8.9/10
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28 user 9 critic
Trailer
0:41 | Trailer

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An old storyteller tells European folk tales to his sarcastic dog.

Creator:

Jim Henson
Reviews
Popularity
4,825 ( 543)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1989   1988   1987  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
John Hurt ...  The Storyteller 9 episodes, 1987-1988
Brian Henson ...  Storyteller's Dog / ... 9 episodes, 1987-1988
Frederick Warder ...  Giant / ... 3 episodes, 1987-1988
David Greenaway David Greenaway ...  Badger / ... 3 episodes, 1988
Robert Tygner Robert Tygner ...  Badger / ... 3 episodes, 1988
Alistair Fullarton Alistair Fullarton ...  Death / ... 3 episodes, 1988
Mak Wilson ...  Badger / ... 3 episodes, 1988
Diana Payan Diana Payan ...  Miller's Wife / ... 2 episodes, 1988
Robin Summers Robin Summers ...  Jailer / ... 2 episodes, 1987-1988
Michael Kilgarriff ...  Lion / ... 2 episodes, 1987-1988
Peter Marinker ...  Devil / ... 2 episodes, 1988
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Storyline

A variety of European folk tales are retold in nine new stories. A soldier captures Death in a magic sack. A fearless young man sets out to learn to shudder. A boy with a destiny that frightens a tyrant is sent on an impossible task that will see him wed the princess, or dead. A storyteller must spin tales to stay alive. A woman bears a hedgehog-child who grows up to live alone in a castle until he does a king a favor and gets the princess's hand in return. A princess must keep silent while she works to free her brothers from an evil spell. A princess runs away from wedding her father and disguises herself as an ugly forest creature. A young boy must overcome a heartless giant. A princess searches the earth for her stolen bridegroom. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jim Henson's The Storyteller See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(9 episodes) | (9 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir John Hurt loved working on this series, and wished it could've lasted for more than one season. See more »

Quotes

The Storyteller: [opening lines] When people told themselves their past with stories, explained their present with stories, foretold the future with stories, the best place by the fire was kept for... The Storyteller.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A surprisingly palatable tribute to stories.
23 February 2000 | by albertine simonetSee all my reviews

Despite its pedigree, the most interesting things about this series are not the animatronics or puppetry, which, while charming, are little more than sideshows, at least in the story I saw, A STORY SHORT. In fact, loathe though I am to admit it, the programme's chief pleasure lies in that most ancient art, storytelling.

John Hurt, in Rowley Birken QC-mode, grotesque, medieval make-up, relates a story about story telling, seated by the fire, accompanied by a cynical dog. One winter's day, starving and poor, he spots a fellow beggar thrown out of the Royal Kitchen by the nasty cook. The Story Teller tricks this latter into giving them an excellent soup. Furious, the Cook pleads with the King for permission to boil the villain, but, pleased with the Story Teller's wit, the monarch offers him a reprieve - for 100 nights, he must tell the King a new story: if he fails to do so, he will hand him over to the cook.

The story may be old, but it's told with great gusto. Anthony Minghella's script is excellently dramatic (as befits a playwright), witty, and with some disturbing concerns beneath the fun, such as fears for the self, or the culturally self-generating power of storytelling, linked to the continuation of ideological power. For a programme aimed at children, it is bracingly self-reflexive (with little nonsense about film being the new oral culture); despite the Americanised style, there is a charming sense of medieval bustle, its grotesqueness and arbitrary terror, as well as its magic and power.


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