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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Post-Henson World: I hope that something better comes along...


From 1965 to 1969, Henson's LaChoy commercials featured both full bodied and hand puppets of a lumbering dragon named Delbert.  This beats any Geico commercial any day.

You still have 2 more weekends to catch Jim Henson's Fantastic World (JHFW) at the James Michener Museum, all the way out there in Doylestown, PA, on view through November 29th.  A traveling exhibition brought to us b by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services and The Jim Henson Legacy, JHFW features original Henson character drawings (Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Barkley), screen prints, storyboards, as well as videos of his life's work and of course, some classic Muppets in vitrines.  The exhibit itself seems crammed into too small a space and the flow is just awful, but the contents are proof of the genius that was Jim Henson.

It was a Monday morning near the end of the 7th grade and my friend who proceeded not be friends with me in high school told me that Jim Henson died earlier that morning.  This May will mark the 20th anniversary of his death.  Children's television would not be in the sad state it's in if Jim had lived past the tender age of 53, no doubt about that.  Where we had old skool Sesame Street with trippy shorts and trippier monsters (and aliens!), kid's today have cheesy digital animation and rapping guest stars.  But, you've heard this from me before.  But fear not, fair readers. Hope is out there.  It's just at the movies.