- Actors: John Hurt
- Format: PAL, Colour, Mono, Full Screen
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- VHS Release Date: 13 Sept. 1999
- Run Time: 48 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00004CZCY
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,491 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Jim Henson's The Storyteller - Vol. 1 - Sapsorrow / The Luck Child  [VHS]
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The Storyteller (John Hurt) presents two classic folk tales from the comfort of his fireside. In 'The Luck Child', the birth of a child predicted to one day wear the crown results in the present, hard-hearted King seeking the child out in order to place it under his 'protection'. 'Sapsorrow' is the tale of a beautiful princess who flees her kingdom to escape an arranged marriage and disguises herself as an ugly crone. However, her less than lovely appearance results in the young prince she has now fallen in love with paying her no attention whatsoever.
One of Jim Henson's finest hours was the Storyteller television series that first aired in 1987. As with his other non-Muppet entertainments (Labyrinth), Henson fills the screen with wonderful creatures that have a wisp of a JRR Tolkien fantasy. The eight-part series was adapted from European folk tales by Anthony Minghella, who became an Oscar-winning filmmaker a decade later with The English Patient. Minghella weaves the narration of the storyteller (played with aplomb by John Hurt) with dialogue from the stories to beguiling effect; the storyteller doesn't simply introduce the tales (two episodes per video). "Sapsorrow" is a curious variation on the Cinderella legend. The second, "The Luck Child", is a brilliant short about a king bent on destroying a commoner boy after a wizard declares the boy will grow up to be king. The boy, known as the luck child ("the seventh son born of a seventh son on a week with two Fridays"), faces abduction, murder attempts, robbers, a man-eating griffin, and other obstacles. The fate of the king is one of those hooks that should have the kids smiling for days. Henson's work is true family entertainment (ages 6 and up) and at only 22 minutes per episode, it's the perfect companion for some fine entertainment around the TV. --Doug Thomas
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The scripts are brilliant, the acting is superb and Anthony Minghella is genius.
Extremely good. I highly recommend it for everyone, young or old
The main thing that strikes you is the amount of famous people in the cast, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Fench and Saunders, Jane Horrocks etc. Also of note is the writer of the series, Anthony Mingella, who went on to write and direct The English Patient and Cold Mountain.
The special effects look dated in places, but the whole program flows beautifully from beginning to end as the story weaves in and out of the Storyteller's place by the fire to fantasy castles and enchanted woods. Some stories are lighthearted, but many are quite dark, especially 'The Three Ravens' which is in the second volume. Buy both, if you love a good story and liked Henson films such as the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth then you will love these!
Each episode has a full range of Henson Creature Shop creations and characters played by famous names (including French and Saunders, Brenda Blethyn, Jane Horrocks, Sean Bean and Alun Armstrong).
This DVD is only the first five episodes but does include 'The Solider and Death' (the one with the little red devils) and 'The Luck Child' (the one with the griffin, "snoozy woozy").
If you like beautiful and scary stories, especially if you are a fan of Labyrinth or the Dark Cyrstal, you'll love this!
I can't wait for the second volume to come out.
These are not pretty, fluffy Disney fairytales. They have a darker streak (think Edward Scissorhands)
I remembered watching these on tv when I was in my early teens and they had me hooked and upon rewatching they still have that magic.
If you can find this title anywhere make sure you secure yourself a copy.
I like to rank my movies on a scale up to 100 and I don't rank something at 100 lightly. I can count the number of titles there on one hand.
I would rank this at 98-99 out of 100
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