“Kopfkino: A Hare, a Hedgehog, and a Doof” is the latest Adventures in Odyssey Club exclusive episode, which was released this month. I have a few thoughts on it.

We first learned about this episode when it was announced in December 2020 on the latest Team Q&A session on the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast. In it, Dave Arnold said that it was going to be similar to the episode “Rumpelstiltskin: A Wee Little Tale”. I was quite excited when I heard this. I had liked Rumpelstiltskin; in fact, I have listened to it several times and I consider it to be one of the best Club exclusive episodes. Naturally, I was thrilled that there would be another episode like it.
I later learned that the release date would be February 2021.

This was a remotely recorded episode. The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast recently released a behind-the-scenes interview with Dave Arnold and Phil Lollar about this episode. They talk about how this episode as written to accommodate remote recordings. Dave Arnold had already had an idea for another fairy tale story, so he wrote up this episode. As with all the other episodes, I can’t even tell it was remotely recorded.

February came and I listened to the episode as soon as I could. Here I’ll be reviewing it. I have a few things to say about it, as well as how it compares to the Rumpelstiltskin episode.

First of all, let’s talk about the two stories by Grimm Brothers that this episode dramatized. The Hare and the Hedgehog and The Three Languages. I found it interesting they they used these two lesser known stories of the Grimm Brothers. Although I am familiar with the works of the Grimm Brothers, I had never heard of these particular stories, so I looked them up. When I read them, I thought that they would be pretty gory and dark like the other stories from the Brothers Grimm. However, I was surprised. These two stories did not have anything very nasty in them, so the episode was able to stick to them pretty well.
The only change made in the The Hare and the Hedgehog was that in the original story, the Hare did indeed perish during the 74th race. In the episode, he was eaten by a hunter named Revenge. Besides that change, the story is the same.
In original story of The Three Languages, the main difference is that the count arranged to have his son murdered after the boy failed the third school (don’t worry, the people he hired were sympathetic to the boy and let him go). In the episode, it was changed so that Doof was just kicked out of the house. Also, Doof becomes pastor of a church in the episode, not the Pope.
Yes, Dave Arnold cleaned up the original stories, but besides the slight changes, they were pretty much the same. For some reason, after listening to the podcast interview I got the impression that he had to do some deep cleaning and that he had to change a lot of stuff. But maybe I misunderstood him.

Now, to the actual episode. It was good to hear from Wilhelm Holstein again. But I hope that he appears outside of Kids’ Radio in a regular episode at some point. I would love to see him running his brother’s bookstore in a future episode.

The first story Holstein starts with is the Hare and the Hedgehog. When I was listening for the first time, I thought it would be an exact copy of the story by Aesop, The Tortoise and the Hare. Both stories start do pretty similarly, with a Hare criticizing an animal for being slower than himself, and then agreeing to a race. However, my theory of it being identical was quickly proven wrong. The difference started to show when the Hedgehog (whose name is Scruffy) goes home and talks to his wife. The two of them devise a plan to beat the Hare. This quote made me laugh:

“Who knew that hedgehogs were such connivers?”

“Actually, we’re not connivers; we eat plants.”

Wilhelm Holstein and Scruffy’s wife

I was completely in the dark and was surprised by their plan. As was the Hare when he finds out about it by talking to the narrator. Those Hare jokes were pretty funny, too.

Speaking of the Hare, but I found the insults that he was giving the Hedgehog throughout the story to be pretty rude. He criticizes Scruffy’s intelligence, speed, and his measurements of time. I suppose that was the idea, but I still think those insults were a bit too cruel for an Odyssey episode. Maybe it was just me.

I liked the ending, though. The Hare is on his way to get back at the Hedgehogs for their deception but is eaten by a hunter named Revenge. It really puts a whole new meaning to “Avoid revenge, or it will eat you up”.

Mr. Holstein then moves on to the second story: The Three Languages. I honestly don’t have too much to say about it. It had its funny parts. I especially liked the voice Phil Lollar did for Doof’s father. In the Official Podcast interview, he said that he based it off of Jim Backus. I’m pretty sure he has used this voice in Odyssey episodes in the past, but I can’t remember which ones.

The scene where Doof talks to the dogs and brings back the gold was interesting. And I found it funny how he just walks off after he gives it to the innkeeper. The part where he is ordained the pastor of the church was interesting. I just found it strange that the two men decided that the fact Doof could talk to the birds (from the sounds they made, I assume they were pigeons) proved that he was most qualified to be the new pastor.

Apart from these points, there wasn’t much in the second segment that I found very remarkable, apart from saying that I wish I could talk to frogs, dogs, and birds. Personally, I found myself drawn into the first story more than I was this second story.

I found the moral was a bit confusing. For The Hare and the Hedgehog, the morals are pretty clear: Don’t deceive others, do not make fun of another man, and avoid getting revenge. For The Three Languages it was that God uses people we wouldn’t expect to accomplish His purposes. But at the end, when Chris does her wrap-up, she basically just says to read parables in the Bible and pick out the morals. I think it would have helped if they had used a common moral in both stories to tie them together.

Was it better than “Rumpelstiltskin: A Wee Little Tale”? I would say no. The biggest difference is that “Kopfkino” has two separate stories, while the former has only one story. Splitting the episode into two sperate stories without a common moral kind of confused me. I would have rather had this episode have one story (perhaps an extended version of The Hare and the Hedgehog).

I’ll close by mentioning the episode artwork. Each and every Club-exclusive episode has featured artwork. It’s pretty fun to see the artwork and then listen to the episode and hear the scene that was drawn. This month’s artwork is quite historical because it is the first one to feature only animals. The hare and the hedgehog. There are no humans in this picture. Just a rabbit and a hedgehog wearing clothes. I found that a bit odd. But hey, I think it looks good!

Overall, I would say that this episode was good. However, due to there not being one cohesive story and the lack of a common theme in the two stories, I do not think it was as good as Rumpelstiltskin. My final rating is 3 out of 5 stars.

Whew! That was a lot. Thank you for reading! I’d like to hear your thoughts on this episode. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Be sure to leave a comment! In the near future, I will be posting about things other than episode reviews.

-Signed, Polehaus53
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