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Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (The Bremen Town Musicians)

1987, East Germany, 25 minutes, color
Director: Peter Pohler
Director of Photography: Peter Pohler
Music: Friedbert Wissman
Puppets: Ina Käppler, Beate Lose, Christel Postel
Animation: Oliver Georgi, Thomas Stephan, Eberhard Klotzsche
Based on the tale by the Brothers Grimm
VHS-PAL, no subtitles
- renting information


A donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster are all cast out by their owners for being old and worthless.  When the animals meet, they decide to go to Bremen, and to form a musical group:  The Bremen Town Musicians.  However, on the way they come across a group of robbers, who are living in a warm, comfortable house.  Will the animals move on to Bremen, or will they try to scare away the robbers and take the house for their own?   Either way, the most important thing is to stay together.

Part of the DEFA series of Grimm's fairy tales acted out by puppets, Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten is one of the most popular of the collection.  The DEFA Film Library, in connection with the Goethe-Institut, offers for purchase two volumes of teaching materials to accompany this tale, as well as an audio tape. 

Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty)

1967, East Germany, 21 minutes, color
Director: Katja Georgi
Script: Katja Georgi
Director of Photography: Helmut May
Musik: Horst Elsner
Puppets: Otto Gerd Müller, Horst J. Tappert
Animation: Heinz Steinbach, Margitta Jänsch, Jörg Herrmann
Based on the tale by the Brothers Grimm
VHS-PAL, no subtitles
- renting information


When the King and Queen invite all but one of the thirteen fairies to celebrate the birth of their daughter, disaster ensues!  Furious that she has been left out, the thirteenth fairy curses the Princess;  when she is of age, she will prick her finger on a spindel and die.  Luckily another fairy is able to alter this:  the Princess will not die, but she will sleep for 100 years.  Only the kiss of a Prince can wake her, and save the kingdom.

Almost all of this fairy tale is without words-- perfect for the beginning language student!  Dornröschen is part of the animated-puppet series of Grimms' Fairy Tales, Volume I.  Also on this volume is Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten.

Series:  DEFA-Puppentrickfilm Grimm's Märchen
Vol. I: Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten, Dornröschen
Vol. II: Die Geschichte vom Fischer und seiner Frau, Tischlein deck dich
Vol. III:  Das tapfere Schneiderlein, Die kluge Bauerntochter


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Jessica Hale