Mirror, Mirror on the wall, is Judge Jim Thomas the fairest of all? I see. Same to you, pal!
Our reviews of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: Bedtime Tales (published January 30th, 2010), Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: Tales From Hans Christian Andersen (published August 14th, 2009), and Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: The Complete Collection (published October 1st, 2008) are also available.
In the early '80s, Shelley Duvall (Popeye), brought a children's series to Showtime. Dubbed Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, the series was notable primarily for the big names Duvall lured to the project. The likes of Christopher Reeve, Elliot Gould, Tatum O'Neal, Liza Minnelli, even Duvall's Popeye co-star Robin Williams, joined in. The series ran for five years, receiving strong marks from critics and viewers alike.
The rights to the series have been passed around with the frequency of a cheap ham radio, so there are a lot of different releases floating about. Last year, E1 Entertainment, a division of Koch Media, released the complete set; now they are starting to release some compilations. For some reason, they decided not to release by season, but rather by theme. Thus, we have Faerie Tale Theatre: Magical Tales, which is kind of odd, given that just about every episode involves magic in one way or another.
This set has four episodes:
• "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp"
• "Beauty and the Beast"
• "Puss in Boots"
There's a very noticeable layer change at the *very* beginning—You can't help but wonder why they didn't just move the episode to the second layer; but then you realize that would have taken effort, and precious little of that has been invested in this disc. Useless information: There's a lot of Star Trek in this episode. In addition to Alfre Woodard, Ben Vereen played Geordi La Forge's dad on TNG, John Schuck played the Klingon ambassador in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Brock Peters played Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
• "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Technically, the disc is a disappointment. The video has a soft image (bordering on blurred in some areas), inconsistent colors, and a lot of flaring, particularly in "Snow White." Audio fares little better; while there is a remixed 5.1 track, there's little "surround" involved. "Puss in Boots" has a fairly clear audio track, but in the other episodes, audio is somewhat thin and even tinny at times. The original 2.0 mix is a bit clearer, so just stick with that one.
There's a lot of talent on display here, but the sad fact is that with very
few exceptions, that talent isn't effectively used. The disc might have some
nostalgic value for some, but the stories just did not engage my kids at all.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
Review content copyright © 2009 Jim Thomas; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.