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Shakespeare: The Animated Tales
Shakespeare The Animated Tales
Actors: Alec McCowen, Michael Kitchen, Suzanne Burden, Gerald James, John Warner
Director: Various
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Animation
UR     2004     5hr 0min

Winner of 3 Emmy Awards these exceptional animated stories have been designed to introduce children and young adults to some Shakespeare's most popular works. Each play has been animated in it own unique style by the exce...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Alec McCowen, Michael Kitchen, Suzanne Burden, Gerald James, John Warner
Director: Various
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, Love & Romance, Animation
Studio: Ambrose Video Publishing
Format: DVD - Animated
DVD Release Date: 07/06/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 5hr 0min
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

All the World's a Stage ... or a Cel, or a Paintbrush
BlaskoFilms | Coon Rapids, MN United States | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a wonderful find! Aficionados of animation know how hard it can be to find the work of Russia's Christmas Films on DVD (Operavox and The Miracle Maker being the only other North American releases that I'm aware of). This is a great set, with twelve of the Bard's famous works presented in various styles of lush animation:

Disc One
The Tempest - Stop-Motion Puppetry
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Cel Animation
As You Like It - Oil Paint on Cel

Disc Two
Hamlet - Paint on Glass
Julius Caesar - Cel Animation
King Richard III - Paint on Glass

Disc Three
Romeo and Juliet - Cel Animation
Othello - Cel Animation
The Winter's Tale - Stop-Motion Puppetry

Disc Four
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!"
Great stuff
J. Harper | Houston, tx United States | 12/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Any fan of animation or Shakespeare should think about buying this set. The set does not seem to have the Robin Williams introductions (and they are missed) but otherwise everything is here. Can't say enough good about this set. Makes it very clear how dull regular TV programming is. Priceless stuff."
Nice to have, but...
Amy Wong | Lima, Peru | 03/27/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I grew up watching Shakespeare The Animated Tales on Discovery Kids Latin America... back when it was for kids and not babies.
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."
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales
Jennifer L. Spiwak Levi | Memphis, TN | 08/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a high school English teacher, I'm always looking for ways to make Shakespeare accessible to a generation who could sometimes seem to care less about classical literature. The joy of this series is that it includes all of the most popular plays, and every one is done in a different style of animation celebrating some of the world's greatest artistry. The few that I've previewed have been presented very well. The language is maintained, and the graphics help to bring it all together. They're very much like graphic novels, if you've had the chance to view some of those.

Anyone interested in trying to make Shakespeare come alive would be interested in these DVDs. They make great examples for the differences in interpretation, also!"