This 1954 puppet animated version of The operatic version of The Grim Brothers story was presented to moviegoers.
The story has Hansel & Gretel going to the woods at their mother's insistence to find strawberries for their dinner. While they are out their father (A broom maker and seller in this version) returns home with a bag full of food and a large amount of pay for his efforts.
This joyious success quickly turns to horror and anger when the old man finds out that the children are looking for strawberries in the evil forest of Illchenstein. The forrest of Illchenstein is the realm of Rosina Rubylips, the kid eating witch who kidnaps and turns children into gingerbread cookies and she eats them.
The two frightened parents go after their children. But, Rosina Rubylips is nobody's fool and she does imitataions of the children's voices to mislead the two adults and also have them lost in the woods.
Hansel & Gretel also lose their way in the woods and are put to sleep by Dozey The Singing Sandman. The next morning the two kids are lead into the witch's trap by her gingerbread house and her singing frogs. Hansel is trapped and placed in a cage, but Gretel saves him and herself by pushing the witch into her baking oven and she and her cat, Fearo, are turned into giant gingerbread cookies. The children that the witch had turned into gingerbread cookies are brought back to life and the parents find the kids and bring them home to safety.
This operatic version of the folk tale has also been seen on nationally syndicated tv since the 1960's. WPIX TV Ch.11 in NYC has shown the film. The Paul Ashley Puppets has provided extra opening narrations and intros for the tv screening of the film.