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I show this documentary every year to my world history classes at the high school I work at and my students find it both informative and entertaining. Based on the well written and illustrated works by David Macaulay, the film is part documentary and part animated story revealing not only how and why European castles were built, but also about life in medieval Europe, especially town life and the role of the nobility. I highly recommend it to any person interested in medieval European history or for teachers wanting to employ its use in the classroom. At only sixty minutes in length, it is perfect for teachers to show on overview of medieval European life without having the film take up too much of classroom time.
When "Castle" debuted in 1983, it must have seemed a lot less dated when I saw it today. The DVD comes off as incredibly dull and poorly animated and could REALLY use a remake, as the information about how they built castles was fascinating but the video segments were just dreadful. In many ways, this looks like a video bad history teachers show their students--and bore the kids half to death! Now don't misunderstand me. First, I adore castles and have visited several dozen and plan on visiting many more. Secondly, I am a retired history teacher and LOVED teaching about castles--and because of that, I know that this film could have been so much better. If you have interesting material, you STILL need to present it in an interesting fashion of you'll lose your audience--and this one lost me.
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