by Scott Oakes
“You think you know these stories, you don’t. The real ones are much more gory. The phoney ones, the ones you know were cooked up years and years ago”.
Originally a collection of fairy tale stories with surprisingly different conclusions by Roald Dahl, Revolting Rhymes comes to DVD on 6th February after its Christmas debut on television.
The graceful two-part animation from Magic Light Pictures (The Gruffalo, Stick Man) brings your favourite fairy tale characters to the screen; including Little Red Riding Hood as you’ve never seen her before, three financially-greedy little pigs and more!
The DVD boasts it’s own special features that fans of the original television run and new viewers alike can enjoy. A previously unseen Making Of featurette, a beautifully crafted image gallery and also a set of Revolting Rhymes postcards will all be in with your copy.
Off the bat this is an intricately charismatic, unblemished animation boasting some of Britain’s finest talent. The level is detail is enchanting; words cannot do the animation justice. It has to be seen.
Fitting to its namesake, the narration is gloriously rhymed, combined with the animation it is captivating. In a showdown between Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, the narration plays “He stood there watching her and smiled, he thought ‘I’m going to eat this child”. All before the surprising twists begin…
There is something quite special with this two-part television special. It would be easy to disregard this as simplistic family viewing but it does highlight a valid aspect of society. In life we often don’t know what to expect. We all know the traditional fairy tales, you’re either growing up with them now or you’re reminiscing on the times you did – then you watch this.
The humour is however hit and miss, some of the jokes work, some don’t. When it works, it becomes a charming piece with the dialogue, narration and animation as functioning cogs in this creative vehicle. When it doesn’t, it falls flat, in a bitter-sweet fashion those moments are easily forgetten and laid to rest for the next joke to play out.
There are many appealing factors to Revolting Rhymes that will bring family audiences in for a pleasant hour’s entertainment. It’s home truths are enough to bring an audience in. Prince Charming proclaims about an ugly sister “she’s prettier without the head” – we’re all glad it has finally been said. In many ways, these are the conclusions that those of us with vivid imaginations have always wanted.
The stories are funny, turning fairy tales on their head. You’ll certainly be glad you didn’t watch something else, instead.
Dir: Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer
Prd: Martin Pope, Michael Rose
Cast: Dominic West, Tamsin Grieg, Rob Brydon, Bertie Carvel, David Walliams, Rose Leslie, Gemma Chan, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Bel Powley
Country: United Kingdom
Running Time: 28 Minutes
Revolting Rhymes is out on DVD Monday 6th February.