Blu-ray Review: The Singing Ringing Tree

The princess and the dwarf

Regardless of where you come from, there are local myths, legends and folklore everywhere in the world. These have been passed down from generation to generation, often by word of mouth.  They can morph into fairy tales. Stories to tell to your children. A cautionary tale or parable. While Disney have done their upmost to sterilise these relatively dark yarns, the Brothers Grimm were one of the first to collect them together. The Singing Ringing Tree is one of the more unusual examples.

A handsome prince (Eckart Dux) arrives at a castle, desperate to win the hand of the beautiful princess (Christel Bodenstein). She demands that he bring her a singing ringing tree. Her father, the aging king (Charles Hans Vogt), despairs but accedes to her every whim. His quest leads him to a magic garden ruled by an evil dwarf (Richard Krüger) who agrees to give him the treasure on one condition. If he doesn’t win the princess’ heart by midnight he’ll be transformed into a bear!

The Singing Ringing Tree is a charming fairy tale which is full of lovely little touches. It’s easy to see why it became a children’s favourite. While it looks a little dated today, Francesco Stefani’s film is full of colour and life. Bodenstein is particularly good as her princess journeys from arrogance to selflessness. Using some cute special effects, The Singing Ringing Tree is a timeless classic which will warm your heart.

Special features:

  • Widescreen theatrical version with German audio or alternative music-only soundtrack
  • Fullscreen version with English narrated soundtrack or alternative French and Spanish soundtracks
  • Interview with a Princess: a 2003 interview with ‘The Princess’ Christel Bodenstein
  • Image gallery
  • Limited edition booklet by cultural historian Tim Worthington

The Singing Ringing Tree is released on Blu-ray by Network on 18 October.

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