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Jim Henson's The Storyteller (DVD)

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      04.02.2009 16:54
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      Pure magic...everyone loves a good puppet griffin!

      This scared the pants of my sister and I as children, and today...I love it!

      With the wonderful John Hurt cast as the storyteller, each episode tells (or sometimes retells) a fairytale, some of which may seem very familiar. See new versions of Beauty and the Beast in 'Hans my Hedgehog', Cinderella in 'Sapsorrow', and even more distant, and largely unknown, the 'Three Ravens' is a very distant variation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

      Many of the characters are brought to life again with Jim Henson's distinctive puppet masterpieces, including a rather endearing Griffin, some nasty little devils, and the melancholy Hans my Hedgehog himself. In many ways this series was a moving collage as the Story Teller watched the walls of his gloomy castle dwelling come to life with images from the tales, as well as scenes happing in the face place, the dogs bowl, or even on a china plate!

      A little note about the dog; (ably voiced by Brian Henson, best known as the voice of Labyrinths 'Hoggle') I find that most people find him and irritating and a pointless tool of the stories, but I for one love the dog and thought he made a marvellous sarcastic character who played off wonderfully against the worldly and loveably story teller himself.


      This wonderful and what I believe a very underappreciated series is studded by many stars at the very beginnings of their careers including Sean Bean, Jane Horrocks, and Miranda Richardson, to name a few. See how many you can spot!
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      I was disappointed when I watched the Story Tellers' Greek Myths, mostly because John Hurt had been replaced! Although Michael Gambon was a convincing storyteller, I believe many fans were too entranced by John Hurt to listen to anyone else.

      Although the original series was quite dark (as the best fairy tales always are) I found the Greek myths all quite depressing, with only one having a happy ending (I shan't tell you which, wouldn't want to spoil it!)

      I think that under other circumstances the Jim Henson Company could have done a better job with these, but they did not need to be associated with the story teller we already knew and loved!

      I would recommend this on an educational basis only; it's a good way to get your kids into the myths...but I'd still prefer Jason and the Argonaughts!

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