Jack & the Beanstalk | Modern Interpretations

The story of Jack and the Beanstalk and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists. Novels produced by romance publishers are not listed on this page, but can be found on Romance Novels: Fairy Tale Romances at Jack and the Beanstalk.

Modern Interpretations

Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters) by Shelby BachOf Giants and Ice (Ever Afters) by Shelby Bach

Bach, Shelby. Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters). New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in ebook or hardcover or paperback.

Bach, Shelby. Of Witches and Wind (Ever Afters). New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in ebook or hardcover or paperback.

This series offers a large range of fairy tales with many tales referenced or used to drive the plot. The first book borrows its primary plot from Jack and the Beanstalk.

NOVEL: Description for Of Giants and Ice: When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny in this “fast-paced combination of middle school realism and fairy-tale fantasy” (Kirkus Reviews). Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. After she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real—and she is destined to star in one of her own. This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.


The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives - Book #1  by Michael Buckley, Peter Ferguson (Illustrator)

Buckley, Michael. The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2005.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

NOVEL: From the publisher: "The Sisters Grimm (Book One): The Fairy Tale Detectives introduces us to two orphaned sisters, Sabrina and Daphne, who are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. Grandmother Grimm lives in a strange town in New York State, known for it's extraordinary number of unexplained and unusual crimes. As soon as the sisters arrive, they begin to unravel a mystery that leads to their ancestors' magical beginnings. Sabrina and Daphne learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, who were actually detectives of the magical phenomenon perpetrated by the Everafters, a parallel race of magical beings. They soon discover it is the Grimm family's legacy to keep the Everafters in line and the two sisters are the sole heirs to this challenge! In this first book in the series, the girls are pitted against giants, who have been rampaging through town in their search for an Englishman named Jack, currently working at the Big & Tall store."


The Thief and the Beanstalk by P. W. Catanese

Catanese, P. W. The Thief and the Beanstalk. New York: Aladdin, 2005. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback. 

NOVEL: A children's middle reader book with the tagline, "This is not Jack's beanstalk."

Catanese writes a series of books featuring the further adventures of well-known fairy tale characters.


It's Not about the Beanstalk! by Veronika Martenova Charles (Author), David Parkins (Illustrator)

Charles, Veronika Martenova. It's Not about the Beanstalk!New York: Tundra Books, 2013.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in ebook or paperback.

NOVEL: More first books for fledgling readers that offer the enjoyment of a good story with the thrill of accomplishment that comes from independent reading. Written in short, easy phrases with carefully selected vocabulary and plentiful illustrations, each book helps youngsters achieve success as they have fun.

The series follows three friends who love to share stories. In each book, one is reminded of a well-known story. As one friend starts his story, the others are reminded of versions they know so each volume has three stories within one framework. The stories come from around the world, and Veronika Martenova Charles provides a note at the end of each book to describe the origins.


Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint

De Lint, Charles. Jack of Kinrowan. Dutton Books, 1995. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback. 

NOVEL: This is actually a compliation of De Lint's novels, Jack the Giant Killer (1987) and Drink Down the Moon (1990). Jack is Jacky Rowan, a female protagonist. She is the trickster hero destined to save the Elven Courts from evil.


The Famous Adventures of Jack by Berlie Doherty

Doherty, Berlie. The Famous Adventures of Jack. New York: Greenwillow, 2001. 
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NOVEL: Card catalog description: "In a magical land of giants and castles and beautiful princesses, Jill hears several tales about characters named Jack, then embarks on a fairy tale adventure of her own."


Jumping Off the Planet by David Gerrold


Gerrold, David. Jumping Off the Planet. New York: Tor, 2000.
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 or paperback.

NOVEL: Science Fiction: From the publisher: "A trip to the Moon? Sounds like the perfect family vacation. Only for 13-year-old Charles "Chigger" Dingillian his family is anything but perfect. His parents fight so much they put the 'dis' into dysfunctional. So when he and his brothers find themselves halfway to the Moon Chigger hits on a plan: if his parents can't find a way to work things out, why not just divorce them? Sound crazy? Until it works. Charles and his brothers are on their own. But their bid for freedom hits a roadblock when Chigger suspects they are targets of an interstellar manhunt. What do these Big Corporations want? And why? Their only hope is to jump off the planet..."


In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

Gidwitz, Adam. In a Glass Grimmly. New York: Dutton Juvenile, 2012.
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NOVEL: More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic Take caution ahead-- Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound. Lest you enter with dread. Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true. Step lively, dear reader . . . Happily ever after isn't cutting it anymore. In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz's widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk, The Emperor's New Clothes, and The Frog Prince.


Molly and the Beanstalk by Pippa Goodheart

Goodheart, Pippa. Molly and the Beanstalk. New York: Heinemann Educational, 2001.
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 or paperback.

NOVEL: Science Fiction: From the publisher: "A trip to the Moon? Sounds like the perfect family vacation. Only for 13-year-old Charle

Jack and the Beanstalkby Ed McBain

McBain, Ed. Jack and the Beanstalk. New York: Henry Holt, 1984.
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NOVEL: Mystery: Part of McBain's Matthew Hope series.

Crazy Jack by Napoli Amazon.com link

Napoli, Donna Jo. Crazy Jack. New York: Delacorte, 1999. 
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 or paperback.

NOVEL: From Amazon.com: Once there was a boy named Jack who traded away a cow for a handful of beans. But Jack was no fool, he was haunted since the day his father climbed up into the clouds and vanished. When the beans provide a way for Jack to pursue his father, he enters the Giant’s world, where he discovers the terrifying ends of greed and desire. In Donna Jo Napoli’s transforming novel, Jack’s search for his father yields not gold, but sustenance, love, and the means to build a life.

Beanstalk by John Rackham

Rackham, John. Beanstalk. New York: DAW, 1973.

NOVEL: Science Fiction: From the back cover: "Behind every folktale there is a true story and behind every legend a lost fact of history, distorted by word of mouth of people who did not understand what was really happening. In the case of the infiltration of the highly strategic space station upon which the battle between the Salviar Federation and the Hilax Combine pivoted, the account of Earth's role in the affair has become greatly distorted. Because that was eight hundred years ago and the men of Olde England never even knew the world was round, let alone that it was a planet. Earth still doesn't know which side we were on and because we are out on a far limb of Galactic Sector Seven they haven't contacted us yet. But our very position in the Milky Way just that once made our little planet strategic - and when Salviar's scout Jasar-am-Bax had to enlist the aid of a clever young yeoman to launch his kamikaze attack the result became legend. But it took John Rackham to uncover the real story behind the event. It's all in BEANSTALK - it just depends on how you look at it."



Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants by Sam Swope

Swope, Sam. Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. 
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NOVEL: From the publisher: "Ever since he was abandoned on a miller's doorstep as a noisy infant, Jack's been saddled with the reputation of village bad boy. When real trouble arrives -- in the form of seven deadly giants roaming the countryside - Jack is blamed. "Bad attracts bad," the village preacher warns his frightened flock. Jack believes it, too. Worried that the village won't be safe unless he leaves, Jack sets off, never intending to battle the giants, but one by one, that's what happens. And in his surprising encounters with these seven truly bad seeds, Jack proves himself braver, smarter, and better than he ever suspected."


A Telling of the Tales by William J. Brooke

Brooke, William. "The Telling of a Tale." Telling of the Tales. New York: Harper Collins, 1990.
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Wolf at the Door edited by Datlow and Windling

Cadnum, Michael. "Mrs. Big: 'Jack and the Beanstalk' Retold." A Wolf at the Door. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
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Truly Grim Tales by Priscilla Galloway

Galloway, Priscilla. "Blood and Bone."Truly Grim Tales. New York: Delacorte, 1995.
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Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times by James Finn Garner

Garner, James Finn. "Jack and the Beanstalk." Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times. New York: Hungry Minds Inc, 1994.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover. 


Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand by Louise Hawes

Hawes, Louise. "Evelyn's Song." Black Pearls: A Faerie StrandNew York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

SHORT STORY: "Evelyn's Song" is the story of Jack and the Beanstalk related by someone who's never been given a voice before. (HINT: It's not Jack, his mother, the Giant, or his wife!)

Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City

Huff, Tanya. "Jack and the B.S." Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City. Martin H. Greenberg and John Helfers, eds. New York: DAW, 2004.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.


Fractured Fairy Tales by A. J. Jacobs

Jacobs, A. J. "Jack and the Beanstalk." Fractured Fairy Tales.New York: Bantam, 1997.
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Snow White, Blood Red

Kress, Nancy. "Stalking Beans." Snow White, Blood Red.Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1995.
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Twice Upon A Time edited by Denise Little

Lindskold, Jane. "The Beanstalk Incident." Twice Upon A Time. Denise Little, ed. New York: DAW Books, 1999.
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Green Man edited by Datlow and Windling

Maguire, Gregory. "Fee Fie Foe, et Cetera." The Green Man. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Viking, 2002.
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Red Ridin' in the Hood : and Other Cuentos by Patricia Santos Marcantonio

Marcantonio, Patricia Santos. "Juan and the Pinto Bean Stalk." Red Ridin' in the Hood: and Other Cuentos. Renato Alarcao, illustrator. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2005.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.

SHORT STORY: From the publisher: "Eleven classic tales are retold with an injection of Latino culture, providing a twist on the traditional forms while sustaining a freshness all their own."


Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers

Mayer, Gloria Gilbert and Thomas Mayer. "Jack and the Beanstalk." Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers. New York: American Management Association, 1999. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.


Scarborough, Elizabeth Ann. "Mrs. Myrtle Montegrande Vs. The Vegetable Stalker/Slayer." Twice Upon A Time. Denise Little, ed. New York: DAW Books, 1999.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.



Tales From the Brothers Grimm and Sisters Weird by Vivian Vande Velde

Vande Velde, Vivian. "Jack."Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1995.
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Newfangled Fairy Tales edited by Bruce Lansky

Vega, Denise. "Jill and the Beanstalk." Newfangled Fairy Tales: Book #1. Bruce Lansky, ed. New York: Meadowbrook Press, 1997.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.



Waggoner, Tim. "The Castle and Jack." Twice Upon A Time. Denise Little, ed. New York: DAW Books, 1999.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.



Feminist Fairy Tales by Barbara Walker

Walker, Barbara. "Jill and the Beanroot." Feminist Fairy Tales. San Francisco: Harper, 1996.
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Carryl, Guy Wetmore. "How Jack Found that Beans May Go Back On a Chap." Grimm Tales Made Gay. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1902.

Read the poem on this site at How Jack Found that Beans May Go Back On a Chap.


Carryl, Guy Wetmore. "How Jack Made the Giants Uncommonly Sore." Grimm Tales Made Gay. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1902.

Read the poem on this site at How Jack Made the Giants Uncommonly Sore.


Dacey, Philip. "Jack, Afterwards." Real Things: An Anthology of Popular Culture in American Poetry. Jim Elledge, editor. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.


Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

Dahl, Roald. "Jack and the Beanstalk." Revolting Rhymes. New York: Puffin Books, 1982. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


Story Hour by Sara Henderson Hay

Hay, Sara Henderson. "Story Hour." Story Hour. Fayetteville, AS: University of Arkansas Press, 1998. 
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.


Hewitt, John. "First Pantomime."The Collected Poems of John Hewitt. Frank Ormsby, editor. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 2000.


Jarrell, Randall. "Jack." The Complete Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969; repr. 1989.


Joseph, Jenny. "Fables: Jack and the Beanstalk." Selected Poems. Highgreen Tarset Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 1992.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in paperback.

"Jack and the Beanstalk" is a selection from the longer poem, "Fables."


Millay, Edna St. Vincent. "The Bean-Stalk." Collected Poems. New York: Harper and Row, 1956.

Read the poem on this site at The Bean-Stalk.


Carryl, Guy Wetmore. "How Jack Made the Giants Uncommonly Sore." Grimm Tales Made Gay. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1902.

Read the poem on this site at How Jack Made the Giants Uncommonly Sore.


Prunty, Wyatt. "Annals of Jack." Unarmed and Dangerous: New and Selected Poems. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2000.


Riley, James Whitcomb. "Jack the Giant-Killer."

Read the poem on this site at Jack the Giant-Killer.


Rosen, Kenneth. "Jack and the Beanstalk." New American Poets of the 80s. Key West, FL: Wampeter Press, 1984.


Return to Magic by Clive Sansom

Sansom, Clive. "Prize Bean." Return to Magic. London: Leslie Frewin, 1969.
Amazon.com: Buy the book in hardcover.


I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at Amazon.com. The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.


Stephen Sondheim. Into The Woods.

In 1986, Into the Woods hit Broadway and enjoyed great success. The musical incorporates many fairy tale characters and plots including the magic beans of beanstalk fame. I have included the Broadway and London casts' recordings below. An excellent site about this musical is at Into the Woods.


Title: Into the Woods--Original Cast Recording
Performers: Bernadette Peters, Robert Westenberg, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Tom Aldredge.


Title: Into the Woods--London Cast Recording
Performers: Imelda Staunton, Julia McKenzie, Nicolas Parsons, Jacqueline Dankworth, Clive Carter.


To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.


Jack and the Beanstalk (1922). Walt Disney, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: An early Disney foray into fairy tale animation.


Jack and the Beanstalk (1931). Dave Fleischer, director. 
Buy the movie on VHS.

ANIMATION SHORT: A Betty Boop interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk. A differently-drawn Bimbo, incensed at trash dropped from the clouds, climbs his beanstalk to find not only the giant but also his slave (Betty Boop with dog's ears).


Giantland (1933). Burt Gillett, director. Walt Disney, producer. 
Buy the movie on DVD.

Black and white animated version of Jack and the Beanstalk featuring Mickey Mouse. Not to be confused with Mickey and the Beanstalkwhich came in 1947. "Mickey's orphans ask for a story; Mickey casts himself as Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk. He starts with the climbing of the beanstalk; after evading the giant a few times, he ends up inside a cheese sandwich, and then in the giant's mouth, where he ultimately grabs onto a pipe and gets pulled out by the giant. In the ensuing chase, Mickey launches a pepper bomb to slow the giant down, then outruns him coming down the beanstalk and sets the stalk on fire." (IMDB.com)


Jack and the Beanstalk (1933). Shamus Culhane and Ub Iwerks, directors.
Buy the movie on VHS. or Buy the movie on DVD.

ANIMATION SHORT: Early animated short contemporary with Walt Disney.


Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk (1942). Friz Freleng, director. 
Buy the movie on VHS.

ANIMATION SHORT: Bugs Bunny stars in this adaptation of the story. ?Bugs fights the legendary giant. In the historical context of World War II much fun is made of the giant's claimed superiority over the more clever and fun-loving rabbit." (IMDB.com)


Foney Fables (1942). Friz Freleng, director.

Sara Berner .... Mother (uncredited) (voice) 
Mel Blanc .... Baby, Boy who cried Wolf, Dog (uncredited) (voice) 
Frank Graham .... Narrator (uncredited)

ANIMATED SHORT: A series of fractured fairy tales vignettes perhaps best remembered for Mel Blanc's vocal appearance. "Within the Book of Fairy Tales, we find much-loved stories like these: Sleeping Beauty (chewed out by Prince Charming for sleeping in), Tom Thumb, the Grasshopper and the Ant (the grasshopper can afford to be lazy because he has war bonds), the Boy Who Cried Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk, the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing ("the fifth columnist of his day"), Aladdin and His Lamp, the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs (only they're aluminum for the war effort), Old Mother Hubbard (but her cupboard isn't bare; she's a "food hoarder"!), and This Little Piggy." (IMDB.com)


Ration Fer the Duration (1943). Seymour Kneitel, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: Popeye tries his hand at interpreting the story and supporting the war effort. Don't miss another Popeye with the Beanstalk in 1951. "Popeye's planting a victory garden while his nephews are collecting worms for fishing. He berates them for wasting time, and tells them the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, which inspires them to plant beans. Popeye falls asleep, and dreams up a giant beanstalk. His nephews talk him into climbing to the top. Inside the giant's castle, Popee hides in the cuckoo clock and spots the giant hoarding sugar instead of gold; his hen lays tires, and his storehouses are full of other goods that were rationed in World War II. Popeye tries to walk out with a stack of tires, but the giant stops him, ultimately swatting him with a fly swatter and making him into a sandwich; the giant sprinkles Popeye with pepper, delaying the inevitable spinach briefly. Popeye defeats the giant, and gets him to sneeze all his tires into a carpet. Popeye wakes up, and the victory garden sprouts CANtaloupes (cans), POTatoes (pots), squashes (squashed tires), peaches (good tires), and finally a shoe tree right under the cast." (IMDB.com)


Woody, the Giant Killer (1947). Dick Lundy, director

ANIMATION SHORT: "Out of work, Woody Woodpecker complains about his not having any living quarters. A slick talking con man convinces him to buy some "magic beans" promising they will guarantee him a home. Sure enough, Woody climbs the resulting beanstalk and finds a huge castle at the top. Unfortunately, the castle is already occupied by a sleeping giant who Woody eventually outwits, turning his castle into a series of apartments with the giant as a bellboy and Woody as his manager." (IMDB.com)


Let's Stalk Spinach (1951). Seymour Kneitel, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: Once again, after a 1943 short, Popeye tries his hand at interpreting the story. "Popeye's nephews don't want to eat their spinach, so Popeye tells them about his youth, before he liked spinach. In a Jack and the beanstalk scenario, he climbs a spinach-stalk and encounters a greedy giant. He ultimately vanquishes the giant with help from spinach that he accidentally eats from a giant can, and the nephews chow down on their sandwiches." (IMDB.com)


Jack and the Beanstalk: Abbott and Costello

Jack and the Beanstalk (1952). Jean Yarbrough, director.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on VHS.

Bud Abbott .... Mr. Dinkel/Mr. Dinkelpuss 
Lou Costello .... Jack 
Buddy Baer .... Sgt. Riley/The Giant

Abbott & Costello movie with themes from the fairy tale.


Goo Goo Goliath (1954). Friz Freleng, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: "An inebriated stork must deliver a baby to a giant at the top of a beanstalk, but doesn't feel like flying that high and instead delivers the baby to a normal-sized couple, who try to raise the giant tot as their own."(IMDB.com)


Beanstalk Bunny (1955). Chuck Jones, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: When a beanstalk sprouts from a rabbit hole, Jack (Daffy Duck) climbs it. So does Bugs Bunny since his bed went up with the beanstalk. Elmer, of course, is the mean Giant.


Jack and the Beanstalk (1955). Lotte Reiniger, director. UK. Also known as: Jack the Giant Killer.

SILHOUETTE ANIMATION SHORT: Lotte Reiniger is historically important as an early animator, specializing in shadow puppet animation, also known as silhouette animation. She was arguably the best talent in this particular craft. She started in silent films while living in Germany and continued producing shorts for over 40 years, primarily in the UK. For more information, read this article by William Moritz published by Animation World Magazine:


Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk (1942). Friz Freleng, director. 
Buy the movie on VHS.

ANIMATION SHORT: Bugs Bunny stars in this adaptation of the story. ?Bugs fights the legendary giant. In the historical context of World War II much fun is made of the giant's claimed superiority over the more clever and fun-loving rabbit." (IMDB.com)


Tweety and the Beanstalk (1957). Friz Freleng, director.

ANIMATION SHORT: "Jack's mother throws Jack's magic beans outside under Sylvester Cat's sleeping box, and the cat is whisked to the world above, where he finds a huge Tweety Bird in the castle of the legendary Giant. When he tries to snag Tweety, Sylvester is chased by the Giant down the beanstalk. Sylvester chops down the stalk while the giant is still descending. The Giant falls on top of Sylvester with such force that Sylvester is shot through the Earth to the Orient." (IMDB.com)


Rocky and Bullwinkle Season 1 featuring Fractured Fairy Tales

Fractured Fairy Tales: Fee Fi Fo Fum (1959-60) (TV). In Rocky and Bullwinkle. Jay Ward Productions.
Buy the collection on DVD.

ANIMATION SHORT: The Fractured Fairy Tales segment became a popular part of the first season of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (known under various names through the years) that premiered in the fall of 1959. They have remained in syndication ever since. Fee Fi Fo Fum originally aired in Episode 5 of Season 1.


Jack the Giant Killer DVD

Jack the Giant Killer (1962). Nathan Juran, director. 
Buy the movie on DVD.

Kerwin Mathews .... Jack 
Judi Meredith .... Princess Elaine 
Torin Thatcher .... Pendragon 
Walter Burke .... Garna

There is much debate over which version is better/worse--the original release of this film or the dubbed musical version of it. A campy classic either way.


Shonen Jakko to mahotsukai (1967). Gisaburo Sugii, director. Japan. USA Title: Jack and the Beanstalk.

ANIMATED FILM: A Japanese animation version of the tale.


Jack and the Beanstalk (1970). Barry Mahon, director. 
Buy the collection on DVD.

Mitch Poulos .... Jack

A kiddie matinee. Jack and the Beanstalk comes to life when "Honest John, Used Cow Salesman" trades Jack's cow for some magical beans that grow into a sky-high stalk, carrying singing Jack up to a castle in the clouds complete with a "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fumming" giant and a mechanical hen that lays golden eggs.


Jack to mame no ki (1974). Gisaburo Sugii, director. Japan. USA Title: Jack and the Beanstalk.

ANIMATED FILM: A Japanese animation version of the tale.


Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale TheatreFaerie Tale Theatre: Jack and the BeanstalkFaerie Tale Theatre: Jack and the Beanstalk

Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre: Jack and the Beanstalk(1983) (TV). 
Amazon.com: Buy the series on DVD.

Dennis Christopher ... Jack
Elliott Gould ... Giant
Jean Stapleton ... Giantess
Katherine Helmond ... Jack's Mom

This television series originally aired on Showtime for six seasons and a total of 27 episodes. To see a full episode list, go to Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre.


Into the Woods DVD

nto the Woods (1991) (TV). James Lapine, director. 
Buy the movie on VHS. or Buy the movie on DVD.

Bernadette Peters .... The Witch 
Chip Zien .... Baker 
Joanna Gleason .... Baker's wife 
Tom Aldredge .... Narrator/Mysterious Man 
Robert Westenberg .... Wolf/Cinderella's Prince 
Kim Crosby .... Cinderella 
Danielle Ferland .... Little Red Riding Hood 
Ben Wright .... Jack 
Barbara Bryne .... Jack's mother 
Merle Louise .... Grandmother/Cinderella's Mother/Giant 
Chuck Wagner .... Rapunzel's Prince 
Pamela Winslow .... Rapunzel

FILM OF ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST PRODUCTION: A baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans to lift a curse that has kept them childless. Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and the rest of the original Broadway cast weave their magic spell over you in Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece, directed by James Lapine, a seamless fusion of fairy tale characters and what happens after "happily ever after." With oft-recorded songs such as "Children Will Listen," "No One is Alone," and "Into the Woods" is a music lover's delight from start to finish--and will forever cement Stephen Sondheim's unparalleled position as the giant of the American musical theater.


Jack and the Beanstalk (1998 (TV). John Henderson, director.

Paul Merton .... Narrator 
Neil Morrissey .... Jack 
Adrian Edmondson .... Dame Dolly 
Griff Rhys Jones .... Baron Wasteland 
Denise Van Outen .... Jill 
Morwenna Banks .... Goldilocks 
Julie Walters .... Fairy Godmother 
Julian Clary .... Tim/first henchman 
Peter Serafinowicz .... Second henchman 
Will Barton .... Harp


Jack and the Beanstalk (2000). Marc Grant, director. Also known as The Broken Machine and Slip Dream.

In a psychedelic take on the classic children's fable, a tortured concert violinist is the love interest of Jack.


The 10th Kingdom DVD

The 10th Kingdom (2000) (TV). David Carson and Herbert Wise, directors. 
Buy the movie on VHS. or Buy the movie on DVD.

Kimberly Williams .... Virginia Lewis 
Scott Cohen .... Wolf 
John Larroquette .... Antony 'Tony' Lewis 
Dianne Wiest .... The Evil Queen/Christine Lewis 
Camryn Manheim .... Snow White 
Ann-Margret .... Queen Cinderella

This epic 10-hour miniseries was a ratings bust on television Kimberly Williams is Virginia, a waitress who still lives with her janitor father (John Larroquette) and yearns for something exciting to happen to her. Her wish comes true when she and her father are transported from New York City into the nine kingdoms populated by characters from fairy tales of yore. They team up with a dog who's really a prince--Wendell, grandson of Snow White--changed into canine form by the evil Queen (Dianne Wiest), who plots to usurp Wendell's throne. Father, daughter, and his royal dogness are relentlessly pursued through the nine kingdoms by the Troll King (Ed O'Neill) and his three bumbling and horrible children, and the conflicted Wolf (Scott Cohen), who is allied with the Queen but tames his inner beast and falls in love with Virginia. The 10th Kingdom is a special effects extravaganza. There is indeed, as one character marvels, magic to behold here. But despite the Hallmark brand name and the presence of a grown-up Snow White (Camryn Manheim) and Cinderella (Ann-Margret), bewitched animals, magic mirrors, and trolls, this is not kid's stuff. It can get scary, surprisingly violent, and quite intense; you know, just like real fairy tales.


Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story DVD

Jack and the Beanstalk (2001) (TV). Brian Henson, director.
Buy the movie on DVD. or Buy the movie on VHS.

Matthew Modine .... Jack Robinson (Johnathan William Duncan Robinson) 
Vanessa Redgrave .... Countess Wilhelmina, Matriarch/Narrator 
Mia Sara .... Ondine 
Daryl Hannah .... Thespee, Member Great Council of Mac Slec 
Jon Voight .... Siggy (Sigfried Mannheim), Overseas Div. Director for Robinson Intl. 
Richard Attenborough .... Magog, Arbiter of Justice Great Council of Mac Slec

This live-action adventure, a contemporary story inspired by the classic fairy tale, revolves around modern-day Jack Robinson, the great-great-great grandson of Jack the First. The current Jack must go up the beanstalk to right centuries of wrongs committed by his family.

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) Blu-RayJack the Giant Slayer (2013) DVD

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), Bryan Singer, director.
Amazon.com: Buy it on Blu-Ray or DVD or Instant Video.

Nicholas Hoult ... Jack 
Eleanor Tomlinson ... Isabelle 
Ewan McGregor ... Elmont 
Stanley Tucci ... Roderick 
Eddie Marsan ... Crawe

The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.



Copeland, Scot and Paul Carrol Binkley. Jack Tales. Music by Paul Carrol Binkley.

MUSICAL: Incorporates many of the Jack trickster tales, especially those found in Appalachia. The play had its world premiere during the 2004-2005 Season of the Nashville Children's Theatre.


Denys, Chris, and Chris HarrisJack and the Beanstalk.London: Josef Weinberger.

PLAY: Pantomime. Premiered at the Bristol Old Vic, Jack and the Beanstalk transferred triumphantly to the Cheltenham Everyman and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Bristol Chamber of Commerce in recognition of its "valuable contribution to enhancing the City for the benefit of all who visit, live and work in Bristol."


Eiler, JimJack and the BeanstalkMusic by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy. Adaptation and lyrics by Jim Eiler. London: Josef Weinberger.

MUSICAL: Pantomime. A new twist on the old pantomime story, wherein Jack climbs the beanstalk to find a good giant and a tap-dancing Golden Goose. This delightfully zany cartoon adaptation of a favourite tale will enhance the repertoire of any performing group. Songs include "Magic Beans," "Gonna Climb Up" and "Plink-a, Plunk-a."


Glennon, William. Jack and the Beanstalk. Woodstock, IL: Dramatic Publishing Company of Chicago.
Read more about the play on the Dramatic Publishing website.

FULL-LENGTH PLAY: This is a simplified version of the classic story told with Mr. Glennon's gift for wit, adventure and warmth. The fairy godfather and his assistant, Junior (who is in training to be a full-fledged fairy godfather), provide warm humor while Dame Isobel, the giant and his wife provide obstacles for adventurous Jack to surmount.


Lapine, JamesInto the WoodsMusic and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. London: Josef Weinberger.
Buy the book in paperback.

MUSICAL: A bewitching crew of classic characters romp through a "happily ever after" kingdom in this musical fairy-tale. Interweaving a hilarious mix of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, the Baker's Wife, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel in a multi-layered plot which ends happily in Act One, the musical then explores "happily ever after" in Act Two as previous actions come home to roost - with a vengeance!


Ludlam, Charles. Jack and the BeanstalkNew York: Samuel French.



Montley, Patricia. "Jack and the Marijuana Stalk." Not So Grim Fairy TalesNew York: Samuel French.

SHORT PLAY: Satire. Five scenes present unusual variations on familiar tales. In "Little Red and the Big Bad She Wolf," Red is invited by Mae Wolf to quit Harvard Business School and get a start in the service-selling business—despite Granny's opposition (she is Mae's senior partner). In "Bumble Stiltskin and the Baby Business," Rumpel's put-upon wife implores the Queen to keep her royal baby and offers to set up a Day Care Center if she gets government support. Also included are "Snow White and the Anti-Freeze," "Jack and the Marijuana Stalk," and "Cinderella."


Morley, John. Jack and the BeanstalkNew York: Samuel French.

FULL-LENGTH PLAY: Pantomine. The folk tale is embellished with fresh touches as the legend of the Sword in the Stone is reflected in Jack's methods, the Dame has a tremendous fight with the Giant's evil henchman and the original Vegetable Fairy displays her usual Power for Good (she is frequently overly optimistic and bungles her efforts). The climatic contest between Jack and the Giant is described in detail and special interpolations include an updated version of a famous Grimaldi comedy 'baby-bathing' scene.


Newton, Ruth. Jack and the GiantNew York: Samuel French.

SHORT PLAY: In this comic version of a classic story, a very human and stagestruck cow, Drusilla, wouldn't mind being sold by the poverty-stricken Jack if her new owner would place her in a show. Youngsters in the audience take part in the play as the actors draw them in and encourage them to express their opinions about the story and characters. The plot follows the story of Jack selling Drusilla for a bag of beans. His mother throws them out the window, where they shoot to the sky and the giant's castle. In Jack's escape from the Giant, Drusilla saves the day by coming back in time to chew the vine down and destroy the Giant.


Wakefield, Colin. Jack and the BeanstalkBook by Colin Wakefield. Music and lyrics by Kate Edgar. London: Josef Weinberger.

PLAY: Pantomime. Jack and the Beanstalk combines all the classic elements of this popular panto: dotty Dame Trot, and her son Jack, who sells their precious cow Clarabelle for a bag of beans; the magical transformation of a massive beanstalk growing up to Giant Blunderbore's grim castle in the clouds; and a particularly hissable villain in Fleshcreep, the Giant's loathsome henchman. Add to these potent ingredients lashings of romance, adventure and knockabout comedy - and, as always, masses of audience participation - and you have the perfect treat for all the family.


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