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Shakespeare: The Animated Tales, Act 1 (The Taming Of The Shrew & Macbeth) [DVD]

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Directors: Nikolai Serebriakov
  • Format: Animated, PAL
  • Language: 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 Distribution Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Jan. 2007
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000KB6DV4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,620 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Double bill of animated Shakespeare plays, abridged and adapted by Leon Garfield. In 'The Taming of the Shrew', the rebellious Kate finds true happiness by bowing to the wishes of husband Petruchio. 'Macbeth', Shakespeare's darkest play, is a tale of greed, murder, witchcraft and madness set in ancient Scotland.

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I like `Shakespeare: The Animated Tales' as a concept and, of the ones I've seen so far, (most of the time) in execution: The texts, superbly sliced by Leon Garfield, abridgements rather than rewrites; the animations various in style, all of the highest quality, filmed in the studios of Russia; the voices of actors from the `British tradition' many of whom have performed Shakespeare on stage with organizations like the RSC and The National Theatre.

The idea is to provide short introductions to the plays which are accessible to a young audience but which don't make sacrifices to the gods of patronization or oversimplification and which not only inform but entertain.

The Taming of the Shrew is not an exception - it is an intelligent romp through the basic story with some witty stop-gap animations and a perception of the original play worth thinking about.

Unlike many `full text' productions, which cut the framing device, the film starts with the drunken Sly bouncing out of the ale house, and being picked up by the `lord' and his retinue: Sly literally replaces the wild boar on the huntsmen's pole. Although the words are cut, this makes clearer than the spoken words the line:

`O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies'

and illustrates nicely the subtlety this animated version attains - it is an image which fixes the metaphor, fixes it fast, and amuses.

The Sly scenes are kept, I think, to highlight the `play-within' device - throughout the film there are curtains and stages, applause and a character crossing through the invisible wall. Leon Garfield (with the advice of Stanley Wells - who is credited?
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