On this day some many moons ago, a great big hearted man by the name of Jim Henson copyright registered something he called ‘Kermit the Frog‘ and neither Henson, nor the rest of the world would ever be the same afterwards.
Henson had tried his hand at a few different interests but puppeteering was always the best fit for him. With a keen interest in puppetry and ventriloquism from an early age Henson sought to create a more expressive form of puppetry with foam coated rubber than the more commonplace wooden entertainers on tv at the time. He found it in the show Sam and Friends in 1955.
From here Henson went on to have one success after another creating much loved creations like The Muppets, The Storyteller, The Jim Henson Hour, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, have significant involvement in tv shows and films including Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and even inspire a trend of copycat muppets characters from other networks like Alf and Harry and the Hendersons.
Aside from the amazing aesthetic achievements of Henson’s unique ‘muppet’ style characters, the style of storytelling was also especially innovative as well. Henson pioneered a style of writing combining a base physical comedy with the occasional more mature verbal comedy to have a dual entertainment effect for both children and parent viewers at the same time. Henson also emphatically believed that children were much smarter capable of understanding and engaging with darker themes than programming networks gave them credit for — an idea he explored in the Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The Storyteller which all received mixed success at the time.
Henson’s work was incredibly prolific, beautifully sentimental and undoubtedly very much unforgettable still today.
Michelle Leslie and Duncan Roylance
All prints available in the shop at some stage.