22 March 2010 | Foux_du_Fafa
Generally quite good
"Faerie Tale Theatre" is a series of fifty-minute adaptations of some of the most famous fairy-tales, starring established actors and celebrities in a variety of whimsical roles: Robin Williams as the Frog Prince, Mick Jagger as the Emperor in "The Nightingale", Vanessa Redgrave as the Queen in "Snow White" and Susan Sarandon as the beauty who fell for a beast. Made during the 80s, they have stood the test of time fairly well, even if their soft video appearance and somewhat cheesy electronic scores seem a bit hard to swallow for some nowadays. There are indeed a few things to raise a few eyebrows about ("Pinocchio" is a bit of a muddled affair, "Beauty and the Beast" essentially plagiarises Jean Cocteau's 1946 version of the story), but the episodes are more faithful to the original stories than many of their counterparts are, especially the ones that were adapted a few years later by Disney ("The Little Mermaid", "Aladdin").
The "theatre" of the title is quite accurate, as most episodes have quite a theatrical nature to them in terms of effects, costume and sets, yet this doesn't do much disservice to the series. The writing does not seem aimed at any specific audience, and the result is a series that doesn't talk down to anyone. While the series may lack overall the enchanting polish and majesty of the Disney animated films or other major film productions, it provides an interesting and relatively faithful group of fairy-tale films. Recommended for the young and young-at-heart.