Narrative has never been a strong suit of director Terry Gilliam, which may explain why he chose Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem Jabberwocky, the slightest of source material. Peppered with magical, made-up words, Carroll’s Jabberwocky centers around a terrible monster and the young boy who slays it. Gilliam uses that framework to exercise the sort of frantic, absurd and scatological sense of humor he honed during his days as an animator for the Monty Python comedy troupe. Nearly everyone in a Gilliam film is a fool, or at least a jester, and so Jabberwocky centers on Dennis (Michael Palin), a country dolt who makes his way to the walled city that is being terrorized by the title monster and inadvertently becomes squire to the knight sent to kill it. There are surprises in between these quick character sketches, some startling for their gore – the creature leaves behind a number of disemboweled corpses – and others for their beauty. When we finally get a glimpse of the Jabberwocky in the finale, it consists of the kind of lovingly detailed puppet work – complete with sorrowfully tattered wings – that we no longer see in this computer-generated age.