Jim Henson Pictures

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Nicholas Aczel and Jeffrey Gray

Editions by
CuriousGeorge60 and Muzzarino

Background

Jim Henson Pictures was a motion picture unit formed on July 21, 1995 as a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company. Two of the movies they produced, Muppets in Space and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, were both box office bombs. In 2004, Columbia Pictures was prompted to back out of its joint venture with The Jim Henson Company.

1st Logo (1997)

Logo: Against a sunset sky background, we see a silhouette of Kermit the Frog sitting on a large crane with a motion picture camera. Under it is "Jim Henson" in its corporate font with "PICTURES" in spaced-out letters under it.

Variants:

  • There is a variant with "Jim Henson" in white.
  • On a trailer for Buddy, Kermit and the movie camera are inside a box with the company's name outside and under it and "PICTURES" in gold. The sky is also bluer and the movie camera's reels are placed on top.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the trailer.

Availability: Extremely rare. Only appears on trailers for Buddy.

2nd Logo (May 27, 1997-October 6, 2000, 2005, 2013)

Logo: We zoom out of a motion picture camera lens with lasers flying about. The camera is being operated by a laughing Kermit the Frog (performed by Steve Whitmire) seated on a large crane extended way up into a sunset sky and rocky land. As the crane moves away from us while Kermit and the crane go into a slight silhouette, a laser writes the text "Jim Henson" (in its familiar font) as the word "PICTURES" in bright metallic letters spaced to fit the width of "Jim Henson", zooms and turns to settle below. When the logo is formed, the crane suddenly takes a hard drop, notably startling Kermit. "Sorry!" is heard from Animal (voiced by Frank Oz) off screen, followed by Kermit whispering "Hmmm. Sheesh.".

Variants:

  • There is a version without the crane-drop gag.
  • On 4:3 versions of the films Muppets from Space and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, the camera's field of view is rendered in wide angle lens. On some trailers containing either the shortened or the still logo, a little bit of the black on top is shown.

Closing Variant: The superimposed closing variant features a silhouette of the logo on a black background.

Technique: Excellent CGI effects, animatronics and Muppet performances. Done at Imaginary Forces.

Music/Sounds: A majestic, synthesized orchestral movie score with sounds for the lasers flying around. There are frogs croaking and crickets chirping at the end. Kermit's laugh is also heard when he appears. The theme was composed by Hans Zimmer.

Music/Sounds Trivia: If you have a stereophonic audio system, you can hear Animal's "Sorry" coming from your left speaker.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, the crane-drop gag omits Animal's "Sorry" sound effect.
  • On Buddy, there is no music, just the sound effects.
  • Post-2013 reprints of The Great Muppet Caper only have the music and not the sound effects, but on the alternate language tracks, French and Spanish, they have both music and sound effects.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • This logo first appeared on a TV spot of Buddy.
  • To date, the version with the crane-drop gag has only been seen on two films: Muppets in Space and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (the latter of which doesn't have "Sorry").
  • Current DVD, Blu-ray and streaming prints as well as TV reruns of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, other Jim Henson classics, and Buddy (the first film with this logo) have the logo without the crane drop gag.
  • However, the 90s VHS releases of The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper contain the Laser Kermit logo.
  • The company also produced Good Boy!, but the logo itself never appeared on said film, likely due to the film being released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which at the time, was not yet associated with Sony.