MuppeToons premiere on Muppetworld.com
of Jim Henson Interactive
Jim Henson Interactive (JHI), the interactive division of The Jim Henson Company, announced today that it has released the first of a series of MuppeToons on its Muppetworld theme park on the web, www.muppetworld.com. This collaboration between Pulse Entertainment, The Jim Henson Company and its award-winning Jim Henson's Creature Shop(TM) will bring Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear to life on the Web in the first- ever 3D MuppeToon.
"The MuppeToon project is only the first step in our digital Muppet initiative which will soon include PlayStation games, and the launch later this year of a full scale immersive 3D family destination site,'' explained Craig Allen, JHI's general manager.
Fans of the award-winning television series The Muppet Show will be treated to a 3D Internet experience reminiscent of the skits and gags made popular on the Muppet TV show. Visitors to Muppetworld.com will download a computer generated Muppet that will perform live on their computer.
Utilizing the Jim Henson's Creature Shop's proprietary Performance Control System, real-time performances of the Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear characters are recorded directly within the Discreet 3D Studio Max environment. The recorded performances are subsequently exported into Pulse's Creator software, where all facets of the project are integrated and optimized for the web by Pulse Entertainment.
"By bringing the traditional skills of the Jim Henson puppeteers directly to bear on computer-generated characters, we have created a whole new level of performance in the digital realm, which allows for a more theatrical approach to direction and improvisation, and which has a visibly different texture from conventional key-frame animation," says David Barrington-Holt, Creative Supervisor, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Los Angeles.
The premiere MuppeToon features Kermit the Frog welcoming visitors to Muppetworld before introducing Fozzie Bear who launches into his unique brand of shtick made famous on the long-running television program, The Muppet Show. Future MuppeToons will include more characters from the Muppets troupe such as Bunsen and Beaker. Currently, there are seven episodes in production with a new one set to debut every three weeks on the Muppetworld site.
Muppetworld offers a compelling interactive environment, allowing fans to play with their favorite Muppet characters. By logging on to www.muppetworld.com, fans may purchase Muppet merchandise, take cooking lessons from the Swedish Chef who offers weekly culinary masterpieces in the "Whot's Cooking?" location, and be able to tune into their favorite Muppet clips. Muppet enthusiasts may also listen to the virtual jukebox that boasts hard-to-find Muppet classics and also click on to the Music Pavilion to join in Muppet Band performances. Aficionados may participate in cyber games at the Galactic Outpost, where they take part in out-of-this-world Muppet challenges. MuppetWorld is sponsored in part by Intel, and developed by Dream Theater.
Formed in 1998, Jim Henson Interactive (JHI), a division of The Jim Henson Company, is responsible for the worldwide digital expression of all intellectual properties owned by the organization including such globally embraced and commercially successful brands as THE MUPPETS, FARSCAPE, BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE, MOPATOP'S SHOP, CONSTRUCTION SITE! and THE DARK CRYSTAL.