Fairy Tales!

Published on Thursday, June 24, 2010 in , , ,

2nd Illustration for The Storyteller at FaultBetween discussing the memorization of poetry (as well as memorizing speeches, monologues, and lyrics) and nostalgic, fun, and free learning resources with a friend recently, he brought up one of the oldest ways of teaching, learning, and memorizing that I'd completely ignored: Fairy tales!

Granted, you don't usually memorize fairy tales like you would a poem or speech. The important part is the lessons learned at the end. It's because of this that fairy tales tend to change from teller to teller, which is part of their fun. It's also a self-working mnemonic technique, as the lesson you need to remember is associated with all sorts of weird and vivid images.

As technology advanced, there were, of course, frequent efforts to re-tell these fairy tales in the new mediums. So, if you're ready to go, let's check out some of the oldest stories told in some of the most modern of ways – television!

Jim Henson's The Storyteller – This was actually a show within another show. In the show The Jim Henson Hour, the second half (this is why the playlist doesn't feature parts 1, 2, and 3 of most of the videos) would usually be dedicated to a segment simply titled The Storyteller, featuring John Hurt. The combination of Jim Henson's direction, and the depth of research into the fairy tales that are told made for a breathtaking and enjoyable experience every week!

Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre – Yes, this is the same Shelley Duvall whom you remember from movies like The Shining and Popeye. This series featured a wide variety of directors, including Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola, so as to bring different attitudes to each of the 26 episodes, along with many well-known actors. They even had noted children's book's authors frequently design the sets!

Grim Tales – This British series featured exclusively on the fairy tales told by the Brothers Grimm. It's also the “edgiest” of all the series on this list. Rik Mayall would tell each story in his pajamas and bathrobe, while sitting in a chair that had paws and ostrich legs. Somehow, it all worked, but you need to experience it to see how.

Grimms Fairy Tale Classics – While employing a similar name to the previously-mention Grim Tales, this series couldn't be more different. This was a fairy tale series tailored to younger viewers. Originally from Japan, this anime-style fairy tale anthology series is instantly recognizable to Nickelodeon viewers by its memorable intro.

Long Ago and Far Away – This PBS series was hosted by James Earl Jones. It featured a wide variety of fairy tales from other countries (including several Hungarian folk tales), so it often included ones that weren't familiar to Western audiences. Probably the most recognizable episode of this show would have to be The Man Who Planted Trees.

Do yourself a favor, and sit through at least one tale from any one of the above shows.

The above links aren't exhaustive, so searching for more episodes by their above titles will help you find even more episodes.

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