Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Jim Henson's iconic puppet characters, fantastic worlds, and warm humor have delighted millions of people of all ages. His incredibly diverse body of work, from the Muppets to the world of The Dark Crystal, reveals his charm and genius to fans old and new. Compiled directly from The Jim Henson Company archives, Imagination Illustrated adapts the diary that Jim faithfully kept throughout his career, supplementing it with a trove of little-seen visual material, including rare sketches, personal and production photographs, storyboards, doodles, and much more. Throughout, archivist Karen Falk delves into the behind-the-scenes details of Henson's life and artistic process. Sure to delight anyone who has enjoyed Henson's creations—seeing early drawings of Kermit and Rowlf is like smiling over childhood photos of dear friends—this lovely book celebrates Jim's life and his magic.
Snuffleupagus. In anticipation of Sesame Street’s tenth season, ideas were solicited for new characters to expand the lessons and storylines. Jim was intrigued by the potential for a character that could not speak, leading to the concept for a large, shaggy dog as a pet for a human character who could not hear, Linda. Consulting with Michael Frith on design, and Toby Towson, a dancer and gymnast, on performance, Barkley emerged. Inside, the performer rested his hands on short stilts to
show, Sam and Friends. His repertory company of Muppets, including an abstract lizard-like character named Kermit, became local celebrities, winning Jim an Emmy award and appearing as guests on the national broadcasts of The Steve Allen Show, The Today Show, and others. He also produced the first of hundreds of television commercials, establishing himself in the world of advertising. By the time Jim moved to New York in early 1963, he had gathered together his core group of creative partners
The creation of Rowlf, a laid-back philosophical hound, for a Purina Dog Chow commercial marked the further expansion of Jim’s team and access to bigger opportunities. Puppet builder Don Sahlin was hired to interpret Jim’s designs and create an expressive character. Don used the gloved-hand style pioneered by Jim for his Tinkerdee program instead of arm rods, enabling Rowlf to gesture naturally and hold props. Jim took to him immediately and developed a personality that made Rowlf irresistible to
Dollar. 1966 FEB. 21 – filmed one minute pilot commercial for Wheels, Crowns + Flutes. 1 Jim’s design of two monsters, the Flute Snatcher and the Wheel Stealer, for General Foods. 2 The Wheel Stealer, the Flute Snatcher, and the Crown Grabber created for General Foods. 3+4 The monster that ate the machine in Jim’s 1968 IBM meeting film. 5 Jim’s 1963 idea for a big-eyed monster. 6 Jim’s sketch of a fuzzy monster in an alien landscape from 1963. 7 Storyboard panel featuring Arnold the
Television series showcasing new talent and new ideas allowed Jim to pursue his interest in exploring youth culture in a unique format. Billed as “an exciting mixed-media portrait of youth today,” his program, Youth ’68, was a visual and sound collage interweaving interviews, literary quotations, popular music, and modern dance. The fast-paced documentary addressed such topics as drugs, religion, race relations, war, and the future, and featured appearances by a variety of rock groups. By