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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Guillermo del Toro will Collaborate with The Jim Henson Company on ‘Pinocchio’ for Netflix.

A passion project that he’s been trying to get off the ground for quite some time now, Guillermo del Toro is finally directing his stop motion animated 'Pinocchio' feature film, with The Jim Henson Company still attached, for Netflix.

Del Toro will write, produce and direct the stop motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy, based on Gris Grimly‘s designs.

“The film will be set in Italy during the 1930s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when Fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on Pinocchio will begin this fall.”

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” said del Toro in a statement. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”

Del Toro will collaborate with The Jim Henson Company. Lisa Henson is attached as one of the producers.

Patrick McHale (“Over The Garden Wall”) will co-write the script, and Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”) will co-direct the movie. Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer and the film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders, the team behind “Corpse Bride.”

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Rise of Uncle Deadly by Nicholas Napoli

When I was young, long before the days I myself became an uncle, I could name every single character in the accompanying Muppet cast picture, all except for one. Who was this mysterious blue evil dragon? How did he get in that picture with all the main characters? Did they even know he was there? What was his name? That question haunted me for years. Uncle Deadly wasn’t around much whilst I was growing up, from my recollection, he didn’t appear in any of my Muppet videos, not in the playhouse series, the movies or even A Muppet Family Christmas, I couldn’t find him anywhere. 

Of all the Muppet monsters, Uncle Deadly is by far the one that scared me most as a kid, luckily by the time I finally met Uncle Deadly I was already a teenager. When I first discovered the internet, I used it to update myself on Muppet knowledge I knew I was missing. One of the first questions I needed answered, was the name of the blue dragon, after some searching, at age ten, I learned the scariest name, I’ve ever known, Uncle Deadly. 


Back in the day, searching for Uncle Deadly was not easy, if searching online for Uncle Deadly pictures, if you did not specify, by also including the name “The Muppets” all you got were pictures of dead uncles and not a single Uncle Deadly picture in the bunch. 

As the years past, thanks to The Muppet Show HMV Collection, The Muppet Show: The Complete First Season and YouTube, I was able to finally meet Uncle Deadly in all his glory and style. I’ve always enjoyed Uncle Deadly’s design, for me he stands out, although he’s a Muppet, there is something very different about him, and I like it. This is why I was beyond excited and surprised, I never thought in childhood, that this would ever exist, thank you Palisades, I snatched all three versions available.

Palisades Uncle Deadly Action Figure, is hands down, one of my all-time favourite pieces of Muppet merchandise. Years later, once The Muppet were under The Walt Disney Company’s ownership, Uncle Deadly made his second appearance in action figure form as Emperor Palpatine from The Muppets Star Wars Action Figure Line and was also released as a Vinylmation figure, I hope we get a plush toy next.


Apart from a few toys and an occasional classic sketch from The Muppet Show to fall back on, Uncle Deadly was mostly dead. Little did anyone know, that Uncle Deadly was preparing to make his comeback, granted a slow rise back to fame, but in the end, he
finally got there, back in 2011. After years of hiding in the shadows, Uncle Deadly returned, in The Muppets (2011) paired of with Bobo Bear and Tex Richman, hoping to destroy The Muppets. At the end of the movie, not only does Uncle Deadly save the day, he makes sure to inform us that he is not a Moopet, he is a Muppet! Three years later The Muppets returned to the big screen, sadly Uncle Deadly only made a small cameo this time around, was his comeback short-lived? Would he now fade into obscurity for another twenty years or so? What I most like so far about Uncle Deadly’s journey, is that years later he would not only be revived but also becomes Miss Piggy’s best friend. Miss Piggy has never had anyone else besides Kermit to properly interact with as friends, this is why she spends most of her time communicating to Foo-Foo when Kermit is not around, she is a friendless pig. Luckily Uncle Deadly fixed that, and this was a very welcomed and clever dynamic to introduce into The Muppets, I would hope, it makes writing for Miss Piggy much easier. 


In the short lived 2015 series titled The Muppets, once again Uncle Deadly continues to remind us he’s alive and well, and as in every production he has a large role in, he stole the show. Not only has Uncle Deadly become a Muppet favourite amongst fans, he has joined the ranks of Animal, The Swedish Chef and Beaker in appealing to the general audience too. We have Jerry Nelson to
thank for Uncle Deadly’s origins, he created this character, he brought Uncle Deadly to life. Matt Vogel is the brilliant performer who has helped revive Uncle Deadly and fleshing him out tremendously as a character. Matt Vogel captures the spirit of Uncle Deadly perfectly and I can not wait to see what the future holds for everybody’s favourite and deadliest uncle. As of right now, he has recently finished hosting a weekly online segment known as Muppets Thought’s of The Week, for the first time in my life, Uncle Deadly is not missing in action. In fact, Uncle Deadly is now so popular, I had the chance, to watch him perform live at the O2 Arena last July. When I was little, I never thought I’d see Uncle Deadly again, sitting in the audience at the O2, I could not believe my eyes.


Granted Uncle Deadly was set to make a comeback many years earlier, as far back as the late 90’s, he had been planning a revival, with the help of his friends Kirk Thatcher, Jim Lewis and John Derevlany. Together they wrote and developed a Goosebumps style, type of horror show, titled “Uncle Deadly’s House of
Badness”. 

Sadly, this show never took off, luckily Uncle Deadly’s long-time girlfriend Christine McConnell succeeded where he couldn’t. 

Uncle Deadly is so easy to come across these days, he’s everywhere online, you can even find him wishing you a Happy Halloween alongside Janice, who would have though back in the 90’s that this would ever be possible again? Uncle Deadly is now the star of his own book, who would have ever guessed? Uncle Deadly is The Phantom of The Opera. It’s an exciting time to be a Muppet Fan, especially a fan of Uncle Deadly, he took his time to make his comeback and by the looks of it, he’s not planning on going anywhere, anytime soon. I hope we get to spend many more years celebrating Halloween alongside Uncle Deadly. 






Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Original Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, Leaves ‘Sesame Street’ After Nearly 50 Years

CLICK HERE to read Dave Itzkoff's wonderful article in the New York Times on tomorrow's official retirement of Caroll Spinney. 

MuppetsHenson wishes Caroll a very happy retirement and thank him for all the wonderful and long lasting memories he has given all of us throughout the past 50 years. We look forward in seeing him from time to time at Sesame Street appearances and on the convention circuit.

'Knights of Panterra' Adds The Jim Henson Company To Production

The Jim Henson Company has boarded the production of Knights of Panterra. They will jointly develop the series alongside Omnifilm Entertainment.

“It’s every kid’s dream to have a dinosaur as a pet and Knights of Panterra realizes that dream with beautiful realism,” said Halle Stanford, the president of television for The Jim Henson Company, in a statement.

“With The Jim Henson Company as our partners, I know we will be able to deliver on the promise of this ambitious adventure,” said EP Simon Barry.

The Canadian kids’ series will be based on the Dino Knights children’s books by Jeff Norton, and set in a fantasy world where dinosaurs never went extinct, and are kept as pets instead. Then, when evil descends on the small town of Brim, four ill-equipped teens facing impossible odds combine their unique skills to become freedom fighters and save their kingdom from ruthless invaders.

The series’ scripts will come from writers Sam Ruano (Killjoys, Inspector Gadget) and Rachel Langer (Ghost Wars, ReBoot: The Guardian Code). Zach Lipovsky (Kim Possible, Freaks) is attached to direct. Executive producers are Jamie Piekarz, Lisa Henson, Halle Stanford, Brian Hamilton, Simon Barry, Norton and Lipovsky.

Monday, October 15, 2018

NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is NOW UP! - "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"

NEW MuppetsHenson Poll is now up for your votes!

This week's question deals with The Jim Henson Company's "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" airing on Netflix in 2019.  

Here is this week's question:


On a scale of 1-5 (5 being most interested) how interested are you in seeing Netflix's upcoming 10 episode series, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance"? Also, just like in the original film, are you happy that they are using all puppets and no CGI characters? 


Let us know what you think. You can find the MuppetsHenson Poll near the TOP of the RIGHT SIDEBAR. 

Thanks for your participation!

MuppetsHenson Polls FINAL RESULTS: - Rate Brian Henson's "The Happytime Murders"



Now in theatres - From STX Entertainment, Henson Alternative and The Jim Henson Company - How would you rate Brian Henson's R-Rated Puppet movie, "The Happytime Murders" ?
EXCELLENT 35% (14)
GOOD 23% (9)
FAIR 5% (2)
POOR 38% (15)
Total votes: 40