‘The Emperor’s Newest Clothes’ coming on 15 November on HBO

HBO is all set to air a new animated retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fable, The Emperor’s Newest Clothes on 15 November.

Written and produced by Sheila Nevins and directed by Simón Wilches-Castro, The Emperor’s Newest Clothes is a colorful and musical makeover of the tale. The whimsical 2D short was animated at Starburns Industries and features the voices of Alan Alda and Jeff Daniels alongside Alison Pill with original songs by Tony Award-winning composer William Finn.

Running 30 minutes, The Emperor’s Newest Clothes is set in an old kingdom where a great Emperor decides everything. Whether he tells villagers it’s sunny when it’s raining, or it’s raining when it’s sunny, the Emperor is the only arbiter who matters. Fearful of losing their jobs, the Emperor’s closest confidantes, Syco- the Jester and Phantic- the Advisor continually praise his decisions, however foolish.

When the Emperor declares a holiday celebrating himself, he orders Syco to round up the world’s greatest tailors to choose who might make him the “most beautiful, most exquisite” outfit ever and hires who promise to make the most elegant outfit that’s ever been made.

The tailors being con men presents an empty metal mannequin stand as real clothes which are so beautifully crafted that it’s imperceptible to naked eyes. Afraid to inform the Emperor about it, Syco and Phantic tell the increasingly impatient Emperor that the outfit is glorious and will be perfect.

Finally, the tailors are ‘finished’ and inspite of being skeptical in his heart, the Emperor ends up believing that he’s wearing the finest frock the world has ever seen. On the day of the parade, the Emperor marches before his subjects wearing only his underwear! The townsfolk hesitantly go along with the pretense, fearing the wrath of the Emperor but Thomasina, a perky young girl in the crowd who is too smart to join her elders in praising something that is not there, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all! It took a child to reveal the truth that no one else was willing to say out loud!