Top Three Episodes of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre

Before Once Upon a Time, before Grimm, even before The 10th Kingdom, there was: Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre A generation of children grew up on this believed TV series, hosted by—and sometimes starring—the incomparable Shelley Duvall. The series, which lasted for six seasons and ran from 1982 to 1987, retold 27 different fairy tales for a new generation.

Unlike modern fairy tale shows, Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre did not try to be too contemporary, edgy, or fractured. The goal of the show was to recreate beloved fairy tales, some well-known and others less so, in order to introduce their stories to an audience. Perhaps the most notable thing about the series, aside from its wonderful premise, was the fact that the show was actually able to book many celebrities. Modern fans of the show might be surprised at just how many celebrities show up in these classic fairy tales!

The show retold 27 different fairy tales, including popular ones such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and less well-known tales such as The Boy Who Left Home to find out about the Shivers. But which episodes of this classic fairy tale show were the best?

piedpiper The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the creepiest of the Faerie Tale Theater episodes and certainly the most well designed. This episode, which starred Eric Idle (who turns in a dramatic–yes, dramatic!–performance) and was based on the paintings of Jan Beurghel, did not stray from the dark and creepy implications in the original Pied Piper poem. Who says you need to fracture a fairy tale in order to make it dark?

shivers The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers

Another dark and creepy episode, this time narrated by Vincent Price and featuring Peter MacNicol as the titular boy, and Peter MacNicol, Christopher Lee and Frank Zappa in other leading roles. This episode features Christopher Lee as his creepy best, and is a “must see” for anyone who loves their fairy tales creepy.

princess The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea isn’t creepy, but it is fun, witty, entertaining and very charming. The priceless Liza Minnelli is unforgettably witty in an already witty script, which takes jabs at a monarchy system and will have you rolling on the floor.