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About Elise

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  1. Being born in 1981 in a French-Canadian town in the province of Quebec, the Tales for All series was an integral part of my childhood. These movies were a huge deal in the '80s and early '90s where I grew up. Over a dozen of them were made during that period, and a lot of people my age have seen most more than once. About half of the movies were filmed in English then dubbed in French (The Peanut Butter Solution, for example). The other half were filmed in French then dubbed in English. I don't know if they had the same impact in English Canada, though. My husband, who grew up in Toronto and is only a couple of years older than me, has only a vague knowledge of some of them, and the DVD box sets released in the 2000s were in French only. The tone varied widely from one movie to the next and, although they all had some quirkiness to them, not all of them had a fantastical element or were scary. The first and perhaps most memorable film of the series, The Dog Who Stopped The War, is about a battle between two groups of kids over a huge snow fort. It's full of '80s winter clothing, bad child acting, and cheesy lines that people of my generation still quote. Also - SPOILER ALERT - the dog dies at the end. Because of this, it's remembered as the saddest children's movie of all time around these parts. Another iconic movie in the series is Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller. In it, kids are given the ability to shrink and travel around the world on stamps in pursuit of the titular Tommy Tricker, a boy who steals an invaluable collector's stamp. It features a teen Rufus Wainwright singing on a mall stage during a chase scene. The two Tales for All movies I remember as being the weirdest are, by far, The Peanut Butter Solution and The Great Land of Small. Looking into it after listening to the podcast, I found out that both involved Czech filmmaker Vojtěch Jasný. He co-wrote the former and directed the latter. I should probably watch them again as an adult to see how they compare today. To me, they fall into the same category as other fantastical movies that I saw when I was very young, like Willow or three of my favourites at the time, Labyrinth, The Never-Ending Story and Goonies... It's amazing to look back on movies that were considered appropriate for children back then. I may be the exception, but I was not scarred by them. I actually enjoyed the strange atmosphere and nonsensical plots, Peanut Butter Solution included.