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Jim Henson: The Works - The Art, the Magic, the Imagination Hardcover – October 12, 1993

4.9 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

At the time of his death in 1990, Jim Henson had created some of the world's most beloved characters, invigorated the d{‚}emod{‚}e art of puppeteering, and achieved in TV and films critical and commercial success unheard of since the heyday of Walt Disney. This oversize, colorful volume, sure to delight Henson's many fans, traces his career from local TV in the mid-1950s through the triumphs of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, his leap into movies (The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, etc.), and late projects like Fraggle Rock. The book also covers Henson's little-known forays into experimental film and the contributions of his Creature Shop puppetmakers to non-Henson movies. The authorized nature of this project gave Finch access to fascinating archival materials, such as behind-the-scenes photos. Unfortunately, it also results in an annoying lack of critical detachment and a one-dimensional portrait of Henson. Even so, Finch convincingly portrays Henson's visionary dedication to the craft of puppetry. The continuing popularity of Kermit, Big Bird, and Henson's other creations ensures that this showcase of them will be in demand for many years to come. Gordon Flagg

About the Author

James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24, 1936 May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, Imagineer, inventor, screenwriter, film director and producer, best known as the creator of The Muppets. As a puppeteer, Henson performed in various television programs, such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, films such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and created advanced puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. He was also an Academy Award-nominated film director (for his short film Time Piece), Emmy Award-winning television producer, and the founder of The Jim Henson Company, the Jim Henson Foundation, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Jerry Juhl was an American television, movie writer, and Jim Henson's frequent writing partner, best known for his work with Jim Henson's "Muppets."

HARRY BELAFONTE is known worldwide for his achievements as a singer, actor and producer and for his commitment to human rights. Beginning with the American civil rights movement in the 1950 s, he has established a long and distinguished record of human rights advocacy. In the early 1950s, Belafonte developed a strong relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Belafonte worked tirelessly to mobilize artists in support of the civil rights movement. Mr. Belafonte spent an increasing amount of the 1970s and 1980s as a tireless humanitarian. In 1985, he again rallied the global artistic community to raise awareness of the famines, wars and droughts plaguing many African nations. USA for Africa raised more than $60 million for this cause with "We Are the World" and Hands Across America. A longtime anti-apartheid activist, Belafonte hosted former South African President Nelson Mandela on his triumphant visit to the United States. He remains active within the South African community to this day.

Candice Bergen s film credits include "The Sand Pebbles", "Carnal Knowledge", "Starting Over "(for which she received an Oscar nomination)", "and "Miss Congeniality". On television, she made headlines as the tough-talking broadcast journalist and star of "Murphy Brown", for which she won five Emmys and two Golden Globes. She later starred with James Spader and William Shatner in the critically acclaimed series "Boston Legal".

Christopher Finch was born and raised on the island of Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. He lived in London and Paris before moving to New York City in the late 1960s, the setting of Good Girl, Bad Girl. After working as a freelance writer and artist in New York for more than two decades, he moved to Los Angeles, where he continues to write and make art. Christopher has mounted one-man shows in both New York and Los Angeles, and his work has been included in museum exhibitions. He has occasionally written for television; his Judy Garland biography, Rainbow, was made into a movie for television. He is married to Linda Rosenkrantz, who is an author and the cofounder of the website nameberry.com. They have a daughter named Chloe.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (October 12, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679412034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679412038
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.9 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A must have gem for any die hard Jim Henson fan. This book is rich and loaded with information and pictures on the evolution of Kermit the Frog and Jim Henson's life. From SAM AND FRIENDS to COMMERCIAL SHORTS (Wilkins Coffee and La Choy Chow Mein) to SESAME STREET. That's not all there's great stuff on THE MUPPET SHOW, including an entire page of small pictures of all 120 Guest Stars with songs and pictures and skits from the shows. From THE MUPPET MOVIE to LABYRINTH to FRAGGLE ROCK to so much more, you will want to read it over and over again. Something to share with your young one's over the years as well.

BUY IT, YOU'LL LOVE IT! Rest in peace, Jim Henson! You were THE genius!
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By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Finch does a great job of detailing Jim Henson's life. He includes colorful pictures and stories about Henson from his colleagues and friends. "Jim Henson The Works" always keeps your interest by containing interesting and fun sidebars. Every Muppet fan should read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely incredible! Every page is bursting with the zany creativity that Jim Henson inspires in us all. This book is well-worth the price for the photos alone -- everything from early obsure works to Sesame Street to my hero, Kermit the Frog. The text is engaging, informative and full of interesting stories behind the movies and tv shows that have made so many of us laugh. If you are part of the Muppet generation like me you will especially appreciate the fond memories this book brings back.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone who knows me as an adult thinks that I must have been a huge Disney fan as a child. While I've always enjoyed Disney films and shorts, my childhood was focused mainly on three things: Peanuts, Star Wars, and The Muppets.

This week's book spotlight is Jim Henson, The Works - yet another of my most prized books in my library. In it, we not only read biographies and histories of the characters that we've grown to love, but we also learn about some of the projects that he would have like to have produced and how much of an artist and visonary Jim Henson really was.

The book contains some of the most creative and unique page layout designs that I have ever seen. I especially enjoy the small "Jim Henson: The Early Years" book which is about a quarter of the page dimensions of the rest of the book which is tipped-in to the binding. The entire volume appears to have been assembled as thoughtfully and lovingly as you can imagine Jim doing all of the projects during his life.

In a nutshell, I would highly recommend this book-not just to people who are fans of the Muppets, like myself, but to anyone who likes to have a peek into what makes creative people tick, and maybe glean some inspiration in the process.

What made me decide to comment on this book-besides seeing it on my bookshelf every day at work-is my recent purchase of The Muppet Show: First Season on DVD. I was a little nervous when I first got it that I wouldn't enjoy the humor as much as an adult as I did when I was a kid, but I couldn't have been more mistaken. It is so nice to see the sophisticated wit in the writing of this show that still makes me laugh out loud. I was also happy to see that my 5 & 7 year old daughters also laughed quite a bit at the show and often ask to watch them over again. The shows still have value today as great entertainment and I would highly recommend them.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a must-have for any fan of Henson's work, be it with the Children's Television Workshop (Sesame Street) or in his various Muppet television shows and movies. Beautifully photographed and lovingly written, this book would make the perfect gift for anyone with a love of pure imagination and magic. Life is a journey filled with the wonder of discovery, and Jim Henson was a visionary who helped us all to find the "Kermit" in ourselves
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's hard to believe Jim Henson has now been gone for over 16 years. Christopher Finch's book stands as a great testament to Henson's amazingly prolific work and his larger-then-life existence. Despite Henson's natural shyness and reticence and quiet manner, the thing that strikes you in the book is how many lives this guy touched. He bestowed livelihoods on literally thousands of people. Their gratitude is expressed in these pages time and again in fervent, emotional recollections. To say Jim Henson inspired devotion only begins to get at what this guy meant to his family, friends and employees.

My hat is off to Christopher Finch for this wonderful collection, which is still available here as a beautiful and hardily-constructed first-edition hardback. Mr. Finch gets an extra level of respect for the decision (of which he no doubt had a say) to keep his name off the dustcover front. He's graciously stepped aside to let the lights shine warmly on Jim Henson.
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By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a truely amazing tribute to Jim Henson and the Muppets. The writing, pictures, EVERYTHING-is superb! A treasure.
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Format: Hardcover
Jim Henson truely wsa a creative genious. The original development sketches of the muppet characters truely makes this book a gem
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