Faerie Tale Theatre (1982–1987)
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The Princess and the Pea 

A bored prince realizes he would like a wife. His mother searches through all the kingdoms far and wide for a "suitable" princess. In the meantime, a charming and witty young lady, who ... See full summary »



(teleplay), | 2 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode credited cast:
... Prince Richard
... Princess Alecia
... Queen Veronica / Woman in Museum
... The Fool / Museum Guard
... King Fredrico / Man in Museum
... Servant
... Princess Elizabeth
Diane Stilwell ... Princess Rebecca
... Princess #1
Mimi Seaton ... Princess #2 (as Mimi Seton)
Jane Alden ... Agricultural Princess
David McCharen ... Royal Messenger
... Shoemaker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Herself - Host


A bored prince realizes he would like a wife. His mother searches through all the kingdoms far and wide for a "suitable" princess. In the meantime, a charming and witty young lady, who claims to be a princess, shows up at the castle doorstep with a sprained ankle and is shown hospitality by the prince and his best friend the Fool. Written by atozcleanrita

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Release Date:

16 April 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Liza Minnelli was pregnant during the production. See more »


Prince Richard: I say, do you know where you are?
Princess Alecia: I know exactly where I am. I'm lost.
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Version of Once Upon a Mattress (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Wasn't sure as to whether it would work...but it did...brilliantly
22 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.

Although an absolutely lovely story and its popularity is justified, 'The Princess and the Pea' is somewhat slight and like some 'Faerie Tale Theatre' episodes on paper there was the worry as to whether the content would be enough to fill the just under an hour length. Also, as talented as Liza Minnelli is, if you saw other roles of hers she seemed an unlikely choice for the princess.

Needn't have worried however. All doubts as to whether "The Princess and the Pea" would work were cast aside very quickly. It worked brilliantly, completely agree that "The Princess and the Pea" was a complete delight and one of the best of the series.

"The Princess and the Pea" does do some expansion, but actually it contributed in giving the story and characterisation depth and nothing felt like padding at all. Everything had a point and nothing was unnecessary, avoiding all the potential pitfalls in adapting a slight story. "The Princess and the Pea" is a perfect example of putting its own spin on the original story while also capturing the basic details and spirit of it.

It looks good, with Minnelli's period costumes very pleasing on the eye. The sets and scenery are suitably picturesque and it's well photographed. The music is lush and jaunty.

Writing is some of the funniest of the entire series, with a lot of laugh-out-dialogue from particularly the King and Queen, without resorting to overuse of clumsy innuendo that would have spoilt things completely. Amidst the fun and humour though, the basic details and such are played straight, a good thing seeing as the fairy-tales that 'Faerie Tale Theatre' generally work better being played straight.

Minnelli is at her loveliest and her nuanced and entertaining performance is perhaps up there among his best. Tom Conti provides some priceless facial expressions and gestures that are in perfect keeping with the tone of the episode, without overdoing it. Beatrice Straight is an absolute hoot as the Queen and a joy to watch. Also enjoyed Pat McCormick, despite the King being written as a dolt (nowhere near as jarringly so though as the Giant in "Jack and the Beanstalk"). Nancy Allen avoids making her snobbish and stuck-up character annoying.

Overall, brilliant and one of the best of the series. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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