Tag Archives: Jim Henson

An Ode to Jim Henson (The Burrittos have been Postponed)

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I love puppets.

I also love the letter ‘M’.

Which can only imply 2 things. I am an avid Muppets fan and I also watched too much Sesame Street as a child and now have a very unhealthy relationship with the Alphabet. Today, if the man himself were still with us, Jim Henson would be 75 years old. Which means that today I will, no, I MUST reflect on how happy his movies and TV shows made me in my youth. Who knew that several pieces of fabric with a hand up its back would be so entertaining. So I shall rant and rave about 3 essential Jim Henson projects that must be seen by all people, everywhere. Because, whether or not you are a fan of his work, at least ONE of these things will make you smile like this:

MISS PIGGY.

But enough of my biased talk. For those of you who don’t know Jim Henson, he is the genius that decided puppets doing outrageous things in front of a camera was a really good idea. And he was RIGHT. It wasn’t just the Muppets & Sesame Street either, he did work on almost every movie/TV thing you can think of produced before 1990 that had puppeteering in it. The Live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie? That really underrated TV show Dinosaurs?  That really creepy kids show The Storyteller, with John Hurt? FRAGGLE ROCK?? All Jim. The man was a genius and I always feel guilty when I reflect upon his work because the day he died was actually the same day as my first birthday. Normally I’m not superstitious but…weird right?

So without further ado, let us continue on to explore the magical imagination and legacy of Jim Henson. You don’t want to? Then Go Away. Your eyes are not welcome in this post and I probably don’t like you anyway. You probably didn’t have a very fulfilled childhood did you? You should probably just sit down with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and catch up on all the fun you missed out on when you didn’t watch Gonzo being constantly shot out of a cannon or Cookie Monster singing about things that are shaped like the letter C.

The Dark Crystal: What do you get when you put Jim Henson, Frank Oz and Brian Froud in a room full of Concept Artists and fantasy geeks. THIS AWESOME MOVIE. The Dark Crystal is one of my favourite fantasy stories, and the cast is entirely composed of puppets, which makes it even more awesome.

If anyone knows where I can find this poster, hit me up.

We are introduced to a land maintained by a dark, mysterious crystal in a dark mysterious palace. The crystal CRACKS! And so the land divides; The Mystics and The Skeksis, Good and Evil. While all the little critters of the land suffer at the hands of the evil skeksis, The Mystics train a Gelfling called Jen to go and heal the crystal. On his journey, he meets all sorts of terrifying and wonderful creatures. Including this little guy called Fizzgig:

 You will be in absolute AWE at the amount of concept work went into this fantastical landscape. Brian Froud (famous for his dark depictions of faeries and dwarfs) was the main concept artist for this film and he’s quite awesome indeed. This movie will give you magic, furry critters, comedy, cheesy 80’s effects. I cannot see any fault in it. Watch it. 

Having fun yet? Tough. I hope you like David Bowie because the next film is an obvious favourite to the entire world. And if you don’t think so then you’re probably not human and should join the group over there; Eating P B & J’s with their faces strapped to The Muppet Show. Actually, No. Don’t even bother.

Labyrinth: Ladies and Gentleman, not only was this Jennifer Connelly’s best movie, but her co-starring puppets were actually BETTER than her. It’s just incredible. Teen girl accidently wishes away her step brother to the Goblin King (Bowie) and must complete a Labyrinth with her band of puppet misfits in order to get him back.

Bowie as ‘Jareth: The Goblin King’ and Mullet

 This film needs no intricate description due to its fame and the only reason I’ll need to give you to watch this is…

 <<<THIS!! WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT TO SEE THIS!! If anyone has any reason as to why anyone would not benefit from seeing David Bowie play a Goblin King with a SuperMullet, please leave a comment so I can figure out who you are and hunt you down. Or just leave a disgusted reply. I remember being absolutely terrified of this movie when I was younger. I was especially terrified of the critters who can detach and re-attach their limbs that chase after Jennifer Connelly. Fucking Weird Ass Orange Psycho Puppets. Gave me nightmares for weeks.
 
Yes this movie, once again, by my standards has everything you could possibly want, including MUSICAL NUMBERS from the man himself. No, my dear readers, I do not think one could possibly want more from a film. Despite the creepy orange nightmares, Henson dreamed up so many awesome characters for this film.You’ve got friendly dwarves to giant teddy bear like monsters, to cuddly dog type characters that guard swamp bridges. The quirkiest ones by far are most definitely the ‘Helping hands’ that are as portrayed in the following image:
 
 
 
 
 
 
These guys are only a tidbit of what Henson came up with for this film.
If you have not done so already, watch this film. If you have, watch it again on a special occasion with a special someone that hasn’t seen it; your girlfriend, your dog, your mullet, I guarantee it will not disappoint. Don’t worry. I’m going to shut up soon and you can go back to whatever it was you were doing before you started procrastinating.
 
 
 
 
 
Any Muppets Movie Ever Made: All of them. Yes, including the Great Muppet Caper and the NEW MOVIE that is on its way. Even if Jim Henson wasn’t around to direct some of them, it still counts as part of his epic legacy. Haven’t you ever felt you could relate to Fozzie Bears predicament? Or understood where Animal’s passion for hitting things comes from? I have. I don’t think I have ever met anyone that does NOT watch a Muppet’s Christmas Carol as part of their Christmas routine. And if I ever do, I will probably cry for them and the devastating loss of their humanity, and then punch them in the face.  The New Movie is going to be amazing. You want to know why? Because not only is it all your favourite Muppety Characters but friggin’  OKGO are performing the MUPPETS THEME SONG. And, my dear readers, that is just about as awesome as a lion surfing majestically on the back of a Narwhal. Which is pretty frakking awesome.
 
And so, here endeth the sermon boys and girls, I hope you have all come away from this experience with a better understanding of how awesome Jim Henson is. I shall leave you with the most awesome version of the Muppets Theme Song you have ever heard.
 
Peace Out.
 
 
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