Wednesday, September 30, 2015

River Horse Labyrinth Game - First Peek at Ludo!

You may recall River Horse is developing a Labyrinth game. Previously they revealed a first look at their Hoggle figure. 

Now we have a first look at the making of their Ludo figure!



From their press release:


Rocks... friends!

Ludo is here!

These are the first pics of the 3-up Ludo for our upcoming Labyrinth board game.
Ludo has been sculpted by Johnny Frazer-Allen, who we are glad to say will be working on all the figures for the game.
As for the game itself, the base game is written and will soon be sent out to an elite team of playtesters for feedback.  Alessio has already played the game at his local gaming club and it went down really well, even with someone who hadn't seen the film (but will now be ordering the dvd!).
We'll be sharing a little more about the gameplay and other exciting bits over on the Labyrinth Boardgame Facebook Page.
Lets take a minute to remember the man who brought all this to life, Jim Henson, (born on Sept 24th 1936) by celebrating the 60th anniversary of the company and worlds he created. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Muppets are #1 and a New Episode Airs Tonight!

Today's Tuesday and you know what that means? It's time for another new episode of TV's #1 new comedy, The Muppets!



Check out these promos for tonight's show!





And one more for the series it itself!



Monday, September 28, 2015

DVR Alert: The Muppets Return to "Dancing with the Stars" Tonight!

Be sure to set those DVR's at The Muppets return to "Dancing with the Stars" tonight at 8/7 central on ABC. 



And just in case you miss it, we'll be be sure to update this post tomorrow with video from the appearance.

First "Furchester Hotel" DVD Now Available in UK!

"Welcome to the Furchester Hotel", the first DVD from the CBeebies series The Furchester Hotel, is now available in the UK.





The disc contains the first 6 episodes from the series:
Welcome to the FurchesterMr. Director and his assistant Carol are visiting The Furchester Hotel to shoot a video to promote the establishment and are very surprised when they find that it is run by monsters! Mr. Director follows the exciting escapades of the hotel and its residents, uncovering lots of unusual activities along the way. 

Don’t Eat the Guests
Catastrophe strikes when the hotel runs out of cookies and Cookie Monster descends into panic. The arrival of Mr. Crumb, a living cookie, does little to help matters and responsibility falls to the Furchester Hotel team to ensure his safety whilst they wait for the cookie shipment. 

Very Important Porcupine
The arrival of Pierce the Porcupine causes alarm amongst the hotels residents who fear his prickly appearance. Elmo and Phoebe relish the chance to make a new friend and ensure that Pierce has a fantastic stay at the Furchester. 

Yodel-Ay-Hee-Hoo!
A kerfuffle is caused when the hotels telephone ceases to work, calling for some creative thinking from the Furchester team. After trialing a series of tin can telephones, Furgus, Phoebe and Elmo turn to the hotel’s newest resident, Professor Fleece, for lessons in yodeling. 

Count Your Chickens
Local tour guide, Griff, turns to the Furchester team to watch his latest group, consisting of five chickens, whilst he fetches his bus from the garage. Following his departure, chaos descends across the hotel as the chickens disappear and the Tea Time Monsters run riot. 

The Veggietones
Funella hires The Veggietones to serenade the hotels guests, much to Elmo and Phoebe’s delight. The group’s initial performances cause concern amongst the guests but a helping hand from Furchester team ensures everyone is able to enjoy the show.

While the series isn't broadcast here in the states, Sesame street has been releasing the show on YouTube. The entire first episode can seen be below:

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Muppets Promotion!

Back in July, we showed you the promotion campaign for "The Muppets" that infiltrated San Diego Comic-Con

Today, we take a look at some of the ads popping up across the country!

Jan Nelson spotted this Miss Piggy Bus ad on 57th St. in  downtown Los Angeles:


Matt Vogel snapped at photo of this billboard above a gas station in L.A:



Heather Henson shared this posted of Fozzie in the LA subway:



On the other side of country, this massive ad is wrapped around the entrance to Toys R Us in New York's Times Square:



 While this bus adored with Fozzie was also spotted in New York City. 



 In Pennsylvania, Gene Baretta spotted this billboard in the Philly suburbs, 



 And Mike Slawinski Jr. drove by this Kermit billboard on I-95 in Philly. 


If you've spotted an ad please let us know and we'll add it above!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Jim Henson Company Turns 60!

Along with Jim Henson and Steve Whitmire's birthdays, The Jim Henson Company also turns 60 today!

The Henson Company plans to cerebrate with some great upcoming events, one on going series even features our friends at ToughPigs!



Check out the press release from The Jim Henson Company below:

The Jim Henson Company Celebrates 60 Years

Celebrating Timeless Characters and Continuing to Create New Friends
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1955, Jim Henson premiered his first show, Sam and Friends, a five-minute series that aired twice a day for six years – live – on Washington DC's WRC-TV, forever changing puppetry, and launching a company that would become synonymous with innovation, creativity, engaging characters and quality family entertainment.  Today, The Jim Henson Company is honoring its founder, Jim Henson (born on September 24, 1936), on his birthday by celebrating the 60th anniversary of the company he created, the timeless characters that have remained global favorites, and the newest members of the Company's family of characters.


Over the last 60 years, the Company has established itself as a leader in family entertainment and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation.  With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is currently headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities.  The Company is also home to Jim Henson's Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording facilities.  With thriving distribution, consumer products and licensing businesses, The Jim Henson Company continues to develop and produce top-rated, critically-acclaimed entertainment for audiences around the world.  The Company is currently in production on the fourth season ofDinosaur Train, the Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS seriesand Word Party, a new preschool series for Netflix set to premiere in 2016.  Additionally, several new productions are on the way.
In the coming months, fans can expect fun opportunities to share in their appreciation of classic titles from The Jim Henson Company such as The Dark Crystal and Fraggle Rock.  And parents and children alike will have new ways to enjoy current hit series, including the multiple Emmy Award-nominated Dinosaur TrainSid the Science KidPajanimals, Doozers, Hi, Opie! and many more.
Fans of all ages are encouraged to follow The Jim Henson Company on Facebook (/HensonCompany) and Twitter (@HensonCompany) to hear the latest news.
Some upcoming events celebrating the anniversary include:
  • ToughPigs.com "Unboxing with The Jim Henson Company"Premiering September 24, join the gang from fan site ToughPigs.com as they visit with Karen Falk, The Jim Henson Company's archivist, to "unbox" treasures from the Company's archives. www.toughpigs.com 
  • The Dark Crystal Fan Film Competition We know our fans cosplay, build creatures and write new scenes for the groundbreaking fantasy classic The Dark Crystal—and we want to give you a chance to show off your talents! BeginningSeptember 24, fans of this groundbreaking fantasy classic can find details for our Dark Crystal Fan Film Competition, kicking off at www.darkcrystal.com.
  • Jim Henson Family Screenings Enjoy favorite titles from The Jim Henson Company at local family screening events around the country, beginning with New York's Museum of the Moving Image Fall Family Day onSaturday September 26, featuring puppet making and screenings of Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid. Future screenings locations include the Center for Puppetry Arts inAtlanta and more.
  • The Jim Henson Gallery Beginning November 14, 2015, the Center for Puppetry Arts inAtlanta, the country's premier destination for all things puppet, will open its new Worlds of Puppetry Museum featuring the world's most comprehensive collection of Jim Henson's puppets and artifacts donated by the Henson family. www.puppet.org 
  • Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow For fans of all ages comes Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow, the new movie premiering on Lifetime on November 21, 2015. Based on a never-produced story by Jim Henson and his longtime writing partner Jerry Juhl, and only recently re-discovered in the Company's archives, this new holiday classic stars Mary SteenburgenJay Harrington and Chis "Ludacris" Bridges and features creatures from Jim Henson's Creature Shop™. http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/jim-hensons-turkey-hollow.
60 YEARS BY THE NUMBERS 
Milestones and Trivia from The Jim Henson Company's 60-Year History 
Compiled by the Company's Archives
475 -     Episodes of animated television produced by The Jim Henson Company in the last 60 years.  Includes titles like the Fraggle Rock animated series (1987), Dog City (1992) and Dinosaur Train (2009).
375 -     Approximate number of puppets donated by the Henson family to the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta to be part of the new permanent Jim Henson Collection Gallery set to open on November 14, 2015.  The donation also includes more than 100 costumes, props, and masks.
350 -     Hands seen in the Shaft of Hands sequence from Labyrinth (1986). (Only 200 hands were foam while the rest belonged to puppeteers.)
345 -     Number of times the expletive "frell" was said on science fiction favorite Farscape (1999–2003).  See them all Here:
237 -     Songs sung on Fraggle Rock (1983–1987).
140 -     Territories around the world that have aired the Emmy Award-nominated preschool science series Sid the Science Kid(2008).
121 -     Dog puppets built by Jim Henson's Creature Shop™ in the last 60 years, including Sprocket from Fraggle Rock (1983), the Storyteller's dog in The Storyteller (1987), and Princess from Henson Alternative's No, You Shut Up!, currently airing on Fusion. 
106 -     Prehistoric creatures that Buddy the T. rex has met on Dinosaur Train since the series launched in 2009.
63 -       Emmy wins.
50 -       The wingspan, in feet, of Ultra-Gorgon, the biggest puppet made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, featured in Monster Maker (1989).
46 -       Teeth in the mouth of Fizzgig, the popular character from classic fantasy film The Dark Crystal (1982).
46 -       Television series produced by The Jim Henson Company since 1955.
19 -       Vehicles and gadgets used by the Pod Squad in the animated series Doozers, available on Hulu.
2 -        Academy Awards presented to Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
2 -        The height, in inches, of the smallest puppets made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the animatronic mice created for The Witches (1990).
Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-jim-henson-company-celebrates-60-years-300148405.html


Throwback Thursday: Rewind: Jim Henson and the Birth of the Muppets

Back in May, on the 25th anniversary of Jim Henson's death, Canada's CBC produced an episode of their throwback radio show Rewind all about Henson and the Muppets.



The episode uses many archival interviews with Jim and his collaborators including Richard Hunt, Frank Oz, and Dennis Lee. The information about the characters is not to be missed. 

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Steve Whitmire!


We also wish a Happy Birthday today to Steve Whitmire's as well!







Happy Birthday, Jim Henson!


A very special Happy Birthday to Jim Henson, who would have turned 79 today.





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reminder Set your DVRs!

The Muppets begins tonight, but it just isn't just on tonight... it'll be on EVERY week!



Be sure to program your DVR to "Record Series." That way you won't miss an episode! 



"Muppet" Reviews!

Critics other then Statler and Waldorf have gotten their first look at The Muppets and we've compiled links to a few of thier reviews below!



Cinemablend calls the show "Hilarious And Cameo-Heavy Fun For All Ages" and "one of the funniest network comedies I’ve seen in ages."

Gazette said "With a tip of the hat to pop culture but with a clear link to its own past, “The Muppets” does a great job of being true to itself while blending modern comedic sensibilities."


Rolling Stone has a great article about the series titled, "The Muppets' Grow Up and Get Dark."

Philly.com says "Muppets inspire us to make world a better place."

NY Daily News touts the joys of The Muppets putting on an " adult-oriented show."

The LA Times call the show "Sex and drugs and 'The Muppets' -- a little strange, yet clever."

Finally, our friends at ToughPigs got to see the first two episodes and they said,
"Believe the hype! And don’t forget to tune in on September 22nd!"

You can read all the reviews at the links above!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Even More "Grown Up" Muppet Promos!

With only one day to go before "The Muppets" premieres, we're getting a few more looks at clips from the actual show! Obligatory spoiler alert.

















And as you can see, Kermit don't play in this promo from a scene from the test episode. 





Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Pay For Muppet Stuff - Animal Wallet!

A new Muppet show means a new range of merchandise is just around the corner. But how to pay for it all? Fear not, for today we present another in our long running series "How to Pay For Muppet Stuff."

You have the Muppet checksand the Sesame and Henson debit cards, but where oh where to keep them all? In your Muppet wallet of course!



This Animal wallet was released last year in the UK and will ship to the US.


 It's available now from a few sellers on Amazon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Third Man Records to Release Turntable and Vinyl LP Featuring Kermit!

Third Man Records is set to release a turntable and vinyl record set for kids featuring Kermit!


The set titled, This Record Belongs to ______" features two Muppet songs. The Pointer Sisters “Pinball Number Count” from Sesame Street and 
“Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie

Check out the full track list below:

01. Shel Silverstein – “Invitation”
02. Van Dyke Parks – “Occapella”
03. Carole King – “One Was Johnny”
04. Harry Nilsson – “The Town”
05. Harry Nilsson – “Me And My Arow”
06. The Pointer Sisters – “Pinball Number Count”
07. Woody Guthrie – “Dance Around”
08. Jerry Garcia & David Grisman – “Jenny Jenkins”
09. Roger Miller – “Oo-De-Lally”
10. Bobby Bare – “Daddy What If”
11. Ella Jenkins – “Pretty Trees Around the World”
12. Nina Simone – “You Can Sing A Rainbow”
13. Vashti Bunyan – “Diamond Day”
14. Donovan – “The Mandolin Man and His Secret”
15. Miss Abrams & The Strawberry Point 4th Grade Class – “Running in the Garden”
16. Kermit The Frog – “Rainbow Connection”



The package is currently available for pre-order here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

GMA Exclusive: Miss Piggy Speaks Out!

As promised, Miss Piggy stopped by Good Morning America this morning and talked to Nick Watt about her break up with Kermit.



 You can watch the entire interview here

Even More Promos For The Muppets!

Even more promos for the Muppets have popped up, including an extended look at Kermit and Piggy's relationship post break-up!









Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DVR Alert: Miss Piggy on GMA tomorrow!

Miss Piggy was originally scheduled to appear on Good Morning America this morning, but it looks like her appearance will now be tomorrow instead.



Take a look at the promo for her appearance as well two band new promos for "The Muppets" below.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Last Week Tonight - John Oliver Rates The Muppets Sex Appeal!

John Oliver took time out from his segment on Public Defenders on Last Week Tonight to talk about The Muppets, um let's say sex appeal. 





Note: May not be suitable for work:



More Promos For The Muppets, Including One with Actual Footage!

More promos for "The Muppets" were recently released, including one that aired during the Miss America pageant last night that shows the first actual footage from the show!









2016 Hallmark Muppet Calendars!

Get a peek into the future and the past at the same time with Hallmark's 2016 Muppet Calendars!



That's right, Hallmark has two Muppet calendars for 2016. Sadly they're both the same - just in different sizes, and featuring artwork that's been used for past calendars.

I'm surprise with all the great new illustrations Hallmarks been using for their CUBEEZ, plaques, and mugs, that they decided to recycle these images. - here's hoping in 2017 they're figure it out!



Friday, September 11, 2015

Muppets Make Wall Street Journal Cover Story!

We heard last night that was a story about "The Muppets" in the Wall Street Journal. What we didn't know until today, was that it was a full two page cover story!



You can read the entire article here. However, it's much more impressive in person. They even got a mention on the front page! To paraphrase Joe Biden, this is a very big deal!

So if you don't have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, be sure to get a copy of today's paper!

On the Other Hand: Who is Steve Witmire?

Who is Steve Whitmire? Longreads has a great in depth article about the man behind (or rather under) Kermit the frog.

On the Other Hand


By Jon Irwin

Summer, 1990. Steve Whitmire was inside his home north of Atlanta when he received a package in the mail. He pulled the contents out of the box. He stared at the mouth, the hands, the green felt body and limp legs. He smelled … his friend and colleague, Jim Henson. Months after the public memorial, and after Henson’s body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, this empty, lifeless form held the slightest scent of his famous creator within its frog shape, first stitched together nearly 40 years prior. A teen Jim cut scraps from his mother’s old turquoise coat and accidentally started an empire. Now the familiar face stared back at Steve, its mouth open for no reason. Henson’s son Brian and then-interim company president was asking Whitmire to continue his father’s legacy. Whitmire was 30 years old. He stuck Kermit in a cupboard and did not look at him for weeks.

Jim Henson died early in the morning on May 16, 1990. His creations entertained children and their parents even before joining Sesame Street in 1969, developing The Muppets into unlikely felt superstars. With his trademark beard and 6-foot-3-inch frame, Henson appeared from a distance like a lanky, affable lumberjack. As a human, he was charming and driven, ambitious yet calm. But as one of his puppets—strange creatures that beguiled audiences into learning and loving a bit more than before—he became something else. When he died, so too did the voice and body of bathtime-loving Ernie and Kermit the Frog.

Of course, Ernie and Kermit didn’t die. A puppeteer’s job is to make an audience forget he or she exists. The most well-loved proprietor of an art form hinging on not being visible could no longer hide, because he was gone. Someone else had to hide for him.

Since November 1990, Steve Whitmire has performed as Kermit, Ernie, and dozens of Henson’s famous roles, among the most well-loved and recognizable characters of the last half-century. Before that he spent over a decade inhabiting Thogs, dancing food, singing chickens, and Fraggles. Yet outside of Muppet fanatics and industry insiders, Whitmire is relatively unknown.


For the rest of the article please go to Longreads

Thursday, September 10, 2015

D is for Departure!

Sesame Street head writer Joey Mazzarino took to social media today to announce he's leaving the show.


Besides writing duties, Mazzarino performed many characters on the show including Stinky the Stinkweed, Horatio Elephant, and most notably Murray Monster.

Below is his post announcing his parting:




It seems like there's a lot of turmoil on the Street these days. Let the speculation as what drove this latest exit begin, while we wish Joey all the best in whatever his future endeavors may be.

River Horse Labyrinth Game - First Peek at Hoggle!

River Horse is developing a Labyrinth game and revealed the first look at the Hoggle figure. 




From River Horse's press release:

First sneak peak at Hoggle for our Labyrinth game

We thought that you'd like to know how we are doing with the Labyrinth game, well,the first draft of the mechanics is written and we are into the playtest stage. We are going through the archives and pictures from the nice chaps at Henson, we have also been lucky enough to land a top notch sculptor to help bring the figures to life:  Mr Johnny Fraiser. As you can see by the pictures, his sculpt of Hoggle is spot on!  Johnny is a massive fan of the Labyrinth and we think you can see just how much when you look at some of his other projects, The GloamingThe Wandering Woods, and from some of the games he is working on here.

Come and join the conversation on the Labyrinth board game Facebook group.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dark Crystal Creation Myths Available September 22!

The third and final volume of Archaia’s Dark Crystal: Creation Myths was supposed to come out today, but now will released September 22! 


Check out our earlier preview of the book, which can be pre-ordered from Amazon here!

Happy Birthday, Gene Barretta!


Gene Barretta served as character designer for the Jim Henson Company's Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del and Tinseltown. He sketched the original designs for Augie, Del, Louzia and her monkeys, Samson, Bobby, and many others. Check out the sketches and final characters below!