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Faerie Tale Theatre
The 6-DVD box set cover by Starmaker II.
Also known as Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre
Format Fairytale fantasy
Created by Shelley Duvall
Starring Various
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 27 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Shelley Duvall
Running time 60 min.
Original channel Showtime
Original run September 11, 1982 – November 17, 1987

Faerie Tale Theatre (also known as Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre) is a live action children's television series retelling popular fairy tales. Shelley Duvall serves as narrator, host and executive producer of the program, and occasionally stars in episodes. The series was followed by another, shorter series called Tall Tales & Legends which followed the same format as Faerie Tale Theatre and focused on classic American folk tales. Both series feature well known actors and directors, and were inspired by the children's television series Shirley Temple Theatre (also known as The Shirley Temple Show and Shirley Temple's Storybook).

Faerie Tale Theatre originally aired on Showtime from 1982 to 1987. It later aired as re-runs on the Disney Channel as well as in syndication on various PBS stations.



Shelley Duvall began conception of Faerie Tale Theatre while filming Popeye. She reportedly asked her co-star, Robin Williams, his opinion on "The Frog Prince", a fairytale she was reading during production.[1] Williams would later star in the pilot episode of the series, The Tale of the Frog Prince.

Home video and DVD releases

Faerie Tale Theatre was released on VHS in the late 1980s through mid 1990s, by Playhouse Video, CBS/Fox, and later Razz Ma Tazz Entertainment/Cabin Fever Entertainment.

Starmaker II held the rights to the series from 2004 to 2006, and at first released 26 episodes as individual discs. This was followed by a double-sided 4-disc box set and then a 6-disc box set, each version containing the same 26 episodes. The "Greatest Moments" episode was not included in this release.

After 2006, Koch Vision held the series' distribution rights, and in November 2006 licensed the rights worldwide (excluding DVDs in North America) to the British company 3DD Entertainment. A new remastered 7-disc box set, including the lost "Greatest Moments" episode, was released by Koch Vision on September 2, 2008.

When released on DVD by Starmaker II and Koch Vision, the following scenes were cut from the series:

  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Papa Bear and Mama Bear trying to fix Cubby Bear's chair; the Charades scene is shortened.
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Julius Caesar Rat's monologue.
  • Rumpelstiltskin: the Miller's daughter singing with the animals in the forest (this scene was also unavailable on the VHS releases).

The reasons for these cuts are unknown.


Every episode opens with Shelley Duvall introducing herself and welcoming the viewer to the show, after which she would provide a brief blurb of the story that would follow. All the episodes feature live action twist adaptations of fairy tales in costume by many well-known actors and are directed by such diverse directors as Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola. Though Duvall introduced each show, she has starring roles in only two of the episodes: Rumpelstilskin (airing in 1982) and Rapunzel (airing in 1983). Many episodes feature backdrops and settings inspired by specific artists and children's book illustrators, including Maxfield Parrish (The Frog Prince), Norman Rockwell (Goldilocks and the Three Bears), Arthur Rackham (Hansel and Gretel), Jennie Harbour (Jack and the Beanstalk), Edmund Dulac (The Nightingale), Gustav Klimt (Rapunzel), N.C. Wyeth (Rumpelstiltskin), Kay Nielsen (Sleeping Beauty), and George Cruikshank (Thumbelina).

See also


External links



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