Jim Henson’s The Storyteller

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller (1987)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: John Hurt, Miranda Richardson, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce

Jim Henson has been an incredible storyteller, as we all know, and his colorful rich fantasies have truly enriched my life and that of many others. The man who is probably best know for inventing the Muppets and Sesame Street with his partner Frank Oz, always had a fascination for fairy tales and ’The Storyteller’ is his tribute to these childhood stories. In nine episodes produced for television, Henson took some of the most famous and beloved classic European fairy tales and brought them to the screen with his unique signature. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is now bringing all nine episodes to DVD on this anticipated release of ’Jim Henson’s The Storyteller.’

In order to bring these stories to life, Jim Henson not only used his famous puppetry, but also the latent of may great actor and actresses for these episodes. John Hurt is the titular storyteller in a recurring role to introduce every one of the episodes. But also stars such as Miranda Richardson, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce, and many others make their appearances in these little vignettes that are full of heart and charme.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is presenting ’The Storyteller’ in its original fullframe aspect ratio on this release. The transfer is generally good, but occasionally the graininess of the material gets in the way of the presentation. Especially the introductory scenes with John Hurt seems to hurt from excessive grain and noise, as well as occasional color bleeding, as if they came from a low definition source. The actual episodes themselves are typically very well rendered without notable flaws.

The audio on the DVD is a stereo Dolby Digital track. It is clean and clear and is without noticeable limitations. Frequency response and dynamic range are good, making for a solid presentation that is always pleasing. No extras are included on this release.

’Jim Henson’s The Storyteller’ is making a good debut on DVD. It would have been great if this release had come with some supplements and behind the scenes extras, but for the time being I am very happy to at least own these episodes on DVD. It may not be as glorious as I had always hoped but at least the DVD release offers a solid presentation. The episodes themselves speak for themselves as they have been created with love and atmosphere, making them some of the most charming fairy tale adaptations to date.