Retro Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller

Nine gripping stories based on famous myths and legends (and starring Brenda Blethyn, Sean Bean, Miranda Richardson, Gabrielle Anwar, Michael Gambon, Jane Horrocks and Derek Jacobi) are presented here. John Hurt stars as the Storyteller, who, with help from his cynical dog, narrates these beautifully constructed fables that will entrance your entire family. Special effects come courtesy of the Jim Henson Creature Shop. – Netflix

Matt

9 out of 10

I was only 9 years old when this came out, and my family never had cable, so I missed this HBO series created by the genius Jim Henson, whose characters range from Sesame Street’s Big Bird to the iconic Kermit the Frog.

Henson could also take on some very ambitious projects, like the film “Labyrinth.” This show has loads of great production value with great talent, like the academy award nominated actor John Hurt, who plays the narrating storyteller. The puppetry is amazing, as are the sets, design, directing and even costumes.

But what truly sets this Emmy Award-winning series apart is the phenomenal stories that were chosen for this nine-part season. These are dark fairy tales, as they were meant to be. There is no Disney shine put on these stories. They are mean, gloomy and visceral at times. However, they are also smart, funny, and extremely engaging. Most of the stories chosen to be recreated in the series are obscure to Westerners. I only knew one of the stories.

This series is available for instant streaming on Netflix, and I highly recommend checking it out. Not friendly for very young viewers. I’d say 10 and up should be fine.

Enjoy this sample from Jim Henson’s The Storyteller:

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