iBook Review: The Unwanted Guest by Moving Tales Reviewed by Guy Dayen
After the rousing success of "The Pedlar Lady", Moving Tales is back with a second installment in their Classic World Tales series; this one called "The Unwanted Guest". This second effort is as beautiful and moving as the first. Anyone who enjoys this type of gentle story will find this tale a wonderful addition to their library.
The story, inspired by a traditional Jewish folk tale and adapted by Jacqueline O. Rogers, tells of an old man who finds himself, in the twilight of his years, rather down on his luck. His house is slowly falling in disrepair and he has been forced to sell off most of his possessions. One day, the old man finds that Poverty has come to his house, and Poverty is not one to go away easily. Rather, Poverty grows and grows, and soon takes over the old man's house. This inspirational tale tells of the old man's resolve against this unwanted guest. It is a story that can be enjoyed by all, young and old, as it speaks to the small voice in all of us that the things we have and hold dear are transient, and could easily disappear one day. In these challenging economic times, the tale resonates even more, and teaches us a valuable lesson about how we can deal with the hand that Fate deals us. To say more would spoil the lyrical beauty of the story. It is to be discovered and savored by one?s self, or with a loved one.
The animation in the story is very reminiscent of ?The Pedlar Lady?. This is a good thing, as that first story set a truly lofty standard for animated story-telling on the iPad/ iPhone platform. Everything is beautifully rendered, and the animation is extremely fluid. There is an extended sequence at the high point of the story that is just incredible; it is as visually impressive as anything Hollywood is putting out these days.
The narration in "The Unwanted Guest" is excellent, and is perfectly suited to the tone of the story. The narrator?s voice is very pleasant, and his reading of the tale is spot on. The story comes alive, and we really feel the emotions of the old man as he deals with the hardships of his destitution. There is a setting to change languages, and you can read and listen to the story in Spanish and in French as well as English. If you wish, you can also make your own recording of the tale, so that your little ones can hear your own voice as they fall asleep. Beautiful violin music accompanies the story; it is very moving, and carries you right along as it ebbs and swells on its way to the climax of the story. Based on traditional Finnish folk music, it is a perfect accompaniment to the visuals, and supports the story beautifully.
Although ?The Unwanted Guest? is a bit longer than ?The Pedlar Lady?, it is over very quickly. The animation and music are so beautiful that you just want more, and the story could have been fleshed out a bit more. If you like the interactions in ?The Pedlar Lady? - we certainly did, you'd wish there were more of them in Unwanted Guest as they really added an extra dimension to the story, and were a wonderful way to involve younger readers in the story.
I heartily recommend ?The Unwanted Guest?. The care and quality put into this second effort by Moving Tales is evident throughout, and you will find yourself coming back to this simple story repeatedly, or pulling out your device to show your friends and family the incredible things that can be done for the ever more popular iOS platform. I?m really looking forward to the next installments of Classic World Tales, which will be coming to your iPad or iPhone soon!