'Timeless Tales from Hallmark' is a wonderful show, adapting well-loved stories and while not completely faithful it treats them with respect and tells the stories with plenty of heart and charm without over-complicating or dumbing them down.
Of the show, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" is one of the standouts. As an adaptation, it is not completely faithful with a happier ending over the sad one of the original story but the basic structure is there and the characters are true to character.
As a standalone, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" fares even better, and is a better treatment of the story than 'Fantasia 2000's' take on it. That was good but one of the lesser segments ("Pines of Rome" and "The Firebird" were the best segments from that film) and it was a bit rushed though the use of Shostakovich's 1st movement of his 2nd Piano Concerto shines. The story is always well-paced, never hurried or stretched out, and is told with a whole lot of heart and charm with the sewer scene quite sinister without being traumatising.
With the animation, it is quite nice, not the best animation there is but there is animation a thousand times worse in quality. There's plenty of vibrant colour, the backgrounds have a great amount of detail and it's smoothly drawn. The music fits very well, and has a quirky charm, whimsy and sometimes an understated quality. The duet between the ballerina and the Jack-in-the-Box is very catchy, and sung with gusto by Megan Mullally and especially Tim Curry.
Scripting has a nice balance of humour without being juvenile and pathos without being over-sentimentalised, Jack's rhyming dialogue help make him a suitable threat. The characters carry the story well, and are impressively voiced. George Newburn and Megan Mullally are charming as the title character and as the ballerina, while Tim Curry (whose voice here is reminiscent of the one he used for Pennywise in 'It') has a ball as Jack.
In summary, timeless and one of the standouts of a wonderful show. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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