Saturday, December 18, 2010
Cannon Movie Tales: Good News and Bad News
Generous reader Kyle shared with me that the Cannon Movie Tales are available again on DVD. Well, most of them as well as some extras. This is complicated so let me explain.
In the 1980s, Cannon Movies released nine fairy tale movie titles which have become cult classics in their own way. Several years ago, seven of the nine titles were released to DVD in the USA but the rights for Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince were apparently still in limbo and never released for Region 1 (US and Canada primarily). All of those titles have been gradually going out-of-print.
Well, now most of the films are being released by MGM (who currently owns the rights) in DVD sets. The good news is that Sleeping Beauty is now included in the set. The bad news is that The Frog Prince is not. This is unfortunate because it appears to be one of the fan favorites, not the least because it stars Aileen Quinn of Annie fame. And before you ask, there was never a Cannon Film Cinderella made despite rampant rumors to the contrary.
The movies are being released in various sets, the largest has ten films in it and is currently priced $31.49 on Amazon. But wait, you say, as you do the math. That's ten movies. There should only be eight since there were nine Cannon films and one isn't being released. That's right. The set is being advertised as MGM films, not Cannon Films and is thus escaping notice by most of us except for those like eagle-eyed Kyle.
The other two films are Jack the Giant Killer and The Magic Sword, fairy tale based films released by MGM in the 1960s. In fact, this version of Jack the Giant Killer is what has inspired Brian Singer's upcoming remake. The Magic Sword, of which I am mostly ignorant, is a St. George and the Dragon movie, a fairy tale classified as ATU 300: The Dragon Slayer, a popular tale type I don't discuss much on SurLaLune. (I really should give it more attention, shouldn't I?)
So here is the list of movies included in the sets. You can read more about them individually on the SurLaLune Cannon Movie Tales page which I now need to update, too.
Red Riding Hood
Beauty and the Beast
Puss in Boots
Hansel and Gretel
The Emperor's New Clothes
Jack the Giant Killer
The Magic Sword
If you aren't interested in the entire 10 film set, you can pick up smaller sets such as:
For now, there is no image feed for the Sleeping Beauty & Hansel Gretel & Rumpelstiltskin set. And once you compare prices and sets, it really makes the most sense to get the big collection. It's unfortunate the covers are so plain, but the movies are the same so enjoy.
And, for the record, I find these movies to have aged better than Faerie Tale Theatre. Those are fun for their campy goodness but the Cannon Movie Tales are somewhat less campy and usually more palatable to a larger audience in my experience.
Thanks for sharing, Kyle!