By their nature, "fables" are "fabulous", larger than life, the characters often using wit and guile to save themselves from circumstances. Thus Brer Rabbit is more than a bunny in a briar patch, just as Mowgli is more than a wolf child. Aesop, an ancient Greek poet who was sold into slavery in the early sixth century B.C, relied on animal stories to convey his key points to his masters in court. Aesop's Fables are now classic, memorable morality plays in which amusing animal characters drive home thought-provoking morals to generations of listeners and modern day readers. They illustrate what was fundamental to Greek culture yet their appeal lies in logic we still understand.
Fables from different cultures frequently overlap in the lessons they teach. If we would only stop to listen, there is an important lesson for us to learn from these fables; mankind is one, not several.
Contrived 2,500 years ago by the Greek storyteller Aesop, these fables were only written down 300 years later. Jonathan Kent's narration revives the original oral tradition, and his voices for the animal characters make the little stories entertaining as well as enlightening. The variety of characters Kent creates will fascinate children, the better to impart the time-tested moral lessons still with us thousands of years later. The production squeezes 160 fables into 140 minutes, making each one last less than a minute.
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