tonies® Favorite Tales -- John Henry and Other Stories

Tonies Favorite Tales -- African American Tales.

1. John Henry -- Told by Denzel Washington with Music by B. B. King

This is a larger-than-life tale about the African American Hero who was born with a hammer in his hand. Join John Henry on a scenic journey from cotton country to the wilderness, where he finds men of all colors working together to build a great railroad. In no time, John Henry becomes king of the railroad camps by driving more steel than any many alive. And, in an exciting contest that pits man against machine, he single-handedly outperforms a newfangled steam drill. This rousing tales delivers an inspirational message about pride and perseverance.

2. Follow the Drinking Gourd -- Told by Morgan Freeman with Music by Taj Mahal

Based on the traditional American folk song, this compelling tale recounts the daring adventures of one family's escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad. This touching story captures all the drama of a perilous flight to freedom.

3. How the Leopard Got His Spots -- Told by Danny Glover with Music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

In the yellow hues of the African plains, hunting was easy for the leopard, whose light coat served as camouflage, When all the animals moved away, the hungry leopard had to follow them to the striped, splotchy, spotted forest. But he didn't stand a chance of survival unless, of course, he acquired spots himself. Rich in language and subtle humor, this inspired adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling classic comes to alive with the gentle sounds of South African a cappella harmonies.

4. Koi and the Kola Nuts -- Told by Whoopi Goldberg with Music by Herbie Hancock

In this humorous African folktale, Koi wants the villagers to honor him as befits the son of a chief. But, unless he can accomplish three impossible tasks, he will end up in the cooking pot instead. His problems begin with a scrawny kola tree, and they end when three unlikely new friends -- a snake, an ant, and an alligator -- save his life and help him find his rightful place in the world. This powerful adaptation captures the rich textures and folk imagery of African culture.

Running Time: approx. 90 minutes

Recommended for ages 5+



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