As said many times, have always had a lifelong love of animation, old and new. Disney, Studio Ghibli, Hanna Barbera, Tom and Jerry, Hanna Barbera, Looney Tunes and also the works of Tex Avery and Fleischer. With a broader knowledge of animation styles, directors, studios and how it was all done actually love it even more now.
It's not just animation held in very high regard by me. Have also had an undying lifelong love of Hans Christian Andersen's classic stories, they're beautifully written and full of magic, emotion and memorable characters. His timeless appeal is more than justified and there is a reason why his name is so commonly associated with fairy tales, along with the darker stories of the Grimm Brothers. Would see any adaptation of his work, animation or live-action, and there have been numerous times where his work has lent well to animation.
To me this Danish animated series 'The Fairytaler' is one of the best examples and should be more widely known. For good animation, characters that have lost none of what made them so great in the first place and wonderful storytelling that has its own spin yet treats the stories with respect. All the episodes are short and holds the attention of even the most hyper of youngsters, so engrossing they are and the minutes just fly by.
In terms of animation, 'The Fairytaler' is simple but doesn't go overboard with this. It is still beautifully coloured and meticulously detailed with characters that are remarkably life-like and a lot of smoothness and crispness. The music is whimsical at times, haunting in others and poignant in others, matching with the images more than appropriately. The intro is magical and impossible to forget and loved how Andersen himself is written in.
Andersen's stories are as the summary here promises, told with elegant style and entertaining wit, the energy never wavering while never being rushed. The dialogue is never too complicated and not too simple. Yet the spirit and essence of the stories are captured well, with no effort to dumb down the more emotional ones ('The Ugly Duckling' and 'The Little Mermaid' are really touching) or ones with darker elements. The storytelling charms, entertains and moves and nothing is juvenile. There are differences of course, namely the more gruesome details like with the mermaid's tongue.
My personal favourites being 'The Ugly Duckling', a story that never fails to make me cry, and 'The Snow Queen', which is so enchanting and sometimes melancholic. Credit is due for making slight stories like 'The Emperor's New Clothes' entertaining without stretching it out too much and also for maintaining the ending of 'The Little Mermaid'. Nothing will traumatise younger viewers and adults should feel nostalgic, traditionalists will find a lot to admire still and making the stories accessible to present day viewers is handled with intelligence and no awkwardness at all. A lot of themes too are very resonant and hold relevance even today.
Characters have everything that made them so great and memorable in the first place and credit is due also for not making them standard archetypes, the villainous characters not being evil with no redeeming qualities. Also really connected with many of the titular characters, especially the ugly duckling. The voice acting is dynamic and well suited for the characters. Any narration never falls into the trap of telling/explaining too much.
Overall, magical and a must for fans of animation and Hans Christian Andersen. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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