Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jim Henson: The Works

Fun. Jim Henson must have had lots of fun. Looking through Jim Henson: The Works, I admire how he entertained so many people, young and old, and had so much fun doing it.

Look on pages 148-149. In the two-page spread are fourteen Muppet-modified works of art from the Kermitage, including Da Vinci's Mona Moi (Miss Piggy), Gainsborough's Green Boy (Kermit), and Whistler's Arrangement in Gray and Black with Creep (Whistler's Weirdo). These Muppets are so funny. Wouldn't you like to get paid tons of money for doing this kind of work?

Of course, Jim Henson worked really hard to be so successful, and it can be argued that if he had let up a little, he would not have died at age 53. I am surprised that there is not a management book based on the quotes of Jim Henson. Maybe there is. I could have missed it in the millions of Muppet-based items sold in the past several decades.

Like most biographies, Jim Henson: The Works is arranged in a mostly chronological order. Readers learn first about the Sam and Friends television program, a collaboration between Henson and Jane Nebel, whom he would later marry, and then about his spot appearances with puppets on variety shows, including The Ed Sullivan Show. He also produced entertaining commercials for many television sponsors.

Unlike many biographies, Henson as an individual almost disappears at times in this book, which is also about his collaborating Muppeteers and the characters and shows that they create. Readers learn much about Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and other Henson projects.

Throughout the book are hundreds of colorful illustrations. Anyone who loves Kermit, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, Fraggle Rock, the La Choy Dragon, Emmet-Otter's Jug Band, or, of course, Miss Piggy, must see this book.

Finch, Christopher. Jim Henson: The Works. Random House, 1993. ISBN 0679412034


ATS said...

Such a great book .... I love the Muppets ...

other great ones
Of Muppets and Men (about the Muppet show, mostly and currently out-of-print)
Designs and Doodles (biographical-ish)

Emily said...

I love biographies, and I absolutely love the Muppets! This sounds great.

"Piggy Power!"