I would like to make my feelings about the Muppets well-known. Sure it's easy to see that I love them like crazy and are ecstatic that they are making a comeback with this new movie that was released this past November (which I loved ), but I really want to speak my mind about them.
In 1955, Jim Henson created a short called Sam and Friends. This would be the start of what would become Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock. The characters he created were something special and not just pieces of felt that could talk. The intricacy in creating these Muppets not only with their looks but their personalities and humanity really made them feel real to everyone.
Jim, like Walt Disney, wanted to change what he could do with his characters. He was able to make Kermit ride a bicycle, create a dragon that actually breathed fire, and creating costumes for well-known characters (as well as his own) that would look lovable (and not creepy).
For several decades, Jim Henson's work was well-known and loved by all. Sesame Street was a show for children that didn't talk down to them, The Muppet Show was pure fun and entertainment for everyone both young and old, and Fraggle Rock talked about issues that kids would get without it seeming too bleak. He also brought about some darkness into his film career with The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
His films with the Muppets are known by all and have some of the most iconic pieces of music in history. The Rainbow Connection, Movin' Right Along, Saying Goodbye, The First Time it Happens, and Never Before Never Again have dug a cozy spot into our hearts as some of the fondest songs of our childhood memories.
Sadly, Jim Henson was taken from us too soon in 1990 when he became very sick and passed away on May 16th. It was hard enough when Walt Disney died in 1966 and both Roy Disneys in 1971 and 2009 respectively. But Jim? This was absolutely heartbreaking for children and adults everywhere. His funeral wasn't depressing (at his request) but the tears were shed all the same.
"God must have needed Muppets in heaven." --unknown child
Steve Whitmire, who Jim personally picked to voice Kermit so he could do more work performing, was very worried that he wouldn't do as well as Jim. But Jim assured him he would be just fine. And he was right to pick him because his voice kept Kermit going.
Now, with the new Muppet movie regaining such popularity for these characters, we can be rest assured that Jim Henson's hard work and creativity will continue to live on. I believe everyone is thankful for Kermit and friend being introduced to the world and will continue to be beloved by people young and old everywhere.
Thank you Mr. Jim Henson for finding that rainbow connection.
The Lovers, The Dreamers, and me.
Jim Henson (September 24, 1936-May 16, 1990) R.I.P.