Faerie Tale Theatre: “Rapunzel” (1983)

Easily the best episode of Shelley Duvall’s beloved 1980s children’s program I’ve seen so far, “Rapunzel” shows significant storytelling and narrative growth since the first two episodes, as charming as those two were. Here, the episode is blessed with Roddy McDowall’s smooth narration not to mention the funny, charming writing he’s given, while the trio of leads (Duvall, Gena Rowlands and Jeff Bridges) are genuinely compelling. Rowlands, in particular, is remarkable: She tears into it like nothing could be more fun and walks away with every scene she’s in.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)


  1. Hi, I grew up watching these episodes and Rapunzel was definitely one of my favorites. Some of it was quite scary but still so fascinating. The evil screaming radish in the Mother’s nightmare always was, still is, and always will be absolutely terrifying forever more.
    I must say, that episode of Sleeping Beauty, near the ending where Christopher Reeve has a battle with Beverly D’Angelo playing the Evil Faerie Henbane with her long nails, reptilian scales make-up painted on her skin, sharp teeth and her tongue rapidly wagging from one side of her mouth to the other, that right there scared the living Hell out of me, I did not want to sleep by myself in my bedroom as a child for a long time.

    One thing I am so badly wanting to find out is, that music, that very weird, strange and hypnotic sequence of notes, that musical melody phrase that starts immediately as the Mother of Rapunzel bites into a radish and you hear the crunch. I heard that very same musical melody phrase briefly on a reality show “90-day Fiance”, and instantly recognized it, and it sounded as if this version had been recorded with the traditional musical instruments of a symphonic orchestra. It must be a somewhat fairly familiar piece of music to classical genre enthusiasts, but I have no idea what the name of it is or who composed it. I have searched the episode credits, blogs, information anywhere I could find, and still have know answer, so I was just wondering if you might possibly know? Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

      1. HI there! Yes Sir, I have finally found the “Spooky Radish Music” that I have always been looking for. It is a piece called “Aquarium”, from a musical suite “The Carnival of the Animals (Le Carnaval des Animaux)” written in 1886 by French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns. There’s many different versions available on YouTube, some in orchestras and some very impressively played by solo pianists. I’m very happy to have found this and to share, I hope you enjoy. But stay away from the witches’ gardens and please don’t eat the radishes!


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