Jim Henson’s Non-Muppet Passionate Personal Side Project

I was fascinated to read idsgn’s piece on Jim Henson’s non-puppet oriented, Oscar-nominated animation/live action side project, Time Piece. Skylar says, “Recently I had the opportunity to see Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, a new exhibit at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image. Not surprising, the exhibit is heavily Muppet focused, but it doesn’t end there. The exhibit spans Henson’s entire career from early sketches to his pioneering television work.

Among the many classics, one piece really stood out to me: a short film from 1965 titled Time Piece. Produced, written, directed by, and starring Jim Henson himself, the short experimental film was very much a personal side project. Beginning in the spring of 1964 (nearly 10 years after the introduction of the Muppets), Henson filmed the short through weekend and late nights between commercial projects and Muppet appearances.”

Henson.com shares,

When Jim’s film Time Piece was nominated for an Oscar in 1966, it was satisfying recognition for a very personal project that stood outside the Muppet work he was known for on national television. The honor underlined the importance of the parallel career Jim pursued throughout the 1960s as an experimental filmmaker. Along with his Muppet guest appearances, commercials, and fairytale television specials, Jim was continuously working on a variety of live action, animated and theater concepts exploring human psychology, the relationship between images and music, new technologies and modern society. Though just 8 ½ minutes long, Time Piece is probably the best known of these projects and provides a window into Jim’s visual thinking at that time.

Time Piece [idsgn.com]