Genre: Fantasy / Folktale / Drama
Year Published: 1991
Year Read: 1993
Series: We All Have Tales
Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books
Let me just say, that “Jack and the Beanstalk” was the first Rabbit Ears story I have seen and it helped introduce me to the series I have come to love so much over the years! “Jack and the Beanstalk” is an ancient English fairy tale that is given a hilarious boot from Michael Palin’s humorous narration, David A. Stewart’s jazzy and mystic music and Edward Sorel’s scratchy yet beautiful illustrations and it will definitely be an instant treat for many children around the world!
Now, I have mentioned before that this was the first Rabbit Ears story I have seen, so what made this story truly memorable in my eyes? Well, for one thing, Michael Palin’s narration was a treat to listen to as his narration is extremely hilarious, especially when he is voicing Jack’s mother and the ogre’s wife as his voice is high pitched and that truly made listening to Jack’s mother and the ogre’s wife’s voices more irresistible to listen to. In contrast, Michael Palin provides a deep and booming voice when he is voicing the ogre, which is extremely effective in providing intensity to the scenes with the ogre. Edward Sorel’s illustrations are extremely scratchy yet beautiful at the same time as they beautifully capture the rich scenery of the luscious green forests and the colorfulness of the ogre’s garden. I also loved the illustrations of Jack and the ogre themselves as they truly stand out from the other characters as Jack has big blue eyes that indicates his innocence and he wears a red shirt with blue pants while the ogre is extremely huge and he wears a blue shirt with pink pants, while capturing the true essence of medieval times. David A. Stewart’s music was so fantastic that I was literally mesmerized by the beat of the music. David A. Stewart’s music was really catchy and mystic that it provided a dramatic tension to the story and it truly made this story dramatic and I also loved the theme song at the end called “Jack Had a Dream” which was extremely catchy, so I would definitely recommend you listen to this song! Eric Metaxas’s writing is truly witty and dramatic at the same time and I loved the little crude humor he incorporated into this story which included this line:
“He [the ogre] burped very, very loudly sending such an awful stench through the room that Jack thought he would faint dead right then and there in the oven and be discovered.”
This is like the most graphic yet hilarious description about a burp that I have ever read!
Parents should know that the ogre might scare young children especially when he threatened to eat Jack a couple of times. Parents might want to reassure their children that ogres do not exist in real life and this tale is simply a fairy tale.
Overall, “Jack and the Beanstalk” is a true classic fairy tale that every child will easily enjoy for many years! I would recommend this video to children ages five and up since scenes with the ogre might scare smaller children.
1991 Parents’ Choice Gold Award
1991 Parents Magazine – The Year’s Best Videos for Kids
Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog