Filmed at Lee International Studios and on location in England, Wales, and Morocco.
The mock game show that Kevin's parents watch is called YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE, in which a woman's husband is suspended upside down into a vat of custard.
On his decision to use little people as the title characters, director Terry Gilliam said, "My silly side was just tickled with the visual outrageousness of it all--with how I would be able to contrast the bandits' height with other objects in the film. From the very beginning, one of my ideas for TIME BANDITS had been to shoot the entire film from the eye level of a child, However, I then had serious reservations as to whether the kid could carry a whole movie. So I and my co-writer--Michael Palin--came up with the idea of using a gang of really short people who were the same size as the boy...A lot of the film is shot with the camera about three feet off the ground or down in a hole."
Gilliam had filmed what he called a "memorable scene" involving two spider women trapping the time bandits in a web, but he couldn't use the scene because he ran out of money and couldn't film the scenes necessary to keep the spider-women scene within the continuity of the film.
The fantastic, imaginative work of the 17th-century Italian artist Piranesi, who put small, bizarre figures within large, complex structures in his etchings, served as the basis for the dark fortress.
George Harrison served as executive producer of the film and supplied the song "Dream Away," which plays over the closing credits.
Terry Gilliam's wife, Maggie Weston, did the hairdressing and makeup, with Elaine Carew.
Kenny Baker, who played Fidgit, also played R2D2 in the STAR WARS films.
John Young, who appears as Reginald, played the historian in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL.
While Mike Moran was responsible for the score, Trevor Jones is credited with the Greek dance music and arranging "Me and My Shadow."
British session man Ray Cooper did the percussion sequences.
The original theatrical trailer features a riotous voice-over parody of theatrical trailers.
On THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN in December 1995, Terry Gilliam talked about how the producer wanted to change the ending, but he refused to. He actually threatened to burn the negative and destroy the picture in order to preserve his ending. Also on the show, Letterman called TIME BANDITS "a great film...A very entertaining piece of work."
Gilliam cites Stanley Kubrick as one of his great idols, especially because Kubrick never settled for the obvious happy ending.
Estimated budget: $5 million.
In 1996 there was talk of making a sequel to the film, but that has never come to pass.
Michael Palin, playing Vincent in a number of time periods, talks about his "problem" to his sweetheart, Pansy, played by Shelley Duvall; in fact, not only does the viewer never find out exactly what the sexual problem is, but the writers never picked one out as well. It is deliberately left open to interpretation and confusion.