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The Winter's Tale 

King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events ... See full summary »


Stanislav Sokolov


William Shakespeare (play), Leon Garfield (screenplay)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Anton Lesser ... Leontes (voice)
Jenny Agutter ... Hermione (voice)
Sally Dexter Sally Dexter ... Paulina (voice)
Michael Kitchen ... Polixenes (voice)
Adrienne O'Sullivan Adrienne O'Sullivan ... Perdita (voice)
Stephen Tompkinson ... Autolycus (voice)
Philip Voss ... Shepherd / Judge (voice)
Simon Harris Simon Harris ... Shepherd's Son / Servant (voice)
Jonathan Tafler ... Camillo (voice)
Timothy Bateson ... Antigonus (voice)
Jonathan Firth ... Florizel (voice)
Spike Hood Spike Hood ... Shepherd's Young Son (voice)
Hywel Nelson Hywel Nelson ... Mamillius (voice)
Roger Allam ... Narrator (voice)


King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to flee for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life.

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Russia | UK | USA | Japan



Release Date:

7 December 1994 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of The Winter's Tale (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Winter beauty
7 August 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

As said many times, have always had a lifelong love of animation, old and new. Disney, Studio Ghibli, Hanna Barbera, Tom and Jerry, Hanna Barbera, Looney Tunes and also the works of Tex Avery and Fleischer. With a broader knowledge of animation styles, directors, studios and how it was all done actually love it even more now.

Have also loved William Shakespeare's work from an early age, remember very fondly reading various parts aloud in primary and secondary school English classes when studying the likes of 'Macbeth', 'Much Ado About Nothing' and 'Twelfth Night' and various film adaptations such as Kenneth Branagh's 'Much Ado About Nothing' and Roman Polanski's 'Macbeth'. So a large part of me was hugely intrigued by 'Shakespeare: The Animated Tales', with such a high appreciation of both animation and Shakespeare. There was also the worry of whether Shakespeare would work as short animated adaptations compressed and condensed, when some much longer adaptations have suffered.

It was wonderful that 'Shakespeare: The Animated Tales' not only lived up to expectations but exceeded them. All my worries of whether it would work quickly evaporated when it absolutely did work and brilliantly.

Even with the short length, the essence and spirit of 'The Winter's Tale' is maintained. It doesn't suffer from the condensation, even when everything is not there, nothing is incoherent which is a big achievement.

Shakespeare's colourful and thought-provoking language is as colourful and thought-provoking as one would hope, so many recognisable moments with all their impact. All in a way to appeal and be understandable to a wide audience, being easy to understand for younger audiences (of which the series is a perfect introduction of Shakespeare to), with such complex text and story elements a lot of credit is due. Adults will relish how the text is delivered, the many quotable lines and how well the essence of is captured.

Younger audiences and adults alike will marvel at the beauty of the visuals and the poignant emotion of the enchanting story. There shouldn't be any confusion and there is nothing to scare youngsters. The characters are true to personality.

The visuals, in one of the best looking episodes of the series, are very appealing to look at, colourful, meticulously detailed, nicely rendered and atmospheric and perfectly suited to the various characters and tone of the play. The music is never inappropriate and really hauntingly beautiful to listen to (one of my favourite scores of the series), the narration is never over-explanatory or annoying, actually helping with making things clear, and always sincerely delivered. Roger Allam was simply born to narrate.

Michael Kitchen, Jenny Agutter and particularly Anton Lesser voice with great expressivity and emotion.

Overall, truly beautiful. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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