We are excited to announce that The Jim Henson Company is being honored this year at the TAGI Awards for Excellence in Character Creation – and there are so many fun and imaginative characters loved by kids and adults alike! The TAGI Awards are being held at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry November 19th with a private showing of the Jim Henson Retrospective, which pays tribute to the Jim Henson Company of old.
Much has changed since those early years and in talking to industry colleagues, some are unclear as to which properties belong to The Jim Henson Company, Disney and Sesame Workshop as well as the relationships between them. I've asked Melissa Segal, Sr. Vice President Global Consumer Products at The Jim Henson Company, to set us straight:
Melissa: “This is a question we get often and it can appear complicated at first.
The Jim Henson Company created the characters featured on both “The Muppet Show” and “Sesame Street.” The Muppets, which are the characters that appeared on “The Muppet Show,” including Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and of course Kermit the Frog, are owned and now controlled by The Walt Disney Company as a result of a 2004 acquisition agreement including all assets, the film and television library and all associated copyrights and trademarks. The Sesame Street Muppets, which include Elmo, Grover and Big Bird among others, are owned and controlled by Sesame Workshop, the producers of “Sesame Street.” Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ continues to build the puppets used on Sesame Street, but the Company is not involved in the development, production or business of that brand.
The Jim Henson Company is an independent privately-owned company run by the adult children of founder Jim Henson. Led by our CEO Lisa Henson, the Company is headquartered in Hollywood on the historic lot built by Charlie Chaplin where we continue to produce television, film and new media projects. Additionally, we continue to grow the legacy brands we continue to control which include “The Dark Crystal”, “Labyrinth,” “Fraggle Rock” and “Farscape.”
While we are always proud to have been the original creator of some of the world’s most popular characters, we always look forward to continue our tradition of introducing new characters that can connect with audiences all around the world. Our two most recent series do just that. “Dinosaur Train” is the hit animated series on PBS KIDS that embraces and celebrates two things all kids love: dinosaurs and trains, while introducing young viewers to basic natural history concepts. “Sid the Science Kid” is our Emmy nominated preschool series that is created using the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio. The series uses comedy and music to inspire kids to explore the science they experience in their everyday life.”
Thank you, Melissa, for clarifying ownership of the characters as well as creating such wonderfully entertaining and inspired characters. We look forward to seeing you in November!