Tag Archives: 1980s

Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen


Thumbelina (1989)

 

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  Denmark / Fairy Tale / Family / Romance
Year Published: 1989
Year Read:  1994

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo“Thumbelina” is one of the most cherished stories in the Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics series and is surely a classic in its own right. Kelly McGillis’ tender narration, along with Mark Isham’s memorizing music and David Johnson’s exquisite drawings, combine to make “Thumbelina” one of the tenderest stories in Rabbit Ears history.

Blog 4 Pros

Kelly McGillis’ narration is extremely tender as she makes this story extremely touching and soothing to watch and she also greatly expresses Thumbelina’s sorrow of being married to the mole in a sorrowful tone which brought life to that scene. Another great aspect of Kelly McGillis’ narration is that she provides a wide variety of vocal talents like Robin Williams when she uses a high-pitched voice to voice the field mouse and a croaking voice when she voices the toad. Mark Isham’s music is extremely soothing and memorizing to listen to and the scene where Mark Isham’s music takes center stage is in the scene where Thumbelina finds the flower angels’ kingdom as Mark Isham accompanies this scene with soothing guitar sounds. David Johnson’s illustrations are extremely beautiful and light toned especially when he illustrates Thumbelina as an extremely beautiful girl with blond hair wrapped up in a braided ponytail and who wears a blue overall dress. Also, the scene where there is an image of the white marble palace by the lake is extremely breathtaking as you can see the reflection of the palace in the lake.

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Blog 6 Overall

“Thumbelina” is probably Rabbit Ears’ most beloved story and it will surely be an instant treat to children young and old. I would recommend this story to children ages three and older since it has nothing inappropriate for the children.

Blog 7 Awards * 1989 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Recording for Children

 

5 stars

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Story Discussions #3: Pecos Bill (1988)


Pecos Bill (1988)

Hey everybody! Welcome to “Story Discussions,” where we talk about various Rabbit Ears stories each week and you can talk about what you liked or hated about the Rabbit Ears story we will discuss for that week.
This week’s Rabbit Ears story we will be discussing this week is:

Pecos Bill (1988)

Narrated by: Robin Williams
Music by: Ry Cooder
Illustrated by: Tim Raglin
Another personal favorite from the “Rabbit Ears: Storybook Classics” series, this tale was just so fun to read and I really enjoyed Robin Williams’ hilarious narration as he gave each character a lively personality and it made the story really interesting to sit through!  I also loved Ry Cooder’s music as it fits perfectly with the story’s western theme and also gives this story a very upbeat tone.  Tim Raglin’s illustrations further brings out the colorful world of this old tall tale as the landscapes that Pecos Bill visits are colorful and vibrant at the same time!
So, what did you liked or hated about Robin Williams’ narration on “Pecos Bill?”
Please feel free to answer below!

Story Discussions #1: The Velveteen Rabbit (1985)


The Velveteen Rabbit

 

Hey everybody! Welcome to the first ever “Story Discussions,” where we talk about various Rabbit Ears stories each week and you can talk about what you liked or hated about the Rabbit Ears story we will discuss for that week.

This week’s Rabbit Ears story we will be discussing this week is:

The Velveteen Rabbit (1985)

Narrated by: Meryl Streep

Music by: George Winston

Illustrated by: David Jorgensen

I actually enjoyed this version of “The Velveteen Rabbit” as Meryl Streep provided a sweet natured voice to accompany the narration of this story and George Winston’s music is soothing enough to listen to throughout this story.  I also loved the themes that this story tackle, such as what does it mean to be “real?”

So, what did you like or hated about Meryl Streep’s narration on “The Velveteen Rabbit?”

Please feel free to answer below!

How the Leopard Got His Spots by Rudyard Kipling


How the Leopard Got His Spots Book Cover

Blog 2 InfoGenre: Africa / Changes / Friendship

Year Published: 1989

Year Read: 1994

Series: Storybook Classics

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo“How the Leopard Got His Spots” is the fourth of the “Just So Stories” to be introduced in the Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics Series. The story features narration from Danny Glover, African music from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Lori Lohstoeter’s colorful and beautiful illustrations.

Blog 4 ProsDanny Glover narrates the story with an African accent, making this story filled with an African culture feeling to the story. Also, Danny Glover’s narration is full of energy as he seems to be ecstatic about narrating this “Just So” story. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s African influenced music is mostly filled with the vocal talents of each member and in perfect harmony, they create a soothing and energetic vocal sounding music that greatly enhances the African roots of the story. Lori Lohstoeter’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful as the illustrator masterfully illustrates each animal with vibrant colors, especially when they changed their colors. The illustrations that are the true highlights of this story are the images of the Leopard drawn as an extremely beautiful creature as he is mostly yellow at first and is more beautiful when his skin is full of purple and reddish spots. Also, the Ethiopian is drawn as a calm and chubby man and when he changes his colors, he becomes more vibrant as he gets darker.

Blog 5 ConsThe only problem I found with this story is that Danny Glover’s narration is a bit difficult to understand. Danny Glover sounds as if he has a sore throat when narrating this story as his voice tends to give out on him at certain times such as, when he was describing the animals in the High Veldt and you can barely hear the words “Eland” and “Hartebeest” since his voice gets soft at these words.

Blog 6 Overall“How the Leopard Got His Spots” is another classic from the “Just So Stories” collection and is truly a memorizing story about going through changes in life. This story is probably the most energetic and attractive of the four “Just So Stories” introduced on Rabbit Ears and is surely to delight children ages eight and up.

Blog 7 Awardshttp://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1989  Parents’ Choice– Honor Award – Silver

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5 stars

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

The Fisherman and his Wife by Eric Metaxas


The Fisherman and his Wife Book Cover

 

Blog 2 InfoGenre: Fairy Tale / Drama / Family / Magic

Year Published: 1989

Year Read: 1993

Series: Storybook Classics

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

Most of the Rabbit Ears Series that I have seen were mostly aimed at children and would not contain material objectionable to younger children. However, The Fisherman and his Wife was the first story from Rabbit Ears that I have watched that actually kept me at the edge of my seat. The illustrations, the music, and the overall mood of the story are somewhat intense and gloomy at the same time, which has become one of my most watched Rabbit Ears story other than “The Fool and the Flying Ship.”

Blog 4 Pros

Like every Rabbit Ears story, there is a combination of narration from various celebrities, music, and illustrations to complement to the story without using animation to tell the story. The Fisherman and his Wife is no different from the other Rabbit Ears stories and is narrated by none other than Jodie Foster. Jodie Foster’s narration is monotonic as she speaks solely in a gloomy tone giving the story a mysterious edge. Diana Bryan’s dark silhouette illustrations enhances the story by creating frightening allusions for the story such as the large appearance of the flounder and scenes where the sea changes color dramatically from light blue to dark purple when the storm is approaching towards the fisherman. Van Dyke Parks’ music is extremely mesmerizing as the music resembles a sort of old England tune giving the story a mysterious yet elegant feeling that ranges from the fisherman’s mysterious encounter with the flounder to the elegant lifestyle of the fisherman’s wife.

The Fisherman and his Wife

Blog 5 ConsParents should know that younger children may be frightened by this video because of the intense scenes involved in this video. One such intense scene involves the storm causing chaos where it goes, as dark silhouette houses and boulders come crashing down the hill and bright flashes of lightning fill the screen every few seconds. Also, to add to the intensity of the storm scene, when the fisherman approaches the sea, the sea starts changing colors drastically from a lively blue color to a dark and foreboding purple color. Many children may find the disturbing images, such as the brief scene where the flounder’s eyes turn red during the storm and the dark silhouette images of the boulders and clouds overwhelming the screen, to be frightening indeed. However, this scene is not as bad as those gory scenes you would find in horror movies nowadays.

Blog 6 OverallThe Fisherman and his Wife is simply perfect and breathtaking. The images by Diana Bryan bring an eerie feel to the story but keeps the story fast-paced. Also, I enjoy how the moral of the story was established by starting off with the fisherman’s wife wanting to be more powerful than anyone and then suddenly she loses all that power because she was so greedy. This moral applies to anyone who want many materialistic things but ends up losing everything in the end. Despite the intense scenes, this video is worth watching over and over again.

Blog 7 Awards

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5 stars

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Halloween / Horror / Romance

Year Published: 1988

Year Read: 2009

Series: Storybook Classics

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is another fantastic story from Rabbit Ears’  “Storybook Classic” series.  Everyone knows the famous story of Icabod Crane and his encounter with the Headless Horseman.  “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of the greatest stories ever created by Washington Irving and with Glenn Close’s haunting narration along with Tim Story’s eerie music and Robert Van Nutt’s beautiful yet haunting illustrations makes this one classic that no one will ever miss!

Blog 4 Pros

Glenn Close’s narration is haunting and tender at the same time throughout this video.  Glenn Close  is extremely tender in her tone of voice when she narrates the peaceful life of Icabod Crane and when the Headless Horseman is mentioned, Glenn Close’ s voice suddenly gets dark and frightening, especially during the scene where the Headless Horseman starts chasing Icabod.  Tim Story’s music is tranquil yet haunting at the same time especially during the scenes of the Headless Horseman where his music gets a spooky tone and intensifies when the Headless Horseman starts chasing Icabod.  Robert Van Nutt’s illustrations are beautiful, especially of the illustration of Katrina Van Tassel herself with her golden and curly hair and beautiful blue eyes.  Robert Van Nutt’s illustrations are also haunting especially of the image of the Headless Horseman being shown as a silhouette and spouting a scary looking pumpkin head which he carries in his arms.

Sleepy

 

Blog 5 Cons

Parents should know that there are some genuinely scary scenes in this video that makes “The Fisherman and His Wife” look like a friendly family video.  The scenes with the Headless Horseman are extremely intense especially towards the end of the video where it chases Icabod around the town.  Also, parents might be concern about the use of “hell” in this video as this video is aimed towards children.  Parents might want to see this video first before they show it to their children just to see of their children can handle the scary scenes in this story and also teach their children about how the word “hell” is used in this video as it is use in context to the underworld.

Blog 6 Overall

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is probably Rabbit Ears’ scariest tale ever created and is also a very moving video for children who love romance and horror combined into one story.  Children will certainly fall in love with this video for its tranquil beginning about Icabod’s life and the horror that the Headless Horseman brings into the story.  I would recommend this video to children ages seven and up due to many scenes that can be frightening to smaller children and because of the use of the word “hell” mentioned two times in the video.

Blog 7 Awardshttp://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1988 Grammy Award Nomination – Best Recording for Children

http://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1989 Parents Magazine – The Year’s Best for Kids

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http://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1989 Parents’ Choice – Gold Seal Award for Video

http://etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png 1989 National Academy of Cable Programming (ACE) Award Nomination Children’s Programming 8 and younger

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5 stars

 

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams


The Velveteen Rabbit Book Cover

Blog 2 Info

Genre:  Fantasy / Toys / Drama

Year Published:  1985

Year Read: 2010

Series: Storybook Classics

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

“The Velveteen Rabbit” is Rabbit Ears’ first classic story that is based off of Margery Williams’ popular tale and it is about how a toy rabbit learns the true meaning of being real. With Meryl Streep’s tender narration, George Winston’s soft music and David Jorgensen’s beautiful illustrations, “The Velveteen Rabbit” is an instant classic that children will watch over and over again.

Blog 4 Pros

What made this video truly memorable was Meryl Streep’s tender and soothing narration. Meryl Streep gives the story a very subtle mood by narrating in a graceful and soft-spoken tone that many children will be mesmerized by her narration. Meryl Streep has also done a brilliant job at expressing the various emotions that each of the characters experience throughout the story. The scene where I think that Meryl Streep’s narration stood out the most was the scene where the real rabbits tell the Velveteen Rabbit that he is not real and the Velveteen Rabbit begins to cry and Meryl Streep actually sounds like she is about to cry in this scene which truly brought out the realism of the situation in this scene. George Winston’s piano solo music is extremely beautiful and engaging, as his music is both happy and sorrowful, depending on the scene. The scene where I think that George Winston’s musical abilities truly shine was the scene where one of the real rabbits was dancing in front of the Velveteen Rabbit and George Winston plays the piano in such a dramatic and fast paced tone that I found myself loving every second of that scene. The video’s true highlight is David Jorgensen’s illustrations as they are extremely beautiful and captivating. David Jorgensen makes all the characters look extremely realistic, which gives the story a sense of realism and the images that stood out the most to me were the images of the real rabbits, as they look realistic and beautiful.

Blog 6 Overall

“The Velveteen Rabbit” is a beautiful story about knowing the importance of true love and children will easily relate to this story as they will feel sympathy for the Velveteen Rabbit trying to find the true meaning of being real. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since small children might be upset at the fact that the Velveteen Rabbit feels upset when he realizes he is not like the other real rabbits.

Blog 7 Awards

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https://i2.wp.com/etc-mysitemyway.s3.amazonaws.com/icons/legacy-previews/icons/blue-chrome-rain-icons-symbols-shapes/017784-blue-chrome-rain-icon-symbols-shapes-shapes-diamond.png1986 CINE Golden Eagle Award

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5 stars

 

Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog