Faerie Tale Theatre – Imagining Anew

Age Levels targeted:

Overview of the show: Faerie Tale Theatre is a show that re-tells classic fairy tales but with a twist – each episode tells the stories faithfully but does so with affectionate parody or satire. The target audience is for children 3 and up; as fairy tales they are moral stories that are invaluable lessons for children but will most likely be too complicated for toddlers.

FTT was made in the 1980’s and features some fantastic costumes and sets – many of the stories compete with Disney animated features of the same name (e.g. Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, etc). The cast is packed with A-list celebrities, and although this will mean little to children, it does endear parents and keep them interested.

As fairy tales, the value in this show is in its morality; children will enjoy the battles of good and evil along with the foibles of tragic heroes.

Jackanory – Narrating a love of books

Overview of the show: Jackanory is a British-made show wherein an actor will read a book to the audience. The storyteller is the only consistent part of the show; the format varies little from episode to episode. Jackanory maintains a consistent level of popularity, having been in production for almost half a century.

Each episode features a different book – the format will generally be the camera following the pictures in the book while the actor narrates. The stories range from traditional fairy tales to contemporary children’s books.

The purpose of Jackanory is to encourage young children to read more – the focus on the pictures and words are intended to promote junior scholarship and a love of reading.

Jackanory is an innocuous choice for children with a relatively large intended audience compared to other shows – between 2 and 8 years old.