The Singing Ringing Tree

The Singing Ringing Tree (Das singende, klingende Bäumchen) was a children's film made by East German studio DEFA in 1957 and shown in the form of a television series by the BBC. It was a story in the style of the Brothers Grimm, directed by Francesco Stefani.

The film was purchased by the BBC and cut into three parts to create a mini-series which was broadcast in the 1960s and 70s as part of Tales from Europe, with an English-language voice-over track (not dubbed, however, the original soundtrack was simply faded up and down).

The cast included Christel Bodenstein as the Princess, Eckart Dux who played the Prince/bear, Charles Hans Vogt as the King and Richard Kruger as the dwarf.

One reviewer (Roger Thomas at has summed it up thus:

Imagine a fairy tale conceived by Wagner and directed by Fritz Lang, with nods in the direction of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and German expressionism, and you'd be close.

A Radio Times readers' poll in 2004 voted this programme the 20th spookiest TV show ever.

A spoof of the series was created as a sketch in the last season of The Fast Show, entitled, The Singing Ringing Binging Plinging Tinging Plinking Plonking Boinging Tree. The musical bridge from the series played Gary Numan's "Cars" as the characters walked across it.

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