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Tales from Europe: The Singing Ringing Tree and The Tinderbox [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

Price: £8.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Christel Bodenstein, Charles Hans Vogt, Eckart Dux, Rolf Ludwig, Heinz Schubert
  • Directors: Francesco Stefani, Siegfried Hartmann
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Dec. 2011
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0068M11N4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,385 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

THE SINGING RINGING TREE
To win the love of a beautiful but conceited princess, the prince sets out to search for the Singing Ringing Tree which she deeply craves. He finds it in an enchanted garden which is ruled by an evil dwarf. The dwarf gives him the tree, subject to one condition the prince must win the princess' love before nightfall. If he should fail, he will be transformed into a bear... and this comes to pass.

By a ruse, the bear carries off the unfeeling princess to the enchanted garden where, stripped of her beauty and power, she slowly learns compassion. She wins the affection of the animals, falls in love with the bear and, at last, her beauty is restored. The dwarf sees his plans thwarted and entices the princess out of the magic kingdom. But she has seen through his evil game. Not flinching from hardship and danger, she returns to the enchanted garden and frees her prince.

This special-edition DVD features the original German version with English subtitles together with the English narrated version. Both versions have been prepared using remastered transfers.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
[] English narrated version
[] Original German version with English subtitles
[] Interview with a Princess
[] Music-only track
[] Stills galleries

THE TINDERBOX
Based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, 'The Tinderbox' tells the story of a poor soldier who meets a witch on his return from battle. The witch promises him gold if he recovers an old tinderbox from a hollow tree. After a quarrel he makes off with the gold without handing over the tinderbox and sets himself up in a neighbouring town. His generosity enables the town to flourish but when his fortune dwindles he is left only with the friendship of the poor and the tinderbox.

He uses the tinderbox to summon three hounds who are ready to grant his wishes and sets about helping a princess, imprisoned in the castle by the king because she would marry a humble soldier rather than a noble prince.

This special-edition DVD features the original German version with English subtitles together with the previously unreleased English dubbed version. Both versions have been prepared using remastered transfers.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
[] English dubbed version
[] Original German version with English subtitles
[] Music-only track
[] Stills gallery
 

From Amazon.co.uk

This 1957 film version of the classic Grimm fairy tale The Singing Ringing Tree--or Das Singende Klingende Béumchen, ...is wonderful in its strangeness. The story is a fairly straightforward morality tale in which a haughty princess receives her comeuppance by being magically robbed of her beauty. Only when she learns to treat others with the consideration they deserve is the spell undone. The magical Singing Ringing Tree is a gift she demands from a suitor, not knowing that it will only do its thing in the presence of love--and yes, it does finally happen.

The presentation, however, is something else again. Imagine a fairy tale conceived by Wagner and directed by Fritz Lang, with nods in the direction of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and German Expressionism, and you'd be close. The hyper-real colouring process of the time, together with the quasi-operatic sets and theatrical acting styles make this European classic fascinating viewing for adults, while children will be mesmerised by this unfamiliar, haunting yet compelling film...--Roger Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Hands up all those who remember watching this on TV every summer holiday in the 70's?????? Here's a tip for those who wish to see it on DVD and don't possess a multi region DVD or the appropriate TV....buy it from the German branch of Amazon as I did. The English narration that you remember from all those years ago is available on the disc.....
So what is it like after all those years? Well, the quality of the picture is really good on DVD, really vibrant colours. I think the real problem is that it would be rather too slow for todays kids, who expect things to move at a much faster pace. Maybe we just had longer attention spans in those days. Also, the special effects were rather poor even for something made in 1950s Eastern Europe. The bear make up is really laughable. So do I recommend that you buy it???? ?Absolutely..but for yourself to wallow in the nostalgia and also the beauty of cinema of half a century ago made for kids with rather different expectations.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've had this nightmare picture of a stranded giant fish struggling for breath which has plagued me for so many years. Saw a mention of this by chance in a newspaper article, and ordered it the same day! There are websites dedicated to this film, all from kids traumatised by it in the 1960's. I was one of them, but had pushed the memory into my sub-conscious, at least except for the fish...
Expecting disappointment and poor quality, this dvd rolled back the years. It's in beautiful colour, and the sound is good. It has a German version on the disc too, plus an interview with "The World's First Communist Princess!"
The quality is so good after all these years that it makes you question a lot of what we were told about East Germany. Buy this and scare your kids; they deserve it!
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Format: VHS Tape
I saw this film as a child in the BBC's Tales from Europe series and loved it back then. It was atmospheric, magical, spooky and rather frightening to me as achild - but utterly compelling. Years later as a 30 year old I saw it advertised at my local cinema for a one showing only. I strolled along, thinking I would be alone at the cinema....instead the queue stretched halfway around the building! They were all about my age and the ones i spoke to were there because they remembered it from when they were kids as well! We went in and i saw it in colour for the first time. Pure psychedelia quite frankly - the screen dripped hallucinatory colour and the film was as magical as that young child had remembered. The audience went wild! This is one of the most convincing fairy tales on film I've ever seen. An absolutely solid gold classic. Adults and children can all enjoy it. What a film - one of my all time top 10.
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Format: VHS Tape
Of all my childhood memories of children's TV, 'The Singing Ringing Tree' remains the most vivid and well loved. If that makes me a sad nostalgic 40 something then I'm comfortingly not alone, because 37 years after its first airing on British TV it has now been elevated to 'cult classic' status. So what was it about 'The Singing Ringing Tree' that has remained a cherished memory with so many adults. It's certainly not the special effects, charming and well done as they were for a film dating from 1957, nor was it the sumptuous colour of the original print which is has been digitally remastered for this video presentation - 1964 when it was first shown on British TV we had to make do with TV black and white. Ultimately, then, we are left with the story-line (an amalgam of three Grimm's Fairy Tales) that beautifully conveys the moral principle that in order to find happiness the individual needs to look beyond selfish desires and to care for the environment surrounding them. Is it too much to hope that it is that that we have carried with us in the form of our cherished memories over the years? It would be nice to think so. And what of its standing today? Well, I can see The Singing Ringing Tree becoming the memories of the future with children today, as great story-telling like this never really becomes dated. One final note: the digital remastering is absolutely superb, and the video has the original English narration from its showing on British TV. A Masterpiece.
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Definitely of an era: I don't think anyone has quite been able to pigeon-hole this one, naive and tacky at one end with simple scenery, dodgy acting and shoddy costumes, yet it captured a real sense of fantasy and atmosphere.

It is rather a shock to discover the series (now presented in one part as the original film) was in colour, I am sure everyone's memory was of a hazy black and white blur, perhaps a little of the atmosphere is lost, but the DVD capture is now bright and vibrant and fitting for the fairy tale world. The sound track is a little wobbly in parts, with some noticeable background hiss, but nothing that detracts too much from the viewing.

The story is that of a spoilt princess being courted by a prince from a foreign land. The princess asks for the Singing Ringing Tree as proof of his love. Suffice to say, a search ensues, rash promises are made and the dwarf king of a magical land with a bad line in fist-shaking acting turns the prince into a bear having a bad hair day. The princess is brought to the land and... well you can see for yourself. That bridge into the magic kingdom still makes me nervous.

You need to suppress modern cynicism when watching an old series like this, but it still works: not sure what age children would appreciate it though. It didn't destroy my happy memories of this childhood experience.

No extras worth mentioning: just a stilted interview with the princess, with a few snippets of information about the making.
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