". The monsters are traditional, shapeless, scary and mysterious. The mead-hall is splendid and magnificent. Beowulf is noble, brave and gentle. All aspects are left unexplained: things just happen and the viewer is free to read whatever interpretation he feels like into the events. Consequently it is really more intellectually stimulating than the big-budget films. Although it is violent, there is nothing distasteful about any of it, and should be suitable for older children as well as adults. I was left wishing it had been longer.
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