Watch Your Radio 10/30/09: Witch Charming

I was looking for something funny from singer and comedienne Anna Russell to post and stumbled across this clip from a stop motion puppetry version of Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel . It’s a delight! (Anna Russell’s is the witch’s voice in the clip.)
It turns out this 1954 film is a cult classic titled Hansel and Gretel: Opera Fantasy.

Here are a few more details from a Wikipedia entry :
The puppets used in the film are called “kineman” characters. They took fifteen years to develop. The filmmakers used a secret chemical for “flesh” and “hair”, and the characters had magnetized feet. They were also called “exemplary actors,” and are able to duplicate natural movements, and they have a variety of facial expressions.
A DVD version of the film was released in 2001. There are some complaints about the quality of the transfer to DVD, but still plenty of raves about this little gem.