Fantastical and beautiful set designs and visual delights, made all the more fascinating by the minimal use of CG. Several times throughout the film, the viewer can't help but think that this is exactly what Tim Burton must be consistently failing to achieve. Monsters roam the fields, but some lurk even closer in human clothing. Although there is magic afoot and characters don't bat an eye at an invocation to hunt down a leviathan, what roots the stories are cautionary tales of human greed and what we lose when a love of self overpowers all else.
Director Matteo Garrone plays with reality and illusion, eschewing CG for practical effects (as in the case of an unusual household pet), as well as choosing to shoot on location but pinpointing these locales precisely because they look like sets. Cinematographer Peter Suschitzky (known for The Empire Strikes Back, among others) lends an eye to create a pastiche of characters filmed in pastoral effect, allowing the movie to indulge in striking images.
The three stories are more thematically connected than narratively, but although there's plenty of schadenfreude to drench in, there's unfortunately little to take away morally. However, Tale of Tales does admittedly better than any of the bland fairy tale rehashes that have been attempted in recent years.