Film & TV

Art

The Muppets’ Legacy of Laughter, Heart & Unforgettable Mayhem

From their early appearances on "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show" to their modern-day adventures, the Muppets have consistently delighted audiences of all ages with their infectious humor, heartwarming stories, and undeniable charm.

June 12, 2024

a framed picture of jim henson and the muppets

Lot #943 THE MUPPETS | JIM HENSON SIGNED PHOTO

In the realm of pop culture, few threads shine as brightly as the Muppets. Created by the visionary Jim Henson, these lovable puppets have transcended their humble beginnings to become icons of entertainment, education, and social commentary. From their early appearances on "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show" to their modern-day adventures, the Muppets have consistently delighted audiences of all ages with their infectious humor, heartwarming stories, and undeniable charm.

At the heart of the Muppets' enduring appeal is their incredibly diverse and memorable cast of characters. Kermit the Frog, the ever-optimistic leader with a knack for keeping the chaos in check. Miss Piggy, the glamorous diva with a heart of gold (and a karate chop to match). Fozzie Bear, the well-meaning comedian whose jokes often fall flat (but never dampen his spirit). Gonzo, the eccentric daredevil with a penchant for the absurd. And of course, the Electric Mayhem band, led by the wild and unpredictable Dr. Teeth, providing the soundtrack to countless Muppet capers.

Each character, with their unique personalities and quirks, contributes to the rich tapestry of the Muppet universe. They bicker, they banter, they make mistakes, but ultimately, they always come together, reminding us of the importance of friendship, acceptance, and staying true to ourselves.

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Muppets Take Manhattan: A Cinematic Triumph

One of the most beloved Muppet films, "Muppets Take Manhattan," holds a special place in the hearts of fans. Released in 1984, the film follows the Muppet gang as they journey to New York City with dreams of taking their college variety show to Broadway. The film is a delightful blend of humor, heart, and catchy musical numbers, showcasing the Muppets' indomitable spirit and unwavering belief in their dreams.

For those eager to delve deeper into the magic of "Muppets Take Manhattan," the TCM and Julien's Auctions event, "Hollywood Legends: Danger, Disaster & Disco," offers a unique opportunity. Among the many treasures up for auction are original storyboards from the film, providing a fascinating glimpse into the creative process behind this cinematic gem.

An original pencil on vellum storyboard illustration from the production of The Muppets Take Manhattan (TriStar Pictures, 1984) signed to the bottom left by the film’s storyboard artist, John Davis, dated ’83, and numbered “1.” (indicating page) to the top right; together with an identification page which reads “SCENE 36 / GONZO’S AQUACADE / REVISED 6-17-83.”

Davis began his feature film career collaborating with Jim Henson and Oz as storyboard artist on the film, and went on to work as illustrator on over 70 major motion pictures for directors including Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Robert De Niro, Baz Luhrmann, Lasse Hallstrom, Jonathan Demme, M. Night Shyamalan, and Barry Sonnenfeld, among others. He won two Emmy Awards in 1988 for designing the broadcast sets for the Summer Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul for NBC Sports.

11 x 8.5 inches (each)

PROVENANCE From the Collection of the Artist John F. Davis

The Muppets, Storyboards

These storyboards, meticulously crafted by the film’s storyboard artist, John Davis, offer a visual roadmap of the film's key moments, and showcase the evolution of ideas, the careful planning of shots, and the collaborative effort that went into bringing the Muppets' Manhattan adventure to life. For collectors and fans alike, these storyboards are not just pieces of movie memorabilia, but tangible connections to a beloved piece of pop culture history.

Beyond the Screen

The Muppets' influence extends far beyond television and film. They have graced magazine covers, starred in commercials, and even taken to the stage in live productions. Their music has topped charts, their merchandise has filled toy stores, and their catchphrases have become part of the cultural lexicon.

The Muppets have also played a significant role in promoting important social causes. Through their collaborations with organizations like UNICEF and the World Wildlife Fund, they have raised awareness about issues such as education, environmental conservation, and global health.

An original pencil on vellum storyboard illustration from the production of Frank Oz’s The Muppets Take Manhattan (TriStar Pictures, 1984), signed and dated ’83 in pencil by artist John F. Davis. David jokingly conceived of this unfilmed shot as a suggestion for why Kermit gets distracted when crossing the streets and gets hit by a car at the climax of the film: he sees the infamous New York Post headline "Headless Body In Topless Bar." Together with a xerograph of the storyboard with a note from director Oz in red pencil which reads "John (for the next movie)" and Davis's story behind the drawing, also signed by him.

Davis began his feature film career collaborating with Jim Henson and Oz as storyboard artist on the film, and went on to work as illustrator on over 70 major motion pictures for directors including Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Robert De Niro, Baz Luhrmann, Lasse Hallstrom, Jonathan Demme, M. Night Shyamalan, and Barry Sonnenfeld, among others. He won two Emmy Awards in 1988 for designing the broadcast sets for the Summer Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul for NBC Sports.

11 x 8.5 inches (each)

PROVENANCE From the Collection of the Artist John F. Davis

The Muppets, Storyboards

A Legacy That Lives On

As the Muppets continue to captivate new generations of fans, their legacy remains as vibrant and relevant as ever. Their timeless message of hope, humor, and the power of friendship continues to resonate with audiences around the world.

Register and bid in TCM and Julien's "Hollywood Legends: Danger, Disaster & Disco" auction featuring a plethora of "Muppets Take Manhattan" storyboards, which provides fans a real chance to own physical pieces of this permanent legacy as a reminder of the joy and laughter that these extraordinary puppets have brought to our lives.

a colorful cube with a light bulb in the middle

HOLLYWOOD LEGENDS

DANGER, DISASTER & DISCO

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