Jim Henson was right
Posted: 23 November 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The Jim Henson Company

Disney made another Muppet movie.  I hope its a good one.  What Jim Henson did, Henson never pandered to the children, he never needed to because Henson simply never lost his inner child. 

His Kermit the Frog was a gentle, lovable, lead character.  Rawlf the Dog, and Big Bird too.  PBS really knows how to pick a winner.  What Henson did was right.  First he made Sesame Street scheduled for after school, then he went prime time and the Muppet Show was a hit on commercial television attracting the great stars of the day, then he made the Muppet Movie, the Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller, Labyrinth, Farscape, and more.  He succeeded in the major technology medias of the day.  He united Rock ‘n’ roll with Classical, Jazz (Rowlf the dog), Broadway musics, and more musics.  He united science (Dr. Bunsen Honeydew) with art.  He did drama and comedy with intelligence and insight, and it was always kind-hearted and topical for children, and sometimes topical for adults.  His vision was unique among his contemporaries, he saved television, saved the movies, and the saved USA from becoming completely jaded during difficult times.  He was a real hero.

“This led to “The Muppet Show” (1976). It initially struggled both in the ratings and in the search for guest stars, but in the second season it became a smash hit and would eventually become the most widely watched series in television history.”

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Posted: 23 November 2011 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Henson and his crew were some of TV’s greats. Just re-watched some of the early Muppet Show eps. Some is dated but a lot is just as fresh as when he made it.

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Posted: 23 November 2011 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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One of my all-time favorites. My daughter, sadly, finds the Henson ouevre thoroughly uninteresting. I blame CG animation! It’s not easy being non-digital…

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Posted: 23 November 2011 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I remember commandeering the dorm TV in college on the nights the muppets were on. At first I was the only one watching and occasionally someone would come in ask me how old i was, but after a few weeks I had some company and by the end of the year there was a pretty big crowd in there with me. You gotta love those two grumpy old guys in the balcony and the sweedish chef smile

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Posted: 23 November 2011 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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macgyver - 23 November 2011 06:40 PM

You gotta love those two grumpy old guys in the balcony and the sweedish chef smile

Statler and Waldorf! The best.

I also love Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.

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Posted: 23 November 2011 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I have been a huge fan of puppet theatre my whole life, but I could never get into the Muppets. I guess I have always preferred the more traditional puppets.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the puppetry in Canada. (Before coming here I knew next to nothing about it.) Ronnie Burkett, Puppetmongers Powell, Mermaid Theatre are among the best we have here. The only American puppet presentation I have ever seen was in the Lion King (the musical) and I thought the puppet work they have woven into the show was excellent.

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Posted: 24 November 2011 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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George - 23 November 2011 09:02 PM

The only American puppet presentation I have ever seen was in the Lion King (the musical) and I thought the puppet work they have woven into the show was excellent.

IMO the first act was far better than the second. The first act was done with Julie Taymor’s puppetry: IIRC she studied puppetry in South Asia. She then spent many years doing puppetry for stage and opera. Many of her earlier pieces are quite extraordinary.

The second act of Lion King uses the more conventional Disneyfied characters and IMO was much less interesting. (I assume they had to make an agreement with Taymor that she used her weird stuff for the first act if they could have the second).

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Posted: 24 November 2011 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The Lion King was the only show by Taymor I got to see in a theatre. I watched her Magic Flute on a DVD a few years ago and yes, she is very talented. I agree with you on the two acts of Lion King, although I have no knowledge about any agreement between Taymor and Disney splitting it in half. You may be right.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 02:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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mckenzievmd - 23 November 2011 01:19 PM

One of my all-time favorites. My daughter, sadly, finds the Henson ouevre thoroughly uninteresting. I blame CG animation! It’s not easy being non-digital…

  Maybe I’m the same generation as your daughter, I also found the Muppets not worthy of my time.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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FWIW I haven’t watched any of the Muppets movies or any of the stuff post-Henson ...

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Posted: 26 November 2011 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Well I think Hensen was well appreciated by my generation, I watch his work as a child.  But he was under appreciated by the adults of the time.  Competing with CGI?  Well even good effects can’t give the story the character development, the plot, the morals, the breath of characters, and the good hearted nature of Hensen’s works.  Sure CGI has the flash and instant gratification, but children can appreciate good storytelling too if they’re just exposed to it.

I don’t like the idea of giving children one-dimensional characters, like most of the cartoons of Hensen’s day did.  Nor do I like the shallow development of the plots, or formulaic plots.  Why not give them quality storytelling?  Even a short story can be done with good qualities.

I think he can be inspiring for adults too, with his good hearted characters.  If he started out on SNL then that makes him ahead of his time.  The early SNL humor was mean-spirited, they made fun of celebrities in a mocking and mean spirited way.  Today’s Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey, the rest of SNL has changed that and they are doing humor that is good-natured now-a-days.  Surely Hensen would have asked for the good-natured humor while he was at SNL, and perhaps that’s why he left.

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Posted: 27 November 2011 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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We took our grandkids to see the movie. We loved it! It brought back a lot of memories for us as our kids grew up watching the Muppet show and both grandkids have rediscovered them. We have all of the shows on dvd and they watch them over and over. the oldest sings along with the guests!  The movie, and I won’t spoil the plot, is about them getting back together. Take your kids or go yourself. It’s a real blast from the past, music and all!!

Cap’t Jack

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