Topfer Theatre at Zach
"...Directed by: Brian Henson. Starring: Michael Caine..."
"...There she teams up with the friendly juggler Valentine (Barry) – he looks a bit like King Friday of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood – as she searches for both a way out of her dream and a way (via a magic amulet, natch) to save her mother’s life, even as her own lusty doppelganger ingratiates herself into Helena’s real-world home. Cannily produced with the assistance of the Jim Henson Co., MirrorMask feels – like much of Gaiman’s work, including his new Anansi Boys novel – as though it had been woven together using disparate strands of cultural mythos, part pop-psychology, part-sheer flights of fantasy, but nearly all freshly formulated Gaimanisms..."
"...I have visions of waking one morning to find an irate Gonzo perched on my chest, his fuzzy, matted blue paws battering me insensate while he howls threats about “taking me to meet Mr. Hooper.” Disturbing stuff, yes, but, luckily, I don't have anything untoward to say about this first collaboration between Jim Henson Films and the Children's Television Workshop..."
"...Imagine no more. Peter Jackson's second feature (shot before last year's brilliantly horrific Dead Alive) has finally arrived on American soil, and Jim Henson Industries, Inc..."
"...Directed by: Brian Henson and Mark Loparco. Starring: Tim Curry and Billy Connolly..."
"...Beyond this crux, the rest of the plot in this new outing from the dormant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise seems an afterthought. Back on the screen for the first time since the early Nineties, the turtles are now animated via CGI and no longer wearing their Jim Henson hard shells..."
"...There’s a love story in here, too, between former easy Earth girl Trish McMillan (Deschanel), who says she rechristened herself Trillian "because it sounded more spacey," and Arthur, the spineless British everyman who wins out (sort of) in the end. The real star of the film, however, is the Jim Henson Creature Shop artists, who manage to make the many elaborate and decidedly old-school creature effects come to hilarious life..."
"...He also, more to the point, gives Liam the ability to understand what dogs are saying, which opens a window into just the sort of butt-sniffing jokes you might expect. A product of Jim Henson Productions, Good Boy! is only as charming as you are willing to be charmed..."
"...I'm sorry, but when did the Muppets get da funk? With a soundtrack featuring the likes of James Brown, the Commodores, George Clinton and P-Funk, and Earth Wind and Fire, I kept expecting a Bootsy Collins-inspired Muppet to leap out and waggle its furry tongue at me, but sadly such was not the case. Instead we have a fairly uninspired, albeit entertaining, Muppet movie that falls short of the original outing from Jim Henson's creature shop while still managing to bring in a few lesser chuckles..."
"...Keaton seems to be telephoning in his lines from some other planet (odd pauses that don't quite fit litter his dialogue like squirrel spoor in a new-fallen snow), Cross has all the Plasticine appeal of a tree ornament, and Preston just plain looks and acts bewildered, plastering a perpetual, goonish grin across her face in favor of any solid emoting. Worst of all, Jack Frost sports some truly awful special effects courtesy of the usually brilliant Jim Henson's Creature Shop..."
"...Except maybe when your launch pad happens to be in Hollywood, since everyone who takes off from there gets to live happily ever after -- or at least live in a state of suspended resolution, bouncing directionlessly from planet to planet in an eventful yet fruitless search for a way back home. A metaphor for life? Nah, not really… just one more workmanlike recycling of an old Sixties television series, albeit with Nineties visual razzmatazz, dependable animatronics by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and tip-of-the-hat cameos by some of the TV show's original stars (including Angela Cartwright, June Lockhart, and others)..."
"...In The Adventures of Pinocchio, director Steve Barron (Coneheads, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) assumes a daunting task in retelling the classic story of the wooden puppet and his kindly “father” Geppetto that was brilliantly brought to the screen first as an animated feature by Walt Disney in 1940. However, Barron makes good use of Nineties technology in adapting the tale to include live action and animatronics by, among others, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the special effects team behind Babe..."
"...Okay, I give up: Two Muppet movies that require grown men to carry hankies with them lest they exit the theatre with telltale snufflings and watery eyes? As I noted in my review of the recent and successful reboot of the Muppets franchise, Jim Henson's magical puppetry skills defined a generation or two in terms of what was possible, not only on television but also in real life. As it turned out, many a youngster raised on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show went on to pursue their dreams with creativity and gusto that can be traced directly back to those early days spent staring goggle-eyed at the alleged idiot box..."
"...The quartet of co-interviewees represents what Oz described as “the key people, so I wanted to make sure that they got their due.” Each was responsible for a cavalcade of popular characters: Jerry Nelson, who joined the team in 1965, was Count von Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Kermit’s nephew Robin; Bill Barretta, a 20-year veteran who Oz still calls “the new guy,” succeeded Muppet creator Jim Henson as beloved figures like the Swedish Chef, while also originating new favorites like Pepe the King Prawn; Fran Brill gave life to young monster Zoe and pageant-fixated Prairie Dawn; while Dave Goelz won hearts forever as the unstoppable underdog Gonzo the Great, and chivalrous canine Sir Didymus in Labyrinth..."
"...If you've had some distance between then and now – "then" meaning those formative childhood years parked in front of Sesame Street or The Muppet Movie, and "now" meaning an adult's fond but abstract appreciation for Jim Henson's marvelous felt and fleece and foam puppet creations – then do yourself a favor. Dip back in..."
"...Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Mahershala Ali, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell and Kimberly Quinn...."
"..."I hadn't seen it before, so I asked her about it, and she told me she'd made the puppet herself. Apparently, when she was in high school in the 1970s, she won an arts competition and got to go to a symposium on how to build puppets taught by Jim Henson..."
"...And then there was Red Fraggle, the chaotic, chirpy, creative havok-wreaker of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock. Well, actually, it was Henson's daughter Heather, his inspiration for the character..."
"...Directed by: Jim Henson. Starring: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly and Toby Froud..."
"...Lintz, Buddy's growth from sickly, waifish infant to gargantuan wild thang is as notable as a squirrel crossing the road, minus the breathless excitement derived from the eternal question of whether a midday repast of roadkill stew is forthcoming. It's not that this first feature released under the newly minted Jim Henson Pictures banner is terribly shoddy -- there are plenty of humorous scenes of Buddy and his chimpanzee housemates clowning about in their exquisitely tailored Bergdorf Goodman suits and spats -- it's just that nothing out of the ordinary ever seems to take place, no surprises, no explosive climaxes, and no heartbreaking resolution, or at least not one we hadn't seen coming from a good distance ahead..."