Top positive review
Incredible book about the creative genius that was Jim Henson
on March 3, 2018
Jim Henson was a genius. Henson wanted to leave the world a better place and I firmly believe that he did.
For myself, I grew up watching him or more specifically, his creations on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, adored his films, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. There was little in our world as kids that Jim Henson wasn't a part of. My son was just two years old when Jim Henson died of complications from pneumonia. I never cry for "celebrity" deaths, but I cried my eyes out when Jim passed because I felt as if I lost a member of the family.
This book gives some real insights into how driven and intensely creative Jim Henson the man was. It is set up in many ways like a journal because Jim Henson was the kind of person whose intense creativity required him to make copious notes in his journal which he called his Red Book. He would journal about EVERYTHING from family events to such as when the kids started school got a dog or went on vacations around the world as a family. Particularly fascinating were his collaborations with other artists that included long-time partner Frank Oz as well as with other creative geniuses like Vincent Price, George Lucas, Brian Froud and David Bowie in the creation of the cult-classic, Labyrinth.
Jim Henson used to make handwritten notes which he would often place beside sketches of his ideas. He would spruce these up with colored pencils or markers and would make notes as to when he talked to other fellow creatives. He would also cross-reference from one journal to the next when he started a new one at the beginning of each year. I found it really kind of sad but interesting that in spite of the incredible success he had created through the Sesame Street ventures and their vast popularity and name-recognition that he, Jim actually had difficulty in getting the Muppet Show funded! Knowing how much bigger it all became after the Muppet Show, the movies featuring the Muppets and the later merger with Disney, all of this just sounds so unbelievable!
Those who are super inspired and interested in the work and person of Jim Henson can see where all of his journals, photos, and other materials are being housed at the University of Mississippi. If you cannot make it there, this book gives a wonderful insight into Jim Henson's life and work.