Tag Archives: Russia

Story Discussions #4: The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

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:

The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Narrated by: Robin Williams
Music by: The Klezmer Conservatory Band
Illustrated by: Henrik Drescher

As everyone knows, “The Fool and the Flying Ship” is my all-time favorite story from Rabbit Ears and what I loved so much about this story was that the narration, the music and the illustrations all combine effortlessly to create one hilarious and wild take on the ancient Russian folktale!  Robin Williams was brilliant in narrating this story as he brought so much humor to the story and made the story fun to watch!  The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s music brings in a creative flair to the story and Henrik Drescher’s illustrations is the icing on the cake as they are bizarre yet creative at the same time and really brings in a unique spin on this ancient folktale!
So, what did you liked or hated about Robin Williams’ narration on “The Fool and the Flying Ship?”
Please feel free to answer below!

Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales Volume 2: The White Cat and the Fool and the Flying Ship

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Fairy Tales / Folktales / Russia / France

Year Published: 2007

Year Read: 2008

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury: World Tales #2

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Blog 1 Introduction logoFinally! Rabbit Ears have managed to put out audio CDs of their fantastic series after being gone from television for over nine years! “Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales: The White Cat and the Fool and the Flying Ship” is audio CD that contains two stories that came from around the world that are narrated by famous celebrities along with brilliant music from well known musicians and it will be an instant treat for both children and adults!

Blog 3 SummarySince I already summarize these two stories in my past reviews, I will just briefly summarize each story:

The White Cat

The White Cat
Told by: Emma Thompson
Music by: Joe Jackson

In this tale, the youngest son of a king tries to complete several difficult tasks set out from his father in order to inherit the kingdom. Of course, along the way, he meets up with a beautiful white cat and the young prince’s adventures soon begin!

The Fool and the Flying Ship

The Fool and the Flying Ship
Told by: Robin Williams
Music by: The Klezmer Conservatory Band

In this tale, a goofy country bumpkin along with his crew of superhuman companions go off to the Tsar’s palace in a flying ship in order to complete several difficult tasks ordered by the Tsar.

Blog 4 ProsOh my goodness! This is absolutely my most favorite audio CD out of the whole Rabbit Ears Treasury series! I loved this audio CD because the narrations on both stories are truly inventive and creative and both narrators, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams, both bring excitement and humor to the stories they each narrate. In “The White Cat,” Emma Thompson narrates the story with such elegance and grace that the story comes off as being extremely soothing for both children and adults to listen to and Emma Thompson also brings tension and drama to this story when she uses a raspy voice to voice out the evil troll. Joe Jackson’s music is truly elegant and beautiful and it greatly brings true elegance to the story. In contrast,” The Fool and the Flying Ship” has a more hilarious and raucous tone thanks to Robin Williams! Robin Williams gleefully narrates this story with such energy that children and adults will be rolling around laughing for ages! Robin Williams’ biggest highlight in his narration was when he was voicing the Fool himself as Robin Williams uses a Russian accent to voice out the high pitched voice of the Fool. The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s music goes well with Robin Williams’ raucous narration as they are both full of hilarity.

Blog 6 OverallOverall, “Rabbit Ears Treasury of World Tales: The White Cat and the Fool and the Flying Ship” is a brilliant audio CD for children and adults who love listening to stories from around the world and who love the talents of Robin Williams and Emma Thompson. I would recommend this audio CD to children ages five and up due to the story “The Fool and the Flying Ship” having some jokes that might be aimed at older children.

*~A Little Side Note~*
There is no book to go with this audio CD and many people who grew up with the Rabbit Ears series might be a bit disappointed, even though the narration is still top notch in this audio CD.

5 stars

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Cosgrove Hall Research

A great research on the British Animation Company, Cosgrove Hall!

Cosgrove Hall Research Portfolio


I don’t know if it’s because I grew up with them but as far as I’m concerned the 80s and early 90s will always be the best era for children’s television, especially with British animation. Shows like Superted and The Trap Door, even the ones for younger kids like Postman Pat, I could still happily watch today.

I considered quite a few different animators and studios when thinking about who I wanted to research. I thought it would be lazy of me to do someone glaringly obvious like Disney or Pixar; they’re companies that I could write quite a lot about without necessarily having to do too much research. I wanted a company I didn’t know too much about but also one whose work I was familiar with and enjoyed. I chose Cosgrove Hall. I remember it having quite a big impact on my childhood, which is strange when I…

View original post 2,094 more words

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

A fantastic review on the Fool and the Flying Ship!

Rarest Kind of Best


The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

retold by Arthur Ransome

illustrated by Uri Shulevitz

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968

44 pp.

Age: 4+

Interests: folktales, Russia, magic, ships, flying

Also by this author: Old Peter’s Russian Tales, Swallows and Amazons series

Also by this illustrator: The Treasure, Snow, How I Learned Geography, SoSleepyStory

View original post 221 more words

The Fool and the Flying Ship by Eric Metaxas


The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991)

Blog 2 Info

Genre: Surreal / Russia / Folktale / Traveling / Royalty

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 1993

Series: We All Have Tales

Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books

Blog 1 Introduction logo

Rabbit Ears have created a wonderful series called We All Have Tales. The series had released a number of wonderful stories from around the world, but The Fool and the Flying Ship remained as my all-time favorite Rabbit Ears story. This story is based on Arthur Ransome’s classic Russian folktale, “The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship.” Of course, this version is funnier and more modern than the original Russian tale, thanks to the Russian voice talents of Robin Williams.

Blog 4 Pros

This is my most favorite story from the Rabbit Ears series because it is extremely funny, witty, and entertaining at the same time. Eric Metaxas’s writing is full of wit and humor and jokes that will have anyone laughing for a long time. My favorite part of the dialogue from this story was when the servant told the Tsar that there were peasants at the palace, but the Tsar thought that the servant was talking about pheasants. Robin Williams provided the voices for all the characters in the story in different Russian accents for each character, providing comedy relief from all characters. Also, I love the way how Henrik Drescher, the illustrator of this story, draws his characters with long and stringy limbs and weird attachments on their bodies, such as the Runner’s antlers on his head and the Sharpshooter’s popped out eyes.  The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s wacky European music is full of jazz and folk-like music that gives The Fool and the Flying Ship a very wacky and over-the-top feel to the story.

Blog 5 Cons

Parents should know that The Fool and the Flying Ship may be aimed at older kids and adults because the jokes in this story may not get through the younger audience. Some of the jokes, such as the one where the Sharpshooter talks about putting the flea, who had a bad cold, out of his misery and the Fool replies that it is the flea’s wife’s snoring that causes the flea to have a bad cold. The Sharpshooter than replies that the Flea’s wife is who he is aiming at. Many children may not get that the Sharpshooter is going to shoot the flea’s wife, although this joke is done very delicately and the Sharpshooter is never seen shooting the flea’s wife.

Blog 6 Overall

I think this story is going to be a favorite among both the adult audience and the younger audience for all time because of the story’s good humor and creative characters.

Blog 7 Awards

https://i0.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.png 1991 The New York Festivals – Finalist

https://i0.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.png1993 American Library Association – Notable Children’s Recording


6 stars


Also reviewed at: Rabbit Ears Book Blog