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Tales From Europe

1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 9 (UK)
156 x 25 minute episodes

Tales From Europe was – as the title suggests – a collection of filmed children’s stories from mainland Europe, Russia and Mongolia, broken into 25-minute episodes with an English narration added.

The original European films had not been made for television, but as children’s feature films for cinematic release in their native countries – mostly Eastern Bloc countries such as East Germany, Poland, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary etc – where their national film industries were all heavily subsidised.

As a result, the film and story quality were beyond anything which was being locally produced for television at the time.

Beginning on 1 October 1964 with The Tinderbox, the episodes aired on BBC TV at 5:30 pm on Thursday afternoons (after Blue Peter). The final broadcast was on Thursday 10 April 1969.

The stories featured on Tales From Europe were The Tinderbox (East Germany); Heidi (Switzerland); The Singing Ringing Tree (East Germany); The Boy and the Pelican (Russia); The Boy Who Loved Horses (Denmark); Paw (Denmark); The Daughter of The Sun (Russia); White Feather (Poland); The Scouts and the Motor Car (Poland); The Last Passenger (Netherlands); Pan (Holland); The Yellow Slippers (Poland); We Want a Dog (Czechoslovakia); The Boys Who Stole the Moon (Poland); Adventure in Golden Creek (Czechoslovakia); They’ve Stolen the Sea (France); Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (East Germany); The Proud Princess (Czechoslovakia); The Princess with the Golden Star (Czechoslovakia); The Limping Boy (Hungary); The Secret of the Grey Gull (Yugoslavia); Crook’s Island (Poland); Glamador (France); Summer at Salty Creek (Sweden); The Golden Goose (Germany); Rumpelstiltskin (Germany); Two Boys and a Pidgeon (Norway); Maximka (Russia); The City of Craftsmen (Russia); The Musical Powder Box (Czechoslovakia); Katya and the Crocodile (Czechoslovakia); The Ark (Sweden); The Golden Tent (Mongolia); The Millionaire (Poland); Almost a Fairytale (Russia); The Adventures of Barbara (Poland); Here Comes Peter (Sweden); Mario (Austria); The Windmill (Bulgaria); The Snow Queen (Russia); The Happy Age (France); The Village Matadors (Russia) and The Mystery of the Cave (Sweden).

A number of the stories were repeated twice throughout the series run.