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The Storyteller (TV Series 1987– ) Poster

(1987– )

Trivia

It took Anthony Minghella two years to research, write and perfect the nine screenplays for this series.
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Jim Henson hadn't actually thought of having the Storyteller's Dog talk, but Anthony Minghella assumed from the outline that since this was a Henson project, any animals would talk, and thus the Storyteller had a talking dog.
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Lisa Henson had taken a course in folklore as an undergraduate at Harvard and suggested to her father Jim Henson that he could use his Creature Shop to accurately realize these tales and exploit the visual aspects of the stories.
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The number "3" features in every episode of the series:
  • The Soldier and Death - The Soldier helps 3 beggars and is rewarded each time. He also captures 3 geese the first time he uses the magic sack and later has of a family of 3 (wife, son, and Soldier).


  • Fearnot - Fearnot comes from a family of 3 (father, brother and Fearnot) and was tricked by 3 bullies early in the story. It takes 3 encounters before he finally learns how to shudder (encountering the swamp creature, the half-demon in the castle, and the thought of losing his sweetheart).


  • The Luck Child - Lucky survives 3 attempts on his life by the wicked King (thrown over a cliff, sent to the castle with a letter instructing the queen to kill him, and being sent to the Griffin's lair).


  • A Story Short - The Storyteller loses to the Beggar 3 times while playing dice. He loses his money, his wife and his own self.


  • Hans My Hedgehog - The Princess, after marrying the Grovelhog, learns he sheds his quills each night and she has to keep it a secret for 3 nights in order to break the curse. When she fails and he runs away, she searches the world and wears out 3 pairs of iron shoes in the process.


  • The Three Ravens - After the Princess's 3 brothers are transformed into ravens, she has to keep silent for 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days to break the curse. She also gives birth to 3 sons after marrying the Prince, and speaks 3 minutes before noon (happening to call out 3 times) on the appointed day.


  • Sapsorrow - Youngest of 3 daughters, Sapsorrow commissions the making of 3 dresses to stall the arranged marriage with her father. She then wears those 3 dresses on 3 different nights to woo the Prince.


  • The Heartless Giant - Youngest of 3 princes, Leo tries to find the Heartless Giant that he released. On the way, he helps 3 animals (bird, fish and wolf) who later aid him. When Leo tries to find where the Giant's heart is hidden, he finds out on the third try.


  • The True Bride - Anja completes 3 tasks given to her by the troll (with the help of the Thought Lion). The Lion also gives her 3 walnuts with gifts hidden inside to barter with the Trollop.


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Jim Henson originally wanted the storyteller to be a puppet. 'Ron Mueck even designed and built a puppet head to try out this concept.
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Steve Barron was selected to direct the pilot, "Hans My Hedeghog'. Jim Henson was already familiar with his work because Barron directed two music videos for Labyrinth (1986). Barron persuaded Henson to shoot the series on 35mm film rather than video and developed it's unique visual style. All subsequent directors were told to absorb this style before directing their own installments. Series writer Anthony Minghella even incorporated Barron's use of silhouettes years later when he directed The English Patient (1996).
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John Hurt loved working on this series, and wished it could've lasted for more than one season.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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