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Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (1992)

Alec McCowen , Michael Kitchen , Various  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

List Price: $79.99
Price: $57.19 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $22.80 (29%)
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DVD 4-Disc Version $57.19  

Frequently Bought Together

Shakespeare: The Animated Tales + Tales from Shakespeare + Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers (Dover Children's Classics)
Price for all three: $68.84

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alec McCowen, Michael Kitchen, Suzanne Burden, Gerald James, John Warner
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ambrose Video Publishing
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002CHJS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,014 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shakespeare: The Animated Tales" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

A sumptuous collection for both students and adults --Booklist

Highly Recommended 3 1/2 STARS --Video Librarian

Product Description

Winner of 3 Emmy Awards these exceptional animated stories have been designed to introduce children and young adults to some Shakespeare's most popular works. Each play has been animated in it own unique style by the exceptional talents of the leading directors of Russia's Christmas Films. Actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and stars of stage and screen, including Antony Sher, Joss Ackland and Jenny Agutter, provide voices for the characters which were recorded and produced by BBC Wales. In Russia, art and animation has long been used as a veiled form of satire, education and political protest. This has inspired scores of Russian animators to develop fascinating and highly individual techniques, a prolific kaleidoscope of styles from which the animation artists were chosen for these stories of Shakespeare-The Animated Tales.

Giftbox Contains 12 Animated Plays on 4 DVD's: The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Richard III, Romeo & Juliet, Othello, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the World's a Stage ... or a Cel, or a Paintbrush January 30, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful find! Aficionados of animation know how hard it can be to find the work of Russia's Christmas Films on DVD (Operavox and The Miracle Maker being the only other North American releases that I'm aware of). This is a great set, with twelve of the Bard's famous works presented in various styles of lush animation:

Disc One

The Tempest - Stop-Motion Puppetry

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Cel Animation

As You Like It - Oil Paint on Cel

Disc Two

Hamlet - Paint on Glass

Julius Caesar - Cel Animation

King Richard III - Paint on Glass

Disc Three

Romeo and Juliet - Cel Animation

Othello - Cel Animation

The Winter's Tale - Stop-Motion Puppetry

Disc Four

Macbeth - Cel Animation

The Taming of the Shrew - Stop-Motion Puppetry

Twelfth Night - Stop-Motion Puppetry

There are some incredible moments in these films: the magical fluidity and strange forms of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the ghostly image of Ophelia floating down the corridor's of the castle, Caesar's blood-red cape flowing and wrapping around his corpse. Although each play has been truncated to 30 minutes, the performances (both animators and voice actors alike) are sharp and the essential meanings and messages have been retained. These films are marvelous, and if you enjoy the works of William Shakespeare and/or the work of great animators, I'm certain that you'll enjoy this set.

Now here's hoping for The Canterbury Tales!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff December 30, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Any fan of animation or Shakespeare should think about buying this set. The set does not seem to have the Robin Williams introductions (and they are missed) but otherwise everything is here. Can't say enough good about this set. Makes it very clear how dull regular TV programming is. Priceless stuff.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice to have, but... March 26, 2008
By Amy
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I grew up watching Shakespeare The Animated Tales on Discovery Kids Latin America... back when it was for kids and not babies.
Anyway, it's nice to get to see it again, and some of the animation is pretty cool (e.g. Hamlet episode). I also have a predilection for the stop motion episodes.
Despite the decent digital transfer of the video, the sound is poor. I have to watch the discs on the highest volume possible, and even then it's hard to listen to it in parts.
Also, the $70+ price tag is a turn-off, when even 13-episode series range from $20-35.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for learning & loving the Bard! November 11, 2008
Format:DVD
I wrote an entire curriculum for my 6th graders a few years ago introducing them to Sharkespeare in the best way I knew how...through video and in-class plays. These used to run on HBO, if I remember correctly, and that's where they caught my attention. Marrying these videos with some in-class skits and some of the other "modernized" Shakespeare movies (Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night's Dream with Pfeiffer) really opened up my kids eyes to what Shakespeare was saying in his poetry/plays. My 6th graders just loved it and it helped them be confident when the word Shakespeare came up! I highly recommend these for anyone that needs to get to know the Bard. It was really fun for me, too, I might add!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reason I got into Shakespeare January 3, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This use to come on HBO in the mornings when I was about 10 years old. It was my first real introduction to Shakespeare and I've been hooked ever since. That's saying something considering where I live and grew up. The middle of Oklahoma isn't exactly cultured so the exposure to this kind of literature is very lacking. I was lucking having a teacher in high school who encouraged it a lot later on.
Visually it's amazing. It's full of several different types of animation and drawing styles that you don't see today and was even hard to find back then. The animation is really what apealed to me as a child. The stories and speech was just new though. I had a fear that it was better in my head than it really was because it had been so long, but I was not disappointed. My 3 year old niece even sat and watched Romeo and Juliet all the way threw.
As for that $79 price tag, well, it may not be worth it if you haven't seen it before. I recommend it to anyone who teaches or has kids. While I'm sure most could appreciate it as it is, it is a lot to pay for for 12 half hour plays. To me personally, it was worth every penny.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare: The Animated Tales August 5, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a high school English teacher, I'm always looking for ways to make Shakespeare accessible to a generation who could sometimes seem to care less about classical literature. The joy of this series is that it includes all of the most popular plays, and every one is done in a different style of animation celebrating some of the world's greatest artistry. The few that I've previewed have been presented very well. The language is maintained, and the graphics help to bring it all together. They're very much like graphic novels, if you've had the chance to view some of those.

Anyone interested in trying to make Shakespeare come alive would be interested in these DVDs. They make great examples for the differences in interpretation, also!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare: The Animated Tales July 12, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I used some of these films with my year 9 ESL class who had to study about themes in Shakespeare's plays. I found the length of the films very good as they fitted with the length of my lesson which was about 50-60 minutes duration. Not all the films are suitable for a secondary school level as students might find them too childish. Some of my students complained that they wanted to see a proper film of the play but that would have been too hard for them. They even found the animated tales hard to understand because the story in them was so compressed. I suggest you introduce the story and give them a brief summary before they start watching. I believe "The Animated Tales" of Shakespeare are excellent for any teacher who wants to give an overall knowledge of Shakespeare's plays and if you don't need to go into great detail with the story. It is excellent for use with low ability high school classes and especially with students who have just arrived in Australia and who have no idea who Shakespeare is.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Prompt
Very prompt! Got it just before I needed it. I teach English Literature and it holds their attention while they learn!
Published 2 months ago by Elaine Childers
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any high school teacher
I use these short animations to give students an introduction to the play, so they will recognize the highlights of the plot before we begin reading. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Book Girl
2.0 out of 5 stars Animated Nude Sex Scene in Romeo and Juliet
I got this set for my 7 year old who has the Usborne collection of Shakespeare, which is nicely adapted for children while still keeping the storyline intact. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amber Grannis
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!! How could anyone knock an animation collection like this!!?
I first saw these animated versions of the Bard's plays on YouTube after I became a member in 2010. I loved the different styles of animation and I recognised the stop motion... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jonhayashi1
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great intro to middle school Shakespeare
As a middle school English teacher I am always looking for ways to enhance the "Shakespeare unit. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah
Awesome way to engage early aged children. I recoommend the claymation! Watch out for Romeo and Juliet since there is a brief scene of side cartoon female parts.
Published 14 months ago by Julie Kowalchick
5.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to the Bard.
I enjoyed these novel adaptations of Shakespeare's work. I haven't seen some of the minor plays, but now I'm anxious to do so.
Published 15 months ago by Earl Walton
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed
And it arrived so quickly!

They are a great set and I look forward to using them in school!

Thanks!
Published 16 months ago by Paul Michael Fontana
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, lively intro to Shakespeare
this set is a wonderful bridge for the younger set who may struggle slogging thru the language but who really want to understand what's going on in all these cool Shakespeare... Read more
Published 23 months ago by tbik
5.0 out of 5 stars Toss the pillows around
I remember watching this series on HBO when I was a teenager. This was the series that truly made me love Shakespeare. Read more
Published on February 17, 2011 by Annalee Vogel
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