Last month when my niece was visiting, I pulled out Jim Henson's the Storyteller - The Definitive Collectionwhen we had exhausted our supply of Merlin. (Leighton adores Merlin!) Alas, I started with one that disturbed her a little due to the thought of babies in jeopardy--The Three Ravens--and after that she was done. So, no, this is most likely not for most kids under age 10. Leighton is 8.5 and has read Harry Potter, Rick Riordan and the Eragon series multiple times so she is not a shrinking violet. And, of course, I was inspired by John Hurt's voice over as the dragon in Merlin to pull out Storyteller and show him in action to Leighton. He does have a wonderful voice for both roles.
But I hadn't watched an episode in years and wow, John and I were charmed all over again and wished I'd picked another to initiate Leighton. Jim Henson's 75th birthday just passed last week and I was reminded how he is one of the few celebrities whose death made me cry. I still wish we had been able to keep him longer, but I'm grateful for his body of work and legacy. Storyteller is one of the pinnacles of his career, cut too short. And now we're also missing the Storyteller writer Anthony Minghella who died a few years ago, too.
With the Muppets getting a big publicity push again with the upcoming movie this holiday season, don't forget Henson's other work with fairy tales. Unfortunately, the DVDs are out of print again, but there are videos on YouTube. I won't link them since they are copyrighted--I know other things I sometimes link probably are, too, but these are available in other ways, so I won't this time. For one thing, I imagine they will eventually be taken down, so I hate to link and the video quality isn't as wonderful as a DVD. Hopefully these will be released again soon.