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The Canterbury Tales (Animated) [DVD] [1998]


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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Lindsay, Neil Dudgeon, Michael Feast, Tim McInnerny, Bill Nighy
  • Directors: Aida Zyablikova, Ashley Potter, Claire Jennings, Dave Antrobus, Joanna Quinn
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • DVD Release Date: 23 May 2005
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007URSTE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,052 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Mar 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is a wonderful film. For Anyone interested in Animated tecnique it is a must-see or for anyone who just likes a good film. There is a different style of animation for each tale. One very good thing about it is that there is a modern English version and a version in Chaucer's Middle English so if you want to watch it as it would have been originally spoken, you can! Among the cast who are doing the voices there are some very well known actors (Sean Bean, Billie Whitelaw, Richard Griffiths, Tim McInnerny) and everyone in the cast plays their parts very well.
Buy it, you won't regret it
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Marsden on 16 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have to start this review by admitting that I've never had any contact with the Canterbury tales until now, not having studied them at school.

What has surprised me most about the tales presented here is that they are still accessible and entertaining to a modern audience. Recurring themes are corrupt clergy, courtship and class conflict. This is all overlaid with a healthy dose of bawdy comedy (it can be quite entertaining to play spot the innuendo as there are little nudges hidden in many of the tales) and sometimes a bit of romance.

A mixture of clay and normal 'cartoon' animation of varying styles means that the individual tales are given their own tone and cadence reflecting the storyteller; sometimes slapstick comedy (e.g the Miller's tale with spitting image lips and a northern twang to the voices), sometimes flowing, bold coloured, minimalist graphics and Queen's English for the Franklin's tale of chivalry and valour.

The only reason I decided to leave one star off relates to the quite concerning rating given to the DVD relative to the content, tone and themes presented here. I certainly don't see it as PG material because many of the stories depict or hint at sexual activity;

The Wife of Bath's tale involves rape (although it's only hinted at in the cartoon, not knowing why the knight has been hauled to court+threatened with execution makes the story incomprehensible) and I pity any parents having to explain concepts like that to an 8-10 year old, not to mention sitting through the fairly graphic sex scene near the end...
Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bloomsbury on 18 Aug 2010
Format: DVD
I bought this because I remembered seeing it on the BBC when it was shown in both modern English and the original middle English. The middle English was not difficult to follow and helped anyone who watched that version to understand more about the poems on which the animation is based. When it was aired my primary school age son enjoyed both versions and so did I. I expected that the DVD would have both options - and that it would simply be a case of choosing the language on the menu. But no, this only has the modern English version which is a shame - hardly difficult to have both technically and also rather mean to edit the disc in such a limited way. Yes, what you get is good, but it could have been so much better. An educational and fun opportunity has been missed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Camidge on 18 Oct 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this and it is certainly in the rumbustious spirit of Chaucer - but I bought it for a school English dept and it has taken us to some places where more timid hearts might prefer not to venture. I definitely wouldn't put it anywhere near OfSTED. Ageism and homophobia are both inescapable, and the sexuality of older people in more than one of the tales made Year Nine boys raucously uncomfortable. They won't forget it though, and I hope they won't forget Chaucer either. The rivalry between Miller and Reeve and the similarity of their stories is wittily and imaginatively handled.

On a more mundane note, the tales are not in the order they appear on the sleeve and are annoyingly grouped within the sub-menu so that you can't find a specific tale without having worked out how to locate it within the menus first.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miss C M Breewood on 26 July 2003
Format: VHS Tape
These videos are brilliant not only for the quality of animation but for the insight they provide into middle English, the vestiges of which may still be seen (heard) in the dialects of the North East and East coast of Scotland (two places with which I have connnections). Perhaps by watching these videos (the middle English versions) you will be able to identify certain words/phrases which still exist in your local parlance.
Fascinating.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Nov 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I first watched these tales when they were first shown on BBC 2 and loved them, then recently i started a middle English course at uni and re-discovered them. They are a brilliant interpretation of Chaucer's Canterbury tales and they include the tales by the Miller and The Reeve which are very amusing. Not only do they introduce you to Chaucer's greatest works and middle English they are also incredibly amusing to watch and the animation is wonderful.
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