An off-center variant on the first releases from Jim Henson Video
The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company was formed on November 20, 1958 as Muppets, Inc. by Jim Henson and his wife Jane, 3 years after Henson's first show, Sam and Friends, premiered. Until the premiere of Sesame Street in 1969, the company mainly did work for commercials. In 1976, Muppets, Inc. was renamed Henson Associates. In 1989, the company planned to merge with The Walt Disney Company, but during negotiations, Henson died on May 16, 1990. Therefore, the deal collapsed and the company remained independent and now under control of Henson's children, Brian, Lisa, Cheryl, Heather and John who gave it its current name, though most logos read Jim Henson Productions prior to the change. In 2000, the company was sold to German company EM.TV and Merchandising AG, but by the end of that year EM.TV's stock collapsed, and the company was sold back to the Henson family in 2003. As of 2022, Brian is the company's chairman, Lisa is CEO, and Cheryl and Heather are Board of Directors members. John Henson was also a BOD member until his death in 2014.
1st Logo (1983-January 21, 1986)
HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC.
with the text "HENSON ASSOCIATES, INC." in an ITC Avant Garde font featuring a copyright stamp below in black, all taking place against a beige background. It would sometime be animated depending on the show used. For instance, the first season of Muppet Babies had a still shot of the logo, with the exclamation point shining, and the second season had the Marvel Productions logo fade away on a blue background as the huge "ha!" fades in and zooms out, and when it stops zooming, it looks like the generic logo as the background fades to white.
- The logo was designed by David Kaestle and debuted as a print logo in 1975. When the company introduced new stationery that year, the logo was printed twice on the back of the paper so that, when it was folded, the recipient would be greeted with "ha! ha!" The design would also be adapted for other company divisions, including "he!" (Henson Enterprises), "hep!" (Henson Electronic Products), "hi!" (Henson International), "hit!" (Henson International Television), "ho!" (The Henson Organization, Ltd.), "hop!" (Henson Organization Publishing), and "hum!" (Henson Universal Music)
- The "ha!" logo is still in use today as the print logo for Henson Alternative.
- An early version exists of the 2nd version of the logo that had the word "For" next to "ha!" (like the first version).
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years utilized a cut-short version of the later Muppet Babies variant (as to avoid showing the Marvel Productions logo), likely because they lacked another logo to use.
- There is a special in-credit logo variant that was used on '80s prints of The Muppet Show to replace the outdated ITC and/or ATV in-credit logos (ITC only distributed the show and ATV only held production duties within the UK). In the final shot of the end credits when Zoot blows his saxophone, a white bubble flies out of the sax with the "ha!" logo (or "HIT!" for Henson International Television) displayed on it and takes its place in the center of the screen, to the amusement of the audience; this logo was seen on 1986-1987 BBC One airings of The Muppet Show. This variant is no longer seen as the current prints (as on DVD and Disney+ releases) use the shot of Zoot blowing his sax with a newer Muppets Holding Company copyright notice on the bottom.
Technique: Scanimate animation.
Music/Sounds: Plays over the ending theme. The closing theme for Muppets, Babies and Monsters, as well as the second season of Muppet Babies onward, an off-key trumpet fanfare is heard at the end of the theme and plays over the logo. On The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, we hear Zoot blowing his saxophone, much like the in-credit "bubble" variant.
Availability: Very rare.
- It appeared on the first two seasons of Muppet Babies, but it's usually replaced with a Jim Henson Productions/Jim Henson Television logo. It was however kept when Playhouse Disney UK reran the show in the mid-2000's.
- The saxophone variant appeared on The Muppet Show reruns from the 80's, but as with Muppet Babies, it tends to be replaced with newer logos. VHS/DVD releases from Columbia TriStar replace it with the 1998 Jim Henson Home Entertainment logo, and DVD releases from Buena Vista replace it with a copyright stamp for The Muppets Holding Company, the same goes for Disney+ releases.
- This logo is usually preserved on the 1986 special The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years.
2nd Logo (September 13-December 27, 1986)
Logo: On a white background, we see:
with a copyright stamp below in black. The text bears a strong resemblance to the zooming variant of the previous logo.
Music/Sounds: The same off-key trumpet theme from the previous logo's variant from that said show.
Availability: Only appeared on season 3 of Muppet Babies.
Jim Henson Productions
1st Logo (September 12, 1987-January 16, 1988)
Logo: On a white background, we see the words arranged like this:
"im" and "enson" are written in an italic script font, with the "J" and "h" in green and in presumably the same font as the "ha!" in the first logo, and the "J" is placed near the words "PRODUCTIONS". Then, a small flash of light appears above the "J" and becomes a still drawing of Kermit the Frog's head, which is used to dot the letter. Underneath is a Henson Associates copyright notice.
Variant: In Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series, the logo is still, the script font is colored blue, and there's no copyright notice, as it appears on a separate screen after.
Technique: Simple 2D animation or none.
Music/Sounds: On Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series, it's the ending theme of the show, but again on Muppet Babies, the off-key trumpet once again.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- It appeared on season 4 of Muppet Babies, which as with the rest of the series has not been rerun in years.
- It also appeared on Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series. The logo is preserved on the UK Palace Video VHS releases, but modern prints don't have it. The 2005 HIT UK DVD plasters this logo with the "Television" variant of the first Jim Henson Productions logo, while all newer prints (eg, the Complete Series set) black out the logo and copyright screen and follow this up with the 2008 logo.
2nd Logo (September 17, 1988-January 30, 1993)
Logo: The logo comes in many animated variations. We see the words:
P R O D U C T I O N S
displayed on an object against a gray "wall" background. The words "Jim Henson" are in the now-familiar corporate "Henson" logo font introduced in 1988.
Trivia: The name "Jim Henson" is actually his signature.
Variants: There are rumored to be more variants than currently listed.
- Sign 1: An animated version of Kermit the Frog's hand puts a white sign with a string on a nail on the wall reading "Jim Henson Productions". Suddenly, the sign tilts and the lettering falls off, clattering to the ground.
- Arrow: The animated Kermit hand holds out a white sign against the wall reading "Jim Henson Productions". Suddenly, an arrow (with an orange or pink fletching) flies into the sign pinning it to the wall, and taken by surprise, Kermit lets go.
- Sign 2: The animated Kermit hand holds up a white sign by a string reading "Jim Henson Productions". Suddenly, the sign snaps off of the string and falls straight to the ground with a crash.
- Window Shade: The animated Kermit hand pulls down a window shade-like scroll that reads "Jim Henson Productions". The shade moves back up and it rolls around a bit before settling.
- TV Set: The "Jim Henson Productions" text is already formed in a white rectangle on a tan background, but then the animated Kermit hand comes up holding a TV remote and clicks it, and the screen goes black like a television set being shut off.
- Rifle: One of Kermit's hands holds a sign from the bottom that reads "Jim Henson Productions". Eventually, an off-screen rifle fires at the sign, destroying it.
- Darts: Similar to the arrow variant, but instead of an arrow, three darts fix the sign, with a fourth dart just missing Kermit's hand and bouncing off the wall.
- A copyright stamp may be seen under the logo.
- TNT reruns of The Muppet Show had a variant to replace the first logo's "bubble" variant; here, when Zoot blows out of his saxophone at the end of an episode, a gray circle with a white outline emerges from it, and the circle zooms in to engulf the screen; when that occurs, one of the normal animated variants then plays against the gray background.
Technique: Traditional animation.
Music/Sounds: A particular variant’s sound effects, but on some shows the end theme finished over it; Muppet Babies has the off-key trumpet theme, combined with the sounds.
- It first appeared on series 5-8 of Muppet Babies, but as with the other versions, newer logos may replace it.
- This was also used at the end of Fraggle Rock reruns on TNT and The Disney Channel, and at the end of the 1993 VHS releases (except for the third and fifth volumes, "The Fraggles Search and Find" and "A Festive Fraggle Holiday" respectively, which use the 1991 logo). The first two volumes of the aforementioned VHS releases use the TV Set variant, while the fourth volume, "The Haunting of Castle Gorg" uses the Sign 2 variant.
- The TV Set variant was also seen on the first season of Dog City after the Nelvana logo.
- The Muppet Show variant was only seen on TNT reruns of the show from 1988 to 1992.
3rd Logo (1988)
Logo: On a white background, we see the words:
P R O D U C T I O N S
Displayed on the background with the same font as introduced in the 4th logo but with black coloring.
Availability: Rare. Seen on 1988 releases of Muppet Babies Video Storybooks.
4th Logo (April 14, 1989-May 6, 1990)
Logo: A series of green circles appear near the middle of the screen, from which emerges a long and wavy line that flails until it contracts and forms the words "Jim Henson" (in the company's corporate script font), as well as a line below them. The word "PRODUCTIONS" then appears below the script, letter by letter, with a shine effect (this also turns the green line red). Finally, a flash appears to create a red dot above the "i".
- On The Jim Henson Hour, the logo's animation is superimposed over the credits background, which then fades to black just before the "dot the i" part.
- There is a short version that starts with the "Jim Henson" script already formed.
- On The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson, the logo is still and superimposed over a background of TV monitors displaying clips of Henson's work.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show. On The Jim Henson Hour, its end theme syncs with the logo's animation and the last note of the off-key trumpet fanfare from the 1st logo when the "i"'s dot shines.
Availability: Very rare. Seen on The Jim Henson Hour, as well as the 1989 airing of A Muppet Family Christmas. The short version was seen on The Muppets at Walt Disney World.
The Jim Henson Company
1st Logo (as Jim Henson Productions) (April 26, 1991-April 28, 2006)
Logo: On a black background, a blue laser carves out a line across the screen. The line flips towards the screen, revealing a blue outline of Kermit the Frog, who is then filled with color from left to right. After shining brightly, Kermit is then swallowed by a dot of light that dances across the screen, which from left to right sweeps out the words:
P R O D U C T I O N S
then flies back to the logo to dot the "I".
- Usually, on TV shows from Jim Henson Productions, only the "dot the I" sequence of this logo plays.
- In 1997, starting with Bear in the Big Blue House, the word "PRODUCTIONS" is replaced with "TELEVISION" (a.k.a. Jim Henson Television).
- When Sony Pictures Home Entertainment began distributing Henson material under the Jim Henson Home Entertainment label in 1997, the dot sweeps out the word "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" instead of "PRODUCTIONS".
- On Dinosaurs, a pteranodon flies over the logo from right to left. Sometimes, the pteranodon sits on the logo either squawking or looking left. Also, the logo is in 3D style with a slight gradient. However, season 1 and the first 8 episodes of season 2 use a still version of the normal variant.
- On It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, a variant of the 1997 version has "The Jim Henson Company" in place of "TELEVISION" and the text below the logo is in gray instead of red.
- There is also a still version of the logo.
- On Muppet Meeting Films, the logo is on a regal blue background, displaying "A Muppet Meeting Film Produced by" on top of the logo. Another variant where the text fades in after the dot flies onto the "I" has the location info text "117 East 69th Street New York, NY 10021" below the logo and above the byline.
- On the music videos for "Kokomo" and "She Drives Me Crazy", the word "RECORDS" replaces "PRODUCTIONS". It's also in place after the program/presentation of The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, where it uses the style from the Jim Henson Video logo and with the text above it with "Soundtrack Available on" (for film releases) and "Music From The Muppet Show Available On" (for The Muppet Show).
- There is also a version with copyright info on the bottom of the screen, sometimes with the URL "[www.henson.com www.henson.com]" just above it.
- Releases from January 29, 1993, including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper (UK releases uses the Jim Henson Video logo instead, and was later plastered by the 2nd Jim Henson Pictures logo starting on Columbia-Tristar DVD releases of the two films), the first two Muppet Show compilations, the first three releases of Muppet Babies, and The Tale of the Bunny Picnic had the logo off-center. There is also a difference on how the Kermit head was designed compared to the fixed variation, and the light dots also shine brighter (with additive blending) on this version. In the US print of Muppet Babies: Let's Build, there is a video editing error of the off-center variant that has small amount of the beginning and ending frames (including the fade out) edited out to where the logo cuts straight to the Muppet Babies intro at the end. In the UK, a centered version of this variant appears on Muppet Babies VHS tapes while other early Henson videos have the Jim Henson Video logo before the presentation.
- On Muppet Classic Theater, the "dot the I" variant plays as the word "PRESENTS" (in the same font as "PRODUCTIONS") fades below the logo.
- At the end of Gulliver's Travels, a silent medium-length version exists, starting with the text being wiped onto the screen.
- At the end of The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, another shortened version exists, which starts at Kermit about to get sucked into the light.
- On Mopatop's Shop in the UK, a still version of the "TELEVISION" variant is shown alongside the Carlton Television logo in orange or white.
- On Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky and Jake, it's on a blue background and Tizzy The Bee flies to the logo when the dot comes in.
- On The Hoobs, the logo is seen with the Channel 4 "Squares" logo and the Decode Entertainment logo.
- On reruns of the show after Channel 4's revamp on the 31st of December 2004, the Channel 4 "Squares" logo is covered by the blue background with studs variant of the 2004-2015 Channel 4 logo.
- On some prints of Muppets Tonight, the animated "PRODUCTIONS" variant is seen alongside the 1988 BBC logo in white.
Technique: Computer animation, with live action lights.
Music/Sounds: The long version has a weird "phaser"-like sound when the laser appears, and when the Kermit head "flips" into view, an orchestrated horn/string fanfare is heard. A whoosh, 3 timpani hits, and chimes/shining sounds are heard when the head is colored in and shines. A louder whoosh and a cymbal crescendo are heard when the head gets sucked into the dot of light, followed by a woodwind section with plucked strings and "buzz"-like sounds (not unlike a cartoon bumblebee) as the dot of light flies around, and another whoosh when it sweeps out the text. One more "buzz" is heard as the dot returns, and a "ding" and a gong hit are heard when the "I" is dotted, followed by a triumphant horn/string/woodwind chord to finish the logo. The music was composed by Miles Goodman.
- At the end of movies and shows, either the end theme plays over it, or it's silent.
- The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss (Season 2): Three piano notes, then a held-out violin note when the logo appears after the credits. We hear a "ding" when the "I" is dotted. Later prints, including those from Amazon Prime have the logo blacked out for the 7th logo to be played after the credits.
- On the 1994 VHS of Hey Cinderella!, the final "buzz" is partially muted, fading in just as it dots the "I".
- 90's prints of Muppet Babies with episodes that used the 4th logo's variants plastered said logos, but kept their sound effects intact.
- It was first seen as a still variant on season 1 of Dinosaurs, and the full version made its debut on The Muppet Christmas Carol on December 11, 1992.
- The short TV version is generally left intact on most shows from the company as well as Muppet Time skits aired on Nick Jr. and tended to plaster older logos, eg, on The Muppet Show from the time period; if shows like The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock are rerun in the future, this logo might be tacked on unless a different logo is used (such as a Muppets Holding Company copyright notice, a newer Henson logo, or HIT Entertainment). Reruns of Henson shows on the Odyssey Network (currently the Hallmark Channel) in the late 90s typically used this variant.
- The long version can be seen on several '90s VHS prints from Jim Henson Video such as Fraggle Rock: A Festive Fraggle Holiday (this VHS also uses the short version of this logo at the end, unlike the other four 1993 VHS releases which use the 4th logo), Muppet Sing-Alongs videos, and A Muppet Family Christmas, as well as films like Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island; it can also be seen on various Muppet Babies videos (first releases in the U.S. like Let's Build had the logo off-center) before the show's opening theme.
- The "RECORDS" variant can be found on a promo for the album Kermit Unpigged, as seen on the 1994 VHS release of Muppet Classic Theater. The long version can also be seen at the end of Muppet Classic Theater, and was retained on the UK-exclusive DVD master of the movie (This logo appears on the second half of the movie, which was featured on The Very Best of the Muppet Show Vol. 3, which was split into three separate parts, each having the credits sequence and this logo at the end)
- The "Television" variant can be still seen on Disney+ releases of later seasons of The Muppet Show.
- The Mopatop's Shop, Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky and Jake, and The Hoobs variants are intact on uploads to the official Jim Henson's Family Hub YouTube channel. Don't expect to see it on uploads there of The Wubbulous World of Dr Seuss and Construction Site however, as they are plastered with the short and long versions of the 7th logo respectively.
2nd Logo (August 18, 2000-March 10, 2003)
Logo: On a black background, a series of flying computer-like lasers and streaks write the green words:
THE JIM HENSON
with the word "THE" in superscript format.
Technique: 2D computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A phaser sound effect with a whooshing sound, or the end theme of the show or movie.
Availability: Seen on Farscape, starting with the 15th episode of season 2, as well as Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story.
Legacy: It's possible this logo was made to differentiate Farscape from the Henson company's more family-friendly works.
3rd Logo (October 17-18, 2004)
Logo: On a black background, the white Jim Henson Company logo fades in.
Music/Sounds: The opening/ending theme of the show.
Availability: Only seen on Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.
4th Logo (April 27, 2005)
Logo: Same as the last logo, except the logo is stretched out a bit, the logo cuts in, and the Jim Henson text and line are red.
Music/Sounds: The end theme of the movie.
Availability: Seen only on The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
5th Logo (September 30, 2005; November 21, 2015; August 30, 2019; September 4, 2020-January 1, 2021; February 20, 2022)
Logo: On a black background, a Jim Henson logo in corporate font appears in a box. Below the bar are the words "THE JIM HENSON COMPANY". The whole logo is in gold. While slowly zooming in, the logo flashes with rainbow sparks and then turns blurry before fading out.
Variants: A shorter version exists, in which the logo is sped up a bit.
Technique: Simple CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: The opening or closing theme of the movie/show.
Availability: Seen on MirrorMask, Jim Henson‘s Turkey Hollow, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Earth to Ned, and the 2022 CGU Insurance short film Tall Poppy.
6th Logo (November 20, 2006-201?)
Logo: On a black background, the Jim Henson Company logo in the same style as before blurs in, except "Jim Henson" is red with a white outline, and everything else is white.
Technique: Blurring effects.
Availability: Seen on the Puppet Up! Uncensored special on TBS and videos on the official Jim Henson Company YouTube channel.
7th Logo (June 20, 2008-)
Logo: Against a white grainy background, we see a dragonfly buzzing from the right side of the screen to the left, leaving a star trail and before a giant spider-like creature with eyes on stalks appears, the dragonfly wipes the Jim Henson Company logo from left to right, consisting of a blue "Jim Henson" in its corporate font, with a gold line and "THE JIM HENSON COMPANY" underneath. The dragonfly flies around while the giant spider creature chases after the dragonfly by scampering off the screen. The creatures wiggle kind of like jello.
Trivia: The creatures in this logo are based on the drawings of Jim Henson.
- A short version exists, which cuts off most of the logo.
- On Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, the logo is still with no dragonfly or spider creature.
- On Harriet the Spy and Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island, the dragonfly and the spider creature wiggle more.
Technique: Wiggly 2D cartoon animation.
Music/Sounds: A twittering flute sound, followed by an ascending xylophone scale, then the same twittering flute sound, followed by a descending xylophone scale. The sounds of the dragonfly and the spider creature are heard faintly.
- On Harriet the Spy, recent prints of Fraggle Rock and some episodes of Sid the Science Kid, the end theme plays over the logo.
- On Dinosaur Train, the last second of the ending theme plays over the logo.
- Sometimes, the logo only has the sounds of the dragonfly and the spider creature.
- On later episodes of the French dub of Dinosaur Train, the logo (alongside the theme song) is double pitched.
Availability: Common. It was first seen on Frances and was also seen at the end of Sid the Science Kid after the KCET logo. It also appears on Dinosaur Train on PBS, as well as Pajanimals. This was also seen on repeats of Fraggle Rock on The Hub (now Discovery Family) and current Apple TV+ prints, as well as the Harriet the Spy TV series. This logo can also be on Freeform airings of the Fraggle Rock episode "The Bells of Fraggle Rock" on rare occasions. Don't count on seeing this logo on mature stuff from the company like TBS' Puppet Up! or Logo's Tinseltown though, as they tend to use the Henson Alternative logo instead. The long version appears on DVDs from the company such as the 2013 re-releases of Fraggle Rock: Complete Series Collection and Fraggle Rock: Meet the Fraggles, as well as at the end of Jim Henson's Family Hub uploads of Construction Site. It also appears on Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island and at the end of various clips from their productions posted to their YouTube channel.
8th Logo (January 20; November 18, 2022)
Logo: On a white background, we see the red text "Jim Henson" in its traditional font and with a trademark sign beside it slowly zoom out. A gray line and the text "THE JIM HENSON COMPANY" appears underneath. The logo shines.
Technique: Basic computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A 4-note acoustic theme with ukulele and chimes.
Availability: So far, only seen at the end of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock on Apple TV+. It is currently unknown whether it will appear on any other productions.