Friday, May 26, 2017

Dark Crystal Figures From McFarlane Toys Coming Soon!

In addition to already announced Jareth figure, McFarlane Toys officially announced that it will also be releasing Jen and Kira figures from The Dark Crystal

The Jareth figure will be available in November, while the Jen and Kira figures will be released in the spring.

“Fans of both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal continue to grow, while both brands also enjoy the passionate and loyal support of committed followers for decades,” said Vice President of Global Consumer Products for The Jim Henson Company, Federico San Martin. “We are looking forward to McFarlane toys introducing the characters that defined these classic adventures to our legions of fans around the world.”

McFarlane Toys has produced highly detailed figures and construction sets for various entertainment properties and this collaboration with The Jim Henson Company will give fans of these iconic films new and unique action figures that are “true to life” replicas of their on-screen personas.

Todd McFarlane 
owner and CEO of McFarlane Toys said in a statement, “Jim Henson was one of the most visually creative minds, and these incredible movies are just the tip of the iceberg. We pride ourselves on our creativity and attention to detail, and to be able to make figures of these iconic characters is something pretty special.”

The upcoming toys will include a 7-inch figure of Labyrinth’s Jareth The Goblin King, and for The Dark Crystal, fans can look forward to figures of Jen and Kira. Each figure will be highly detailed and come fully articulated to recreate a famous movie scene. 

The figures will also debut in new window box collector packaging and will come with Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal branded detailed bases.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

More Henson Comics!

If you're a fan of the comic collaborations between The Jim Henson Company and BOOM! Studios be prepared for even more as they have just signed a new 5 year agreement.

From BOOM! Studios

The Jim Henson Company, an innovative leader in family entertainment for over 60 years, has signed a new five-year agreement with graphic novel and comic book publisher BOOM! Studios to develop and publish at least seventeen new titles for its beloved classic brands, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock and The Storyteller.

An earlier agreement between The Jim Henson Company and BOOM! Studios resulted in the publication of twenty new titles under its Archaia imprint for the four brands, including The New York Times Best Seller and YALSA-nominated Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths; and two Harvey Award-nominees, Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock Classics Volume 2, for Best Domestic Reprint, and The Storyteller: Witches #4, for Best Single Issue or Story. Additionally, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Tales won The Diamond Comic Distributors Gem Award for Trade Book of the Year.

Also, to celebrate this year’s 35th Anniversary of The Dark Crystal movie release, Archaia began publishing an official sequel, a 12-issue comic book series titled The Power of the Dark Crystal that picks up long after the events of the original film. Most recently, it was announced that Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Tales, a children’s book by acclaimed writer and artist Cory Godbey (Have Courage, Be Kind: The Tale of Cinderella), will be released this summer. The publication is a follow-up to last fall’s best-selling Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Tales, also written and illustrated by Godbey.

“We have worked very closely with BOOM! Studios to develop and publish titles that represent the level of innovation, imagination, and quality our fans expect from these classic brands,” commented Nicole Goldman, Executive Vice President, Marketing/PR and Education Initiatives. “There are so many compelling storylines and fascinating characters that our talented partners at BOOM! can continue to draw upon to deliver more magical experiences.”

“Jim Henson was a singular creative visionary whose imagination has influenced and inspired multiple generations,” said Filip Sablik, BOOM! Studios President of Publishing and Marketing. “Everyone at BOOM! Studios has been honored to work with The Jim Henson Company over the last nine years and contribute to the rich legacy of these magical properties. We cannot wait to share with fans all of the exciting things we have planned for the next five years. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!”

Directed by visionary Jim Henson and executive produced
by George Lucas, Labyrinth is a fan favorite and wonder of puppetry. Stuck babysitting her brother, teenager Sarah resentfully wishes the Goblin King (memorably portrayed by David Bowie) can take him away. When her wish comes true, Sarah must head into the Labyrinth herself to save him. Since its 1986 release, the film has become a fan-favorite and is still reveled in today’s era as a timeless classic.

The Dark Crystal, directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, brilliantly weaves a timeless myth of good and evil. In another time, the Dark Crystal, a source of balance and truth in the universe, was broken, dividing the world into two factions; the wicked Skeksis and the peaceful Mystics. Now, as the convergence of the three suns approaches, the crystal must be healed, or darkness will reign forever. The Dark Crystal’s fanbase has only risen since the film’s debut, and the film has also developed a devoted following across the world.

From creative genius Jim Henson, Fraggle Rock stars a cast of puppet creatures called Fraggles, quirky cave-dwellers who live in an underground world alongside their industrious green neighbors, the Doozers, and a family of enormous Gorgs. The series follows the fun adventures of the furry subterranean creatures and features a unique mix of music from all genres including folk, blues, gospel, country and rock, all while embracing themes of friendship, tolerance, diversity, and caring for the planet. With 96 episodes, 100 original songs and millions of fans around the world, Fraggle Rock has been seen in over 98 countries.

The anthology series, The Storyteller, features both human actors and creations from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in this retelling of classic folk tales, fables, and legends. The series stars John Hurt in the title role. Aided by his cynical dog, Hurt narrates fascinating tales that combine humor, intrigue, and magic.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MOMI's Jim Henson Exhibition Gets An Opening Date!

You waited, you pledged, and know we know that the Museum of the Moving Image's
Jim Henson Exhibition will open July 22!

Here is the official  announcement:
This dynamic visitor experience—housed in a new gallery space funded by the City of New York—explores Henson’s groundbreaking work for film and television and his transformative impact on popular culture. The exhibition features a broad range of artifacts from throughout his remarkable television and film career, and reveals how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. It also includes material from Henson’s lesser known and experimental film projects, presenting Henson as a restlessly creative performer, filmmaker, and technical innovator.

Among the nearly 300 objects on view in The Jim Henson Exhibition are 47 puppets—including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler, Waldorf, Big Bird, Elmo, Cantus Fraggle, a Skeksis, and other popular favorites—character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and iconic costumes. Film and television clips and behind-the-scenes footage are presented on more than 27 monitors and projections throughout. Interactive experiences allow visitors to try their hand at puppeteering on screen and designing a puppet character. Complementing the exhibition, the Museum will present an array of education programs and public events.
Many of the artifacts in the exhibition are drawn from the 2013 donation by Jim Henson’s family to the Museum’s collection, which includes nearly 500 objects related to Henson’s unparalleled career and features historic puppets, costumes, production design material, and licensed merchandise. The exhibition also includes sketches, storyboards, scripts, and other material on loan from The Jim Henson Company Archives. Archival video and photographic material was provided by The Jim Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, and The Muppets Studio.

In addition to the permanent gallery, the Museum will explore Henson’s career and legacy through education programs, live appearances, family workshops, and film screenings.
Advance tickets for timed entry to The Jim Henson Exhibition will be made available soon.

First Look At Power of the Dark Crystal #3!

The third issue of The Power of the Dark Crystal hits comic shops today.

This issue was written by Simon Spurrier, with art by Kelly and Nichole Matthews, who also drew the main cover. Jae Lee provided the subscription cover. 
While Jen and Kira deal with the chaos the Skeksis have wrought on the castle, Thurma and Kensho are out in the wilds of Thra on the run from the Crystal Guard, unaware that something far more treacherous followed their trail: the Chamberlain.
The Power of the Dark Crystal #3 is available now at comic stores and through Amazon.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hard to Resist the Land of Thra!

In case you missed it, last week it was announced that The Jim Henson Company and Netflix would be continuing their partnership with a 10 episode Dark Crystal prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

Here is the official press release:

HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 18, 2017) - A beloved classic from the 80s marks its return as Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment network, will bring The Jim Henson Company’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance exclusively to members around the world. The 10-episode fantasy adventure series is a prequel to the groundbreaking 1982 fan favorite The Dark Crystal, and takes place many years before the events of the film. The series will be shot in the U.K., and will star an ensemble of fantastical, state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and Brian Froud, the original feature’s conceptual designer.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.
Feature film director Louis Leterrier (Now You See MeThe Incredible Hulk) will executive produce the series and direct. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be a Netflix original series produced by The Jim Henson Company and executive produced by Letterier, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. Longtime Henson collaborator Rita Peruggi will serve as producer and Henson’s Blanca Lista will serve as a co-executive producer. Leading the writing are co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (LostThe 100).
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”
“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. "Netflix has a deep respect for my father's original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world."
The press release was followed by a brief teaser trailer featuring Jim Henson's voice over and scenes from The Making of The Dark Crystal:
You're reaction to the trailer, like ours, was probably similar to our friend Rachel's:

And yes, if you look closely at the end, there's a new shot of SkekTek, the Skeksis scientist. Below is a comparison of him in the Resistance trailer vs the original film:

It's obvious the Henson Company wants to do right by fans and stay true to the tone of the original. Below is a special message series director Louis Leterrier released to fans: (via The Dark Crystal's official website)

With this announcement, and all the recent comic releases you may be wondering when exactly Age of Resistance takes place

As you can see, according to the official Dark Crystal site, Age of Resistance takes place between J.M. Lee's novel Shadows of the Dark Crystal and the Legends of the Dark Crystal manga series.

Though no release date has yet been given, the series is in production now and starts shooting this fall. 

With the 35th anniversary of original movie this year, the prequel series in production, monthly installments of the sequel comic, and The Ultimate Visual History coming out this fall, it'll be hard to resist the land of Thra this year!

RIP Roger Moore (1927 - 2017)

Sir Roger Moore, who portrayed iconic British spy James Bond more times than any other actor, has died.

Moore appeared in 7 Bond films beginning with 1973's Live and Let Die and followed by The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy. His last appearance as Bond was in 1985's A View to a Kill .

In 1980, Roger Moore appeared on The Muppet Show spoofing his suave and dangerous Bond image. 

Roger Moore was knighted in 2003 for decades of charity work. He was 89 years old. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Muppets To Appear with Kendall Jenner in 'Love' Magazine!

Paparazzi recently tracked Kendall Jenner to a photo shoot with The Muppets!

The shoot took place last week in New York for an upcoming issue for UK magazine Love. 

The furry attire is apparently part of designer Miu Miu‘s Fall/Winter 2017 collection.

Kermit, Miss Piggy, Janice, and Animal will be appearing in the spread, but judging by the pictures it looks like none of the performers were present. 

The final photos will appear in Love issue 18 which will be released later this year.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We Miss You, Jim Henson!

Another May 16th is upon us Muppet fans. A day to reflect on Jim Henson's passing. 

Thirty years ago the Television Academy Hall of Fame paid tribute to Jim and his contribution to the small screen:

27 years after his death his characters continues to inspire millions of people around the world.

We miss you, Jim!

Friday, May 12, 2017

First Look At Labyrinth Adult Coloring Book Images!

As we first reported back on March, Labyrinth is getting the adult coloring book treatment. 

While we didn't have any official images at the time, thanks to Nerdist, not only are we now able to see the cover but a few sample pages as well. 

We also now know that unlike The Muppets Adult Coloring book, since the Labyrinth version will be release by Boom! Studios, it will be filled with 40-plus original black-and-white illustrations. That means no clip-art or badly vectored stock photos!
We can all look forward to images of Jareth, Sarah, Hoggle, Sir Didymus, Ludo, the goblins and more by the likes of the extremely talented Philip Murphy, Jorge Corona, and Jay Fosgitt.

The 96-page softcover book will be released October 10th, but you can pre-order from Amazon.

Labyrinth Soundtrack Reissued on Vinyl!

Dance Magic Dance! The Labyrinth soundtrack has been remastered and is now  available on vinyl - again!

The album, which has been has been out of print for years, is back on vinyl for the first time since its original 1986 release. 

You can get it now at your local record store, Barnes & Noble, and 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Happy Nurses Week!

Time once again to celebrate nurses with the continuing story of a quack that's gone to the dogs!

Happy Birthday, Kermit!

We missed a very important birthday yesterday, Kermit's!

To celebrate check out the 1986 special, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years which tracks "the rize of our web-footed friend, from the early day to his superstardom in Hollywood." 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Adorkable Rachel - Muppet Monday: Thank You Julie and Julia!

Our friend Rachel is back with a new "Muppet Monday" video!

This week she looks two women recently introduced to the Henson world - Julie's Greenroom and Julia on Sesame Street!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Herry Monster Pop! Now Available!

As we first reported back in January, Funko has released a special Herry Monster POP! figure. 

The figure is part of their "Specialty Series" and as such is sold at only certain retailers.

We know that many comic shops including Midtown Comic in NYC have them in stock. If you can't find them at  store near you Amazon and many other online retailers have them.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

DVR Alert: Miss Piggy and Swedish Chef on Master Chef Jr. Tonight!

Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef will be appearing on 
Gordon Ramsay's cooking show Master Chef Jr tonight. 

Check out a clip to spur your appetite:

Set those DVRs for Master Chef Jr tonight  8 pm (EST) on FOX. 

May The 4th Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day! Remember to control your feelings!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Muppets Hollywood Bowl Tickets Now Available!

You may have heard that The Muppets will be performing at the Hollywood Bowl this fall. 

Tickets officially go on sale this Saturday, May 6th. However, a little bid told us if you use this code "2017BOWL" you can get tickets through their pre-sale.

Here's the official synopsis: 
It’s time to get things started, to light the lights... the iconic and beloved Muppets will perform a sensational, inspirational live show you’ll never forget! Join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo and the rest of the zany Muppet gang, including – fresh off their triumphant festival performance – Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, with legendary rock drummer Animal, for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. All this, plus special surprise guests and fireworks!

The Muppets Take The Bowl Friday September  8, Saturday 9th, and Sunday the 10th!

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Hollywood Bowl. 

Melissa McCarthy Signs On For ‘Happytime Murders’!

It looks like the Henson Company's long-gestating film The Happytime Murders will actually get made.

According to Variety the film is set to begin production this August with Melissa McCarthy attached to star, help with script revisions and, along with her husband Ben Falcone, produce.

Brian Henson is set to direct the comedy under The Jim Henson Company’s Henson Alternative banner along with production companies On the Day Productions, and STXfilms. Producers are Brian Henson, Jeffrey Hayes, McCarthy, and Ben Falcone. Lisa Henson and John W. Hyde will executive produce.

A Deadline article from 2015 stated that "the story follows puppet stars of an iconic TV show The Happytime Gang who are some of the biggest celebrities around. But off-camera, the family-friendly cast leads the kinds of lives that would make a tabloid writer blush. When the Happytime Gang stars begin to be mysteriously murdered, two mismatched detectives – one a type-A, take-no-prisoners human with a secret and the other a crass, hard-drinking puppet with a connection to one of the victims – must put aside their huge differences to stop the killings and catch the culprit, all the while trying to resist the temptation to murder each other."

When asked about the film, McCarthy said “When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly, and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true,”

Last year it was reported that Jamie Foxx was considering the leading role.

STX Films Chairman Adam Fogelson said, “Melissa McCarthy is the reigning queen of comedy and we believe she will make ‘The Happytime Murders’ the kind of hysterical, edgy, viral event that audiences today crave. This is the kind of script and material that was made for Melissa’s smart and boundary-pushing sensibilities. Having worked with her years ago on ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Identity Thief,’ I could not be more delighted or excited to be working with her again.”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Muppets "Art of Coloring" Now Available!

The Muppets "Art of Coloring" adult coloring book hits stores today!

The 128 page book features 100 Muppety images meant to "inspire creativity."

There's a nice mix of stock art, new images, and classic photos converted to line art. 

Some newer stock images work very well, like these pages of Rizzo and Statler and Waldorf:

While transitioning stock photos into line art yielded mixed results.
For instance, here's The Muppets (2011) poster, which works pretty well as line art:

However, the widely used Muppet Show cast photo from 1970's didn't translate as well:

It's a good effort, but why are Statler and Waldorf's suits so minimal? 
It looks like Waldorf is wearing a sweater.
Where are most of the characters tongues?  
For that matter, what happened to Lew Zealand's entire mouth?

Many group images may seem familiar as the book also reuses some classic Muppet coloring book art:

Including the cover from 1982's "The Muppets on Vacation."

The cover image from "Muppet Hobbies" doubles as this book's cover as well.

Some images even came from 80's era storybooks, like the  cover from "Muppets at Sea":

By far the worst image, reused or otherwise, in the book has to be the one below:

I mean, who can forget Kermit's classic violin recitals?

I'm pretty sure it was 
originally used in "a what's wrong with this picture" context in another coloring/activity book, but in this book it's framed and labeled "me." Seriously. 

Whoever Disney had pulling images and working on this book is in serious need of a Muppet history lesson. I mean wow. Kermit. Log. Banjo. It's pretty well documented.

Fortunately, that's as bad as it gets and there are a few surprises that make up for some of the books faults. 

Including this spread of Floyd, Janice, and Zoot (who's surprisingly well featured throughout!

You can find it at your local bookstore and through Amazon.