DVD Review: Stories Of The Baal Shem Tov

stories of the baal shem tov

Stories Of The Baal Shem Tov (Master of a Good Name) was directed by Tawd B. Dorenfeld and features the voices talents of Roseanne Barr, Mayim Bialik, DuDu Fisher, Natan Halevy, Adam Kantor and Pesach Betzalel Fleishman as the Baal Shem Tov.

Follow the Baal Shem Tov on a journey through Eastern Europe during the 17th century, as he changes the soured face of Judaism into a celebration of life. In this collection of vignettes from tales by the Baal Shem Tov, we visit poor Jewish families who find hope in their spirituality … not because of their religious acts, but because of their human kindness. This beautifully hand crafted stop motion feature brings these tales for families of all creeds to enjoy for the first time.

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The Baal Shem Tov represents “the untold story of Judaism” and features inspirational tales of kindness. It’s the wise old Baal Shem Tov who offers his advice, leadership and knowledge to different men that end up following his directions with random acts of kindness to others in need. The Shepherd’s Song, Yaakov and Eliyahu, Esrog and The Siddur are all different stories of hope, faith and miracles with uplifted spirits as the end result. Simply put, it’s all about doing random acts of kindness for those in need.

The stories of faith included in this feature were all interesting and educational and even though it’s all geared towards the Jewish faith, people of any faith and all walks of life can watch it and get a positive message from it. The stop-motion animation is impressive, especially after watching the behind-the-scenes featurette that showed how some of it was created and the extensive time it took them to create it all. It’s not the best looking stop-motion but it gets the message across in a fun and positive way. The feature also has a talented voice cast that includes a few names that just about everybody should recognize.

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The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes details about the Baal Shem Tov, some images and list of special features. The DVD disc also features some artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good.

Bottom line is, Stories of the Baal Shem Tov ended up being a fun stop-motion animated feature that delivers a strong message about faith, doing acts of kindness and the rewards that follow. Never do an act of kindness just to get a reward! Honestly, the way our world is falling into darkness in such a rapid pace, we need all the positive releases like this that we can get to help make it a brighter and happier place – our children are going to need all the help they can get! It’s definitely not the best stop-motion but it something the younger audience will easily enjoy and it’s also one that the entire family can sit down and watch together. This DVD is available now and is worth a watch.

Distributor: Video Services Corp

Run Time: 80 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation Region 1

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: 

  • A Psalm by David with Rosanne Barr (00:34)
  • Behind-the-Scenes featurette (11:54)
  • Trailer (02:14)
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