The Jim Henson Company
Nicole Goldman, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Publicity, The Jim Henson Company
Ms. Goldman, who has worked for the Henson family since 1995, started her talk by asking what we knew of the late Jim Henson, her company’s founder. The original master of puppets, Mr. Henson was the creative mind behindThe Muppet Show (our parents’ favorite), Muppet Babies (our older siblings’ favorite) and even Dinosaurs(our favorite). Beyond that, he created a legacy to fuel the unique and jocular atmosphere that permeates each Henson property currently in production — including the PBS shows Sid the Science Kid andDinosaur Train, both major hits combining cutting-edge CGI animation with time-honored stories and characters. Ms. Goldman shared with us the tenets underlying her company, which range from the inspirational — encouraging responsible and honest parenthood, for instance — to the inane: “When in doubt,” she explained, “throw penguins!” (The latter references the irreverent conclusion to many Muppet sketches, when, in lieu of proper endings, the puppets would toss their avian house band into the air.)
Ms. Goldman also explained how the Muppets, Henson’s most visible brand, are now owned and operated by Disney. (Look for a newmovie, tentatively titled The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time, this fall.) But because Henson’s name is linked inextricably to characters like Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo, Ms. Goldman remains integral in all Muppet-related media issues — the same way that she continues to handle press for films likeLabyrinth and shows like Fraggle Rock, both of which live on through devoted fans despite their decades of age. EvenFarscape, a lesser-known sci-fi show produced by The Henson Company at the turn of the century, proves that memorable and entertaining programs long survive their cancellation dates: after a robust “Save Our Show” petition from its online fan community, Farscape continued on via webisodes and comics.
Ms. Goldman shared that her day-to-day work is detail-oriented but also fun, as puppetry and animation are artistic endeavors defined by their levity. And above all, she maintained that Henson’s list of clients, which have included Lady Gaga and Cee-Lo as of late, must fit within the Henson “brand box” — or its landscape of good intentions — in order to earn the company’s business. Privately-owned since its inception and now managed by Jim’s five children, The Jim Henson Company represents a place where, according to Ms. Goldman, work fits within the framework of family.
- Master’s in Human Behavior
- Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
- Seeley G. Mudd, Room 501
- University of Southern California
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
- Phone: (213) 746 - 9082
- Email: MHB@college.usc.edu