Chris's Reviews > Jim Henson's "The Storyteller"

Jim Henson's "The Storyteller" by Anthony Minghella
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If you are of a certain age, you worship Jim Henson. You may not know it, but you do. Maybe The Muppets converted you (Miss Piggy, after all, taught Yoda), maybe it was Labrinyth (ah, David Bowie) or maybe, just maybe, it was The Storyteller.

Henson's Storyteller series appeared on both boardcast tv and HBO. There were two seasons. The first made up of European fairy tales and starring Sean Bean, Gaberielle Anwar, and John Hurt. The second made up of Greek myths, starring John Hurt and Gina Bellman. This collection is the stories from the first season, the European Fairy Tales.

The series is very good. It involes the Storyteller telling stories to his dog. For years, I knew that the Storyteller was also the voice of Strider in the animated LOTR. Then I watched I, Claudius, and there was the Storyteller as Caliguia, prancing around.

Very strange.

The late Anthony Minghella who scripted many of the episodes wrote this collection. While there several passages taken directly from the series (and if you have seen the series, John Hurt reads the tales in your head), there are several additional passages that flesh out more from the series.

One of the good things the series had going for it was the fact that Henson and Minghella did not try to hide the darker edges of the fairy tales. It is true, they soften "Sapsorrow" (thier version of "Donkeyskin")to a degree, but then there is the Oscar Wilde inspired "Heartless Giant" whose ending is not softened.

While the collection is not a feminist collection, two of the tales have princesses rescuing princes. Instead of a traditional "Cinderella", the "Donkeyskin" variaent is used. This is a "Cinderella" crossed to a degree with "Beauty and the Beast" except the beast is female. There is a more traditional version of "Beauty and the Beast" as well with "Hans, My Hedgehog".

The art work is clearly inspired by the creature of Henson's puppet shop and clearly reflects the design of the series.

All in all, this is a good collection and a good companion book.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Chris Him and Frank Oz. I want to go New York and see the pipe artwork that they did before the Muppet show.

message 2: by Manny (new)

Manny What an amazingly informative review. Thank you!

Chris Thank you.

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