Jessica M. from WOODSTOCK, GA Reviewed on 9/22/2010...
My boys (2 and 4) love these movies. I love that they are beautifully and faithfully done. They may be a little slow-paced for some, but my boys really get into them and I believe the slow pace and simple animation honors the original classics by Beatrix Potter.
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Excellent interpretation of classic tales
Robert Pratte | charleston, il USA | 02/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The two discs here contain nine episodes: 5 on the first disc, 4 on the second (see my run-down below). Each episode is comprised of a short, live-action framing sequence, the story itself in pleasing animation, and another live-action scene to tie up the tale. Recall that this series was produced for television, thus each episode is approximately 26 minutes long. Also, despite being produced for TV, overall I must say that everything is very well done.
The live-action sequences are detailed (costumes, scenery, etc.) and tie in nicely with the story itself. The animated sequences are detailed and visually pleasant. One of the directors, Dianne Jackson, had directed The Snowman, and another, Dave Unwin, directed the 1995 version of The Wind in the Willows, so if you enjoy "old-school" animation that is more evocative of watercolor than CGI, the visuals will be right up your alley.
If you are looking for a way to introduce your kids to classic stories, are a fan of Beatrix Potter, or just enjoy a nicely produced bit of animation, then I would highly recommend these DVDs. I enjoyed them, my wife enjoyed them, my kids enjoyed them, and (I suspect even) my cat enjoyed one or two.
In terms of the episodes contained, here is the list by disc: Vol 1: - The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny - The Tale of Mr. Tod - The Tale of Two Bad Mice and Johnny Town-Mouse - The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Mr. Jeremy Fisher - The Tailor of Gloucester
Vol 2: - The Tale of Samuel Whiskers of the Roly-Poly Pudding - The Tale of Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddle-Duck - The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and Mrs. Tittlemouse - The Tale of Pigling Bland"
Sharon | Pennsylvania | 03/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was so thrilled to see these stories on DVD! I had the videos when my children were little, and always enjoyed watching them as much as they did. The music is lovely and wistful, and the animation of the Beatrix Potter watercolor illustrations is so well done. (I don't know how they managed it, but they kept the light touch of her originals and somehow just put them into motion.) The live-action sequences tie in beautifully with the stories, bringing the artist to life and showing how her stories might have come to be written. I would highly recommend these as a gentle antidote to some of frenetic fare that is out there for little ones these days! The DVD's and companion books would make a great baby gift!"
Beautifully made videos
clanRoss mom | Space Center, Mississippi | 07/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Our family loves the Beatrix Potter videos. They are beautiful. They are such a breath of fresh air when compared to the typical children's video. Entertaining and beautiful but not giddy or harsh. The artwork is my favorite--stays true to Beatrix Potter's work--but the voices are wonderful too--no one can forget Ms. Tittlemouse's, "I see the marks of little dirty feet!" We quote from the stories often and my daughter, at 3, was adept at "talking Bwitish". You will not go wrong with these children's videos. They are beautiful, classy, lovely and good for your kids."
UK Buyers note: Re-dubbed with american actors voices
T. MCCARTER | BURY ST EDMUNDS, Suffolk United Kingdom | 05/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had been searching for this title for a while, and was pleased to find available, although only as R1 disc as this has always primarily been a VERY British production. I was therefore somewhat surprised to find that a majority of the characters voices had been redubbed using american actors, so it was quite an odd mix of American /English through each episode, for example Tom kittens mother has an impeccable British accent, Tom Kitten - American redub voice ?! I can only assume that it must be due to copyright or actors not giving permission. So UK R2 customers take note of this strange version, as it did remove some of the original magic I remember ."
Delightful DVDs Have a Magical Effect
Emily A. Hopper | Wilmington, Delaware United States | 02/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always enjoyed Beatrix Potter's stories, and was thrilled to see they were put in animated form. My boys, ages 4 years and nearly 2, both adore the DVDs. They evidently prefer them over most Disney fare, and will watch them repeatedly.
They have a magical calming effect over the children, which is amazing. Both of my hyperactive boys will sit quietly through each DVD, eagerly pushing play each time the menu pops up. They even behave better afterwards, with less fighting and more sharing. It doesn't appear to set out to teach them to behave better, it's just the result of them seeing and mimicking the behaviors and mores of a more polite society. My 4 year old regularly expounds on Peter Rabbit's bad behavior and its results. They've even picked up the vocabulary, which is impressive since the stories haven't been "dumbed down" for today's children. It assumes they understand - or will shortly - the meaning of such words as "commenced" and "mischief".
Another unexpected delight is the enjoyment I get out of them. The music, the voices (the likes of Niahm Cusack, Ian Holm & Derek Jacobi), the animated drawings and the live action sequences all blend together with a calm, soothing charm that gives an "all's right with the world" feeling. I can be having a horrible day, and if I put one of these DVDs to play in the background, the trouble just melts away.
The only drawback of these DVDs is that you must select each story from the menu. You can't just select "play all" and watch them consecutively.