Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Jim Henson's The Storyteller The Complete Collection|
Actors: John Hurt, Brian Henson, Frederick Warder, David Greenaway, Robert Tygner
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television
Henson fills the screen with wonderful creatures that have a wisp of J.R.R. Tolkein fantasy. Directed by Anthony Minghella (The English Patient), he takes us through the fantasy of recognizable European folk/fairy tales w... more »
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Fairy tales will never be the same
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 06/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm amazed that this series has gotten so little attention. This is Jim Henson and crew at their best, making fun of the lines between fantasy and reality, costume and puppetry, and new storytelling and old stories.
All of these short pieces were unfamiliar to me, at least in part. 'Sapsorrow' turned out to contain a story I knew, or thought I did. Part of the reason these fairy tales were unfamiliar was their authenticity. These stories were originally meant for adults. They had hard, dark edges, and were not the vapid Disneyfied versions that most people know.
Lots of kids will like these stories as much as adults do, but this may be too much for younger children. This isn't Sesame Street - it's one of the dark alleys off to the side.
The narrator is one of the unexpected treats on this disk. He opens and closes each short story, talking to his dog on a fire-lit night. The narration is a treat, too. It has a wonderful rolling cadence, too musical for regular speech but too prosaic to be a chant. It may give you some idea what the old epic poems must have sounded like in their original settings.
This is for anyone who likes fantasy, who likes a rich visual experience. You just have to see it for yourself - written words can't begin to give the experience you'll find in this collection.
"Real" fairy & folk tales that may scare your youngest kids
bensmomma | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 01/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My 9-year-old and I are thoroughly enjoying these half-hour films from the old HBO series (which I had not seen before). Each story is based on some old, mostly European, folk tales - the "real" kind with mayhem, a bit of violence, and some sad endings, not the Disney kind. Thus, you may find them a tad upsetting for younger kids who have been raised to expect happy endings. For example, in "The Heartless Giant," an imprisoned Giant lies to a young prince to effect his escape, and meets a sad end at the hand of the prince's brothers. In "The Soldier and Death," a generous soldier receives a magic bag and uses it to imprison Death himself (a very scary-looking guy). Despite dominion over Death the soldier is unhappy by the end.So, these are stories with an almost adult level of sophistication. The production values are wonderful and the performances steller (I especially like John Hurd as the Storyteller character, who appears in all the episodes).BUT - watch the episodes first to make sure your own young ones won't be overwhelmed. My 9-year-old is just barely old enough. My 5-year-old: not yet."
Henson and his stories
Jason Miscia | Bristol, RI United States | 02/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I will warn you and say I'm a bit biased because I am a Jim Henson fanatic (Muppets, Fraggles, etc). And when I saw this DVD I flipped out. This is one of the best purchases I've made in awhile. The Storyteller Collection is great for 3 reasons. The first- It is some of Jim Henson's best work. The Henson Creature Shop succeeds in bringing fantastic characters to life, such as the Griffon (The Luck Child) and the Grovelhog (Hans My Hedgehog). Second- John Hurt is wonderful as the Storyteller, and his cranky dog is great . Third- These are actual fairy tales, meaning that they aren't all happy endings, yet all are beautiful stories. So if you are thinking of getting this for kids you may want to watch them first. But the bottom line is that this is a fantastic DVD collection and a must have for any fans of Jim Henson or of fairy tales."
A great production
Norliza Ismail | Seria, Kuala Belait Brunei Darussalam | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Jim Henson productions brought life to the 9 ancient stories into your viewing pleasure in the comforts of your home. Perfect for kids all ages up to adults in the household.
I remember waking up early in the mornings when I was a kid just to watch the Storyteller (John Hurt), telling his stories to me through the television by his fireplace and his silly talking dog. Thanks to Jim Henson,he has managed to capture my imaginations by retelling these stories through his special gentle creative touch.
Creatures such as the Grim Reaper, Lion, Hans the Hedgehog, devils and more within the stories represented professionally with Jim Henson's puppets, bringing actual life into the stories, in his own speacial way.
This DVD contained nine episodes that last for about 216 minutes, and is being shown in full screen. Stories featured are
1) Hans My Hedgehog
- A story about a child who was born as a Hedgehog, with his father loathing him and the whole town treating him badly while he grew up. He then decided to ran away on his rooster and a few animals with him. He lived farway in the castle where a king, who was lost, found his way there, twenty years later, and helped him back to his kingdom. As a reward, Hans wants whatever came to greet him first. Unfortunately for the king, his daughter greeted him first
2) The Heartless Giant
- A tale about a young prince who released a heartless giant, who was being prisoned in the king's dungeon, in result unleashing terror across the land. The young prince became a servant to the giant so he could find his hidden heart.
3) The Three Ravens
- An evil witch charmed her way to marry a widowed king and decided to get rid of his children who were on her way to full power. She discovered the place where the king hide his children from her and turned his sons into ravens. The princess however save decided to not speak for 3 years, 3 months and 3 days, to break their step mother's spell. One day she met a prince, only to know her step-mother has became his stepmother. Giving her grieves all the way, tempting her to talk.
4)The True Bride
- About a girl who was adopted by an abusive troll, who made her do the impossible chores, and helped released by a magical while lion. When her love didn't returned after a trip, she found out the troll's daughter ha sput a spell on him.
5) The Soldier & Death
- Returning form a war, a soldier trades his last biscuit with a magical sack, where whatever he summoned, have no choice but to abide and get in the sack. He trapped devils and death himself.
- A tale of a young man who's name is FearNot, who searched for the ability to feel fear, what he was lacked of. Nothing scares him, even monsters and ghosts don't even make him shudder.
7) A Story Short
- The storyteller talking about himself living in his younger days when he was serving the king with his stories, as a punishment for bamboozling the royal cook out for a free meal.
8) The Luck Child
- News come to the king, that a luck boy has been borned to take over his kingdom. In fear, he set out to kill this baby only to find out he grew up under a childless couple who raised him as their own. The king send him off to the castle, with a letter ordering his queen to kill the young man off.
- The king was lonely and wish to remarried, offers a ring to any woman in the land, of whoever fit it must marry him. Unexpected results, one of his 3 daughters' fingers fit and as the law he had set, he had to married her."