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If JIM HENSON was alive TODAY

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by JimmyDeanDog, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. JimmyDeanDog

    JimmyDeanDog Member

    I often pondered this queston from time to time:
    ====================================
    HOW would Jim react to the world of today if he were still alive?

    re: the Internet, TV, current movies, productions -etc
    ************************************
    I believe he would've really approved of this web forum,
    and perhaps there are OTHER issues concerning the Muppets
    that could've raised his eyebrows in either disapproval
    or acceptance
    MuppetLuver2000 likes this.
  2. Baby Gonzo

    Baby Gonzo Member

    I feel as though he wouldn't have been surprised at many developments in technology and entertainment. He seemed to be one step ahead on that front.

    Also, he seemed like the type who was constantly moving on and trying something new. I don't doubt that the Muppets would still be around if he were alive, but I think we would have seen more innovative things from him.

    I don't think he would be holding his head in shame at where the Muppets are today. I think he would have done things differently, but that's not to say he wouldn't approve or disapprove for that matter. But the movies and other productions we have seen since his passing probably wouldn't exist or would have been vastly different.
  3. bazooka_beak

    bazooka_beak Active Member

    I think things definitely would've turned out differently. I'm not sure if the "based on a book" movies would've happened, same with Oz and In Space. If the Studio DC thing HAD to exist, I'm sure he would've had a different angle somewhere.

    It would've been interesting to see how he might embrace new technology (like CGI, modern special effects, etc). But even if he were still around, we can't be positive the Muppets would still be as popular.
  4. Baby Gonzo

    Baby Gonzo Member

    Even in Jim Henson's time, there was experimentation with 3D and CGI. Everyone knows Waldo as the first computer generated Muppet. It's interesting to see how far things have come since then. I think he had a defiant appreciation of traditional means, but he also seemed to embrace technology.
  5. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Just informed fan speculation

    If Jim had lived the Muppet Christmas Carol would likely have happened, but would have been much more Muppety. Treasure Island likely would not have happened. We would have more television specials, but probably not Muppets Tonight. At least not in that incarnation. It would have been a little more cutting edge. He would have brought the Muppets forward. He would have done much more in computer animation and created more Waldo like motion capture puppets. There would be several more Disney Theme park Muppet attractions as well as a feature animated film with the Muppet Show characters traditionally drawn by Disney artists in the early 90s. I doubt he would have disturbed the Fraggle Rock property much. Sesame Street would still be the show we grew up with. There would be more fantasy pictures, but he would not touch Labyrinth again and a Dark Crystal sequel wouldn't be likely either. He'd move forward. Try his hand at live action dramatic and comedic pieces. The Muppet characters would always be around yet it would be a labor of love and loyalty rather than a means to float his other projects. He'd be having fun creating. That's what I'd like to think. That is if Eisner ever got off his back about the Sesame characters. He would never have sold those and thank frog Disney doesn't have a piece of Grover. :super:

    Anyway, Jim loved technology. He’d be into every aspect of it from the internet to gaming. Little Big Planet and Spore are close to Jim-like ideas. I’d also like to believe he’d have a World of Muppets online game. It would be like Warcraft but the characters would hurl penguins at one another rather than weapons. :zany:
    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  6. bazooka_beak

    bazooka_beak Active Member

    Nice post frogboy4! I agree :)
  7. Kiki

    Kiki Active Member

    I gree with everyone's posts, and this is a really interesting thread- there's no right or wrong. Anyway, it is hard to say though. I'm sure he'd be up with the latest technology, being a gadget guy, and I'm sure he would've approved of the internet and he'd be involved with all sorts of things. The Muppets would be... quite different to what it is now I'm guessing, too. I guess it's sorta like if John Lennon was alive. Or not. I 'unno, fer some reason I just compare the two. *Shrug*
  8. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Well to me the thing is is that I totally have to rethink this question after reading street gang, because that just opened up a new dimension about how things might have gone.

    I mean first. not only was the deal with Disney off of they continued to pressure the Disney characters. And I'm sure Jim would have had it after they stabbed in in the back so to speak and used his properties behind his back after the deal went sour. I mean who know what would have happened if Jim and set everything up for Cooney and CTW to where Disney could never get their hands on the characters. Who knows what Disney would have done afterwards and what Jim would have done?

    Also, he was a fee bird and didn't liked being caged up, and that is exactly what Disney did to him and just another factor why he didn't want to go with them. Who knows, but it most likely possible that they and the Sesame street characters would never have gone to the German company EMTV. Witch mean the CTW would have never had to buy them back (or at least Jim's share) back from them.

    It seemed like every move Michael Eisner made was a screw over or a setback for somebody. I just think it all would have happed differently. This legal limbo would have been all different. So It's hard to say exactly how it would be now?
  9. Vic Romano

    Vic Romano Active Member

    The classic characters would always be around, but they certainly wouldn't be at the forefront. Fantasy films would be more and more the norm I think. I believe there'd be tons of viral videos. Jim would've been all over the internet.

    I also believe because of always pushing into new technology and with the current explosion of interest in video games, we'd see some very cool Henson video games. Not necessarily Muppets, but definitely some very cool RPGs.
  10. The 11th UrRu

    The 11th UrRu Member

    I would have agreed with you on that point up until I saw this clip some months ago.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1-PwZltH8E

    Anyone with any more details? This leads me to believe that Jim was full steam ahead with developing Muppets Tonight just before he passed...
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Clifford was not created for Muppets Tonight. He was a regular on the Jim Henson Hour. This Arsenio Hall Show was Jim's final television appearance. They were promoting a Disney special that had just been shot. Muppets Tonight was more vaudevillian than it seems would have suited Jim. He wanted to bring the Muppets forward from the Muppet Show and not back. However, as a fan I appreciated MT. I found the Henson Hour a little disappointing for lack of a classic feel that MT actually has.
  12. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I don't like to speculate on what another person would think or do. But I do get the impression he was disapointed in Henson Hour's cancellation since that was a big effort in his moving forward technology-wise. Perhaps he would have made another attempt in that area (which I admit I would have preferred hehe).
  13. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    That is a good point. Most of what I posted has been said before and came from interviews from Jim himself like this one. The animated film idea is in there in his own words.

    Other than that I do know he always wanted to move things forward rather than back. Muppets Tonight was homage to the Muppet Show, but it didn't update the premise as much as his Henson Hour did. That's one of the few points I disagreed with in Jim's assessment of the Muppets. He leaned toward to much emphasis on new characters and that is in part why both Hour and Tonight weren't the hits they should have been. Who knows if the Muppets would be popular right now if Jim were living?

    Right now the Muppets have great, young performers (along with a couple of seasoned veterans) to breath new life and energy that I feel the gang needed even back in 1990. There's an excitement factor. Possibilities. Sure, they aren't going to be the same as in Jim's day. Those fans out there who want that can live in a hermetically sealed bubble of old media only. I see myself as a more daring and avid fan and I'm pulling for the characters to get over the slump and see what is beyond. I don't think they've ever had a real opportunity.
  14. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well that's the big debate really among fans, hehe. Which is fine, nearly every big franchise has these never-really-resolved-debates that serve to keep the thing alive, hehe. For my part, I don't see perferring the past as "undaring", I just see it as recognizing the best work. But I won't quibble, I think there's room for both. :)

    My concern though is, I think the past Muppet projects have nearly gone out of the public consciousness in recent years. The Muppets have not been given the respect so many other classic forms of media have, for several reasons. One, older media in general is getting a bad rap. But also, there's been a lot of attention placed on putting out newer Muppet projects (that have not attracted the same huge followings) and not enough attention on perserving the older ones.

    It's the people behind the Muppets' responsibility to keep the past work alive, Jim's work alive, and I don't feel it's happened. I know they're trying their best. But it's hard out there right now for classic media, and even more so for the Muppets. :cry:

    The newer projects have had many opportunities to reclaim and it hasn't happened. That doesn't mean it won't ever, I'm open to the idea. But I'd prefer for there to be some balance between the old and new. :)
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Some fans don't want any new media from the Muppets. That's what I was talking about. I prefer the classic projects. Preference wasn't my point. There seems to be a classic media crusade you have going whatever the thread and I get that. Just seems to me that you're reading more into my post than what was there. I do favor a balance, but there's no pleasing everybody 100%.

    New media is what helps salvage classic media. That's just the way it works. Just like death and taxes - there's just no changing that. However, once knowing that fact there is much that can be done to work within it that hasn't been given enough opportunity.

    Still, that's not the point of this thread. It's about what Jim would do. The link I posted was of his last comprehensive magazine interview. Did you actually read it? It is interesting.
  16. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I just think that's not what's happened in the case of the Muppets. One has not helped the other.

    I have read it, thanks it definitely says a lot. I love that Jim was so far seeing with computer animation. It's sad in a way that his early contributions to the field are not always remembered now. Still, I'm sure he'd just be happy the advances have happened at all. :)

    Also, I think if Disney was still as successful now as it was in 1990, things might be different for the Muppets. ;)
  17. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    You're right. There has been little follow-through with any Muppet plans since Jim. I still say the biggest failure to me was in Disney's gross lack of promotion for Muppet Treasure Island (the only release not featured in the E Channel's coming attractions weekly trailer program that year) in so many areas. Also the worminess of Muppets Tonight's timeslot regularity and promotion was lacking. Then, of course, there was Muppets From Space that did receive promotion but performed poorly due to its spotty execution. It might be a fave of some fans, but that movie hurt the Muppets in ways we are still feeling today. The Muppets have been so horribly handled, but I fault the fact that the Henson Company couldn't cope with the largeness of the Muppets without Jim Henson.

    Jim's efforts were always so solid that on the rare occasion something didn't work (like Labyrinth) he just couldn't wrap his mind around it. He had more successes than most entertainers in his position and it wasn't by luck or accident. The Muppets really need a leader like him that knows what is best and really cares for them (without being precious, of course). The Muppet brand really needs its own CEO that only thinks of their interests.
  18. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! I mean, one is tempted to say "You can't go home again." I know I often am! But then again, we have to admit, that CEO of Disney in the '90s did manage to make Disney rise again after years of virtual silence. ;) So it's not entirely out of the question. I just think fans disagree on what direction is best. Still, I'd like to think that Jim would be intrigued by fans from all over being able to discuss his work on a grand scale like the Internet. :)
  19. JimmyDeanDog

    JimmyDeanDog Member

    Good posts all -

    I brought this topic up from just a 'fleeting thought',
    so we gotta let the past go, accept the reason(s)
    why God took Jim away from this earth - -

    - and continue to look ahead in moving onward and upward!

    Maybe Frank still 'hears' Jim at times via telepathy;
    and if this is so - that's reassuring...
    :)

    -JDD
  20. RyGuy

    RyGuy New Member

    If Jim were Alive today a lot of things would be different ( my reasoing doesn't pertain to his Muppet work ) . If Mr. Henson were still with us these things would be a signifcant decrease in the following things:

    There wouldn't be as many elementray school fights/ suspensions. I say this because children today lack suitable role models . I mean our generations had actual human rrole models (Mr. Rogers was essentially a gentle guidance cunselor for preschoolers , who verbally squeezed preschoolers hands tight and took them on field trips to places and gave information at a childs level. and invited preschoolers to his "house "for comfort "He should have ended with the saying "If you have a fear or problem I'm right here for you, just write me at .. " that would have shown even more care . Childrent learn best when a human talks to them .

    Jim could have given 9/11 PSA's (we are at war but your child should be safe from harm , please talk to your children honestly about terrorsisim at these uncertain times ) I'm sure he wouldn't have even had Kermit do that type of message due to the serious message he would have been conveying)

    He would have his personal website complete with audio messages from some of the muppets he played and he would have had a "contact me " option on it

    He may have done a "Kermit and Me " program where he held kermit on his arm and just chatted about a subject with the audenice (sounds relaxing) He could have opened it by saying "A lot of times when Kermit and I are together I'm under him but now we're together face to fo face and he could he read viewer maill and answered viewer questions .

    Those are my thoughts.


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