Shakespeare: The Animated Tales [DVD] 
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Renowned author and Shakespearian scholar Leon Garfield adapts 12 of the playwright's works into modern day animations. The adaptations use a variety of animation techniques and feature the vocal talents of Felicity Kendal, Alun Armstrong, Joss Ackland and Zoë Wanamaker. The plays are: 'Macbeth', 'Hamlet', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Othello', 'Twelfth Night', 'As You Like It', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'The Taming of the Shrew', 'A Winter's Tale', 'Richard III', 'Julius Caesar' and 'The Tempest'.
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Top Customer Reviews
I love these animated tales - not only have the makers somehow captured the essence of each play in just 30 minutes, but also reflected the individual flavour of each piece with the style of animation used: dark, claustrophobic paintings on glass for the tragic Hamlet, and brightly coloured, fun stop-motion animation for comedies like Twelfth Night.
These little half-hour gems are not only edifying, but also entertaining, and - as has no doubt been demonstrated effectively during BBC's schools broadcasts over the last decade or so - are a perfect form of introduction for children to the rich literary tapestry and language of Shakespeare's works.
This Animated Shakespeare Box Set, winner of 2 Emmy awards, contains 12 of the bard's plays that were originally broadcast on BBC2 in 1994. The scripts for the 'Animated Tales' have been adapted from the original Shakespeare by Leon Garfield. A reknowed Shakespearean scholar, Garfield worked closely with a panel of academic experts to create plays that are masterfully abridged to only 30 minutes, yet are faithful to Shakespeare's language and plots.
The 12 episodes are :
1. Romeo & Juliet
2. Twelfth Night
3. The Tempest
4. A Midsummer's Nights Dream
5. Richard III
7. The Taming Of The Shrew
9. A Winter's Tale
10. As You Like It
12. Julius Caesar
This animation is about half an hour long, and that comes as a slight disappointment: quite a few chunks that the adults will remember have been cut down significantly or have gone completely. For example, the viewer isn't really shown Macbeth's real motives for the murders, so newcomers to the play may be slightly confused with what's actually going on.
Overall, this is worth your money if you either like the original play of Macbeth, or are looking for an alternative to the live action screen adaptations of the play. I don't see why they couldn't have made it a bit longer though, which is the cartoon's main weakness.
Flick on the encoded DVD subtitles, and you have a marvellous textual support for any student struggling with the complexity of the original poetry.
Not a miracle, but a concoction of twelve little miracles spread over three DVD discs! Worth every penny, you'll play these Shakespeare tales over and over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a video - I thought I was buying a DVD (I had just thrown away my video) but your wonderful supplier sent me the DVD which I think is amazing service - thank you. Read morePublished on 28 Nov. 2013 by jayneherbert
Watched years ago with daughter. Now she is older she loves it again and is preparing her for when she really has to study it. Great!Published on 4 April 2013 by Ailsa
I used to watch The Animated Tales as a teenager and it sparked my love of Shakespeare plays. Abridged into 20-30 minutes, each animated feature captures the essence of the play in... Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2013 by Anon
This is a good resource to have in your Shakespeare library to use in conjunction with other resources. Read morePublished on 14 Dec. 2011 by Libby