42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
"Real" fairy & folk tales that may scare your youngest kids,
This review is from: Jim Henson's The Storyteller ~ The Complete Collection (DVD)
My 9-year-old and I are thoroughly enjoying these half-hour films from the old HBO series (which I had not seen before). Each story is based on some old, mostly European, folk tales - the "real" kind with mayhem, a bit of violence, and some sad endings, not the Disney kind. Thus, you may find them a tad upsetting for younger kids who have been raised to expect happy endings.
For example, in "The Heartless Giant," an imprisoned Giant lies to a young prince to effect his escape, and meets a sad end at the hand of the prince's brothers. In "The Soldier and Death," a generous soldier receives a magic bag and uses it to imprison Death himself (a very scary-looking guy). Despite dominion over Death the soldier is unhappy by the end.
So, these are stories with an almost adult level of sophistication. The production values are wonderful and the performances steller (I especially like John Hurd as the Storyteller character, who appears in all the episodes).
BUT - watch the episodes first to make sure your own young ones won't be overwhelmed. My 9-year-old is just barely old enough. My 5-year-old: not yet.