Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Standard Deviants - Rings Kings Things |
Monsters & Mayhem / Swords & Sorcery
Actor: Standard Deviants
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Educational
Prepare to enter an age when the world was ruled by wise kings, valiant warriors and terrifying monsters, and the power of magic united entire kingdoms. This is the world of ancient myths, heroic epic poems, and modern fan... more »
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Reasonably Well Done
W H | Lakeland, Florida United States | 07/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A little too heavily focused on Tolkein's works in particular, this DVD is obviously trying to capitalize on a rise in interest in the fantasy genre due to the release of the "Lord of the Rings" films. Nevertheless, this DVD does an above-average job of helping the typical rube get oriented with the various subtleties of the genre.A bit narrow in its attempt to set down the major archetypes (backbone characters/plots/settings/morals) of fantasy, I still managed to enjoy their attempt. I would question a few of their choices for what definitely "is" a part of fantasy storytelling (as well as some nuggets they left out), but that can be expected of any group's attempt to definitively describe the characteristics of a genre. Someone will always complain.For newbies to fantasy literature, though, it will suffice to get them interested enough to explore some on their own. (However, if they don't like to read, don't expect any kind of DVD to help motivate them, of course.) For students--whom this Standard Deviants group targets--this DVD will make an approaching (or encroaching) reading assignment that involves fantasy literature significantly less intimidating or boring. It will give a kid an "I know why s/he's writing it like that" kind of superior feeling, and perhaps that will in turn help a student learn better. The fact that there is so much more great fantasy literature to mention besides Tolkein or Beowolf (or Arthurian legend, which is sadly just glossed) is the major flaw of this production. It is truly annoying that very little else is mentioned, in terms of other works. But, of course, time, production costs, and viewer patience are limited quantities. And, sadly, so much of the stories in fantasy written since Tolkein are merely derivative (which, ironically, was in its own turn intentionally derivative or Beowolf, et al). For the newbie viewer, though, they will naturally have not read much in the genre, so they won't miss the ommission of so many other great works that could've been included.Production values are excellent. There is a lot of changing scenery/locales, as well as an effective use of green screens that does not become annoying. Cute animations that provide illustration. Bullet points are well-timed, lending to good chances for note-taking amongst the class. A few recurring goofball moments seem to be a stock-in-trade for the Standar Deviants, and this production has them, as well. They are cute and serve to continue the education, not provide a break from it, so that's a plus. Last, the people presenting the material are all young (20's) and attractive, and they can read cue cards better than most (perhaps they memorize???), so that's a definite OK, too.All-in-all, if you are looking to teach Tolkein or Beowolf as your first foray into fantasy literature, then definitely show kids this DVD. If you are using Phillip Pullman or J.K. Rowling in your classroom, then this DVD will serve as a good counterpoint to show *after* the class has read their assignment. (Suggestion: spend three or four days presenting this in class, only ten-twenty minutes or so at a time. Read excerpts from assigned reading materials, then discuss or write about the DVD's teachings versus the experience of reading in the genre first-hand.)"
An Introduction To Fantasy.
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 04/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This highly informative and entertaining DVD was created by that wacky crew known as the Standard Deviants. The Standard Deviants have made educational videos on everything from Spanish to calculus to learning HTML. The videos are aimed at high school and college audiences. In this DVD, the group tackles fantasy literature. Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS is used as the centerpiece backdrop. However, the legends of King Arthur, Beowulf, and tales from Norse mythology are also discussed and examined. Using a variety of techinques from cheesy Monty Python animation to corny sketches, the Stanard Deviants explain what fantasy literature is, it's origins, and why it's worth reading and studying. The DVD includes a selection of outtakes and some notes on famous classic fantasy characters. Not too shabby."
The Elements of Fantasy and Fiction
Laura De Giorgio | Canada | 10/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD describes the most-common elements of fantasy writing, and then lists several types of heroes and monsters. The focus is on the Lord of the Rings, Beowulf and Arthurian legends.
I am glad that while mentioning "dragons", they did mention the different symbolism dragons play in western and eastern mythology.
More than just an entertainment, the symbolism works upon one's unconscious (subconscious mind) and the heroic quest and conquering of an assortment of monsters can be viewed as a symbolic representation of inner growth and realization of one's potential which can only be known by facing and overcoming apparent obstacles on one's path.
Skip It in high school!
English Teacher | Wheatland, CA United States | 09/16/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"For high school students, this was cheesy and b-o-r-i-n-g. I will never use it again. The information is correct, but the presentation is way off-beat and did not catch student interest. In fact, over 90% tuned out before we were even into it."