'Timeless Tales from Hallmark' at its most entertaining
This reviewer has a lot of fondness for 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark'. They do so well with adapting well-loved stories with respect if not complete faithfulness, and do it with charm and heart as well as funny moments, pathos and no convolutions.
"Rumpelstiltskin" is up there in the top 4 episodes, along with "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Ugly Duckling" and "Thumbelina". Have also seen a live-action feature-length adaptation from Cannon Movie Tales, but due to that having some padding and draggy moments that suggests that 'Rumpelstiltskin' is better off as a half-an-hour animated adaptation, which is why there is a preference to this episode from 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark'.
With the animation, as always with the 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark', There's plenty of vibrant colour, the backgrounds have a great amount of detail and it's smoothly drawn. The standout is the turning straw into gold and the suitably creepy design of Rumpelstiltskin, which is appropriate as Rumpelstiltskin is meant to be like that. The music is whimsical and poignant, and the songs are both catchy and heartfelt especially the girl's first song as she despairs over her at the time impossible situation.
Scripting is funny, without resorting to being juvenile or low-brow and poignant without being cloying or maudlin. There is also a creepiness. The standout in regard is the dialogue for Rumpelstiltskin, who often, like Jack-in-the-Box from "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", speaks in rhymes. The story sustains the length very well, and one of the closest/more faithful adaptations of the show. There is charm and heart, and it is 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark' at its most entertaining with a touch of creepiness.
The live-action bookend scenes are beautifully done, with a sincere host in Olivia Newton-John and endearing children narrating the story. The characters do a great job carrying the story, with Rumpelstiltskin stealing the show as he should. It was also easy to relate to the female lead. The voice acting is strong, the King sounds like Alan Oppenheimer and Rumpelstiltskin like Hamilton Camp, those characters are the best voiced.
Overall, hugely entertaining and one of the best of the show. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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