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I hadn't heard of nor seen any of this show before coming across it on the Web, I guess I could say that happening upon this was serendipitous. It all began when I was actually looking for the adaptation of The Nightingale to watch by the now-defunct Atkinson-Film-Arts (which also happened to be the very last production by the Canadian cartoon studio). No success in finding a copy of that for viewing online, so I decided I try out one of this series's episodes of the same title instead, thus that was the first episode I saw. But I'm very glad I did. At first, I didn't know it was a part of a series of stand-alone episodes, since the copy the episode I saw didn't mention the show's title as well, nor did it include the intro and outro. The taste I got of the program, I enjoyed it right away. This is another one of the greatest discoveries I ever made and I'm all the more grateful for it.
A couple other reviewers here mentioned this aired on ABC. That couldn't've been the American Broadcasting Company and must be referred to some other ABC (at least, the other one that I know of, probably in Australia, anyway), because I don't remember it ever airing on the channel in my area. About this series, I read elsewhere that it was created to nearly coincide with the 200th anniversary of Andersen's birth. Well, this was a fantastic idea and a great way to commemorate and pay tribute to him. After seeing its rendition of The Nightingale and another episode so far (The Little Mermaid), this Danish-British co-production has since become one of my favorite European cartoons, favorites of the 2000s, and favorites in general. This seems to be unique and notable in that, unlike most other, literary anthology series, this one contains its own version of all classic stories by the same, singular author and it may, in fact, be the first (that is, at least, anyway, that I know of, unless there's another before it that I'm unaware of and I'm missing something) and all are devoted to him. For a while, I wondered why there's always somebody wanting to make his/her own adaptation of stories and books, and I'm thinking, "How many times can a story be adapted?" and "Doesn't it get tedious after a while?" and "I'm not so sure if any can top the original or some other version of a tale". But now I think, " These are one of the very best things to happen in animation (usually)" and that "These make for a very good, beneficial thing". Because, at least, despite certain stories having been there, done that, several times before, these provide better alternatives and are such brisk breaths of fresh air to the trype that gets pushed out of the assembly-line constantly over something that's the opposite, and is more worthwhile. Most animated adaptations may be one of the best things in animation, as opposed to most toyetic cartoons, those based on video games, and celebrities. This should be considered among those that truly reinvigorate animation.
As with most, other, anthology shows, this one is formatted to contain singular, one-shot episodes basically (with the exception of The Snow Queen episode, which was split into two parts) and carries on the tradition of ending with morals and lessons, true to the originator of these tales. This presentation contains 30 Anderesen stories in total, although there are 31 episodes, which is, once again, due to The Snow Queen being a two-parter. Like one of the other reviewers who mentioned that there are some Andersen tales he or she hadn't heard of, some of the titles I saw in the episode listing are unfamiliar to me as well, but I'll get acquainted with those once I watch the others I have yet to watch. This is among those 'toons that have better animation, the stories seem simple, but there's more to them than that. They're intelligent or intellectual, but not too much, just enough. This show's version of the characters from the late Danish writer's various stories may be just as good as his originals. The voice work sounds just fine enough. The music is good too, no complaints here at all. Genuine quality-entertainment like this is what keeps great animation alive and what remind me to keep having faith in the art form. There is a such thing as cartoon shows and movies being appealing enough for all demographics and that can be shared among kids, teens and adults. But with so many inferior shows being emphasized so much over the superior ones, this often makes it very hard to defend and convince some others. This has my vote for being one of the best cartoons of the 2000s. There were the Festival of Family Classics in the 1970s; the ABC Weekend Specials in the late '70s, '80s, and most of the '90s; CBS Storybreak in the '80s; Papa Beaver's Storytime and Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales For Every Child in the '90s; and The Fairytaler in the 2000s. If anyone reading this enjoyed any of the other, previous anthology shows I just mentioned and is a big anthology show fan, then he or she will enjoy this one as well. A wonderful celebration of the man and his creations from over two centuries ago. Not to be skipped and recommended.
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