You can find some sweet shit on Netflix these days. My favorite feature is their "watch instantly" option. Have you tried it?
Anyway, I think I was talking to Summer (Summer was it you?) when I asked her, "Do you remember the fairy tale of The 12 Dancing Princesses?" (Originally a Grimm's Fairy Tale, and one of my favorites because the princesses get new shoes every day!) Summer is one of my friends who is usually up on the supernatural flicks and fairy stories; She said no to my surprise. I guess "surprise" might be an extreme because it's not one of the well known fairy tales, and it wasn't popularized by Disney... Nonetheless, it is just one of the stories included in this series (Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theater) you can watch instantly!
Incidentally, the more I skimmed through these episodes - each an hour long - the more it jogged my memory: I totally watched this as a child. I must have been 5 when I first saw one because I remember watching one with my daddy. Comparatively, it was clearly a different time to grow up. The attention span and thought process a child had to have to get through one of these episodes is far beyond the spaz-like 15 minute cartoons of sponges or backyard dudes. Do kids even question why a sponge is talking at the bottom of the ocean? (This is from my limited knowledge of the history of the talking sponge.) Yes, Slim - I am turning into one of those curmudgeons who start and end rants with "...back in my day..." I just think that these episodes are the right mix of believable as well as a platform for imagination. (A talking sponge is a stretch.)
About Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theater:
...is a live action children's television series retelling popular fairy tales. Shelley Duvall serves as narrator, host and executive producer of the program, and occasionally stars in episodes. The series was followed by another, shorter series called Tall Tales & Legends which followed the same format as Faerie Tale Theatre and focused on classic American folk tales. Both series feature well known actors and directors.
Shelley Duvall began conception of Faerie Tale Theatre while filming Popeye. She reportedly asked her co-star, Robin Williams, his opinion on "The Frog Prince", a fairytale she was reading during production. Williams would later star in the pilot episode of the series, The Tale of the Frog Prince.
See the trailer on youtube here.
Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola directed an episode each. + Here's a short list of actors who are in the series: Pee Wee Herman, Jennifer Beals, Christopher Lee, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Broderick, Carrie Fisher, Ricky Schroeder, Valerie Bertinelli, Liza Minelli, Elizabeth McGovern, Gena Rowlands, Tatum O'Neil, Christopher Reeve, Joan Collins, Jeff Goldblum, Pam Dauber, Robin Williams, the little man from Fantasy Island, Frank Zappa, and even Mick Jagger as the Emperor in the tale of the Nightingale!
More about it on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faerie_Tale_Theatre
There's also "Season 2" which is Shelly Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends
Here's a long post about it on the Amoeba blog.
If you have Netflix, which I know most of you do, you can watch some of these gems right now! Amazing.
Those of you who have kids, I'm curious to know how they respond to these episodes. Be warned: there was a couple that made me a little scared - but then again I love horror/slasher/gore films and I was allowed to watch Poltergiest and The Exorcist as a child. (Fact: I cannot watch The Exorcist on my own. I need a minimum of 11 people to get through it to this day. It is the only movie that gives me residual heebeejeebees.)