Faerie Tale Theatre (The Complete Series) (1982-1987)

There has never been anything quite like this unique, distinct and charming family series from creator Shelley Duvall. It’s remarkable that Duvall was able to draw so much A-list talent to these theatrical adaptations of various fairy tales, with participation from the likes of Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Matthew Broderick, Gena Rowlands, Helen Mirren, and even Klaus Kinski, among many others. That parade of famous faces becomes one of the show’s most entertaining aspects, and it’s fun to see that the majority of the guest performers seem to be enjoying themselves. There are so many terrific episodes along the way, like “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” (which borrows heavily from the 1946 French adaptation by Jean Cocteau and Rene Clement), “Hansel and Gretel,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and the list goes on. It’s admittedly dated but that’s part of its retro charms, and what made the series so special throughout the 1980s for an entire generation of children watching PBS has survived the passing of time.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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