By Mae Anthony
Jim Henson: Behind the Seams is a short documentary about all of the work and effort that went into the making of everyone’s favourite puppets: The Muppets. I learnt through this screening of the creative genius that was Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. This film is part of the 2016 Revelation Film Festival special event “Muppets, Music and Magic: The Legacy of Jim Henson”. If you’re a Muppets fan, there’s definitely something on for you. If you aren’t, but want to know more, well I’d say Behind the Seams is a great place to start.
The documentary contained behind scenes footage of the making of the puppets to the filming of those lovable and relatable characters. You can see Henson’s creative process from multiple angles (pardon the pun). This was a charming quality to the essence of the film; watching Jim Henson and his incredible colleagues come up with unique voices and appearances for these puppets was brilliant. He was a marvel of puppetry, of embodying a character, and delivering a rare kind of humour: “Change a feature and it changes a whole face.”
There were interviews interweaved between the scenes showing us all of the secrets. It shows a thorough evolution from the early humble intelligence behind the early days of the Muppet Show right through to his more extravagant projects later in his career. You know that scene in the Muppets movie where Kermit, Miss Piggy, and others, are riding bikes? (If not, feel free to use your imagination). You should see how that was done. Or even better, how the hell was Henson operating Kermit when he is sitting on a log floating down the river? This documentary shows you how: it was constantly entertaining and always fascinating.
It’s only fault was in the shoddy looking Q & A questions that, although revealing a lot of information, just gave off a sort of home-movie kind of look. All of the footage originated from prior to Henson’s death in 1990, but that doesn’t mean it had to look that way, especially not in such a short documentary in which all of the substance was contained in the wondrous content so rich in information and style.
You can catch another screening of this unique behind the scenes exploration of the genius creator of the famous Muppets characters at Luna SX on Wednesday July 13. Be sure to also check out the other movies available in the Revelation Film Festival line-up surrounding the legacy of Jim Henson.