12/13/10

Read Jim Henson's Journal

Photo courtesy of www.henson.com 
"In June 1965, 28-year-old Jim Henson started a written log of his activities in what became known as “The Red Book.” He noted down what had happened up until that point (deemed “Ancient History”) and then recorded anything that he felt was worth recording as single line journal entries until the end of 1988."    -             Henson.com

The creative genius behind The Muppets, Jim Henson, was known to keep an expansive journal. And now, the official Jim Henson archivist makes some of his entries available to the public on Henson.com. The official link to the journal is HERE. If you follow the link, you can read all about the premiere of the classic Henson film, "The Dark Crystal", which occurred on this day in 1982. (I was just a little over three months old when the movie came out...)



It's rare to get a peek into the mind of someone so creatively prolific, and I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity by visiting the blog as often as I can. The Muppets are so deeply ingrained in my subconscious, and I bet they're stuck in yours too. Henson's creations were always funny, creatively transcendent, and they also seemed to provide an innocent brand of sweetness that made them completely safe for children and yet still relatable for adults. The very idea that a cast of relatively simplistic puppets could sustain an entire movie or television show, drive a plot, and display character development seems ludicrous. And yet, that's exactly what Henson and company did with The Muppets, over and over and over again.

There was nothing ironic or sarcastic about any of Henson's work, and along with people like Frank Oz and Stan Winston, he was responsible for the practical magic and special effects that mark a generation's worth of landmark films, television and pop culture. There was a spirit of warmth and sincerity to a lot of late seventies/early eighties movies that's just missing today. I think that's because movies tend to reflect the time period in which they're made, even if it's not intentional. And even though the eighties were tumultuous, historically speaking, they were also filled with hope and excitement, with wealth and New Wave music and a post-Star Wars glow.

Anyway, I could go on and on...the point is, Jim Henson was a genius, and now you can look at some of his personal writing. Can you picture that? (Sorry, couldn't resist...)

P.S. I just realized that while I wrote this blog entry, I was drinking coffee out of my "Animal" mug. See? I told you, they're everywhere.




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