Posts Tagged ‘Jim Henson’

A Tour of Jim Henson’s Brain

Published October 27, 2009 by Graham

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Muppet man Jim Henson was known to dabble in experimental cinema. Maybe that’s an understatement– after all, practically everything the man did was an experiment. He wasn’t one of those cautious, measured individuals who simply puts a fresh spin on a successful formula. No, luckily for us, Jim Henson was more interested in remolding the world in a way that made sense to him, paving his own path along the way.

What’s special about works like Ripples and Limbo, The Organized Mind, is that we’re treated to an intriguingly abstract vision of Jim Henson’s thought process. We’re given a glimpse of Henson’s deeply contemplative inner world. Can you imagine The Tonight Show having the audacity to air a piece like Limbo on national TV today? Even back in 1974 when Johnny Carson was still in charge, it seems unlikely that anyone but Henson could have brought a film this unusual (and rad) to the mass audience of late night TV.

Keep an eye out around the 3:29 mark for Henson’s sly homage to his pal Maurice!

via Andy Neuhues. Thanks for the link!

Muppet Magazine

Published September 22, 2009 by Graham

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Once upon a time, Muppet Magazine.

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Jim Henson x Maurice Sendak

Published August 5, 2009 by Graham

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Maurice Sendak wrote and designed this awesome early Sesame Street skit. Who else could seamlessly weave together nine alcoholic pigs, a deceitful rascal named Bumble, and a stern mother who works 29 minutes a day over the course of a whirlwind animated segment? But the best part is hearing Jim Henson’s voice come out of young Bumble at the end! How lovely it is to see the brief convergence of two great artists who were clearly on the same wavelength.

The Muppets Take Madison Avenue

Published June 15, 2009 by Graham

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Before Labyrinth, before The Muppets were making appearances on The Orson Welles Show, before Sesame Street sparked a revolution in children’s entertainment, Jim Henson was just a University of Maryland graduate with a B.S. in Home Economics, experimenting with televised puppeteering in five-minute segments on a local NBC affiliate. But like most of us, he still had to find a way to pay the bills. Hence, some of the weirdest and funniest commercials of the 1960s. While most of the ads on TV in that day were still relying on cardboard representations of the nuclear family grinning with acidic alacrirty while they delivered straightforward salutes to prefabricated post-war aspiration, Henson and his felt creations brought something unexpected into the ad world:

…till then, [advertising] agencies believed that the hard sell was the only way to get their message over on television. We took a very different approach. We tried to sell things by making people laugh.

How is this not an episode of Mad Men, yet? Watch below to see Henson getting away with murder (sometimes literally) thanks to a motley crew of adorably lovable irreverent proto-Muppets. And if you’ve got eight minutes to spare, check out this oddball romp of a metafictional behind-the-scenes film looking into the Muppets, Inc. marketing department.

Matt Furie

Published April 25, 2009 by Graham

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Matt Furie is more than a little bit amazing. Really, he’s all the way amazing. So it’s makes us happy when there’s brand spanking new work posted on his website– like right now. Go check it out!