Disney+ drops trailer to Ron Howard-directed documentary ‘Jim Henson Idea Man’

Written by on April 25, 2024


On Wednesday, Disney+ released the official trailer for the upcoming Jim Henson Idea Man, the documentary from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard that looks into the life and legacy of the iconic Muppets creator. 

Henson died May 16, 1990, at age 53 of bacterial pneumonia.

He created some of the world’s most cherished characters, including classic Muppets like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy and all of Sesame Street’s iconic residents, including Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster, and Bert and Ernie. Henson was also the creative force behind the fantasy films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, the latter starring David Bowie.

“He showed people the good in all of us,” a voice-over states. 

Another offers, “From a very early age, he had the feeling that he was here for a purpose.”

The doc features archival photos, diary entries and interviews with Henson, including an interview in which he recalls the humble origins of Kermit: “My mother’s coat and a ping pong ball. That’s how it started.”

Disney+ calls Jim Henson Idea Man “an unprecedented, intimate look at Henson’s illustrious, revolutionary career and complex personal life.”

The streaming service continues, “Using never-before-seen personal archival home movies, photographs, sketches, and Henson’s personal diaries, as well as interviews with those who knew him best, the film is the definitive portrait of one of the world’s most inspiring and iconoclastic creators.”

One of those interviewed is former Muppeteer Frank Oz, who performed Yoda in the Star Wars films, among many other Henson characters. “If Jim was here, I’d just have to thank him,” he said, his voice quavering.

The documentary will premiere May 31 on Disney+.

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