DAVID BIANCULLI

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ERIC GOULD

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SHELLEY DUVALL’S FAERIE TALE THEATRE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
May 14, 2013  | By David Bianculli
 
My kids grew up devouring this series, which began on Showtime from 1982, the year my daughter, Kristin, was born. Her brother, Mark, followed in 1984, and by the time Faerie Tale Theatre was over in 1987, both of them could quote from entire episodes verbatim. Actress, producer and host Shelley Duvall, pioneering the green-screen set technology used today by Once Upon a Time, invited her show-biz friends to revisit and reimagine their favorite fairy tales of old – and what makes this series so great is that she had such talented friends. Billy Crystal and Fred Willard in The Three Little Pigs, with Doris Roberts as his mom, Jeff Goldblum as the Wolf, and Valerie Perrine as a pig fatale. Paul Reubens in Pinocchio.  Robin Williams as The Frog Prince. Jennifer Beals as Cinderella, pursued by a princely Matthew Broderick. Mary Steenburgen and Malcolm McDowell in Little Red Riding Hood. And Duvall herself, starring in Rumpelstiltskin (opposite Herve Villechaize from Fantasy Island) and Rapunzel (opposite Jeff Bridges and Gena Rowlands). Directors included Francis Ford Coppola and Tim Burton, and the spin on most of these stories is a total delight. The perfect gift for parents of young children – and for Showtime, this is the perfect series to select for a remake, adapting the same formula to today’s Hollywood elite. – DB
 
 
 
 
 
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