Jim Henson's Fantastic World
Posted 27 October 2008 - 08:32 PM
It'll be here 02/07/09 - 05/03/09. Definite stop for Muppet fans in the area.
Posted 01 March 2009 - 12:28 AM
"Jim Henson: One Man's Puppet
From February 7th to May 5th, the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, Jim Henson's Fantastic World, will be at the Orange County Regional History Center, which is located within a half hour drive of DisneyWorld, on the other side of Orlando. This past weekend, however, I was able to visit the attraction, and I must admit that I loved every single minute of it, but it reminded me of something a little more familiar to Disney fans.
But before I talk about the exhibit, let me backtrack to Jim Henson himself. I was talking with a friend (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! lol) about the exhibit, and she had no idea who this great man was, which, to me, is like saying you don't know what the big firey ball in the sky is. Jim Henson, in this writers opinion at least, is the Walt Disney of the Puppet world. He created the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock, three of the most famous puppet TV shows of all time. He was also famous for doing the voices of many of his most famous characters, including Rowlf the Dog, Ernie, and, of course, Kermit the Frog, who was Henson's Mickey Mouse. Another interesting note about him is that the Disney's Hollywood Studios attraction, Muppet*Vision 3-D, is the last attraction Henson was personally able to work on, before his untimely death in 1990.
Back to the exhibit. It automatically drew my attention by having an actual Kermit the Frog Muppet in the very front of the attraction, with an entrance reminiscent of the Muppet Theatre. As you go to your right, you find a section about Jim Henson's early life, including original drawing he made from his stint as a cartoonist in his college days. There is also a TV screen in this section showing some early commercials that Henson made, with some very strange muppets and stranger plots, but none the less very interesting.
As you continue, you enter, what I like to call, the Muppet Section, marked by a recreation of Statler and Waldorf's Balcony as seen in the Muppet Show. There is also Rowlf the Dog, Henson's first Famous Muppet. Surprisingly, despite Rowlf's Rise to fame on The Jimmy Dean Show, they only briefly mentioned his contributions on the Muppet Show, and his work in the pre-show of retired Disney's Hollywood Studios attraction, Here Comes the Muppets. The exhibit also features some hand written ideas that would latter be used on the show.
Next we enter the Other Section. It starts off with a very brief section about Henson's Muppet-less works, including several live action films Independent films, including Time Piece, which stared Henson himself, that was nominated for an Academy Award. This is a surprisingly small section on Sesame Street, featuring Bert and Ernie Muppets, and some concept work Henson did, including a surprisingly screen accurate drawing of a song about the number 5. There is an even smaller exhibit on Fraggle Rock, but it does manage to include two Muppets used in the show. The final section is on one of Henson's often overlooked works, The Dark Crystal, a 1982 Fantasy film, including a great deal of Movie Props and behind the scenes information.
Now it may be the DHS Cast Member in me, but this exhibit reminded me a great deal of the "Walt Disney: One Man's Dream" attraction, hence the name of the article. They both follow the entire life of there person of interest, including his stuff that seems goofy now, and some of his more serious minded work. They both feature things you will never see anywhere else in the world about this person. They also both feature expensive gift shops at the end lol (but the one at the Henson exhibit would make a WDW price tag blush).
Overall, this is a must go for Muppet fans in the Orlando area, and any other area the exhibit may go to. You can learn a lot about Jim Henson, and all of the great things he has created. If this ever stops traveling and no longer has a home, I hope Disney can get ahold of the exhibit, because it would make a great addition to the park. It is really up to that par. Check it out if you can!
To find out more about the exhibit go here.
To find out more about Jim Henson go here.
To find out more about the Orange County Regional History Center go here."
Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:23 AM
DVC Old Key West 9/27- 10/5/2013 for Food & Wine w/ friends from NJ
Board of Directors Member & Treasurer, The ConGaloosh Society, Inc., a 501(3)c not-for-profit
ConGaloosh 2013 - September 27 - 29, 2013
Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:54 PM
One thing I thought stood out was the comparative absence of most of the Muppet Show muppets--they had Kermit and Rowlf, but that was about it. I actually thought some might be missing, given that they have a display of empty balcony chairs obviously belonging to Statler and Waldorf, but apparently because of licensing issues, they weren't able to display many of the Disney-owned muppets. I don't know if it was for similar reasons, but their store of merchandise was pretty sparse as well--I didn't see anything particularly attractive that didn't look as though you couldn't get it easily online--nothing specific to the show. I think a t-shirt with the exhibit poster on it would have been nice.
They also had a separate room where they had little crafts and activities for kids, a ~20 minute film on Henson's life, and some books on display that had photos that looked like they were taken right from the exhibit. When I asked if they sold the books, they said no, but that you could buy them online. They said they knew that because they had to keep buying replacements, since people kept walking off with theirs. Maybe if you sold them, or anything similar, people wouldn't be driven to rip off the display ones I thought, but I didn't say that, because sometimes you shouldn't say everything you think.