The Fairytaler (also known as The Fairytales in the U.S.) is a 2002 Danish-British, literary, fantasy, animated, anthology, television series based on the works of Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. It was produced amongst Egmont Imagination, A. Film, and Magma Films with co-production by Super RTL and Danmarks Radio (DR).
Each episode is based on a different fairytale, all of which are by the late, Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. Prior to that, the opening sequence includes Andersen and the two children (a boy and a girl) who are in live-action before they all magically get turned into cartoon characters near the end, and enter a world in the same vein. Every episode begins with the three riding in a horse-drawn carriage while Andersen tells the kids a story by him, such as The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Nightingale, among others. Because of the nature of the show's format, the stories vary, with different settings and mostly one-off characters, but what they all have in common is the morals and lessons that are given at the end of each of them. Although most of the episodes are nearly half an hour, five later episodes would be split into two, different story segments and run for close to ten minutes each.
Why It Rocks
- Making a literary anthology show that's dedicated to Andersen and his works is a great way to celebrate, and commemorate him.
- The writing for this show's version of his stories is mostly well-done, as many of them stay faithful and accurate to the originals.
- The art style has somewhat of a grainy look to it with outlines of the characters appearing to be drawn with chalk, but it's still fine and the animation is high-quality.
- Character designs that aren't too bad at all.
- The majority of the characters are likable and interesting enough.
- The voice-acting of the English dub is well-sounding.
- The instrumental theme is pleasant but also has a fanciful feel to it.
- The morals and lessons of these stories are often well-told as expected in the tradition.
- It has a mostly wholesome nature.
- The final episode, "The Old Street Lamp", features cameos by some of the characters from the previous episodes as they appear in Andersen's imagination as they would be represented in the stories he would create, which is a nice touch.
- It may serve as a good introduction to the Andersen stories some may not have ever heard of, regardless of what version.
- It didn't adapt The Little Match Girl, which is very embarrassing.
- This show's version of "The Snow Queen" is the only episode to be split into two parts.
- This is the second animated anthology series to be devoted to Hans Christian Andersen's works. The first was the anime, Andersen Stories (a.k.a. Andersen Monogatari), which was produced then under Zuiyo Eizo (later Nippon Animation) and featured as part of the Calpis Comic Theater (later World Masterpiece Theater) series.
- "The Fir Tree", a Christmas episode, is the only one that is holiday-themed.