Jim Henson Idea Man (2024)

Jim Henson Idea Man (2024)

Bursting with color and heart, Jim Henson’s life story is sure to inspire hopeful creatives all around

7.8

Movie

United States of America
English
Documentary
2024
RON HOWARD
Brian Henson, Dave Goelz, Fran Brill
108 min

TLDR

It’s an explosion of creativity and color, sure to jumpstart any artist idle or doubtful of where they stand.

What it's about

Tells the inspiring life story of Jim Henson, the co-creator of The Muppets and Sesame Street; the founder of The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Fraggle Rock; and the director of heretofore unseen experimental and social films that artfully spoke to the prickly social realities of his time.

The take

It’s hard not to be enchanted by Henson’s furtively creative world, which here is charmingly sectioned into nostalgic archival footage, stop motion art, and clips of Henson’s own experimental films early in his career. Those unfamiliar with Henson might think his story is simply the history of the Muppets and Sesame Street (though even then it would be a full one), but Henson has plenty of other creations too. He’s part of a line of chronically dissatisfied artists who are constantly reinventing and restlessly one-upping themselves, which is why his work evolved into early CGI, as well as The Dark Crystal franchise and films like Labyrinth. This lovingly told documentary tries to match Henson’s heart and creativity, while also showing the darker aspects of his life, such as the effect his nonstop artistry had on his family and health.

What stands out

Kermit the Frog started out as a coat! Rowlf was a basketball! The puppeteers behind (beneath?) Bert and Ernie were also best friends! The resourcefulness of man’s mind is incredible.

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