New Jim Henson Production Airs On Disney+, Three Decades After His Passing

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The Great Gonzo AKA Charles Dickens in 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company has played host to some of the most creative minds in the industry. From Tim Burton to Brad Bird, the Disney Studio has been instrumental in shaping the careers of many revolutionary artists, filmmakers, and storytellers, but few were quite as pivotal as the legendary Jim Henson.

Jim Henson seen with his many muppets
Credit: Inside the Magic

The mind behind the Muppets, Sesame StreetThe Dark Crystal series, and a wealth of puppeteering and filmmaking techniques, Jim Henson was instrumental in some of the most incredible cinematic contributions in the television and motion picture industry. When the Muppets came to Disney, it was a match made in heaven.

Related: First Look at ‘Muppets Now’ With Kermit!

While it’s been over 35 years since Henson’s passing, his influence still exists in Disney’s media and parks. However, a new development from Disney+ brings him back to the forefront with a little help from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard.

Jim Henson Idea Man Debuts on Disney+

The Title
Credit: Disney

A report from Vanity Fair describes the upcoming film as,

“A new documentary that will stream on Disney+ May 31. The film operates as a comprehensive look at the Muppet creator’s life and work, featuring interviews with his family members and collaborators. There are also lots of puppets involved, from the denizens of Sesame Street to the creatures of The Dark Crystal.”

That is an apt description, to be sure, but Henson’s life, works, imagination, and contributions to the entertainment industry can’t be described in words alone. Enter visionary director Ron Howard to bring Henson’s story to life in complete cinematic form, who goes on to share his thoughts on the project.

Related: New Coca-Cola Partnership Takes Over The Muppets in Disney World

The report continues,

“It was sort of anarchy on the outside, but underneath it, there was always a smart idea—a witty point to make, an observation about the world,” Howard says. “To see that evolve through the medium of puppetry and television, and then on into movies, was so interesting to me. I felt like you could actually observe a lot about entertainment, what entertains us and why, through his journey.”

Henson Hits Disney+

The Muppets gathered together on a white background
Credit: The Jim Henson Company
Although iconic features like The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986) are currently missing at the time of writing, Disney’s magical streaming service hosts a wealth of Muppets-related material and even the overlooked Turkey Hollow series from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. It’s only fitting that they tie it all together with a documentary that is as imaginative and eccentric as he was.
Jim Henson Idea Man drops on Disney+ on May 31, 2024, and promises to be a revealing and intimate look at the creator behind so many fascinating projects. Through interviews with Henson’s collaborators and family, as well as “never-before-seen materials from his personal archives,” Ron Howard paints a portrait of one of history’s most creative minds.
Are you tuning in for Disney’s new Jim Henson documentary? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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