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Muppet Musings

Published July 27, 2017 by sarcasmica

The Muppets.

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.

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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.

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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.

Bert & Ernie

And Rubber Duckie!!

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Grover 🙂

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1-2-3 Ah Ah Ah!

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!

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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?

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They also got to try their hands (wocka wocka!) at puppeteering on film

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They learned how hard it is to stay in frame and operate puppets simultaneously

Next we moved onto the Muppet Show/Movies portion. The fave. The reason we went.

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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.

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And my daughter learned all about how Muppet Babies began. (separate from these two cuties from Muppets Take Manhattan’s flashback nursery scene)

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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?!

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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.

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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)” 😀 !

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And they made themselves into puppets because… why not?!

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Jim Henson & Frank Oz as puppets

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!

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