First up in their presentation was a tribute to
Jim Henson. This was followed by the unveiling of a new children's
line of clothes called "Jim Henson Designs". The clothes
feature cute, imaginative, and cool doodles made by Jim Henson as
prints on t-shirts, baby clothes, jeans, and more. They looked very
Next up they showed some new web exclusives that
can be bought at Henson.com. They include shirts from Labyrinth,
t-shirts with the Power of the Dark Crystal logos, and more. Also
revealed was that the second season of "Fraggle Rock"
was coming to DVD. A 3-pack of Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and
Mirrormask is also coming. Continuing the merchandising blitz, busts
and statues from "Dark Crystal" and Labyrinth were shown.
The goblin statues were impressive. Mention of "The Return
to Labyrinth" manga was also made. It comes out next week and
includes a preview of "Legends of Dark Crystal," another
manga from TokyoPop that comes in Spring 2007.
Finally, the presentation turned to discussion of
the Dark Crystal sequel - Power of the Dark Crystal. Michael Polis
and Lisa Henson described how fans kept asking them for a sequel
and that prompted them to ask the script writer if he had any ideas
for a sequel. The script writer remembered a conversation he had
with Jim Henson where they laid out story ideas. Rather than doing
the further adventures of the Gelflings, they wanted to go farther
in the world and this film reflects that. Tartakofsky said how they
intend to do a mix of puppets and CGI. They intend to use the CG
effects to remove puppeteers from the images and free up the puppets
to do "real puppet action". All panelists agreed Jim Henson
would approve of the use of the technology.
A few concept art pieces were quickly flashed on
the screen. The previously seen elderly Kira was shown. They showed
a new female creature named "Thurma" who is a fire creature
from the underworld. Next up was a male creature from above the
earth named Kensho. The two have an adventure under the surface
in the "Innerworld". We saw pictures of caverns, crystals,
underground lakes, and huge monsters. Not much more was said about
the sequel film. A kid asked if the Gelflings would be married and
Froud joked that it was possible they had been "living in sin".
Tartakofsky also said that he'd love to have Frank Oz involved in
some capacity if he could.
The presentation also showed a clip from the upcoming
show "Late Night with Augie and Del". It features two
middle aged guy puppets on a late night show with guests, skits,
a band, sketches, and more. One of the characters seemed to be a
combination of John Madden and Rodney Dangerfield. They jokingly
promised to talk about "stuff that really matters". No
word on where or when this will be seen.
Also shown was an absolutely hilarious adult comedy
show called "Jim Henson's Puppet Improv". Think "Who's
Line is It Anyway" with puppets. The clip shown displayed the
comedy improvisational skills of the Henson puppeteers while catering
to the adult crowd as far as content and language. The clip had
folks laughing to the point of tears. In one sketch, the director
asked the audience for a country - Angola. They then set up a scene
where one Columbo-like interrogator was questioning a koala about
a crime through an interpreter. When asked for a crime, someone
yelled out "robbed a bank". The director said, "More
specific?" Someone yelled out, "Sperm bank!" And
thus the scene played out. This ain't "The Muppet Show,"
but it was a riot. Again, no word on where or when this show will
appear, but I'll be watching.
Lisa Henson also confirmed that they were in the
early stages of doing a Fraggle Rock movie, but it was a long way
off. She also said they don't have any plans yet for a Labyrinth
sequel - they are focused on "Dark Crystal."
That concluded the Jim Henson panel and it was great
to see so much energy and potential still in the company.