We have been watching some of Jim Henson's quintessential productions this past month: The Storyteller, Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal. Looking back, there are things these films share in common. There is a sense of gentleness, wonder, and wisdom about them that speaks to the best creative impulses in late 20th century pop-art.
These films strike a blow for the world of the imagination without being anti-intellectual, despairing, angry, or escapist. There is instead a true sense of "escape" in the way in which J.R.R. Tolkien envisioned it: they are dreams of a better world. When each is finished, we return to the primary world refreshed and enlightened; ready to carry on the battle. I don't know if these films will last -many younger people I've met don't like them- but for a generation of us, they have done good yoeman's labor. For that, I am thankful.