New Chapter Of Jim Henson’s Beloved Series To Debut In “AR Book” Format, Narrated By Neil Gaiman
Los Angeles, Calif., April 12, 2018 – Varèse Sarabande will release a limited-edition box set of music from Jim Henson’s The Storyteller on April 27, 2018. The 3-CD set, which is available for pre-orders beginning April 13, features original music composed by Academy Award® winning composer Rachel Portman (EMMA, CHOCOLAT), available for the first time ever.
The release contains music from JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER and its spinoff series, JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER: GREEK MYTHS, a 32-page booklet of exclusive interviews with the producers of the series and Portman herself, and a collection of behind-the-scenes photographs.
Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Emmy® and BAFTA TV Craft award-winning JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER anthology series features both human actors and creations from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in this retelling of classic folk tales, fables, and legends. The series starred John Hurt in the title role. Aided by his cynical dog (performed by Brian Henson), Hurt narrates fascinating tales that combine humor, intrigue, and magic.
The series was the brainchild of Jim Henson’s eldest daughter, Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. Lisa, who majored in folklore and mythology at Harvard, suggested they create an anthology series based on these stories.
Composer Rachel Portman had been writing music professionally for only a few years when brought on by director Steve Barron to work on the pilot. “Steve and I talked about each film having a special sound and a special voice, and some special instrument that would be part of it. I chose very carefully a different coloration for each story, what the main instrument was going to be—because I wasn’t able to have very many instruments, and I wanted it to be orchestral,” Portman described.
Brian Henson, who was also the series head puppeteer and is currently chairman of The Jim Henson Company) had nothing but praise for the music. “Rachel Portman gives it a timelessness. She makes the show important,” he said. “She makes the stories important. There’s a gravitas that comes with her music, but then also the light, lyrical melody. I think it’s just beautiful scoring of fantasy.”
“I felt I had real freedom to go as dark as I wanted, musically,” explained Portman. “I didn’t shy away from being really sad, or really dark, or really happy. I think that really matched the way the whole series was done, and the scripts. It always kind of ends in minor. I don’t know why. They all come back to a sad chord at the end.”
JIM HENSON’s THE STORYTELLER is currently streaming via the STARZ app. As a special treat, Fathom Events is hosting screenings of JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH in select theaters April 29, May 1&2 (https://www.fathomevents.com/events/labyrinth). The event will include a special theatrical screening excerpt from THE STORYTELLER.
Varèse Sarabande will release JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER on April 27, 2018, available for pre-order beginning on April 13.
Founded in 1978, Varèse Sarabande is the most prolific producer of film music in the world, releasing the highest quality soundtracks from the world’s greatest composers. From current box office hits and top television series to the classics of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Varèse Sarabande’s catalog includes albums from practically every composer in every era, covering all of film history; from Bernard Herrmann, Alex North and Jerry Goldsmith to Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, and Brian Tyler.
Varèse Sarabande releases deluxe and expanded editions of special soundtracks for the film music aficionado. The Varèse Vintage imprint specializes in releasing new and re-issued albums by classic pop, jazz and country artists. Varèse Sarabande Records is distributed by Universal Music Group.
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 60 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world-famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Dot. (Sprout/Hulu), Splash and Bubbles (PBS), Word Party (Netflix), Doozers (Hulu/ Sprout), and the Emmy®-nominated Sid the Science Kid (PBS), Dinosaur Train (PBS), and Pajanimals (Sprout). Television productions include Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller and the sci-fi cult series Farscape. Features include Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, as well as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, MirrorMask, and Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow. The Company is currently in production on the feature The Happytime Murders, starring Melissa McCarthy, and the upcoming Netflix original series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Projects in development include the highly anticipated film Fraggle Rock.
With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. The Company is home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television, theme park and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of- the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand is currently touring Puppet-Up! – Uncensored, a live puppet improvisational show.