The Singing Ringing Tree: background information
The Singing Ringing TreeThis is information not found on the movie information websites such as BFI and IMDb.
In the 1960s the BBC realised that it would be good value for money to buy European children's films and dubb or narrate them. There may also have been a concern that American television, and American culture generally, was too influential in Britain.
They went under the title 'Tales From Europe' and were transmitted on Thursdays at 5.25pm or 5.30pm.
The Singing Ringing Tree was made in East Germany in 1958 by the DEFA company. There were four other DEFA films shown in the 60s on the BBC.
The first of three episodes of The Singing Ringing Tree was transmitted on 19 November 1964. It was transmitted again in 1966. It was transmitted in the 70s too, in colour.
The story is similar to 'Snow White and Rose Red' (Schneewei▀chen und Rosenrot), a Brothers Grimm tale. Both have a prince who is turned into a bear by a dwarf who when defeated sinks into the ground. It is also similar to 'Beauty and the Beast'. Both have a prince who is in the form of an animal and can only be freed when the girl loves him. I think there may be a few stories where a young man must complete a task to win the hand of the King's daughter; there is one called 'The Singing Bone'.
There is a book of The Singing Ringing Tree by Selina Hastings.
There are entries for The Singing Ringing Tree in these books:
Lewis and Stempel's Ultimate TV Guide
There is also information in some film guides and on the movie information websites IMDb and BFI.
There is a a mention in From the Beast to the Blonde by Marina Warner.