Faerie Tale Theatre (1982–1987)
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Thumbelina is the answer to her mother's prayers but is all too soon stolen away by Mother Toad as a wife for her son. With the help of many different woodland creatures, especially the ... See full summary »

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Episode credited cast:
Flower Prince
John Pielmeier ...
Field Mouse
Maryedith Burrell ...
Beggar Woman
Thumbelina's Mother
Lu Leonard ...
Mother Toad
Herman Toad
Mitchel Evans ...
Barrister Fish (as Mitchel Young Evans)
Barrister Fish
David McCharen ...
Stan Wilson ...
Swallow (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herself - Host


Thumbelina is the answer to her mother's prayers but is all too soon stolen away by Mother Toad as a wife for her son. With the help of many different woodland creatures, especially the Swallow, Thumbelina overcomes many obstacles to try and get back to her mother. Written by atozcleanrita

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Release Date:

11 June 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song Thumbelina (played by Carrie Fisher) sings with the Swallow, "Home in the Meadow" was originally sung by Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds in the film 'How the West Was Won' (1962). See more »


References How the West Was Won (1962) See more »


Composed by Robert Folk
Sung by Burgess Meredith
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User Reviews

On the most part, lovely
23 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

There is a lot to like about the 'Faerie Tale Theatre' series. Many of their adaptations of various well-known and well-loved fairy tales are charming, clever and sometimes funny, a few even emotionally moving. 'Faerie Tale Theatre' puts its own magical spin on the best of the episodes while still capturing the essence of the stories, while also giving further enjoyments in seeing talented performers in early roles or in roles that are departures from their usual roles.

While not quite as good as "Goldilocks and The Three Bears" and "The Princess and the Pea" as far as Season 3 episodes go (though better than "Pinocchio", which was decent but disappointing) and not quite one of 'Faerie Tale Theatre' gems like, up to this point (there were also gems later) "Rumpelstiltskin", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Princess and the Frog", "Thumbelina is a lovely episode.

Generally, adaptation-wise, "Thumbelina" is one of the more faithful ones. To me also, while not as good as the sublime Russian version, it is one of the better versions of the story, one of Hans Christian Andersen's most famous for good reason. It has its imperfections, though criticisms are actually few. Some of the more explanatory dialogue does verge on the silly side. The toads look very weird in their rather amateurish costumes and heavy make-up and are unintentionally creepy.

Despite Burgess Meredith performing it with a lot of spirit, "Progress" is nowhere near as good a song as Thumbelina's beautiful "Home in the Meadow". "Home in the Meadow" is far more memorable melodically, the difference in quality in this regard is vast between those two, and is much better placed, "Progress" comes out of nowhere and feels pretty random.

However, other than the toads' costumes and make-up "Thumbelina" looks good, being very picturesque in the earlier parts. The music is lively and lush, with a little eeriness to match the more suspenseful moments. As said, "Home in the Meadow" is lovely.

Most of the dialogue is very well done, mostly played straight but not without its entertaining moments too. The story is pretty faithfully adapted, while having its own imaginative spin in some parts that added rather than distracted, and never feels too slight or padded. There are even some touching moments, like with the swallow.

Carrie Fisher shines in the title role, playing the role with pathos and like she was enjoying herself. The way Thumbelina is written helps, she is a poignant character without being passive and has spunk too, not showing anywhere near the whininess and pessimism of the Thumbelina in the Don Bluth film (which to me isn't that bad but it's not great). David Hemmings brings direct sincerity to the narrator and the swallow is touchingly portrayed. The standout in support is the Mr Mole of Burgess Meredith, the casting was pure genius and Meredith clearly was having a whale of a time without dominating the proceedings.

Overall, on the most part "Thumbelina" was lovely. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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