Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jim Henson Shorts

Jim Henson would have turned 77 last week. On what would have been his birthday, the Henson Company released "Drums West," a recently discovered short animated film made by Jim in 1961. I love the brief footage at the end of Jim at his paper-covered work table in the midst of making the film. Here are more of my favorite Jim Henson film experiments:

"Time Piece"

Made in 1964-65, Jim wrote, directed and starred in this surreal 9 minute short which was nominated for an Academy Award.

"Idea Man"

An experimental short from 1966, animated and narrated by Jim Henson.

Test footage for The Dark Crystal:
Early tests for the Podling puppets.

Tests for a rock puppet made by Cheryl Henson in 1979.

Testing early Gelfling puppets, Mystics and other forest creatures at Jim Henson's home in New York, 1978.

Finally, one of my favorite shorts from Sesame Street, produced in 1970 by Jim Henson and directed by Frank Oz, who also built the amazing contraption:
Another version with an alternate ending is here.