What comes to mind? For me it’s fuzz – feelings inside and tactile – laughs, joy, and magic. My kids seem to also appreciate and love the genius ideas of the mastermind that is Jim Henson.
When my daughter was about 2 years old we somehow stumbled upon Muppets Treasure Island. We watched that show every day for at least three months. And then it was regularly still for another six. I got her the stuffies – because it was around this time the reboot happened and Disney was all about marketing that stuff.
Anyway, as with most things, it ebbed after a while. The stuffies were brought out VERY reluctantly from a garage bin that had been collecting dust years later and we sold them at a garage sale.
Recently my kids have rejoined the Muppet Fan Club. My son is 11 and getting a better handle on humor and my daughter finds personalities and characters in boxes and socks, so she naturally gravitates towards talking, singing, dancing puppets.
I found out the local Pop Culture Museum here in Seattle (MoPop) has a Jim Henson exhibit! It’s called Imagination Unlimied. We went today and it was the best thing i’ve ever seen at a museum – Sorry La Brea Tar Pits.
I can’t explain why or how, but I always have an emotional reaction to images of Jim Henson… especially ones where he’s looking at Kermit.
I’m sure I’m not different from millions of people all over the world, but I am not kidding when I tell you that I was on the verge of tears walking through this entire exhibit. Especially the Muppet Show portion and the Sesame Street portion. Tears.
I was surprised at how big the puppets are. I don’t know why, really, but I was not anticipating the girth and the size. I can’t imagine this was a very comfortable and ergonomic job!
I hope they had a good chiropractor on set!
At the end of the Sesame Street portion, the kids got to make their own puppet. There was a video playing in the background of all the different characters this foundation puppet played. Recognize him?
They also got to try their hands (wocka wocka!) at puppeteering on film
Next we moved onto the Muppet Show/Movies portion. The fave. The reason we went.
My son, who has seen all the movies and quite a lot of the Show, finally appreciated these two, where their names came from, and why it was all so dang clever. “Ooohhh, I get it, Honeydew!” (Dr. Bunson Honeydew & Beaker – who is shaped like a what?…) 🙂
Behind the cases of muppets is a wall of screens playing all of the muppet shows simultaneously.
And my daughter learned all about how Muppet Babies began. (separate from these two cuties from Muppets Take Manhattan’s flashback nursery scene)
We also got the answer to the question of “How did they do that?!” with Kermit on the bike. LOVE that scene!
When I was a little older than my daughter is now, my lunch box was Piggy on a motorcycle from The Great Muppet Caper. Low and behold, guess what we got to see today?!
Did I mention how cool this exhibit was? … are you asleep yet, bored readers? Did I mention how much I love the muppets?
The exhibit went on to show puppets and facts and tidbits from the films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Fraggle Rock. Admittedly, I have never seen Fraggle Rock or Labyrinth so I guess I can’t claim “Super Fan”. Oh well! The Dark Crystal puppets were also amazing.
On my worst days, I relate to this character right down to the whiskery chin.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes photos and sketches. Stuff you would never see otherwise unless you have the patience to sit through all the extras on the Blu Rays. But this sketch below I love: “Beard (much preferred)” 😀 !
And they made themselves into puppets because… why not?!
If this comes to a museum near you and you are a fan, I highly recommend it. There are puppets and clips from shows and commercials from Henson’s early days. The kids and I totally enjoyed it and no one was bored at any point!