Hansel and Gretel (1988)

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Summary of Hansel and Gretel

Imagine a world where the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel takes a modern twist. In this version, our two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, are not just ordinary kids, but rather, passionate enthusiasts of American English movies. They immerse themselves in the magical world of films, just like characters in a real-life Hollywood blockbuster.

As the story goes, Hansel and Gretel live in a cozy suburban neighborhood, much like the setting of a heartwarming rom-com. One day, an unexpected event strikes their town - a series of strange disappearances, much like breadcrumbs vanishing in the forest. The town's adults start acting oddly, leaving the kids to piece together the puzzle on their own.

With their keen senses, Hansel and Gretel notice a pattern in the disappearances. Like skilled detectives in an action-packed thriller, they uncover a trail of tantalizing clues leading them to an abandoned house deep within the woods. The house seems to shimmer with an almost magical allure, much like a scene from a fantasy adventure.

Curiosity piqued, Hansel and Gretel decide to venture inside, their heartbeats echoing like the suspenseful soundtrack of a horror movie. They discover an astonishing secret - the house is a gateway to a parallel dimension, where characters from their beloved American English films come to life. From superheroes battling in explosive showdowns to romances blossoming against cinematic backdrops, it's a world where anything is possible.

However, not all is as it seems. The siblings encounter a character resembling the wicked witch Griselda, who tempts them with scrumptious confections much like the candy house in the original tale. Hansel and Gretel must rely on their wits and their love for movie plots to navigate this surreal realm and outsmart the cunning witch.

In an intense climax reminiscent of an epic fantasy saga, Hansel and Gretel use their encyclopedic knowledge of movies to create a montage of heroic moments, racing against time to overcome obstacles and ultimately defeat the witch. The cinematic showdown is filled with suspense, humor, and a touch of nostalgia, capturing the essence of Hansel and Gretel's passion for American English films.

Through their journey, Hansel and Gretel learn that the real magic lies not just in the movies themselves, but in the bonds they share as siblings and their ability to find inspiration and courage in the face of the unknown - a lesson as timeless as the original Hansel and Gretel tale itself.

Release Date
NR December. 10,1988
Genre Run Time
Fantasy , Family 1 hr 24 min
Director Writers
Len Talan Len Talan, Nancy Weems

Hansel and Gretel (1988) Plot

Picture this: It’s a classic tale of adventure and enchantment, where two siblings, just like your favorite characters in American English movies, embark on a journey that will have you on the edge of your seat. Meet Hansel (played by the talented Hugh Pollard) and Gretel (the delightful Nicola Stapelton). They’re not your ordinary kids – they’re true enthusiasts of the cinematic world, just like you!

Our story begins with an impoverished woodcutter (portrayed by the talented David Warner) and his wife (the wonderful Emily Richard). They’re facing tough times, and things take a twist when their mother, driven by circumstances, instructs Hansel and Gretel to venture away from home. Now, just imagine this scene as if it’s straight out of an emotional family drama that tugs at your heartstrings.

But here’s where the excitement really starts: Hansel and Gretel mistakenly wander into the mystical ‘North woods.’ It’s like they’ve stepped into the kind of fantastical forest you’d expect to find in a magical fantasy flick. And there, right in front of them, is a sight that’s almost too good to be true – a house made entirely of gingerbread. It’s like something out of a sweet and delicious dream sequence.

Now, as any movie lover knows, things are never quite what they seem. Little do our adventurous duo know, the delectable gingerbread house is not just any ordinary confectionary delight. It’s the dwelling place of the cunning witch Griselda, played brilliantly by the one and only Cloris Leachman. You can practically feel the tension building up, like a suspenseful scene from a thriller movie.

Griselda isn’t your typical witch, though. She’s got that perfect mix of wickedness and intrigue, just like those unforgettable villains from your favorite films. As the story unfolds, Hansel and Gretel find themselves caught up in a web of mystery and danger. It’s like they’re the protagonists of their very own suspenseful mystery movie, complete with unexpected twists and turns.

As the story races towards its climax, our daring duo will need to use all their cleverness and resourcefulness to outwit the crafty witch and make their way back home. It’s a cinematic showdown filled with drama, heart-pounding moments, and a dash of humor – exactly what you’d expect from a top-notch American English film.

So, if you’re a fan of captivating plots, unforgettable characters, and a touch of magic, get ready to be swept away by this modern spin on the timeless tale of Hansel and Gretel. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions that’ll leave you rooting for the siblings, just like you cheer on your favorite heroes and heroines in those blockbuster movies you love.

Hansel and Gretel (1988) Cast

  • David Warner as Stefan, Hansel and Gretel’s father and Maria’s husband
  • Hugh Pollard as Hansel, Gretel’s brother and Maria and Stefan’s son
  • Nicola Stapleton as Gretel, Hansel’s sister and Maria and Stefan’s daughter
  • Emily Richard as Maria, Hansel and Gretel’s mother and Stefan’s wife
  • Cloris Leachman as Griselda the Witch
  • Susie Miller as Marta
  • Eugene Kline as Farmer
  • Warren Feigin as the Baker
  • Josh Buland as the Baker’s Boy
  • Lutuf Nouasser as the Blacksmith
  • Beatrice Shimshoni as the Ribbon Lady
  • Assaf M : child dancer, singer and nose picker.
  • Daniel Dickman as the Gingerbread Boy (uncredited)

Hansel and Gretel (1988) Review

The Cannon Movie Tales series is like a treasure trove of classic fairy tales transformed into movies, and let me tell you, it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Some of these films shine brighter than others, while a few are like stars struggling to find their place in the cinematic sky. But then, there are gems that just steal your heart, and that’s where Hansel and Gretel steps in – the crown jewel of the series.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not flawless. Every movie, even the best ones, has its share of imperfections, some glaring and others merely a hint. You can spot the limited budget in those not-so-mesmerizing costumes, and the witch’s demise, while it should’ve been a nail-biting climax, sort of fizzles out here, unintentionally tickling your funny bone.

But hey, let’s talk about the bright side – the visual spectacle that is Hansel and Gretel. Amidst all the films, this one’s a standout when it comes to the visuals. The way it’s captured on camera is pure artistry. From the vibrant, enchanting settings to that nightmarishly beautiful Witch’s House – it’s like a feast for your eyes. And let me tell you, that Witch’s House, with its nightmarish yet oddly captivating design, is straight out of a dream (or maybe a little night terror). And oh, the songs! Taken from Humperdinck’s opera, they’re just melodies that your ears would want on repeat. “Sugar and Spice” and “A Fairy Song” – pure musical magic. They’ve been adapted beautifully, and they’ll whisk you away to a world where enchantment rules.

Now, the story – it’s got whimsy, it’s got charm, and it’s got those heartstring-tugging moments. But don’t be fooled by the light-heartedness, because the second half delivers a hefty dose of genuine suspense that’ll keep you on your toes. The story stays loyal to the Grimm brothers’ tale while also adding its own flavorful twists, almost like a homage to the opera version of the story.

Hold on, I haven’t even started gushing about the storytelling. It’s like a blend of whimsy and wisdom, delivering humor and heart in equal measure. Now, let’s talk about the Witch – she’s a character that will haunt your dreams in the best way possible. Dark, eerie, yet never disturbing the film’s tone – that’s the magic at play. And the way the director weaves it all together is nothing short of impressive.

Speaking of performances, Cloris Leachman as the Witch is an absolute show-stealer. She brings the character to life in a way that’s both chilling and strangely captivating. The makeup – flawless. The performance – terrifyingly good. And then, there’s Hugh Pollard and Nicola Stapleton – the charming duo of Hansel and Gretel, and David Warner as the woodcutter who tugs at your heartstrings.

In the end, Hansel and Gretel is a shining star in the Cannon Movie Tales constellation. It’s like a cinematic gem that deserves your applause. A solid 9/10 in my book, and I’m not alone in this sentiment. Bethany Cox, you’ve got great taste!

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