Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Jim Henson Was So Good

I found this on youtube through a message board the other day.  It's a video of the wrap party for Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock.  The series which began airing on HBO in 1983 was about a group of subterranean creatures called Fraggles.  It was a bastion of good messages, smart storytelling, and creative design (in other words it was typical Jim Henson fair).

The video features a short speech by Mr. Henson and afterwards a song performed by the Fraggles themselves, but it's more than that.  I never watched Fraggle Rock growing up (mainly because I didn't have HBO) but I've caught snippets of it here and there over the years.

For a show I've barely watched, I should have no emotional investment in it at all, and yet ... I can't help but get misty-eyed as Mr. Henson talks and especially at the end when the characters he helped create sing us one last bit of parting advice.  But then, the more I think about it, that's what's common to all Jim Henson creations whether you're talking about The Muppets, Sesame Street, or heck, The Dark Crystal for that matter!  There is an investment not only from Jim but from his people, a love and a passion that transcends cheap kiddie fodder and creates something wonderful and powerful and good!

You know, we talk of greatness a lot in terms of filmmakers, but there are few we ever speak of as being good in the sense that that word means kindness and well wishing.  Jim Henson was a great filmmaker, but he was also a good one and that's the best thing I can say about anyone.

Enjoy the video and check out The Jim Henson Company's youtube channel for more of the same.

The Fraggles promised us that they'll be back and they'll be new, they'll be the same.  Interstingly enough, according to this story from late last year New Regency Enterprises has purchased the rights to make a Fraggle Movie.  I hope that's a promise they can keep in today's watered down market.  The Muppets sure as heck made good to that promise!

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