Show & Tell: On Ray Harryhausen’s Fairy Tales

Red StareIn regards to every well-worn fairy tale, “It’s not the tale, but how it’s told” is the order of the day. Parents and other creative adults well-versed in story time voices and acting have this mantra branded on their brain cells and know how to make any yarn they spin keep kids at rapt attention. Still, for many of his longtime fans, Ray Harryhausen’s incredible stop-motion versions of Mother Goose stories and five classic fairy tales are some of the most memorable versions ever created.

Save for The Tortoise and the Hare (which was incomplete until its 2002 premiere), I can recall some of these films along with his earlier Mother Goose shorts being shown during assembly hall sessions or in the occasional class where a regular teacher was out sick and the substitute called in hadn’t time to whip up a proper lesson plan. While most of these 16mm shorts were part of my childhood, I’d imagine plenty of today’s little (and more tech savvy) whippersnappers haven’t a clue who Harryhausen was or what made (and still makes him) him great and such a huge inspiration of countless filmmakers and visual effects artists to this day.

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Mail’s In, I’m Out!

That's Entertainment Thanks to the mail deities delivering nearly everything at once yesterday evening because of a slight delay from a few states and faster than expected international shipping (hoo-ray!), I’m taking today off to tackle a couple of entertainment options. For the upcoming Fairy Tale Blogathon at Movies, Silently I had to import Ray Harryhausen The Early Years Collection from the UK, as it’s not available in a Region 1 format DVD (why?). I was deciding between writing that 2-disc set up when I came across the complete 2-disc set of Fractured Fairy Tales and snapped it up because it was dirt cheap and had free shipping. Of course, someone claimed that review, but I didn’t mind because I grew up watching The Bullwinkle Show reruns and those FFT segments were always hilarious.

For a crazed change of pace, I HAD to bug Clint over at MVD Visual about The Sex Pistols on TV, a DVD documentary of the band’s outrageous live interviews and other footage that I’ve wanted to see for some time. Yep, I have pretty varied musical tastes, folks. Finally, time to give the devil his due, as Diablo III Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition is in the house! While the PS4 is getting all the online ink, I’ve only seen two reviews of the PS3 version, so my review will let those of you curious about this who don’t yet own that new console know if it’s worth a buy. I did play a few hours last night and here’s a spoiler: It’s a buy for a ton of reasons. You get the original game with some BIG changes (as in your copy of plain DII is now obsolete to some extent) and the Reaper of Souls content that adds even more new stuff.

Hmmm… okay, enough procrastinating – I need to go dip myself into some diversions, people. Back in a bit…