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The secret of their success...

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Jennifer, May 11, 2002.

  1. Jennifer

    Jennifer Active Member

    Hello friends...

    This is my very first post on the Muppet forums and I *love* the new format...easier than Delphi.

    I've been thinking a good deal over what it was that made the Muppets, both in their SS and TMS incarnations, so lovable and successful. Of course, the talented artists and performers are a MAJOR factor (Jim's own warmth shone through every character he voiced), but there are others IMO.

    One of them is the ability to make us laugh till we ached one moment...and melt our hearts with genuine sweetness the next. I mean, if I wanted demented humor alone, there's always The Tick. But that balance of humor and warmth is almost unparalleled.

    Another is that Jim and co. understood what too few purveyors of children's/family entertainment do today...*characters are everything.* The best-written story will fall flat if there aren't character you can fall in love with. The thought and care that went into every character is obvious...who'd have thought that a weird blue "whatever" could be so lovable as to capture our hearts by his great song in TMM? Or that a bear who told corny jokes would be so endearing, merely by the fact that he believes in himself?

    Finally, the one thing that really distinguishes Jim's work is *affection.* Affection for his creations and his craft. Affection for even the things he was parodying (none of his parodies were truly nasty or mean-spirited). Affection for the art forms that were featured on TMS (that wonderful moment when Gene Kelly strolls down the Singin' In The Rain set, looks back, and smiles wistfully). And, best of all, affection for the audience. Whenever I'm watching classic SS, TMS, or the first three Muppet movies, I never feel like a demographic or "target market"...I feel like a friend. That's why the final moments of The Muppet Movie melt my heart so...it's as if Jim is thanking all of *us* for making it all possible, "thanks to the lovers, the dreamers, and YOU!!!"

    These are lessons which I wish would be taken to heart by everyone who produces family entertainment. Even Disney, wonderful as they usually are, has been known to slip.

    Thoughts? Opinions?
  2. Salmoto

    Salmoto Well-Known Member

    I totally agree. It's mostly becuase Jim Henson was such a bold innovator with a creative mind and a sparkling personality that gave the Muppets their ability to entertain and tug on the heartstrings.

    Also, I already said this in another post: What I always loved about the Muppets was that each and every one of them, with few exceptions, were performers. To paraphrase a line sung by Clifford, they each had a job to do, and they did it for you. Everyone had a varying level of talent, from Piggy's world class acting to Lew Zealand's spinning fish, but they were all entertainers at heart.
  3. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    I agree; nothing has ever matched the Muppets and I don't think anything ever will.

    Thanks for making us think again!

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