Jim Henson's daughter calls Ron Howard a ''creative match'' to her father

"Ron Howard is both a creative and personality match for my father, unlike anyone else we could have contemplated."

The Everett Collection

It's a testament to how much of an impact Jim Henson had on the world in his 53 years that when you say his name, there will be a huge variety of what leaps to someone's mind first. Maybe it's the Muppets. Maybe it's Sesame Street. Maybe it's The Dark Crystal, or Labyrinth, or Rowlf the Dog on The Jimmy Dean Show. Heck, maybe it's something else entirely because Jim Henson had so many projects that resonated with people.

So as a creative individual, to be compared to Jim Henson must be one of the highest compliments you can receive. Ron Howard has just earned that compliment from nobody less than Jim Henson's daughter, Lisa Henson.

Lisa Henson is the current CEO of the Jim Henson Company and recently announced the documentary Jim Henson Idea Man, hitting streaming on May 31, 2024. "If there was going to be a definitive documentary about Jim Henson, we had hoped it would be in the hands of an accomplished filmmaker," Lisa Henson said. "Ron Howard is both a creative and personality match for my father, unlike anyone else we could have contemplated."

Ron Howard had only crossed paths with Jim Henson a few times, despite having mutual connections with George Lucas. Howard remembered meeting the puppeteer backstage at an event.

"He came through with his group, and I certainly knew who Jim Henson was by that point. But at first, I thought it was a band arriving," Howard said. “When I mentioned that to Frank Oz, he said, ‘Yeah, a lot of people thought when we showed up with our gear and our long hair that we were a band they hadn’t heard of yet. But it turned out we were puppeteers.’”

Howard's film will follow Jim Henson's career and the creation of some of his most famous characters, but the focus will be on the man behind the muppet. Howard's interviews with Lisa focused on her father's personality and private life. "The whole purpose of the movie is that audiences will get to know Jim Henson as a person," Lisa said. 

According to Lisa, Howard won't shy away from the moments of Henson's life that were less than cheerful, including the separation from his wife and collaborator, Jane. "I think it was important to understand the price that Jim paid for this gift to us that he built his career and his life around."

Howard said that he was inspired by Henson's "relentless creativity." "It was sort of anarchy on the outside, but underneath it, there was always a smart idea—a witty point to make, an observation about the world."

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6 Comments

rbj 1 month ago
The new age Muppets are not my Muppets any more
Runeshaper 1 month ago
This is totally AWESOME 🤩 Love ❤️ Jim Henson!
Coldnorth Runeshaper 1 month ago
I was listening to an oldies station and they played “Rubber Ducky” which was sung by Henson. I haven’t heard that song for years
Runeshaper Coldnorth 1 month ago
Super cute!
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
Looks like it will be streaming on Disney+.
Too bad MeTV couldn't work a deal as they did with the Charles Schultz Peanut's films with Apple. It would be a good one time
broadcast, " however that's unlikely."
McGillahooala 1 month ago
Thank God we have several decades of good entertainment to fall back on and don’t have to spend our evenings watching Hollywood types patting each other on the back.
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