While grownups understand the magnitude of guarding sheep, children may lack an ability to see the bigger picture. Nicholas finds tending his family's sheep to be mind-numbingly boring, which is why he ultimately makes the impulsive decision to cry "Wolf!" To his delight, his alert prompts the townspeople to drop everything and rush to his aid, but when the people discover they have been duped they are livid.
Missing his city cousin, Country Mouse invites him for a visit. However, from the moment he arrives, the flamboyant and arrogant City Mouse shows contempt for his less-privileged cousin by incessantly bragging about his home and good fortune. In fact, he won't even consider spending the night and convinces Country Mouse to return with him for a visit in the city. His cousin cheerfully accepts, but what follows illustrates the significance of a simpler, safer life.
This lovely tale tells the story of Princess Isabella, who is greatly loved by her parents happy and carefree until she overhears girls making fun of her large nose and ears. Miserable and ashamed, she quits playing and hides in the palace. Nothing can sway Isabella's feelings of ugliness and sadness until an old woman reminds her that giving love to others brings deep happiness.
About to be devoured by the fearsome King of the Forest, Bitsy the Mouse manages to convince Leo the Lion to let her go in exchange for future assistance. While Leo cannot conceive of any way that a tiny mouse could help him, he does admire Bitsy's pluck and releases her. What he later discovers is that big help can indeed come in small packages. Through Bitsy, Leo also realizes the importance of keeping your word.
Excessive fondness for elaborate and expensive clothing allows a pair of dodgy tailors to hoodwink the emperor. Weaving a grandiose tale instead of actual clothing, the tailors tell the emperor that their exquisite garments, woven with the finest of materials, are invisible to less worthy individuals. Reluctant to admit possible imperfections, no one in the town is willing to be honest, with the exception of one small boy.
In a village full of selfish inhabitants, the idea that making stone soup would bring them all together might be hard to swallow...literally! With a few stones as the initial ingredients, three famished soldiers cleverly convince the villagers to contribute all of the items needed for a delicious pot of soup. In this spirited adaptation of the beloved folktale, preparing a simple pot of soup teaches the villagers that sharing brings happiness and celebration.
While Little Red Hen works to grow her wheat, the dog, the cat, and the duck are full of excuses not to help. With each step, Little Red Hen offers to share the wheat in exchange for assistance, but the fair-weather friends always have more pleasant things to do. Will this affect their chances for a delicious slice of bread?
Everyone enjoys a spirited competition, but when the challenger is a big-headed braggart, it's easy to cheer for the underdog - or in this case - the under-tortoise. The colorful characters in this retelling of Aesop's beloved fable will tickle the fancy of any child. The forest animals are beyond tired of Harry Hare's boasting. So what if he is the fastest animal in the forest?
Sometimes there is danger in being too friendly; as is the case with kind-hearted Little Red Riding Hood in this loveable rendition of a Brothers Grimm classic. Distracted by the Big Bad Wolf with a bouquet of lovely flowers, the kind-hearted little girl forgets her mother's instructions and strays from the path on the way to Grandmother's house. Little does she know, the crafty wolf has devised a wicked plan to arrive at her house first. Will Grandmother meet an unfortunate end?
Sometimes it is hard to comprehend why certain individuals choose to spread gossip about others. In this rendition of Aesop's timeless fable, the reason is crystal-clear: The lion is hungry and would do anything to have a delicious bull for dinner. Using malicious gossip, the sly fox helps the lion by separating the bulls for capture on the promise that he will receive his own tasty portion of the meal. Will the lion eat the bulls?
Individuals with a sunny attitude understand that the ending of one opportunity in life often opens the door for a new one. Carrying big loads of grain is easy for young donkeys, but what happens when they get too old to be of use? One old donkey takes off on a journey of rediscovery, picking up an old dog, cat, and rooster along the way. Intending to combine their musical talents to start a band, this lively crew finds another surprising way to benefit the community.
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" When a storm separates a young eagle from his family, he takes up residence with a group of chickens. Poking fun at his crooked beak, the way he flaps his wings, and his white feathered head, the eagle is ashamed and embarrassed. Soon, he discovers even more differences. Unlike the frightened chickens, he does not fear the sly fox. While the chickens are happy to live on the ground, he yearns to fly.
There is an old saying that states, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." Miller Elmo most certainly could have benefitted from this sage advice. His constant effort to please the local farmers grows into an obsession to satisfy everyone, which the miller unfortunately passes on to his son. The two learn the hard way what can come of always taking the advice of others instead of listening to your heart.
When Androcles’ enormous effort results in harsh punishment, he finally realizes the impossibility of satisfying his demanding slave master. Even though capture means his delivery to very hungry lions, Androcles escapes. When he comes across a wounded lion, he quickly and kindly offers aid. This results in a budding friendship between the pair until their unfortunate capture. What follows illuminates the significance of an act of kindness and gratitude for life and freedom.
Mom and Dad Fox try to set a healthy example for triplets Freddy, Fay, and Flip. Even though Mom cooks nutritious meals, Freddy prefers to stuff himself with sugary treats, and refuses to participate in healthy family exercise. One bad choice leads to another, and in spite of Dad and Mom's efforts, Freddy finds himself part of a crooked gang of foxes. When the leader recruits Freddy as a decoy to help him outwit a lion and a donkey, the plan backfires. Is Freddy too chubby to get away?
When an aging emperor begins the search for his successor, he wisely listens to an elderly advisor and creates a test to find a courageous boy of character and integrity. To choose a worthy successor, he gathers seven of the best students in the land and gives them each a seed to cultivate and return to the palace. Even with careful research and tending, Ming's seed does not grow. While many urge him to use another seed, he refuses to be dishonest.
While a little fun is essential for a happy life, wise individuals know that prosperity begins with hard work. Gary and the other grasshoppers want to play all day, and they cannot understand why the ants work so hard and miss all the fun. Alex and the ants know they must work during the spring to have food for the winter. Sure enough, when winter arrives early, the lazy grasshoppers have nothing to eat. Passage of a new law that requires the ants to share their food with the grasshoppers transforms the whole community into a fun-loving crowd.
Believing in a foolish superstition, Chicken Little is convinced that the sky is falling. In her distress, she convinces a number of other animal friends that this is indeed the case. One after another, the animals join Chicken Little, soon forming a frantic pack. Fortunately, Chippy Chipmunk steps in with wise intervention. What follows confirms the importance of critical thinking and the possible dangers of gullibility.