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Shakespeare: The Animated Tales
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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
Highly Recommended 3 1/2 STARS --Video Librarian
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The Tempest - Stop-Motion Puppetry
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Cel Animation
As You Like It - Oil Paint on Cel
Hamlet - Paint on Glass
Julius Caesar - Cel Animation
King Richard III - Paint on Glass
Romeo and Juliet - Cel Animation
Othello - Cel Animation
The Winter's Tale - Stop-Motion Puppetry
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!
Lucky us, that was the first video we chose to watch. I hear the others have no questionable scenes. That said, I would not refrain from showing them to my children. It is a nice into to Shakespeare. I just think families who plan to show it to young children should know about the R&J scene.... Marketing to children makes the rating misleading... If your kids are ready for that, I'd recommend the series.
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.
AS YOU LIKE IT is animated in a painterly, impressionistic style like the french impressionists while MIDSUMMER's NIGHT DREAM is animated in cell animation with an exaggerated caricature style that fits this humourus tale of love confusion and magical mischief! In cell animation ROMEO AND JULIET is beautifully drawn and animated all the way to it's tragic ending when Juliet pretends to be dead so she won't marry someone her father wants her to marry but Romeo thinks she is dead and kills himself! If the Disney company did their version today you know that they would LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!! I prefer the old Disney films and have SILLY SYMPHONIES vol 1&2 , Disney's 1930's animation as well as the 1940 FANTASIA on DVD!
OTHELLO shows Iago, Othello's officer, using lies and deciet to make Othello believe that his wife, Desdemona is unfaithful to him and the hand drawn cell animation depicts this dramatically! Each art style and technique is well chosen to enhance the drama or humour in each tale! The witches in MACBETH have odd, funny transformation while King Macbeth and Queen Macbeth are drawn in a tormented, painful look and style that fits the tragedy!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the idea of exposing the kids to Shakespeare in a child-friendly way. However, I was more engaged than the kids were. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Desert Mom
Much better than expected and the animators put their hearts into it.Published 5 months ago by H. T. Angell
I teach special Ed and these videos helped my student fall in love with Shakespeare !!!!Published 6 months ago by Jennifer
Many different styles of animation. Each play about 25 minutes long. PerfectPublished 9 months ago by M. Heiss
My husband and I direct elementary school kids in a 10-minute Shakespearean scene every year. Part of our preparation involves teaching the basic plot of whatever play we're doing. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Julie
I loved re-visiting Shakespeare this way. My grand children, 12 years and 10 years old, were mesmerized by Shakespeare and asked to watch these tales again!Published 19 months ago by Suzanne Selby
Bought these for my son, he and I love them. I don't know why people are complaining about the sound quality, unless they got a bad set, be chase ours are great! Read morePublished 21 months ago by Theresaclueless
The puppet animation for Twelfth Night and Tempest are my absolute favorite renditions, however abbreviated, of two of my favorite plays. Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by Feles31
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