Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jim Henson: The Works, by Christopher Finch

I remember taking this book out in the past, but not being really into it. Perhaps I just looked at the many pictures in it. (This book certainly has a LOT of pictures!) But this time around, I took a closer look. I read the entire thing cover to cover, even the little captions that go under the photos, and the profiles of the different Muppet characters, and bios on Jim Henson's colleagues and friends.

After reading this book, Jim Henson has definitely become one of my top 10 heroes. He did such amazing things in his lifetime, and ultimately changed the world! Besides being partly responsible for the success of Sesame Street and the Muppet show, and making incredible Muppet films, he did a lot of stuff that I was unaware of.

For example, in his college days, when he was just starting out, Jim and his future wife, Jane, did this TV show with puppets called "Sam and Friends". Kermit was one of the characters, only he wasn't actually a frog at that point. More of a lizard-like abstract character. Oh, and they did absolutely hilarious commercials with puppets! (Click this link for a collection of Wilkins Coffee spots. Wilkins and Wontkins are so funny!)

Jim Henson also made these incredible films that had nothing to do with any of his Muppet characters, but made great use of skilled puppetry and animatronics. I've seen 2 such movies, "The Dark Crystal" and "The Labyrinth", with my twin sister, and I thought they absolutely rocked! They are such great stories, and all the puppet characters seem so real and alive! Jim Henson was an absolute genius, just for helping to create these films alone.

The last thing I didn't know was the exact day Jim Henson that died. May 16, 1990. ~,~ It's sad that such a great guy like Jim had to die. But he left quite a legacy behind him, that's for sure. I highly recommend reading this book. Don't worry if the size of it appears daunting. Even looking at the pictures makes it all worth it. ^_^

1 comment:

Graham Bradley said...

I was 6 years old, but I can't say I remember that happening. Maybe they made a big deal of it in first grade, I dunno. He was a champ though, for sure.