Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree: The Animated Film Narrated by Shel Himself (1973)

Back in 1964, Shel Silverstein wrote The Giving Tree, a widely loved children’s book now translated into more than 30 languages. It’s a story about the human condition, about giving and receiving, using and getting used, neediness and greediness, although many finer points of the story are open to interpretation. Today, we’re rewinding the videotape to 1973, when Silverstein’s little book was turned into a 10 minute animated film (now added to our free movie collection). Silverstein narrates the story himself and also plays the harmonica…. which brings us to his musical talents. Don’t miss Silverstein, also a well known songwriter, appearing on The Johnny Cash Show in 1970, and the two singing “A Boy Named Sue.” Silverstein wrote the song, and Cash made it famous. Thanks to Mark, co-editor of the philosophy blog/podcast The Partially Examined Life for sending these along.

Related Content:

Shel Silverstein Reads His Poem ‘Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too’ in Animated Video

Studs Terkel Interviews Bob Dylan, Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou & More in New Audio Trove



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  1. sandra coan says . . . | February 28, 2011 / 12:24 pm

    I would like to access movies and books for my classroom

  2. carolina says . . . | March 10, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    I had no idea this existed! What a great walk down memory lane…

    This Shel Silverstein classic has always been one of my favorites for children. It’s a great book for parents to read with kids, and I’ve always been a fan of realistic, albeit sad, endings, even when my parents read this to me as a child.

    This is one of the reasons I added it to my top 5 kids’ books list. For more great suggestions of books for kids to read with their parents, check it out: http://www.best5everything.com/best5ListPages/childrensbooks48645.php

  3. Aborn says . . . | March 18, 2012 / 2:23 pm

    This is so beautiful. A wonderful way to see both perspectives of what each one needs. I linked this page to my page facebook.com/humaneudaimonia another great post on humans living thriving. (trees too!)

  4. Jackie says . . . | March 26, 2013 / 9:38 am

    So glad you shared this, hadn’t seen it before or read the book. I will go get the book to add to my collection. Thanks

  5. Angela says . . . | May 27, 2013 / 12:43 am

    So that’s what Ryan Gosling’s tattoo is all about…

  6. Jasmyn says . . . | July 15, 2013 / 10:08 pm

    One of my all-time favorite books :)

  7. Joyce says . . . | February 6, 2014 / 3:22 am

    This book really touches me every time I read it. Watching this animation makes me go back to the time when I was a little girl ,still asking for bedtime stories every night.

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