Figure 1 | Jim Henson and Friends

Jim Henson career started early in his life; from childhood he was intrigued by art and later television. His interested inspired by a closeness with his grandmother who was an avid painter and always encouraged Henson s efforts; As he often experimented with a vast amount of artistic techniques leading him at the time to latest in visual media. In his high-school year of 54 , Jim hand already engaged in puppetry as began his television career performing puppets on a local Washington, DC Saturday Morning Program on WTOP which later -TV evolved in to a twice-daily, five minute show Sam And Friends, on a local NBC affiliate, WRC-TV by his freshman years in college. Through this, Henson and his future with introduced many innovations in to the world of puppetry eliminating the puppet stage and using the television itself as the Proscenium. Also called a Proscenium arch: - the arch that separates a stage from the auditorium.

At this point one of the most memorable characters was born, Kermit the Frog.

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ith 'Sam and Fri nds | '55- '61
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The s ccess of his show le to guest appearances on national networks such as theS v ll n Show and Today to mention but a few. As well as making hundreds of humorous commercials for sponsor throughout the country. By the 60 s this had increased with weekly appearances on Today and ever-growing list of commercial clients as well as Mupp beginning to develop - pressuring n on to bring in new colleagues such as Don Sahl n, y uhl and F an Oz. began with one With his team of collaborators h Mupp of the first characters Rolf h Dog who became a regular on Th y D an Show from 63 to 66. With his group of collaborators, he then went on to pursue his practice. Further touching on filmmaking in the late 60 s to e pand his knowledge of film techniques by making several e perimental films such as T You h 68 becoming so of his more awardwinning pieces. In result
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leading to Fi ure 4 | Rolf The Do greater innovations with the Mupp
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Fi ure 3 | Present Day Muppets on Today



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Meanwhile, a producer named Joan Coon y began work on a ground-breaking educational children show S a S that would premiere in 1969. Thanks to Hen on growing reputation him and his team where called in to populate the street with a family of character which even today are well known u h a Ern e and Bert, O ar the Grou h, Grover, Cook e Mon ter and Big Bird Through these early stages apply his e perimental knowledge of film techniques. In result showing how appealing puppets are to a younger audience and set him a personal target tous characters to entertain a wider family audience.
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Fi ure 5 | Sesame Street Cast

Soon after Hen on and his team produced more characters for his brainchild the Muppets , with the likes of Missy Piggy, Animal, Fozzie Bear and Rizzo the Rat coming to the small screen in attempts, to reach a bigger audience. To strengthen his attempts of reaching an audience he introduced a host of famous guest stars such as John Cleese and Steve Martin. The result was a success and naturally led to Hollywood, where the Muppets starred in six feature films and today are mainstream TV series for families to watch and enjoy with Kermit the Frog being the host and lead.
Fi ure 6 | Steve Martin with The Muppet




Figure 7 | John Cleese with the Muppets

By the 80 s however, Henson was again looking for something new and innovative and after his hit film such as he uppet s ovie and uppet reasure . In result creating two revolutionary fantasy films he ar Cr sta and Lab rinth . Each film, detour away from; the more comical and childish side of his work to a more dark and ominous tale of Good vs. Evil. To do this he assemble a team which later where known as Jim Henson s Creature Shop ho continuing to set industry standards in animatronics, performance and performance technology.
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Figure 8 | Dark Crystal

What was more noticeable in Henson s and the teams latest instalment was method to animate the puppets. Furthermore, using animatronics and to create more complex movements out of the characters for each movie. The film he ar Cr sta was the first instalment showing a kind of three dimensional characters with advanced movement thanks to five years of experimenting, utilizing the talents of score of designers, builders, technicians and performers from across the globe - Giving near realistic movement from many of the characters as well as seeing him nominated for 6 awards of which he won two. His next success was labyrinth which had received some heavy support with the like of George Lucas as Director, avid Bo ie and Jenni er Conne starring in the feature. His success again was down to the mixture of puppetry and animatronics but this time having the addition live actors as well. The result saw his work gain 3 nominations and give a unique opportunity animation by taking the use animatronics and performance to a new level.

In conclusion this brief history depicts more than just a success of a man and his puppets. It shows the creative mind of a master. Most of which can contribute to any field in the creative world. In Jim Henson case his success was down to a single word Experimental . Henson s was never happy with just one success be from local to national to big screen to bigger audience and then to innovation into animatronics puppetry. Henson s legacy was to do something new and makes him more of an innovator than puppet master. In conclusion showing why his programs are big success in the world today and why his egac continues with Creature shop.

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