Welcome to DVDRPARTY!

SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED 1966 / THE BIG BAD WOLF 1966 CHILDHOOD PRODUCTIONS KIDDIE MATINEE DOUBLE FEATURE DVD-R!

Sale!

$11.99

SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED

With: Rosemarie Seehofer (Snow White), Nils Claunitzer (the Dwarf), Heini Gobel (Prince Goodheart), Ursula Herion (Rose Red), Richard Kruger (Prince Charming), Ruth von Zerboni (the Mother)

English-Language Version:
(1966) Childhood Productions 53 minutes (November release)
National Screen Service #66-276
Music: Anne & Milton Delugg
Orchestrations: George Brackman
Musical Director: Lehman Engel
Narrator: Paul Tripp

SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED is an exceptional and fascinating entry in the Childhood Productions canon. It boasts a handsome and entertaining source film, and adds a wonderful musical score by Anne & Milton Delugg, one of their best for the series.

The film features four attractive leads: Snow White, Rose Red, Price Charming and Prince Good heart. The real “star” of the piece, however, is surely the villain, a bizarre redheaded dwarf with a diabolical face and long, scraggly beard. This hilarious grotesque is a cross between Rumpelstiltskin, Rasputin and Rip Van Winkle. Shots of him running about, in fast motion, stealing everything in sight from travelers and foolish kingsmen, are some of the oddest in fairy tale cinema.

The blonde Snow White and the brunette Rose Red are both unusually fetching young ladies, although they do not show much personality. Narrator Paul Tripp makes his first comment almost halfway through the film, as he introduces Snow White and Rose Red to us. Comic relief is provided by Sir Nitwit, the Princes’ bumbling, cowardly aide.

Unlike the other excellent Schonger fairy tales from West Germany, which tend to be studio-bound, the use of real-life settings in SNOW WHITE & ROSE RED such as deep forests, roaring brooks, magnificent castles and vintage housing, makes for a production with a “big” period look. The house where Snow and Rose live with their mother (and a dove and a lamb!) is a marvelous set, with an idyllic garden.

Some of the scenes, such as one where the girls feed a lovely deer, are downright pastoral. There is a sublime change-of-seasons montage. In Winter, after the Evil Dwarf changes Prince Goodheart into a bear (or more accurately, into a man in a bear suit), the bear comes to live with the girls and their mother, and there are some sweet hearth-side scenes. The climax occurs aside some lovely white-water rapids.

The Deluggs’ score here is superb, and can also be heard on an RCA/Camden soundtrack LP (along with additional narration by Paul Tripp). The “theme song”, is a catchy pop ditty sung by an eager, chirpy children’s chorus. Another song by the children’s chorus, “Dancing Bear”, is pretty darn catchy too. White and Red sing a lovely accapella duet. There are also some rather avant-garde passages of electronic incidental music.

In a satisfying yet curious finale for a children’s’ film, the evil dwarf falls off a cliff to his death, and in so doing, the Bear is turned back into Prince Goodheart. As in the true fairy tale, there is no happy ending for evil here; Evil must be destroyed in order for Good to prosper. This is a message which Disney would never dare convey to its audience.

Other well-stated themes include the value of cooperation, the sanctity of personal freedom, and the noble character of one who does good works for the ungrateful.

In an archetypal happy ending, our fairy tale couples literally ride off into the sunset (accompanied by one of the Deluggs’ most memorable fanfare endings), towards a glistening white castle, their new home. Now that’s a fairy tale! SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED is a crown jewel of fairy tale cinema, quite charming and highly recommended.

Released on a boffo Kiddie Matinee double bill with the strange THE BIG BAD WOLF, this must have been a heck of an afternoon for young Baby Boomers!

 

THE BIG BAD WOLF

(Aka DER WOLF UND DIE SEIBEN JUNGEN GEISSLEIN)
(1957, West Germany) color 57/53 minutes
Schongerfilm GmbH
Story: Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm, Wilhelm Carl Grimm
Screenplay: Konrad Lustig
Original Music: Fred Sporer
Cinematography: Peter Puluj
Produced by: Herbert Schonger
Directed by: Peter Podehl

With: Helmo Kindermann, Harriet Gessner, Jurgen von Alten, Gustav Maler

English-Language Version:
(1966) Childhood Productions 53 minutes (November release)
National Screen Service #66-276
Music: Milton and Anne DeLugg
Orchestrations: George Brackman
Musical Director: Lehman Engel
Narrated by Paul Tripp

This marvelous fairy tale curio is introduced by a black crow in a golden top hat. Paul Tripp then takes over narrating chores as usual. The U.S. version boasts another good score by the Deluggs, using the same children’s chorus as in SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED. The catchy, pop-quality songs include “Don’t Be Afraid of Anything” and “Sweep the Floor”.

What is most unusual about THE BIG BAD WOLF is that the majority of the characters are people in animal costumes, which gives the film a surreal quality, coming very close to how a small child might depict a storybook brought to life. It’s quite enchanting to see these bizarre quasi- theatrical creatures strutting through the Black Forest.

The common joke about “man in suit” movies is that they look so fake, how could anyone but a very small child believe it? But we do believe it, in some frames of mind, in some instances, and at some ages. The suspension of disbelief as a creature becomes a symbol for something greater than itself can be a powerful cinematic tool, if done correctly.

The kids are cute little critters, although their headpieces look a bit like ancient death-heads. The wolf is a fascinating costume, big and burly and dressed like a human, in a red-and-white topcoat and blue checkered pants.

When the kids go to school, the teacher’s lesson is one of great evil: “The Big Bad Wolf is your deadliest enemy! He likes to eat little kids, and the younger the kid, the better!” What a frighteningly literal metaphor for every child’s real-life mortal enemy, the sexual predator!

As the first twenty minutes contain nothing but folks in animal suits, the first appearance of a human, the Grocer, comes as somewhat of a shock. Later, the Wolf bothers the Baker for some flour at his mill, in another bizarre scene with expressionist overtones. (The sight of the Wolf being slowly covered with flour from a churning mill reminds one of the climax of Carl Dreyer’s haunting VAMPYR.)

Much of the film involves the Wolf’s repeated, somewhat half-baked attempts to gain access to his desired prey, and the Kids’ largely successful attempts to outwit him. In one amusing bit, the Kids send the Wolf cascading down a mountain on a cart.

The diabolical Wolf finally gains entry to the Kids’ house in a surely apocalyptic moment. One thinks, “All is lost! Brute evil has won!” The kids run and hide, and the next thing we see is the Wolf, with a pot belly, digesting his dinner. We realize that (true to the original fairy tale) the Wolf has actually eaten the Kids! One even wonders if something was cut here, as the transition is so hasty.

Even more amazing; Mother Goat retrieves her progeny by slicing open the Wolf’s belly, extracting her offspring, and stuffing the poor creatures’ belly with rocks!

Gruesome!

Also in classic fairy tale tradition, the Wolf is then killed by being thrown down a well, and not sent off with a mere wrist-slap, as in virtually all PC fairy tales of the past twenty years. For as every schoolchild knows, Evil must be destroyed, not coddled, in order for Good to prosper. Thus, THE BIG BAD WOLF is primal fairy tale cinema.

On the U.S. Kiddie Matinee circuit, THE BIG BAD WOLF enjoyed a lengthy run as the co-feature with SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED, another exemplary Childhood Productions Classic!

-Rob Craig

 

Special restored edition! DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case wrapped in plastic!

Leave a Reply