June theme: Jim Henson’s Animated Universes

Deadline: June 3rd, 2019

In June 2019 will be 40 years since the release of The Muppet Movie (1979, dir. James Frawley), the first theatrical film featuring Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, and the other internationally-acclaimed characters of the Muppets universe created by Jim Henson. On occasion of this anniversary, we invite posts looking from any perspective at Henson’s work. Indeed, while posts looking at The Muppet Movie itself and its reception, or, more generally, at The Muppet universe and its evolution across time are welcomed, we would love to receive also posts addressing lesser-studied works to which Henson has contributed. In fact, many have been the creatures he has created and the universes he has given life to, many of which have gone on to receive international acclaim. Therefore, with our June theme, we aim to more broadly underscore the role he has had in the development of puppet animation and children television, bringing to the foreground his legacy and “rediscovering” his lesser known production.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Jim Henson and puppet animation;
  • Jim Henson and children’s television;
  •  From Sam and Friends to The Muppet Show: the earlier days of an internationally-acclaimed animated universe;
  •  The Muppets on the big screen;
  • Jim Henson’s Creature Shop;
  •  Gender and Henson’s animated characters;
  • Stardom and Henson’s puppets;
  •  Transmedia, cross-media and Henson’s animated worlds;
  •  The late Jim Henson (e.g. Fraggle RockMuppet Babies, etc.);
  • The reception of Henson’s works across the world;
  • The Muppets and the Walt Disney Company;
  • The legacy of Jim Henson.

Posts of between 600 and 900 words, which discuss any aspect of the above topic are welcome. Contributors are encouraged to include clips and at least one image to support their posts. Please also include a short bio and 3 keywords. All permissions are the responsibility of the contributor. Please contact the editors Nichola Dobson (nichola_dobson@yahoo.co.uk) and Cristina Formenti (cristina.formenti@unimi.it) with submissions or questions.