N+2: The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin - Janet Perlman (1981)

17 febrero 2012

The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin - Janet Perlman (1981)

El tierno cuento de Cenicienta pingüina
Silente / No dialogue

Cenicienta, con pingüinitos como cenicientos y cenicientas, con un humor leve y una magia doblemente efectiva. Imperdible.
Estuvo nominado al Oscar, que perdió con uno de los mejores cortos de la historia: Crac!, lo que habla bien por una vez de la Academia (que también nominó a Will Vinton por The Creation).

This short animation is a zany version of the classic fairy tale, with the leading role played by a mistreated, romantic penguin, with hilarious results. Cinderella Penguin loses her magic flipper as she runs to meet her midnight deadline, but all ends well when Prince Charming finds the right webbed foot and the nasty step-family is brought to heel. A 1981 Oscar®-nominee.

Animator/illustrator Janet Perlman's first picture-book is rooted in the familiar. It is based on her 1982 National Film Board children's film called The Tender Tail of Cinderella Penguin, still available on videocassette within a collection entitled Fables and Fantasy, Volume 1. It is easy to see why this entertaining 10-minute film won a number of awards, including the Parents' Choice Award for Best Children's Video and an Academy Award nomination. The story is told entirely through clever animation and beautifully expressive music, one a perfect complement to the other.

And although somewhat colloquialized, this book version, entitled more simply Cinderella Penguin, is still obviously recogniz­able as a retelling of the traditional fairy-tale. Of course, certain modifications are necessary, since all the characters are penguins (e.g., the glass flipper in place of the glass slipper)! Author Perlman's penchant for penguins explains her preoccupation, but what about the audience?
This book is probably not for traditional­ists. The penguins add a definitive humour and irreverence that appeal to young children. The expressiveness and detail within the illustrations retain the same lively quality that made the film version so enjoyable. The vibrance and clarity of the colours, achieved by using animation techniques in painting the illustrations, are what draw children to the book and sustain their attention. The text is secondary. Although it does not detract from the story, the narrative does not uphold any of the quirkiness of the characters or their predicaments.
For all the book's plusses, it does not tell as captivating a story as the film version, nor could I recommend the book as a fairy-tale retelling. But pre-school to grade 2 children will enjoy the silliness inherent in personify­ing penguins and seeing them brought to life with such vibrance.



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