Every musical cue from this is burned into my brain from dozens of VHS viewings as a kid. It’s an essential part of the canon of ‘70s–’80s children’s fantasy films that hid traumatisingly terrifying or unsettling scenes along with RETURN TO OZ and WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. This era of production design—matte painting backgrounds, practical puppet effects—was key to my sense of how fantasy cinema should look.

That said, this has huge structural and editing problems. The story feels unmoored: it suffers from fantasy’s recurrent genre problem of having discrete events happen one after another with very little connective tissue.