A young boy joins a group of renegade dwarves on an unpredictable journey through time in this humorous fantasy. Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam mostly achieves a tricky balancing act in his second feature as sole director, creating a dark, irreverent comedy disguised as a family adventure.
Particularly amusing are the boy's encounters with various historical figures, including an entertainment-starved Napoleon (Ian Holm), a powerful Agamemnon (Sean Connery), and a surprisingly stuffy Robin Hood, embodied by Gilliam's Python cohort John Cleese.
Episodic by nature, the film is less successful when dealing with the larger narrative, which concerns the pursuit of the dwarves and their time-traveling map by the Supreme Being. However, the combination of Gilliam's visual exuberance and the witty script (by Gilliam and Michael Palin) ensures an entertaining, if erratic, journey.