We remember Jim Henson 1936 – 1990


Jim Henson 1936 – 1990

On May 16, 1990, Muppets creator Jim Henson passed away at the age of 53, less than 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.  A week earlier, he was misdiagnosed, and it is believed that if he had gotten the proper antibiotics, that he would have survived.  Very sad.  At the time of his death, Jim Henson was finishing up his deal with Disney, to have his creations, the Muppets, featured at one of their theme parks.

One year to the day later, in 1991, Disney opens Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D at Disney-MGM Studios.  The attraction is a 500 seat media theater, located near the backlot area of the park.  Very fitting that Muppets 3D opens on the anniversary of his passing, it’s a good tribute.  Mr. Henson was a trailblazer in his field, creating these timeless Muppet characters that many of us grew up on, and also grew to love. In addition to creating these wonderful characters, he also was the voice for some, including Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, and Ernie from Sesame Street.  I know for me, growing up, the Muppet Show was a staple in our house.  We watched it all the time.

The Muppet Show was so successful that it spawned three movies during Henson’s lifetime (and more since): The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan. Each film provided Henson with further opportunities to break technological barriers, including allowing Kermit to ride a bike. Gosh, remember Kermit on the bike?  Awesome for those times, I was always impressed!  Let’s not forget Sesame Street.  Most kids, or adults I should say, my age also remember learning our numbers and colors with the help of Bert, Ernie, Grover, and Cookie Monster.  Or, the “Count”…… remember “ONE, ah ah ah, TWO, ah ah ah……”

In the 80’s, the HBO series Fraggle Rock was also created by Henson, and was a favorite to a new generation, beyond the Muppet Show.  Speaking of HBO, do you remember the special “Emmit Otter’s Jug Band Christmas?”  I sure do.  Henson also worked on feature films, and his career spanded almost throughout his entire life.   He was so young, and did so much in that short period of time.  Can you imagine what Jim Henson could have done in the future, had he been given the opportunity to?  His talent, combined with working with the people at Disney, could have led to so many great things.

The legacy of Jim Henson carries on through the characters he created.  Characters that are timeless, and will forever be in our hearts.  We get a little reminder every time we go to DHS, and head on over to the Muppet area.  Ms. Piggy’s statue is one of my favorites too.  So, on the anniversary of the passing of this gifted and creative man, we remember all the contributions that Jim Henson made to our childhood memories.  He will continue to live on through his beloved characters, and through the magic of Disney.



Author: Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

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