23 December 2010

The Selfish Giant & Other Tales - Oscar Wilde

For a while, when I was growing up, the CBC used to broadcast several animated tales taken from Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince and Other Tales.  I best remember The Selfish Giant, The Little Mermaid, and The Happy Prince.

These were specials I looked forward to watching every year when they were broadcast around Christmas. Produced by Potterton Productions the animation was great and the music was superb. I'd forgotten about them until a few years ago when I went searching on YouTube where, of course, I found them. I was amazed at how well I remembered the music and songs...

You're just building a wall to surround yourself,
You're just building a wall to protect yourself, 
You're just building a wall to defend yourself,
But you're building a wall that will break your heart!

They are all beautiful stories with great messages. The Little Mermaid was initially my favourite (what is it about little girls and mermaids?), but as I grew older I came to love The Selfish Giant (it won an Oscar!). And while The Happy Prince is a very touching tale, I can never finish watching it as it makes me cry buckets.  Christopher Plummer is the narrator and the prince, but it's the voice of Glynis Johns, as the swallow, that gets me every time.

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