Oh hey, what’s this? Nothing much. Just a Terry Gilliam movie starring John Cleese, Sean Connery, and Shelley Duval and produced by George Harrison. Just a movie with a character named “Og” and a plotline that involves dwarves, Napoleon, time travel, and horses that shoot rockets out of their eyes.
The premise of Time Bandits sounds similar to a story we all know and love. A young boy–intrepid, curious, unruly–struggles to contend with his active imagination in the face of parents that just don’t understand. He travels to strange lands, encounters monsters of a sort, and ends up all right in the end.
Like Maurice Sendak, Gilliam has a vision of childhood that feels truthful not despite but because of its outlandish qualities, its darkness and its eye for the absurd. The young hero of the film, Kevin, is as likable as Max and equally recognizable as a version of our former selves.