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The Box of Delights [DVD] [1984]

Patrick Troughton , Robert Stephens    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
Price: 3.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Box of Delights [DVD] [1984] + The Box of Delights + The Midnight Folk
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Product details

  • Actors: Patrick Troughton, Robert Stephens, Devin Stanfield, Jonathan Stevens
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Nov 2004
  • Run Time: 166 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00318BPG6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,442 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A shabby old box, guarded by a mysterious old man (Patrick Troughton), leads a boy into all sorts of magical adventures. Originally a six-part TV serial, Box of Delights also stars Devlin Stanfield and Geoffrey Lander.


A BBC TV adaption of John Masefield's classic children's story in which Kay Harker meets a mysterious Punch and Judy man who gives him his magical Box of Delights, which can take people into the past, for safe keeping. Kay soon becomes embroiled in the plots of an evil genius, Abner Brown.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight!! 11 Aug 2005
By A Customer
'The box of Delights' tells the story of Kay Harker, a young boy who, on his way home from school, meets a mysterious Punch-and-Judy man who entrusts him with an equally mysterious box which he calls the Box of Delights. Kay soon finds out that the box is magical, an it takes him on a wonderful journey as he tries to save the Punch-and-Judy man from the sinister Abner Brown.
I am too young to have seen this series when it was first shown on TV in 1984, but when I was about 11 I heard the story on audio cassette. I LOVED it!!!. Several years later, I saw an advert in the paper for classic children's DVDs, and, among other classic titles such as The Borrowers (not the film that was made several years ago, but the original series), Five children and It and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, was THE BOX OF DELIGHTS!!!!!!!! I bought it from Amazon immediately, and was not disappointed. Admittedley the special effects look quite old to me, but that doesn't matter, as they do not affect the story, which is as magical as I remember.
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137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever!! 9 Nov 2004
By MrsT
I was thrilled to discover this on DVD. The story is magical and mysterious and adds a wonderful dimension to anyone's Christmas. The cast is superb and Robert Stephens as Abner Brown will have you on the edge of your seat with his manic wickedness. The story is poised brilliantly between the atmosphere of a 1930's Christmas and the age-old fight between good and evil. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep children enthralled and adults gripped. The music is superb too and you'll be humming the theme tune. We always watch this at Christmas and it's so good to read of others who do the same. Buy it!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Like most people considering buying this item I suspect, I remember watching it as a child and loving it. So, all these years on, has the Box of Delights retained its magic?

Quite simply, the answer is yes. I remember bits and pieces of this 6 part series from when I was a kid, and how it scared me as a child ('The wolves! The wolves are running!') in that way we all quite enjoy. And once the theme tune started up, it all came flooding back at a rate of knots.

The story was exactly as I remembered it, with 'Fox Face Charlie', 'Ratty' and 'The Boy Under the Waterfall', and it would be great to watch with your kids if you have any (made me wish I had a couple of nippers to share the experience with), especially in the run up to Christmas, as a Yule Tide theme runs throughout the series.

I remembered it had scared me as a kid and made me snuggle up close to mum (hey, I was only 7 OK!) but I must admit I was quite surprised that it made me leap out my seat again not more than 10 minutes into the first episode (hey, I'm only 34 OK!). It's even more surprising when you take into account the dated effects.

Looking at it now, the visual effects are terrible, the story full of holes, and the child actors (bar one) just horrible - but none of these things seemed to matter to me when I was a child and oddly, thanks to nostalgia I guess, they didn't seem to matter to me all these years on either.

For those who haven't seen it the story is basically about a young boy who comes home from school for the holidays and a strange old man gives him a magic box to hide - The Box of Delights. So powerful is this box, that dark forces, twisted creatures, and evil men are out to try and wrestle it from him.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
I too watch the Box of Delights every year just before Christmas on video (yes the tape is wearing out) so I was delighted when the BBC released this production on DVD! The Box of Delights was first televised on BBC TV in 1984. At the time this production was considered outstanding due to the use of new special effects using chroma key and inventive animation techniques. Chroma key was a relatively new technique in the early 1980's so it was an exciting experience to see this magic appear on our screens in a remarkable production. Today the use of CGI makes these effects look somewhat old fashioned, but I feel that they still look impressive (especially the scene where Cole Hawlings uses the power of the box to magically open a picture at Seekings to evade Abner Brown's Agents).

The Box of Delights is based on John Masefield's classic children's book and is set in the 1920's / 30's period. Kay Harker has left boarding school and is coming home for the Christmas holidays by steam train. On the journey he meets two clergymen called "Foxy Faced Charles" and "Chubby Faced Joe" who are two agents working for the villain ringleader "Abner Brown". They challenge Kay to a game of card tricks and it is here that you discover that the two "clergymen" are not all that they seem.

At the next station, the conversation between Kay and the clergymen is interruped by the barking of the dog belonging to the travelling Punch and Judy man called "Cole Hawlings". Kay discovers that he has lost his railway ticket and it is here that the fantastic adventure begins when he meets the mysterious philosopher who harkens from the Middle Ages.

Kay now embarks on a series of adventures when he returns home to his house "Seekings" to stay with his guardian "Caroline Louisa".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
This brings back so many memories from my childhood and watching it on BBC1 as I got home from school. Can't help putting it on around Christmas
Published 24 days ago by Cathy Lees
5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick Troughton is a delight.
The central performance of Patrick Troughton is worth the entry price alone. The story is a bit clunky but is maintained by good performances and some nicely unpredictable moments.
Published 26 days ago by David Trist
5.0 out of 5 stars Box of delights
Brilliant DVD, reminds me when I use to come home from school to watch this program. Would recommend this DVD to anyone.
Published 1 month ago by Windell
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful glimpse of the past
The special effects are a little simplistic but the acting is wonderful and it has a timeless innocence all its own.
Published 1 month ago by Megan Baldwin
4.0 out of 5 stars BD
Great ilm of a forgotten classic. My mother's favourite and one of her Christmas gifts. A magical and unique world.
Published 1 month ago by HSJ Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good to watch at Christmas time.
My son mentioned a film we used to watch years ago which we all loved. I remembered that it was the Box of Delights which we all use to love watching.. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jos
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas brilliance
If you wish to share some great Christmas moments with your family, sit and watch the Box of Delights and remember a more simple, innocent time when fantasy adventure was not laced... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. M. Ryder
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Must-See
As a child of the seventies/eighties this was a slice of pure nostalgia. It's a great story, though the special effects are showing their age.
Published 2 months ago by Kentishbookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars The Box of Delights
Arrived promptly, very good price. For some reason this magical series was never repeated since first shown on TV. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anne Managhan
2.0 out of 5 stars 1 yr on, I still haven't finished watching it
I need to watch it through to see if I maybe like it a little but so far am a bit bored.
Published 2 months ago by Witchgirl
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