14 November 1987
| 8.5/10 |
11 September 1982
| ''Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre''|
Shelley Duvall, Susan Sarandon, Christopher Reeve, Jennifer Beals, Jeff Goldblum
Tall Tales & Legends, Shirley Temple's Storybook, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tale, Wolves - Witches and Giants, Nightmare Classics
Faerie Tale Theatre (also known as Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre) is an American live-action children's anthology series retelling fairy tales. Shelley Duvall serves as narrator, host and executive producer of the program, and occasionally stars in episodes. The series was followed by two other, albeit less successful shorter anthology series Tall Tales & Legends which followed the same format as Faerie Tale Theatre and focused on classic American folk tales and Nightmare Classics .Both series feature well known actors and directors, and were inspired by the children's television series Shirley Temple's Storybook. This was one of the first examples of cable original programming, alongside HBO's Fraggle Rock.
Faerie Tale Theatre originally aired on Showtime from 1982 to 1987, winning a Peabody Award, TCA Award and Golden CableACE Award. It later aired as edited re-runs on the Disney Channel as well as in syndication on various television stations, including PBS and BookTelevision.
Faerie Tale Theatre Wikipedia
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. Williams would later star in the pilot episode of the series, "The Tale of the Frog Prince".
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, 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").
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. 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. A new remastered 7-disc box set, including the lost "Greatest Moments" episode, was released by Koch Vision on September 2, 2008. 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.
When released on DVD by Starmaker II and Koch Vision, the following scenes were cut from the series:"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).