Jim Henson’s creations have inspired generations with characters that are among the world’s most recognizable cultural icons. Henson’s legacy endures because he never shied away from exploring deep questions, nor underestimated the ability of children (or adults) to grapple with profound philosophical issues. Anyone who grew up with his stories, or has fallen in love with his characters, will enjoy this book’s exploration of the entertaining, educational and profound world of Jim Henson.
This collection of philosophical essays about Jim Henson is as entertaining and enlightening as the best episodes of the Muppet Show. Academics Dale and Foy feel that "if the belief that ideas can change the world is what makes a person a philosopher, then Jim Henson has to be counted as one of the great philosophers of our time." By exploring the entertaining, educational, and "profound" world of Henson's creations in television and film, the essays, by a range of noted scholars, also examine the many ways in which puppets "are distinctively philosophical beings." Essays include Henson's social and philosophical lessons ("Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?: The Importance of Community on Sesame Street" by Foy), knowledge and logic ("Finding Fallacies Funny: How Sesame Street's Playing with Mistakes in Reasoning Makes Learning Fun" by Sheryl Tuttle Ross), ethical themes (Natalie M. Fletcher's "My (Un)Fair Lady: Power, Fairness and Moral Imagination in Labyrinth"), and his approach to the meaning of existence ("The Passion, Will, and Freedom of Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Animal" by Shaun Leonard). One of the best essays and one that embodies the book's combination of insight, intelligence, and fun concerns Samantha Brennan's "Miss Piggy's Feminism: Redefining Human Relationships through Martial Arts," which shows how Miss Piggy was a third-wave feminist in second-wave times, "a body-confident role model for women and swine of all shapes and sizes."