Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child

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Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child
Happily Ever After - Fairy Tales for Every Child.jpg
Genre Animation
Written by Joe Menendez
Daryl G. Nickens
Gordon Lewis
Franklyn Ajaye
Barry Douglas
Directed by Bruce W. Smith
Anthony Bell
Edward Bell
Narrated by Robert Guillaume
Composer(s) Stephen James Taylor
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hyperion Pictures
Two Oceans Entertainment Group
Confetti Entertainment Company
Original channel HBO (Season 1 (1995))
HBO Family (Seasons 2-3 (1997, 1999-2000))
Original run March 26, 1995 (1995-03-26) – July 18, 2000 (2000-07-18)

Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child is an American anthology animated television series that premiered March 26, 1995, on HBO. Narrated by Robert Guillaume, the series aired 39 episodes from 1995 to 2000, and is currently airing on the HBO Family digital cable television channel in the United States since 1999.


Each episode details a classic fairy tale, but in the style of greatly different cultures or with feminist leanings[citation needed] with characters voiced by famous actors, comedians, singers, political activists, stunts, and other famous celebrities of varying cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicity.


Season 1 (1995)[edit]

# Title Director Original airdate
1 "Jack and the Beanstalk" Bruce W. Smith March 26, 1995 (1995-03-26) [1]

A retelling of the tale with an African-American twist.

Featuring the voice of Wayne Collins as Jack, Pauletta Washington as Jack's Mother, Harry Belafonte as the Magician, and Tone Loc as the Giant. 
2 "Little Red Riding Hood" Bruce W. Smith March 26, 1995 (1995-03-26) [1]

Set in Ancient China, Little Red Happy Coat learns that some wolves can't be trusted when she makes a delivery to her grandmother Poa Poa.

Featuring the voice of Mai Vu as Happy Coat, BD Wong as Wolf, James Hong as Baba and Mr. Sung, Amy Hill as Mama and Mrs. Oolong, Pearl Huang as Mei Li and Poa Poa, Brian Tochi as Tailor. 
3 "Hansel and Gretel" Bruce W. Smith March 26, 1995 (1995-03-26) [1]

The tale is told in a Latin-American setting, in the heart of a rainforest.

Featuring Christopher Montoya as Hanselito, Chrissy Padilla as Gretletia, Liz Torres as the Stepmother (the stepmother's first name is Delores, but her last name is so long, not even the narrator can get it right!), Cheech Marin as the father named Alberto, Rosie Perez as the Witch (known to be Suzanna from Havana), and Tito Larriva as Ricky Garbanzo. 
4 "The Emperor's New Clothes" Bruce W. Smith April 2, 1995 (1995-04-02) [2]

In ancient Japan, an emperor is fooled into paying two rogues posing as tailors to create him an outfit from the "legendary Fabric of Dreams".

Featuring the voices of George Takei as the tall tailor, Brian Tochi as the Prince, Gedde Watanabe as the Emperor, and John Wesley as the Royal Minister. 
5 "Rumpelstiltskin" Bruce W. Smith April 9, 1995 (1995-04-09)

The tale is set in the West Indies, with an old Caribbean and Jamaican twist.

Featuring the voices of Jasmine Guy as Jonae, Denzel Washington as King Omar, Robert Townsend as Rumpelstiltskin, Roscoe Lee Browne as Friar Ferdinand, Sherman Hemsley as the Miller, Rodney Kageyama as Turbaned Merchant, Denice Kumigai as Hat Merchant, and Ross Mapletoft as Royal Servant. 
6 "The Frog Prince" Bruce W. Smith April 16, 1995 (1995-04-16)

The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale is set in the African jungle where a princess named Ebony meets a frog that was once a prince.

Featuring the voices of Sinbad as the Drog Prince, Cree Summer as Princess Ebony, Jay Kenneth Johnson as the Magician, Danny Glover as the King, LeVar Burton as The Monk, Jay Leno as Jay Frog, and Branford Marsalis as Branford Frog. 
7 "Sleeping Beauty" Bruce W. Smith April 23, 1995 (1995-04-23)

The tale is told with a Hispanic flavor, when a Hispanic princess named Rosita is cast into a long sleep by a wicked fairy named Evelina, and awakened by Prince Luis.

Featuring the voice of Marie Barrientos as Rosita, Ricardo Montalbán as King Carlos, Lucie Arnaz as Queen Maria, Paul Rodriguez as Court Jester, Vanessa Marquez as the Six Fairies, Julia Migenes as Evelina the Wicked Fairy, Carmen Zapata as Seventh Fairy, Carlos Mencia as Poncho, Jacob Vargas as Prince Luis, and Ross Mapletoft as The Old Man. 
8 "Rapunzel" Bruce W. Smith April 23, 1995 (1995-04-23)

The tale is told in the bayous of French Cajun Louisiana.

Featuring the voice of Tisha Campbell-Martin as Rapunzel, Whoopi Goldberg as Zenobia the Hoodoo Diva, Meshach Taylor as Woodcutter, Hazelle Goodman as Woodcutter's Wife, Donald Fullilove as Friend #1, and Tico Wells as Friend #2. 
9 "The Valiant Little Tailor" Bruce W. Smith April 23, 1995 (1995-04-23)

The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale is set in the West African Sahel, where a height-challenged tailor named Bongo sets out to prove his worth.

Featuring the voices of David Alan Grier as Bongo, James Earl Jones as King Dakkar, Mark Curry as the giant, Dawnn Lewis as Princess Songe, and Zakes Mokae as Mr. Babooska. 
10 "Cinderella" Bruce W. Smith April 30, 1995 (1995-04-30)

The classic Cinderella tale gets a silly Latin twist.

Featuring the voices of Daphne Zuniga as Cinderella, Liz Torres as Fairy Godmother, Edward James Olmos as Rey Emiliano, Jimmy Smits as Prince Felipe, and Raquel Welch as La Madrastra (Cinderella's stepmother). 
11 "Beauty and the Beast" Bruce W. Smith May 21, 1995 (1995-05-21) [3]

The famous fairy tale is set in Equatorial Africa as a beauty falls in love with a beast.

Featuring the voices of Vanessa L. Williams as Beauty, Gregory Hines as Beast, Debbie Allen as Precious, and Paul Winfield as Father 
12 "Snow White" Rufus Diznee May 28, 1995 (1995-05-28)

The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale gets a Southwestern U.S. setting with a Native American flavor with the title character renamed White Snow and is depicted as a Native American Chieftain's daughter.

Featuring the voice of Elaine Bilstad as White, Jeri Arredando as Sly Fox, Graham Greene as Chief Brown Bear, Zahn McClarnon as Grey Wolf, and Buffy Sainte-Marie as the Spirit in the Mirror
13 "The Princess and the Pea" Bruce W. Smith June 4, 1995 (1995-06-04)

The classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is set in Ancient Korea, where a prince must choose a bride that will please his demanding mother, only to have her subjected to a test.

Featuring Karen Lew as The Princess and Margaret Cho as The Queen. 

Season 2 (1997)[edit]

# Title Directed by Original air date
14 "Pinocchio" Edward Bell April 13, 1997 (1997-04-13) [4]

The classic children's tale gets set in the Barbary Coast, with Pinocchio learning to be a real boy with the help of a termite named Woody, his toymaking father Old George, and a jazz-singing fairy.

Featuring the voice of Will Smith as Pinocchio, Chris Rock as Woody, Della Reese as the Blues Fairy, Barry Douglas as Redd the Foxx, Franklyn Ajaye as Sporty the Cat, Charles S. Dutton as Ol' George, Garrett Morris as Mr. Buzzard, Brenden Jefferson as Boy, and Rachel Guillaume as Girl 
15 "Thumbelina" Edward Bell April 20, 1997 (1997-04-20)

The classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is set in the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil.

Featuring Rosie Perez as Thumbelina, Harvey Fierstein as Mrs. Leaperman, Chita Rivera as Katy, and Antonio Sabato Jr. as Mario. 
16 "Puss in Boots" Edward Bell April 27, 1997 (1997-04-27) [5]

The Perrault fairy tale gets a Hawaiian setting, as a smart and mischievous cat from the Far East sets out to improve the fortunes of his new master, Kuhio.

Featuring the voice of David Hyde Pierce as Puss in Boots, Dean Cain as Kuhio, Pat Morita as King Makahata, and Ming-Na Wen as Lani. 
17 "The Pied Piper" Edward Bell May 4, 1997 (1997-05-04)

The Pied Piper teaches a lesson in keeping promises to the town of Hamelin while playing some jazz music.

Featuring the voice of Wesley Snipes as the Pied Piper and the music performed by Ronnie Laws. Also featuring the voices of Samuel L. Jackson as the Mayor of Hamelin, Grant Shaud as Toadey, John Ratzenberger as Hinky, and Richard Moll as Dinky. 
18 "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" Edward Bell May 11, 1997 (1997-05-11)

Twelve young Cuban princesses sneak out of their beds to dance each night away and a smitten soldier named Juan Carlos must find out where they go if he hopes to marry one of them (and not lose his head).

Featuring Daisy Fuentes as Princess Daisy, Jon Secada as Juan Carlos, and Héctor Elizondo
19 "The Golden Goose" Edward Bell May 18, 1997 (1997-05-18)

In this African-American version of the fairy tale, lovable Simpleton befriends a wisecracking beggar who leads him to a magical golden goose and a grand adventure.

Featuring the voices of Sinbad as Simpleton, Loretta Devine as Mother, Richard Lewis as The Beggar, James Avery as Father, Avery Brooks as King Maximus, Heavy D as Drexal, and Sara Rue as Younger Sister. 
20 "The Little Mermaid" Edward Bell May 25, 1997 (1997-05-25)

In this Asian setting, at a secret underwater kingdom, a teenage mermaid princess named Mija with starfish pet Nuri is allowed to see the world above the surface and falls in love with a human prince after rescuing him. She makes a deal with a sea witch that may not turn out in her favor if she doesn't win the prince's love in return.

Featuring the voice of Tia Carrere as Mija, Margaret Cho as Hul Mu Ni, Amy Hill as Ming, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as King Young-Jin, and Gedde Watanabe as Nuri. 
21 "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" Edward Bell June 1, 1997 (1997-06-01)

In this Jamaican version of the classic, Goldilocks (voiced by Raven-Symoné from That's So Raven) has golden dreadlocks and much to learn about treating people (and bears) right.

Featuring the voices of Ben Vereen as Snake, Lou Rawls as Bat, Jenifer Lewis as Black Widow Spider, Tone Loc as Desmond Bear (Papa Bear), Alfre Woodard as Winsone Bear (Mama Bear), David Alan Grier as Dudley Bear (Baby Bear). 
22 "The Fisherman and His Wife" Edward Bell June 8, 1997 (1997-06-08)

In this version tale of how greed only begets more greed set to the music of Gypsy guitars and flamenco dancing, a simple fisherman and his wife are happy with their humble life until a magical fish named Gilbert offers them a wish.

Featuring the voices of Edward James Olmos as the Fisherman, Julia Migenes as the Fisherman's Wife named Tina, and Paul Rodríguez as Gilbert. 
23 "Aladdin" Edward Bell June 15, 1997 (1997-06-15)

This tale from the 1001 Arabian Nights takes place in Ancient China when Aladdin, a poor dreamer who longs for adventure, meets a genie who wishes to be a kung fu master and uses him to rescue a princess from a jealous sorcerer.

Featuring B.D. Wong as Aladdin and the Genie, James Hong as the Emperor, and George Takei
24 "The Elves and the Shoemaker" Edward Bell June 22, 1997 (1997-06-22)

In the ancient Aztec empire, a humble shoemaker named Tizoc and his wife create shoes for the emperor and his devious captain of the guards. When he must make several shoes overnight or forfeit his life, he falls asleep on the job, but two elves named Coatl and Xolotl come to the rescue.

Featuring the voices of Maria Conchita Alonso and Lou Diamond Phillips as Coatl.

Note: Coatl's name is actually part of the name of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl
25 "King Midas and the Golden Touch" Edward Bell June 29, 1997 (1997-06-29)

The powerful monarch of an African kingdom learns that all that glitters isn't gold when his wish to turn everything he touches into gold is granted.

Featuring the voice of Blair Underwood as King Midas and Jennifer Holliday as The Dream Diva. 
26 "Mother Goose: A Rappin' & Rhymin' Special" Rufus Dizinne October 12, 1997 (1997-10-12)

Feeling unappreciated by the denizens of Nursery Rhyme Land, Mother Gooseberg decides to go into retirement. Now a group of beloved Nursery Rhyme characters must show how much they really care before she flies the coop.

Featuring the voices of Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Gooseberg, Jimmy Smits as Old King Cole, Salt-n-Pepa as The Three Little Kittens, Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford as Jack and Jill, Jackée Harry as Little Bo Peep, Nell Carter as Mary, Lauren Tom as Little Miss Muffet, Dave Chappelle as the Spider, Robert Pastorelli as Sgt. Louie, Denzel Washington as Humpty Dumpty and Crooked Man, George Wallace as the Farmer, Rockapella as the Five Little Piggies, Steven Wright as the Bogeyman, Camille Winbush as the Child, and Marla Gibbs as Old Mother Hubbard

Season 3 (1999–2000)[edit]

# Title Directed by Original air date
27 "The Three Little Pigs" Anthony Bell June 22, 1999 (1999-06-22) [6]

This tale is told with country music, when three female piglets go to a summer camp called Camp Piggywood and they ward off a wolf.

Featuring the voices of Sinbad as Big Bad Wolfgang, Loretta Lynn as Dell Porkchop, Courteney Cox as Emerald Salt Pork, Sandra Oh as Breadcrumb, and Tyra Banks as Barbie Q. Pepper. 
28 "Ali Baba" Anthony Bell July 14, 1999 (1999-07-14) [7]

This tale is given a feminist twist as a young Arabian girl named Ali Baba must rescue her selfish older brother Cassim and outsmart the forty thieves to save her family.

Featuring the voices of Tommy Davidson as Ali Baba's brother, Jurnee Smollett as Ali Baba, Marla Gibbs, Will Ferrell, and Bruno Kirby as the Great One. 
29 "The Bremen Town Musicians" Anthony Bell August 12, 1999 (1999-08-12)

The classic Brothers Grimm tale is told with a country/African-American twist, as outcast barn animals become singers and go on their way to Bremen.

Featuring the voices of George Clinton as Scratchmo, Gladys Knight as Chocolate, Jenifer Lewis as Hazel, Dionne Warwick as Miss Kitty, Marlon Wayans as Itch, and Shawn Wayans as Bad Bobby. 
30 "The Empress's Nightingale" Anthony Bell September 16, 1999 (1999-09-16)

The classic tale is given a feminine makeover when a greedy empress learns about the true meaning of beauty.

Note: This episode is dedicated in memory of Phil Hartman.

Featuring the voice of Pam Grier as the Empress' Nightingale, Phil Hartman as the Game Show Host, Amy Hill as the Empress, and Robin Leach
31 "The Happy Prince" Anthony Bell October 6, 1999 (1999-10-06)

Based on Oscar Wilde's short story, a statue and a pigeon name Pidge work together to help the poor in New York City.

Featuring Ed Koch as "Happy" Prince (a former mayor who is now a statue) and Cyndi Lauper as Pidge. 
32 "Henny Penny" Anthony Bell November 2, 1999 (1999-11-02) [8]

A news reporter hen named Henny Penny convinces barnyard denizens that the sky is falling.

Featuring the voices of Sharon Stone as Henny Penny, Patricia Welch as the singing voice for Henny Penny, Henry Kissinger as Ducky Lucky, Mary Hart as Goosey Lucy, Jesse Jackson as Cocky Lockey, and Johnnie Cochran as Foxy Loxy. 
33 "The Frog Princess" Anthony Bell January 3, 2000 (2000-01-03)

In this country version of a Russian fairy tale, a frog princess proves that love conquers all.

Featuring the voices of Jasmine Guy as Frog Princesss Lylah, Greg Kinnear as Prince Gavin, Wallace Langham as Prince Bobby, Mary Gross as Elise, and Beau Bridges as King Big Daddy. 
34 "The Princess and the Pauper" Anthony Bell February 21, 2000 (2000-02-21)

The classic Mark Twain novel is told with an African-American and feminist twist where a princess (voiced by Raven-Symoné) and a poor girl exchange identities.

Featuring the voice talents of David Alan Grier as King Maynar, Phylicia Rashad as Lady Fulten, Andre Braugher as Julian Andrews, and John Witherspoon as a Scofflaw. 
35 "Rip Van Winkle AKA Rip Winkle" Anthony Bell March 21, 2000 (2000-03-21) [9]

In a feminist retelling of the story, young hippie Vanna falls in love with rock star Rip van Winkle and must rediscover her voice after not being respected by her sexist husband. Vanna's fairy godmentor gives Rip some time to sleep on things (20 years to be exact) and he wakes up to a world where Vanna has helped change things for the better.

Featuring the voices of Tom Arnold as Rip van Winkle, Calista Flockhart as Vanna, Patricia Welch as the singing voice for Vanna, Sandra Bernhard as Bluebird, Maya Angelou as the Fairy Godmentor, and Ann Richards as a Thunder Mountain Woman. 
36 "The Snow Queen" Anthony Bell April 18, 2000 (2000-04-18)

An Inuit setting as the Snow Queen freezes a boy's heart and takes him to her icy castle. Only his best friend, a girl with a powerful heart, can save him.

Featuring the voices of Eartha Kitt as the Snow Queen, T'Keyah Crystal Keymah as Grandmother, Brandon Hammond as Kai, Doug E. Doug as the Raven, and Bronson Pinchot as Killer Whale and Reindeer.

Note: During the song, "It's Cool to be Cold", the Snow Queen freezes her penguin backup singers by touching them, then pushes them into an ice wall where the ice breaks. This is similar to the Kirby series when Kirby has the ice copy ability. 
37 "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" Anthony Bell May 16, 2000 (2000-05-16)

In an African-American twist and feminist twist, a set of tin soldiers inspires a girl's imagination and its one-legged leader conquers all obstacles to reach a dancer toy she loves.

Featuring the voices of Tisha Campbell-Martin as Goldie and Terry Ellis, Maxine Jones and Cindy Herron (En Vogue) as Dolls 1, 2, and 3, Savion Glover, Ruby Dee, and Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly
38 "Robinita Hood" Anthony Bell June 19, 2000 (2000-06-19) [10]

A Puerto Rican feminist version of the English Legend Robin Hood. Robinita Hood leads her band of Merry Chicas to stop the greedy Sheriff de Jamon with the help of her love interest Mario.

Featuring the voice of Rosie Perez as Robinita Hood, Marc Anthony as Mario (Robinita's love interest), Rick Najera as Sheriff de Jamon, Idalis DeLeón as Guillermina Scarlet, Nestor Carbonell, Nancy Garcia, Ian Gomez, and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Little Juanita. 
39 "Aesop's Fables: A Whodunit Musical" Anthony Bell July 18, 2000 (2000-07-18) [11]

In the setting of London, England, a beautiful detective tracks down Aesop's purloined book of fables which has been stolen by some Aesop characters.

Featuring the voices of Angie Dickinson as the Detective, Diahann Carroll as the Crow, Dabney Coleman as Monsieur Fox, Harvey Korman as the Lion, Jaleel White as The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Katey Sagal as the Hare, Kevin Pollak as the Mouse and the Grasshopper, Melanie Chartoff as Grape Fox, and Ruth Brown as the Tortoise and the Ant

Home Media[edit]

Most episodes of Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child were released on VHS, but only a few episodes were released on DVD. There was one DVD where four episodes ("Pinocchio", "the Pied Piper", "King Midas", and "Mother Goose") were released on DVD. In the United Kingdom, there are four DVDs with three episodes on each.


  1. ^ a b c O'Connor, John J. (March 23, 1995). "Critic's Notebook; Setting Higher Sights for Animation". The New York Times. pp. C18. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  2. ^ Moore, Scott (March 26, 1995). "HBO's Colorful, Diverse Fairy Tales". The Washington Post. pp. Y9. 
  3. ^ "Robert Guillaume Narrates 'Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales For Every Child'". Los Angeles Sentinel. May 24, 1995. pp. B4. 
  4. ^ King, Susan (April 10, 1997). "'Grease,' 'Titanic' in the Lineup". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  5. ^ Littlefield, Kinney (April 20, 1997). "The nether side of Niles // Television: Will Smith talks 'Frasier,' cats, comedy and more.". The Orange County Register. pp. F8. 
  6. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (June 22, 1999). "Giving Fairy Tales a Feminist Twist". The New York Times. pp. E8. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  7. ^ Gates, Anita (July 14, 1999). "Television Review; Say, 'Open, Sesame,' and Poof! Ali Baba Is Now a Girl". The New York Times. pp. E5. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  8. ^ "In The Know". The Augusta Chronicle. November 2, 1999. pp. B1. 
  9. ^ Bianculli, David (March 21, 2000). "Feminist 'Rip' Gets a Little Tiring". Daily News. p. 79. 
  10. ^ Berkowitz, Lana (June 19, 2000). "Girls get the goods in animated Latin-flavored 'Robinita Hood'". Houston Chronicle. p. 6. 
  11. ^ Berkowitz, Lana (July 18, 2000). "HBO whodunit musical a twist on classic morality plays". Houston Chronicle. p. 6. 

External links[edit]