Synopsis:.Based on one of Oscar Wilde's stories for children, this short feature focuses on a garden surrounding a castle occupied by a giant. While the giant is off visiting his friend the ogre, children play in the garden; when he returns, he chases them away and builds a high wall around the garden to keep out all trespassers. Winter comes to call, and a perpetual bleak chill settles on the garden, and the giant grows increasingly lonely, until the children find their way back in, and break the spell that keeps spring out. The giant opens his heart to them, and from them (one in particular) learns of the mysterious power of love. This little animated movie is very true to the story by Oscar Wilde and does a nice job of capturing the spirit and sensitivity of his writing. The music is fabulous, a sort of choral modern Celtic, that adds a lot to the overall experience. The animation is equally wonderful. It is a shame that it is not more well known. The religious slant of the story should not put viewers off in that it is first and foremost an extremely positive story simply stating that selfishness is wrong, something I think that anyone could understand and appreciate. That Wilde accomplishes this ethical depiction through the Christian example is particularly touching if one is aware of Wilde's own life experiences. Whether one is knows of Wilde's writings and biography or not this little movie is an immensely worthwhile experience. It left a tear and smile when I was a kid and it still does. If you enjoy bittersweet animated shorts like "The Snowman" then this is a movie for you (and the kids).

Reviews: Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short

DVD Special Features:

Director: Peter Sander

Starring: Narrator - Paul Hecht

Total Running Time: 26 minutes

Language: English, French and in some cases Spanish.

U.S. Motion Picture Board Rating: NR


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