The Princess and the Pea (Faerie Tale Theatre episode)

The Princess and the Pea (Faerie Tale Theatre episode)

Infobox Television episode

Title=The Princess and the Pea
Series=Faerie Tale Theatre
Airdate=April 16 1984
Writer=Rod Ash
Mark Curtis
Director=Tony Bill
Prev=Goldilocks and the Three Bears

"The Princess and the Pea" (1984) is the 10th episode of the television anthology "Faerie Tale Theatre" hosted by Shelley Duvall. The story is adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story of "The Princess and the Pea" and stars Liza Minnelli as the princess of the title, Tom Conti, Tim Kazurinsky, Beatrice Straight, Nancy Allen, and Pat McCormick.

This interpretation of "The Princess and the Pea" is notable in that it is one of few modern fairy tale adaptations where the prince is not typically "charming"," but is instead a scatterbrained fool. Additionally, the plot about the pea test is depicted not as an obligation of a princess to prove her worth, but instead an impossible test set by the queen to prevent the princess from marrying the prince.


Prince Richard (played by Conti), the only son of Queen Veronica (played by Straight) and King Fredericko (played by McCormick) in a small kingdom, is bored with his life. He decides that what he needs is something to love, and his companion, The Fool (played by Kazurinsky), suggests that he get married. After bringing the suggestion to his mother, Queen Veronica lists all the available princesses from nearby kingdoms and arranges for them to arrive at the castle for interviews.

At this time, a cheerful young woman named Alecia (played by Minnelli) arrives at the castle seeking shelter from the rain and a place to rest her swollen ankle. Although Richard initially tries to shoo her away, Alecia's enthusiasm manages to secure her lodgings in his castle for a few days until her ankle heals. She mentions in passing that she is a princess, but Richard does not believe her.

The other princess candidates come and go, and Queen Veronica eventually decides that the best choice is Princess Elizabeth (played by Allen), an arrogant woman who hates Richard but showers flattery on his mother in order to gain her favor. Richard woes that his plan to find happiness has backfired and Alecia tries to cheer him up. As they talk, Richard realizes that Alecia is exactly what he has been looking for all this time.

Richard confronts his mother with his new choice, but Queen Veronica balks. She then sets up the impossible "princess" test of sleeping on twelve mattresses set on top of a tiny pea, confident that Alecia will fail to be sensitive enough to feel the pea. However, the next morning Alecia confesses that she could not sleep a wink the entire night because it felt like a huge boulder was underneath the mattresses. Richard is ecstatic, but Alecia is disappointed to learn that it was a test to prove her worth. Richard apologizes to Alecia, who counters with a "prince" test for him. When he passes it, the two get married.


ee also

*List of Faerie Tale Theatre episodes

External links

*imdb title|id=0197781|title=The Princess and the Pea

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