Today’s Google Doodle is sure to spark your inner child. Google commemorates the 75th birthday of the man who fascinated children and adults alike with the creation of the Muppets, Jim Henson. This whimsical tribute appears atop the main Google Search page.
The Doodle features several imaginative characters which interact with your mouse and keyboard. Click on one of the characters and they magically come to life. They will follow your mouse around and respond to your tapping the arrow keys on your keyboard. Here’s a little trick, if you click on either the second guy or the fifth one, tap your arrow keys on your keyboard 10-15 times, a funny animation will appear. So as not to spoil the fun, I will refrain from spilling all the details in this article.
Jim Henson was a beloved puppeteer and creative genius who was behind shows like Sesame Street and his most famous work to date; The Muppets. He enthralled children and adults alike. According to Wikipedia, it was in 1969 that Joan Ganz Cooney, of the Children’s Television workshop, approached Henson about working on Sesame Street. His career seemed to soar from there. In 1976, the Muppets took to the television airwaves and were syndicated worldwide. In 1979, the Muppets hit the silver screen with the debut of “The Muppet Movie”. It was a major success. Henson’s work did not stop with the Muppets. As a matter of fact, he collaborated on many other projects including George Lucas’s blockbuster, “The Empire Strikes Back”, where he assisted in the design of Yoda.
Henson passed away from Streptococcus pneumonia on May 16th, 1990. His legacy still lives on at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, which still collaborates with the entertainment industry today. The Jim Henson Company has a wonderful podcast tribute set up on their website.
Personally, this doodle stirs both fond memories from my childhood, as well as a little sadness at the loss of such a great man. It is hard to even fathom how many countless hours I spent watching the magic of Henson’s creations on TV. I learned my ABC’s and 123′s from Sesame Street characters. I laughed to tears at the antics of the Muppets. To this day, don’t be surprised if you hear me doing my rendition of the Swedish Chef. Even my children have been inspired by Jim Henson’s magical creations. It warms my heart to see this tradition carry on.
How about you? Did Jim Henson’s work inspire or entertain you in any way? Let’s make today’s comment section a tribute to this great man!