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Jim Henson's The Storyteller - Greek Myths (1997)

Michael Gambon , Brian Henson  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Gambon, Brian Henson, David Greenaway
  • Writers: Anthony Minghella
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002J4X2U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,425 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jim Henson's The Storyteller - Greek Myths" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

One of Jim Henson's finest hours was the Storyteller series that aired on HBO in 1987. As with his other non-Muppet creations (Labyrinth), Henson fills the screen with wonderful creatures that have a wisp of a J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy. Half of the eight-part series was adapted from Greek myths by Anthony Minghella, who became an Oscar-winning filmmaker a decade later with The English Patient. Minghella weaves the narration of the storyteller (a sturdy and wonderful Michael Gambon, accompanied by a scene-stealing dog) with dialogue from the stories to beguiling effect.

By nature, the Greek myth episodes are a bit more mature and downbeat (ages 8 and older) than the rest of the series, yet give the audience lasting impressions of oft-quoted tales. In "Perseus and the Gorgon," King Argos locks away his wife when it is foretold his future son will kill him. Soon mother and son (Perseus, fathered by none other than Zeus) are washed ashore and another angry king looks to take away Perseus's mother. How can Perseus win the day? By killing the evil Gorgon whose snake-covered head includes eyes that turn humans into statues. Derek Jacobi stars as the brilliant Greek designer in the second tale, "Daedalus and Icarus." The father goes through many hardships, including the famous episode of his son flying too close to the sun. All is not well and does not end well. John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) directs the tale of "Theseus and the Minotaur." A young man reunites with his father, King Aegeus, but is cursed by his witch of a stepmother (literally). When Theseus tries to stop the regular sacrifice to the half-bull, half-man Minotaur, a new curse awaits the young prince. The magical musician Orpheus (Art Malik) finds his muse in "Orpheus and Eurydice." Unfortunately, she soon dies and goes to Hades where Orpheus follows, attempting to win her soul from the devil himself. --Doug Thomas

Product Description

One of Jim Henson's finest hours was the "Storyteller" series that aired on HBO in 1987. As with his other non-Muppet creations ("Labyrinth"), Henson fills the screen with wonderful creatures that have a wisp of a J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy. Half of the eight-part series was adapted from Greek myths by Anthony Minghella, who became an Oscar-winning filmmaker a decade later with "The English Patient". Minghella weaves the narration of the storyteller (a sturdy and wonderful Michael Gambon, accompanied by a scene-stealing dog) with dialogue from the stories to beguiling effect.\n By nature, the Greek myth episodes are a bit more mature and downbeat (ages 8 and older) than the rest of the series, yet give the audience lasting impressions of oft-quoted tales. In "Perseus and the Gorgon," King Argos locks away his wife when it is foretold his future son will kill him. Soon mother and son (Perseus, fathered by none other than Zeus) are washed ashore and another angry king looks to take away Perseus's mother. How can Perseus win the day? By killing the evil Gorgon whose snake-covered head includes eyes that turn humans into statues. Derek Jacobi stars as the brilliant Greek designer in the second tale, "Daedalus and Icarus." The father goes through many hardships, including the famous episode of his son flying too close to the sun. All is not well and does not end well. John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") directs the tale of "Theseus and the Minotaur." A young man reunites with his father, King Aegeus, but is cursed by his witch of a stepmother (literally). When Theseus tries to stop the regular sacrifice to the half-bull, half-man Minotaur, a new curse awaits the young prince. The magical musician Orpheus (Art Malik) finds his muse in "Orpheus and Eurydice." Unfortunately, she soon dies and goes to Hades where Orpheus follows, attempting to win her soul from the devil himself. "--Doug Thomas"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
138 of 138 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Last year, fans were thrilled to find Jim Henson's The Storyteller Collection on DVD for the first time featuring the fairy tales crafted for the series. Thanks to the success of that DVD, the Greek Myths are also being released this year. While the effects of the series are somewhat dated, the series is still spectacular, incorporating the genius of Jim Henson and those he gathered around him. Also note that the storyteller in this series is Michael Gambon, the new Dumbledore in the third Harry Potter movie.

To let you know what is on the DVD, here is the episode info provided by Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment:

DAEDALUS AND ICARUS: Daedalus, one of the greatest inventors of ancient Greece, and his son Icarus are betrayed by cruel King Minos and must flee for their lives. To escape, Daedalus creates wings so they can fly to safety, but will the young Icarus heed his father's instructions or will their dreams melt away?

ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE: The great musician Orpheus vows to bring back the soul of his beloved Eurydice from the depths of Hades. But the task he must complete to reunite with his love turns out to be as torturous as the fate he will have to endure.

PERSEUS AND THE GORGON: When the evil king threatens Perseus' mother, he must bring back the head of Medussa - who's stare will turn anyone who looks upon her to stone. Will the help of the gods be enough to aid in this seemingly impossible task?

THESEUS AND THE MINATAUR: With the help of a beautiful princess, Theseus tracks down the man-eating Minotaur, half-man, half-bull to prove his courage and loyalty. A fight to the death ensues, and a shocking secret emerges.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse Yourself In Ancient Mythos... July 7, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Whether you are a Mythology major in a university or one who has become so familar in the subject that you consider yourself an expert, you are sure to love these myths-come-to-life retellings brought to the screen. Kept in the same vein as Jim Henson's The Storyteller series featuring John Hurt, this series is also told by a teller of stories represented by Michael Gambon and with as much ability to mesmerise the listener as his predecessor.
The music (which is a crowning point, in my opinion) is weaved by Rachel Portman who, as always, delivers a lovely score marred fittingly with dark, forboding - yet bittersweet tones. In many instances such as in the tale of 'Orpheus & Eurydice', the climatic storytelling is accompanied by the score which successfully heightens the intensity of what will happen next. Everything set to music from Eurydice's 'birth' to Ariadne's furious curse when she realises Theseus has abandoned her is rapturously beautiful, chillingly haunting.
The acting performances are also well worth mentioning, most notably that of Gina Bellman [Eurydice], Jesse Birdsall [Aristaeus] and Maggie O'Neill [Ariadne]. Whether it be the wonder found in new life, mischief or the sting of being betrayed, these things prove small feats to bring across by such seasoned performers as these.
Having waited what seems forever for this program to come to DVD, I am ecstatic that it finally has. Remaining true to the original Grecian myths, this series will be cherished for ages to come in the homes of fantasy and mythology lovers alike.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! January 13, 2007
Format:DVD
All four of the myths here are cleverly presented. Like all Greek myths the stories touch on dark and adult themes but the Storyteller's "dog" helps break the tension by speaking the comments we are likely making in our own minds and by providing a bit of comic relief. As others have said this is sad, scary,adult stuff and is not for kids under fourth grade or so but would be a great film to show kids in upper elementary or middle school (or even high school for that matter) who are studying myths. Very well acted and produced and I just wish there were more than the four stories.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only 4 stories April 23, 2005
By sa92
Format:DVD
I was a little disapointed with this DVD when I discovered there were only 4 episodes. Apparently there are 9 stories on the original Storyteller DVD. I'm not sure why the difference, yet they're comparable in price.

The stories are pretty depressing and dark, although accurate and beautifully scripted, acted and directed. This would be an asset to any classroom learning about Greek myths.

The Storyteller series is so good I want it to go on and on forever. Four episodes just isn't enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful way to keep the stories alive November 20, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Theseus, Perseus, Orpheus, Daedalus - I'd really rather hear a kid talking about these guys than Pikachu or Kim Possible. Okay, maybe it won't happen, but not for lack of an entertaining, well-made presentation. These are truly enjoyable.

Jim Henson's crew has put together an outstanding made-for-TV series. They play with the lines between puppetry and costume, with bits of animation thrown in, though not as much as in Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. There's plenty of drama, too, maybe a bit much for the very youngest children. These stories, in their day, were for adults, though. I'm glad to see that they haven't been disneyfied into inanity.

I have to admit, I liked the DVD of fairy tales from The Storyteller better. These are good, though, and a great way to bring old stories to today's new media.

//wiredweird
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars She was quite pleased. I was happy it arrived as
Bought for a friend who had difficulty finding this. She was quite pleased. I was happy it arrived as promised
Published 2 months ago by sdinnm
5.0 out of 5 stars Greek Mythology
I loved studying Greek mythology as a student, and now as an educator, I love teaching it. My students enjoy the intriguing characters in this collection of visually appealing... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Shaena Brantner
5.0 out of 5 stars Really remarkable
We loved this - the stories are a perfect blend of creepy and sweet. A dog serves as a guide, so that when things get really creepy, the camera cuts back to him, worried. Read more
Published 19 months ago by L. Marlowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Very interesting interruptions of the Greek stories. Rounds out my Jim Henson collection very nicely. Must have for the Storyteller collection.
Published 19 months ago by Valerie K. Gilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of Jim Henson's Finest Work
Filmed on a limited budget, this series is nevertheless gorgeously realized. As with the previous StoryTeller series, some of the greatest names of the English stage lend their... Read more
Published on June 2, 2012 by Dolwyddelan
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker than the first
Four episodes with a new Storyteller. Join him and the dog as they wander through Greek ruins and tell the stories they know of the places. Read more
Published on May 25, 2011 by Suzume the Amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars The Storyteller Greek Myths
These are great retellings of four Greek myths. My sixth grade students (11 and 12 years old) loved the creative characters and the action.
Published on May 21, 2011 by scouty1
2.0 out of 5 stars Why so expensive?
I checked this DVD out from my local library and enjoyed it so much, I wanted to give it to my nephew who is learning ancient history and Greek myths. Read more
Published on December 4, 2010 by Pineflakes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Myths
These myths that were brought to life by Jim Henson and this workshop was fabulous! A great DVD to share with the family.
Published on March 16, 2010 by C. Jennings
4.0 out of 5 stars Storyteller
This is a nice collection of stories and by a perfect story teller as the Henson's. I tried to give it 4 1/2 star but was limited to whole stars, maybe I should have gone all the... Read more
Published on December 28, 2008 by S. Barker
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