Faerie Tale Theatre

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Faerie Tale Theatre
FaerieTaleTheatreBoxSet.jpg
The 6-DVD box set cover by former distributor Starmaker II.
Also known as Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre
Genre Fairytale fantasy
Created by Shelley Duvall
Presented by Shelley Duvall
Starring Various
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 27 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Shelley Duvall
Running time 50 min.
Broadcast
Original channel Showtime
Original run September 11, 1982 – November 14, 1987
Chronology
Followed by Tall Tales & Legends
Related shows Shirley Temple Theatre

Faerie Tale Theatre (also known as Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre) is a multi-award winning live-action children's television anthology series retelling popular fairy tales. Shelley Duvall serves as narrator, host and executive producer of the program, and occasionally stars in episodes. The series was followed by another, albeit less successful shorter series called Tall Tales & Legends which followed the same format as Faerie Tale Theatre and focused on classic American folk tales. Both series feature well known actors and directors, and were inspired by the children's television series Shirley Temple's Storybook.

Faerie Tale Theatre originally aired on Showtime from 1982 to 1987, winning a Peabody Award. It later aired as edited re-runs on the Disney Channel[1] as well as in syndication on various television stations,[2] including PBS[3][4] and BookTelevision.[5]

Background[edit]

Shelley Duvall began conception of Faerie Tale Theatre while filming Popeye. She reportedly asked her co-star, Robin Williams, his opinion on "The Frog Prince", a fairy tale she was reading during production.[6] Williams would later star in the pilot episode of the series, "The Tale of the Frog Prince".

Episodes[edit]

Every episode opens with Shelley Duvall introducing herself and welcoming the viewer to the show, after which she would provide a brief synopsis of the story that would follow. All the episodes feature live-action twist adaptations of fairy tales in costume by many well-known actors and are directed by such diverse directors as Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola. Though Duvall introduced each show, she has starring roles in only four of the episodes: "Rumpelstiltskin" (airing in 1982), "Rapunzel" (airing in 1983), "The Nightingale" (airing in 1983) and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (airing in 1984) and also narrates three of the episodes: "The Nightingale" (airing in 1983), "The Snow Queen" (airing in 1985) and "Puss in Boots" (airing in 1985). Many episodes feature backdrops and settings inspired by specific artists and children's book illustrators,[7] including Maxfield Parrish ("The Frog Prince"), Norman Rockwell ("Goldilocks and the Three Bears"), Arthur Rackham ("Hansel and Gretel"), Edmund Dulac ("The Nightingale"), Aubrey Beardsley and Harry Clarke ("The Princess and the Pea") Gustav Klimt ("Rapunzel"), N.C. Wyeth ("Rumpelstiltskin", "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), Kay Nielsen ("Sleeping Beauty"), Breughel and Muer ("The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers"), Jennie Harbour ("Little Red Riding Hood"), and George Cruikshank ("Thumbelina"), as well as filmmakers, such as Jean Cocteau ("Beauty and the Beast").

Home media and DVD releases[edit]

Faerie Tale Theatre was released on VHS, Betamax, CED and Laserdisc in the 1980s through mid 1990s, by Playhouse Video, CBS/Fox, and later Razz Ma Tazz Entertainment/Cabin Fever Entertainment.

Starmaker II held the rights to the series from 2004 to 2006, and at first released 26 episodes as individual DVDs.[8] This was followed by a double-sided 4-disc box set and then a 6-disc box set, each version containing the same 26 episodes. The "Greatest Moments" episode was not included in this release.

After 2006, Koch Vision held the series' distribution rights, and in November 2006 licensed the rights worldwide (excluding DVDs in North America) to the British company 3DD Entertainment.[9][10] A new remastered 7-disc box set, including the lost "Greatest Moments" episode, was released by Koch Vision on September 2, 2008.[11] In 2009, Koch Vision released the episodes by theme on six DVD compilations: Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Funny Tales, Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, Princess Tales, Magical Tales, and Bedtime Tales.[12]

When released on DVD by Starmaker II and Koch Vision, the following scenes were cut from the series:[citation needed]

  • "Goldilocks and the Three Bears": Papa Bear and Mama Bear trying to fix Cubby Bear's chair; the Charades scene is shortened.
  • "The Pied Piper of Hamelin": Julius Caesar Rat's monologue.
  • "Rumpelstiltskin": the Miller's daughter singing with the animals in the forest (this scene was also unavailable on the VHS releases).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bianculli, David (September 26, 1995). "Cable Viewers Suffer Unkindest Cuts Of All". New York Daily News. 
  2. ^ Nanwalt, Sasha (August 6, 1989). "TELEVISION; Shelley Duvall Tries Scaring Up A New Audience". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Lomartire, Paul (April 21, 1992). "'BEDTIME STORIES' A FINE SHOW FOR KIDS". Palm Beach Post. 
  4. ^ KLRU TV Schedule – Search By Title: List of KLRU programs klru.org
  5. ^ "Program Schedule". BookTelevision. March 29, 2007. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. 
  6. ^ Suskin, Steven (2008-09-07). "THE DVD SHELF: "Mad Men" Season One, and Duvall's "Faerie Tale Theatre"". Playbill.com. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  7. ^ Stengel, Richard and Denise Worrell (July 25, 1983). "Video: Cinderella Puts On a Show". Time. 
  8. ^ Bianculli, David (October 28, 2004). "Old Family Treasures Unearthed On DVD". New York Daily News. 
  9. ^ "3DD Takes On New Properties from U.S. Companies". World Screen. November 3, 2006. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. 
  10. ^ "International Market: 3DD Entertainment". Cynopsis: Multi-Cultural & International Edition. November 6, 2006. Archived from the original on June 1, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: The Complete Collection (2008)". Amazon.com.  ASIN: B001AZIRV8
  12. ^ Catalog kochvision.com

External links[edit]