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...
Parents should also be advised that many of the stories incorporate drinking, terrible manners, toilet humour and frequently misogyny; although this is generally comedic it may once again call for an explanation of why the travelers are laughing at people hitting their wives or moaning on about women being awful. Quite yucky 'body horror' at some points, too.
One can't fault Geoffrey Chaucer for including these kinds of distasteful scenes - they are simply a reflection of the England he lived in. I certainly wouldn't want to watch a heavily bowdlerized version of such well-told vignettes but I do think that this should really carry a 12/12A rating because it just isn't suitable for anybody below the age of about 10 (PG ratings refer to scenes not suitable for children under 8).