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Meet the Feebles on DVD?

Discussion in 'Puppet News' started by Zack the Dog, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Movies205

    Movies205 New Member

    Nicely said Luke, I have one question though what the occult? is that like a cult? sorry I don't know... Anyway I think I will pick a book up about Jim Henson...
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    why the heck was I "re"ed? I just made a joke. I'd love to see a real Henson bio. I know he wasn't as kiddified as most make him out to be, but I don't think he was quite as extreme as has been said on this thread. I really think he was somewhere in the middle.
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Hey, I thought *you* were the moderator? heh Anyways, yeah...I just get extremely touchy when people allude to any less than stellar things about JH. No, he aint some messianic figure...it aint like that. But...I guess its like when you hear about scandilous or 'womanizer' theories about Martin Luther King...I just think such things serve only to tarnish a good name. If I recall weve gotten into blood baths on the old MC about similair themed threads concerning JH. Make fun of the AIDS muppet, call the Muppets has beens, say the Muppets will never be back...but I draw the at JH, and find it an afront to all fans to try and 'pull back the theatre' curtain...not to be blind, but perhaps inuendo and rumours themselves are exaggerated. I think thats why the Henson family didnt want that book coming out...I mean
    once someones not around, whose to stop someone from
    making up all sorts of outlandish things?
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Actually, there may be some truth behind those theories, but my point is - why is it our business? Who wants to know that sort of information. I don't want to hear about Henson's marriage troubles. It doesn't interest me. We are all human and I think that people forget that - but that doesn't mean we have to get into everyone's business. However, I don't think that's what Luke was saying.

    About the RE. It said at the top of your and Luke's post "RE Zach and Jamie" and I just wondered why I was mentioned.
  5. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh I know, Lukes one of my homeboys on here...this was more in line with perceptions. I agree, I dont think it is any of are business. Obviously there is nothing aggrigious or really surly...
    Ok, so maybe he was into women, casinos, and drunken druid orgies...I dont know, and I frankly dont care. What counts is that picture you see when you click on 'guides' at the very top of the screen. that is the image and the truth, and to try an dpaint any other sort of picture just really upsets me.
  6. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    "pulling back the curtain" Cory is a natural thing to do when you are looking at a biographical and renowned figure like Jim Henson - the Henson's themselves "pulled back the curtain" for 'The Works' and Jim was a puppeteer very much in favor of "pulling back the curtain", remember how much he appeared with Kermit - thats not a typical thing for a puppeteer to do. The idea isn't to break some scandal - it's more about the fact this is an interesting person and people would like to know what he got upto and what made him tick. I'm not talking about just anyone making things up about Jim, i've seen comments from people like Bernie Brillstein, his manager for 30 years and Frank Oz, as well as people in media i've spoken to. They all indicate some kidification has gone on regarding his personality, what he believed in, and how his life ended. It's good to hear recollections of what things with Jim were like day to day rather than the 10 things the Henson family drag out for every book or interview, there was obviously more to him than that - maybe even just fun things and jokes.

    The Henson family was able to block the book because i think it belonged to them but it wasn't all that scandalous, just gave a different view on what he was like than the family ended up wanting. You have to remember that Jim had left Jane, and his life after that point is probably something the family want to forget, but maybe stuff happened then to tell us more about him and what his real vision was - but we have the gentle green giant, never argue with anybody saint like figure shoved down our throats which helps the 'Jim Hensons Muppets' brand very much rather than controversial religous and occult believer would. You might say it's none of our business, but who's to say Jim wouldn't have wanted the world to know what he thought about different things ? He hasn't had the chance on that one and his image and what happened at the end has been carefully controlled by his family. It could i agree be to stop people saying outlandish things, but also spare a thought that maybe it's just because they wouldn't look very good if the truth was told.

    What i'm saying is not that people want to tear down the 'veil' and destroy something great, just that if you are talking about someone who is a famous figure in history then the memory of them shouldn't really be falsified, especially when AFAIK it isn't anything that scandalous and his own people talk so much about his 'vision' - i don't see why revealing more about how he died and why, and what happened in the later part of his life, and his beliefs would destroy the fact he was a great showman, businessman and puppeteer - it wouldn't. There's just no need for him to have been turned into this mythic saint like personality who people only really know for creating the Muppets, they know less and less about him nowdays.
  7. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Ok...so enlighten us with this 'late stage' JH we dont know. His 'true' vision? Did he get trenched down with some underground Kabballah sect? Join a druid clan? Instead of drumming up all this cryptic vague stuff, why not enlighten us to what his people close to him really knew? I mean is there more to this story than old lady sweaters and Christian Science medical snafus? I mean really...show us how deep this rabbit hole goes and show us the wizard behind the curtain.
  8. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member


    Apologies. I have been doing some research, and came across this interesting nugget:


    During my search for evidence of Jim Henson' s interest in the Seth material, the most interesting piece I found came from Jim himself. He had written some notes for a book entitled, Courage of Conviction by another author, which was never published. After reading it I was convinced that the Seth material had a significant impact on Jim and his beliefs. In 1986 he wrote: "I believe that life is basically a process of growth—that we go through many lives, choosing those situations and problems that we will learn through. I believe that we form our own lives, that we create our own reality, and that everything works out for the best. I know that I drive some people crazy with what seems to be ridiculous optimism, but it has always worked for me. I believe in taking a positive attitude toward the world, toward people, and toward my work. I think I'm here for a purpose. I think it's likely that we all are, but I'm only sure about myself. I try to tune myself in to whatever it is I'm supposed to be, and I try to think of myself as part of all of us—all mankind and all life. I find it's not easy to keep these lofty thoughts in mind as the day goes by, but it certainly helps me to start out this way."


    Very interesting. I think this and the site I found this on pretty much explain a lot of JH interest in new age ideas and things of the sort.

    You know, now that I think about it, why didnt the Henson family want that tell all book published? Sounds like fascinating insight to me. It sounds to me Jim was a student of the world.
  9. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Thats it Cory, yeah interesting stuff like that ..... we don't hear too much of it nowdays but it explains a lot about Jim and his thinking, and importantly to us, when people create things like TV shows they usually use things from their own beliefs and experiences and knowing more about those help you to know more about the show and what was behind it.

    For instance, if you read back the quote from Jim Henson you posted - sounds a bit familar, like Fraggle Rock maybe ? Always looking on the optmistic side, people being there for a purpose, overcoming situations and problems .... and especially life being a process of growth. In Fraggle Rock you had the Doozers, Fraggles, Gorgs all kind of living in different worlds. I know this is a bit controversial, especially today, but i'd be willing to bet that there are a heck of a lot of (albeit loosely based) comparisons you could make between things in 'Fraggle' and Christian Science teachings and also those from Jim's other beliefs.

    Of course it wouldn't be convienent for Henson's to admit there is anything other in it than teaching morals and Jim wanting to make a show that brought peace to the world (but then Jim would have been talking about HIS own view of peace that might be different to our own right ?). However there's direct evidence that Jim encouraged others to use puppets to teach Christian Science in his early years so although i'm not saying it was his whole agenda and maybe not even intentional - it wouldn't be 'out of this world' thinking to suggest his own beliefs formed part of the idea for the show but put it in a more general mainstream way.

    There's plenty of other interesting things about Jim's life that are less talked about too, which we can talk about here.
  10. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that was a pretty good quote I found. Just gotta do some research. So it sounds like Jim had a fascinating expeditary life, why would JHC wanna cover that up? Odd.

    Yeah, sory about earlier. The way you were painting it I was thinking JH was going to som kind of pagan druid 'Eyes Wide Shut'(that one mansion scene in th emovie) wild orgies and stuff like that.

    I read your review of Brilstein. I was a bit unsetlled by one of th eparagraphs you wrote...about how Bernie has a controversial theory that JH knew he didn thave much time to live and other stuff.

    It funny, we cant engage in a normal adult discourse on here about RH, or about stuff we didnt know about JH. Thats why I do find myself at TP, we can have intelligent conversations about the more controversial/taboo subjects regarding puppeteers.

    Finally, is it me or does virtually all of Bernie Brillstein's clients die?
    All those SNL people, etc. Hmmm...

    And whats this about JH wanted to buy Disney in 1980? He actually liked Alf and was friends with Paul Fusco? Fascinamting stuff. So is that tell auto biography available to read on the internet?

    Finally, whatever is said...one constant Jim always had was his vision of world peace...something that he was able to always get across.
  11. GWGumby

    GWGumby New Member

    "Feebles" doesn't reference the Muppets specifically, but the basis of the film is very much deeply related to the Muppets.

    It's about a variety show called "Meet The Feebles" where a bunch of Muppet-like characters do song numbers and sketches. There's the Diva, a large high-voiced Hippo that is pretty much a take-of on Miss Piggy. There's an opening number that's reminiscent of the opening of the Muppet show. Most of the story takes place in the theater and back-stage as they are rehearsing for the big show.

    So it starts off in very familiar territory, but then veers off from there. There are no direct references to the Muppets but a lot of parallels.

    It's rated 'R' for pretty much everything that you could get an 'R' rating for.
  12. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yup, there's also a character that looks a lot like Gonzo. At the time of release, the Muppets were very much associated with this film. They were mentioned in a lot of the press as it was seen as a parody of it and how much of a contrast it is.
  13. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think some characters are very much represented. There's an overweight diva, the show's host, a weird elephant with a thing for chickens, the theater owner, a gossip columnist, a large-scale rhino-like monster, backstage coordinator a piano player, band members, a sword thrower, and a lot of insane vaudeville-type acts.

    So, Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo, Camilla, J.P. Grosse, Fleet Scribbler, Sweetums, Scooter, Rowlf, the Electric Mayhem and acts like Lew Zeeland and Marvin Suggs are kind of represented. The Muppets were definitely used as a roadmap, but only Gonzo and Piggy are the clear facsimiles. None of the puppets look anything like the Muppets and the really went a different rout altogether.

    So to answer the question - yes and no. They definitely used Muppet character concepts, but went so far from the origin that most are distinctly different and original.
  14. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Active Member

    What about the rat? i haven't seen the film yet but in the photo i saw in the mag about the dvd review it had a very ugly rat in one photo and a yellow dinosaur like puppet with a gun to his head in another photo. was the rat kinda like a rizzo rip off?

  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Forgot about the rat. He was more or a music coordinaor if I remember correctly.
  16. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    What press? I wasnt sure anyone outside of obscure cult video stores even knew what the heck 'Meet the Feebles' was.
    Tho like I said...it is astonishing Peter Jackson went from horrific low budget schlock horror and puppet porn in the 80's to 300 million+ epic fantasy films in the 2000's.
  17. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    There was quite a bit of press for it in some places - obviously it isn't Jurassic Park though. I think the film distributors were probably hoping Henson's would try to take them to court over the similarities, so they could milk a bit more publicity out of it.
  18. radionate

    radionate New Member

    This was in the Daily Mississippian (our college student newspaper) this past Tuesday. Thought I would share the link since it seems relevant to the thread:

    Meet the Feebles Article

    We have a great video store in town that specializes in renting out little known movies. They actually have quite a few puppetry movies there. One of these days I'll get in there with a pen and paper and write down all the titles and rent them, so I may share with you all. Most of the movies they have are French I believe (the puppetry films).
  19. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Sweet. Yeah I myself have seen a bunch of super cryptic underground indie, cult, experimental and foreign films involving puppetry and stop motion. Definately not for everyone, but a fun little break from Bruckheimer extreme Bizkit soundtrack world.
  20. Kye

    Kye Member

    I thought "Meet the Feebles " had been banned from certain states. I remember living in New Hampshire and a video store clerk telling me it that the Jim Henson Company had sued P.J. and the producers of the movie. I would love to find out if this quentin tarrentino wannabe video clerk from my past was telling the truth.:rolleyes:

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