As I said yesterday, there are things going on in my life right now to which I need to attend, so I don’t necessarily have time to write long, thought-out posts at the moment, as much as I would like to. So today, it’s sort of like when you’re in school and your regular teacher is gone and, to fill the time, you get to watch a movie.
But don’t worry, I’m leaving you in the capable hands of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Michael Frith. If only all substitute teachers were this cool.
(No offense to any real-life substitute teachers out there. You have a thankless job, and I commend you.)
What follows is an interview that dates from either 1989 or early 1990, in the days of the original Disney deal, that was given for the benefit of the design team at Disney to teach them how to render the Muppets in other media. They focus on some of the major Muppets, one by one, and talk about each one’s characterization and background.
I hope you find it as fascinating as I do:
Some points of particular interest:
20:29–Frank Oz discussing the issue of “switching” performers and says that it is not done in the Muppets, that the same performer always performs the same character, affirming what Steve Whitmire said on his blog early on about the Muppets not being interchangeable.
24:30–Frank asks Jim about Rowlf’s piano playing–does someone provide both hands when Rowlf plays piano? Jim says that Steve provides both hands “when we really want to get accurate” and calls Steve “a great piano player.” I thought this was especially nice since Steve has said elsewhere that providing Rowlf’s piano-playing hands has been some of his favorite work with the Muppets.