So happy February everybody! I’m a day late and a dollar short as usual, but I couldn’t let the shortest month of the year start without mentioning some great news in the world of Henson-inspired movies.
There isn’t another Muppet film (or TV movie like Muppet Wizard of Oz) coming out this year, but there is big news for all of us Muppet fans: a new sequel to The Dark Crystal, The Power of the Dark Crystal [Official Press Release & Coming Soon article].
The good news for fans of the first film: Lisa and Brian Henson, Jim’s children, will of course be involved, as will the majority of the original voice talent, Brian Froud who created the unique look of the Gelflings, Skesis and Podlings, and director Genndy Tartakovsky who is best known for his work on Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars all for Cartoon Network. Cinematical and The Disney Blog both have additional coverage.
I think the involvement of the key players from the original movie is key. The story is based on something Jim wrote and all the major performers, both voice and Muppet, are back for this go round. The Dark Crystal is still one of the most fun films to watch because it just isn’t like any other movie I’ve seen before or since, I’m really stoked for the new incarnation. The only quibble most folks have is whether the events of the upcoming film take place hundreds or thousands of years after the events of the first film. Important stuff, I suppose.
What I find interesting is that both of the new movies are products of the Jim Henson Company and not the Muppet Holding Company. When the Muppets and The Bear in the Big Blue House were sold to Disney, the Henson family maintained the rights to the film library and the other Henson properties – notably the Fraggles and the Dark Crystal – for their own use. I don’t know who is distributing either new movie, but I’ll bet Disney has some kind of right of first refusal.
Anyhow, I’m excited about the prospect of these new adventures for some classic Henson characters. It seems to me as though the sale of the Muppets to Disney may have helped finance the extension of Jim’s vision by his children. Only time will tell if both the new imaginings of the old stories and the rennaissance of the Muppets were good things.
Fingers tightly crossed.