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Why did Jim continue with puppetry?

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by D'Snowth, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I just got to thinking, I'm about as familiar with Jim's history as anybody here, but I have been wondering, has there ever been any explanation or theory as to why Jim decided to continue to make his career in puppetry? We all know he never even considered working with puppets, let alone really knowing a whole lot about them, and we also know that what he really wanted to do was work in television, in a nutshell, he became a puppeteer as a means to get on television. Of course, we know, this led to Sam and Friends, and the rest is history... but again, really, Jim's original motive in becoming a puppeteer was simply to get into television, yet it became his career, so I'm just wondering, has there ever been any kind of explanation as to why he decided to continue working in puppetry?
  2. Aaron

    Aaron Well-Known Member

    He just might have enjoyed it. But thats just my crazy theory. :)
    Plaid Fraggle likes this.
  3. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Jim got his main start on television via Sam and Friends, which garnered some fandom within Washington, D.C. With this and commercials, I would imagine that his popularity just began to catch on, and he probably figured that there was no point in going back and starting over when he had an obvious talent.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Makes me wonder though, because I know Jim held a really strong interest in animation, and I also know as a little side job during high school, he drew/designed posters for clients and such, if he had gotten into animation (aside from just Muppet Babies), and what we would have gotten from that. Also knowing how technologically savvy he was, and always trying new techniques, do you think he could have given the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks a run for their money if he did CGI movies?
  5. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    When you've found a niche on Television that is praised by audiences and making you money, you'd be wise to at least give it a chance. ;)
  6. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    I do believe that I remember Jim saying, though, that he would never want to go full force into animation like that because that was already done by Walt Disney. He wanted to try to focus on an art form that hadn't been explored quite as much.
  7. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    "The truth of the matter is that the frog is a great deal more interesting to look at, and who notices what the bearded man is doing?"
    mupcollector1 and Pinkflower7783 like this.
  9. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    What bearded man? :jim:
  10. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Well the bearded man was Jim Henson. Kermit didn't know who that man was.
  11. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Who's Kermit? :p
  12. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Kermit is a frog with flippers. Duh!!
  13. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    What frog? Okay no more muffining but you do realize I was kidding right? :p
  14. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    I knew it! You were muffining! I can't believe it! Okay, you did kid around, eh? You were um scaring me silly. (laughs softly!)
  15. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Hi, I can answer that question. During Sam & Friends and well before that Junior Good Morning Show, there were several reasons why he started puppetry.
    (1. To get a job working on television
    (2. A way to help fund his way through College
    (3. To experiment with art and the film medium.

    Jim went to Europe and left Jane and Bob (Forgot his name) to making more Sam & Friends' episodes without him. Jim was always an artist, but he mostly did print art like having a little side poster business I think during his college years as well as being the cartoonist for his college paper. Jim traveled and to also I think clear his mind on what he was going to do with his life in terms of a career. He didn't think much of being a puppeteer. Then he seen adult puppetry for the very first time, from my research there was a couple of really risky adult content as well as some satire that Jim must have seen at a certain show. I forgot what show it was but Jim was amazed that here's full grown men performing puppets as a career. So Jim thought of what he was doing with art and the television medium and thought, perhaps there's something there he could do more of. And to my knowledge, became history.

    lol World of Jim Henson, I just bought the rare VHS of that recently. Anyone know when that footage originally came out? Not WoJH (that's 1993 right?) but the Jim Henson / Kermit interview? Looks late 80s.
  16. Skekayuk

    Skekayuk Well-Known Member

    One would presume he discovered it was something he could actually do rather well.

    Anyway it's a question which could well be asked about several of his Muppeteer colleagues.
  17. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    Because he hated it so much. ;)
  18. JimAndFrank

    JimAndFrank Well-Known Member

    I was reading the 'Imagination Illustrated' book and apparently Jim took some kind of trip around Europe to see if puppetry was a viable art form at that point in time. When he saw just how diverse and important puppetry was, he decided to keep going with it because he had gained new inspiration in his travels.
    ElizaSchuyler likes this.
  19. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    Yes, apparently that was exactly it. Pick up the new Jim Henson biography that comes out in a week or so. I received an advance copy (it's fantastic) and Jim's early career is covered in quite a bit of detail.
  20. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Jim Henson had many ideas that he wanted to explore and that's really why he was in the process of selling his characters to Disney. The old Animation Magazine article covers some of this. He'd have continued to do puppetry, yet he did want to explore live action and animation too. It's a shame that he never got to enjoy the "third act" of his amazing life. He would have had the opportunity to be purely creative without the business or financial hassles of running the Henson Company.

    Here are a few projects and areas that Jim would have helped pioneer if he'd been with us the past 20 years. He was on the forefront of all this stuff in 1990.
    • Web Content and Internet Publishing
    • Performance Capture and Computer Animation
    • Classic and Cutting Edge Puppetry
    • Traditional Animation of the Muppet Show gang from Disney Animators.
    • Countless Technological Innovations
    • Continued Charity Work for Social and Environmental Causes
    I would have loved to see a Disney animated Muppet movie. The idea of it blows my mind! It's also interesting that he was one of the first popular entertainers to take up causes like wildlife and energy conservation.

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