Jim Henson — creator of The Muppets and undoubtedly the most beloved puppeteer in history — was born in the town of Leland, Mississippi, on September 24, 1936, the son of an agronomist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Henson family moved to Hyattsville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., in the late 1940s, and in 1955 Jim, already a skilled puppeteer, began his studies in Theatre Arts at the University of Maryland.
That year marked the appearance of his first television show, Sam and Friends, a five-minute late-night puppet show he produced along with another freshman, Jane Nebel, whom he would marry in 1959. The show featured some early incarnations of his famous Muppet characters, including a lovable frog named Kermit that Jim fashioned from one of his mother’s old coats and two ping-pong balls. In 1958 Sam and Friends earned Jim his first Emmy Award, and he would go on to win an impressive 30 Emmys during his lifetime for his work with… read more
Born in Hereford, England, Frank Oz (born Frank Oznowicz) graduated from California’s Oakland City College during 1962 and joined the humans behind Jim Henson’s fledgling Muppet group as a puppeteer the following year. He was part of the first-season cast of Saturday Night Live as the Mighty Favag and appeared in The Blues Brothers with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. After The Muppet Show went on the air in 1976, Oz became vice president of the Henson organization, and was responsible for the portrayals of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Animal, among other characters, earning three Emmy Awards for his work on the show. He later served as a producer for The Great Muppet Caper (1980), directed by Henson, with whom he co-directed The Dark Crystal a year later. He later directed The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984. Two years later, with Henson in the director’s chair, Oz was one of the voices in Labyrinth. Moving outside of Henson’s orbit, Oz directed the screen version of the musical Little… read more
Oh how I miss American children's fantasy films in the 80s where filmmakers were not afraid to evoke a genuine feeling of dread and oblivion. Today all we get is empty, family friendly CGI crapfests. Henson's storytelling here is rather dull and overly simplistic but the world depicted here is fascinatingly grim and the creatures grotesque and frightening.
Today, people can watch fantasy films and say, “Uh I’ve seen it all before” because there have been enough of them with extravagant CGI effects, mythical creatures, and simplistic stories about good… read review