1 9 5 7 (East Germany)
3 x 25 minute episodes
Although The Singing Ringing Tree, was made in the 1950s (as Das Singende Klingende Bäumchen in East Germany of all places), it screened semi-regularly on British television in the 60s and 70s as part of a series called Tales From Europe – A collection of fairy tales from various European countries.
Other stories in the series included Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, The Golden Goose, The Tinder Box, Heidi, and The Boy and The Pelican.
The Singing Ringing Tree told the tale of a Princess who was very spoilt, and a Prince who wanted to marry her. But she was right horrid and was captured by a dwarf and taken away to his domain.
And there were giant goldfish, and the Prince was turned into a bear, and the lake turned into ice, and all the fruit trees sang when you picked the fruit, and it was all just wonderful.
And of course the Princess mended her ways and all was sweetness and light.
The dubbing was a single voice (Late Night Line-Up presenter Tony Bilbow provided the English narration) so the characters on screen would jabber on for about an hour in German, which the narrator would then translate as, “‘Yes’, said the Princess”.
This film is still floating about in art house cinemas, even though it is now subtitled, which kinda spoils the effect.