As we’re nearing the end of our “Ten Days of Jim & Frank” event, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the last projects that Jim Henson and Frank Oz worked on together. So, here’s a list of my top five favorite videos of the two working together in their last couple of years as ol’ buddies before Jim’s passing.
5. The Jim Henson Hour pitch reel
Frank is not really in here for long, but his cameos make this project all that much more special, as this one little pilot shows off all the best that the Henson Company had to offer. This also may be the first appearance of Animal’s love of bunnies. Maybe. Don’t quote me on that.
4. Interview with Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Michael Frith
I’m fairly certain that this was put together to show the folks they would be working with at Disney how the Muppets look and work. This way, Disney could handle the characters appropriately without Jim and Frank being directly involved in everything the Muppets did. It’s great to hear Frank describe the characters well, and for artists, hearing how to draw them from Frith is very interesting.
3. An Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz
This is just absolutely delightful. By this point, The Jim Henson Hour was just starting on TV, and as Jim mentions, it had already been cancelled. But, Jim and Frank had a really fun time doing this. It’s simply the two men on a stage chatting, with a few cameos from Muppet friends. It’s definitely worth watching all the way through if you haven’t seen it, and it’s worth re-watching if you have. (Puppeteers of America is awesome.)
4. The Muppets at Walt Disney World
If there’s one reason why you need to watch this, it’s so you can fully appreciate the blooper reel.
5. Muppet*Vision 3D
Do I even need to explain? It’s Muppet*Vision, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to the Disney parks. Although I hear the stunt show is really good.
Honorable Mention – Frank Oz at Jim Henson’s Memorial
I obviously could not include this in the list since it was not really something they did together, but if you want to get an understanding of how much they meant to one another, you must hear what Frank had to say about Jim. It’s really quite remarkable, and I’m very thankful for the work that they did together.