This DVD is a filmed performance of the stage play The Gruffalo, based on the popular book by Julia Donaldson. If you haven't done so already, it is worth reading the book first and getting your children aquainted with the characters as it may be a little difficult to follow otherwise, because no money has been lavished on expensive costumes!
There are only 3 performers and the stage is sparse but the production is absolutely superb and probably better for it. The whole idea is to get the children to use their imagination and associate the book with what they are seeing unfold in front of them. For example, the mouse is simply dressed in a brown t-shirt, pedal pushers with pink trainers and looks (and acts) a bit like Bjork!
The story is faithfully followed and is stretched by six musical additions. The songs are catchy and instantly singable and reflect the characters beautifully. The Fox (Tweed jacket, flat cap and sideburns) performs a Madness-style bounce-around number, the Owl(Flying helmet and starched scarf) a regimental two-step and the Snake (Sombrero and fake moustache) an outrageous latin salsa.(All three, incidentally, played by the same actor).
The Gruffalo, when he finally appears, is as loveable a 'monster' that you are ever likely to meet and it is guaranteed that you will be hummming or singing one of his two songs long after the DVD is back in the box.
At only 50 minutes long (well would your kids sit still through anything longer in a theatre?) it is a tad expensive but even so, for entertainment and long-lasting appeal it is still worth every penny.
And go and see it live if you get the chance...