The Madness of Love

March 26, 2010 at 9:47 pm (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Film Adaptations, Shakespeare's Plays) (, , , , )

Ahh, that crazy midsummer night. This time around, I’m using the BBC Shakespeare: The Animated Tales version as my introduction to the play. I have not yet re-read the text of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (it’s been 20+ years since I last read it) so I cannot comment on how closely this version follows the text. I’m assuming that like the Romeo and Juliet episode, it’s pretty true to Shakespeare, just condensed.

A fair amount of the convolutions here are explained by a narrator. This helps set the stage and simplifies much of the action. In fact, it is so simple that my preschooler was spellbound. He loved this cartoon, and was literally watching silently for the entire half hour until the very last minute when he asked if it was almost over (it was!). This is a very colorful cel-animated cartoon. Extremely watchable for any age.

I enjoyed it very much. I was giggling through much of it. The animation is very funny and I feel like it focuses more on the humorous aspects of the play than the magical. Magic is a huge part of the plot, but in this version, it’s all quite farcical rather than mystical. There is a sort of 1960s flower power feel to the fairies and magical aspects. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s cute, yet not too cutesy.

The disk with A Midsummer Night’s Dream also has The Tempest and As You Like It. I did not watch them. This series of 12 animated, condensed plays is available on Netflix, so I plan to just get the disks again as I proceed through the other plays. Onward through the fog!

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