CLOSE
YouTube // The Jim Henson Company
YouTube // The Jim Henson Company

Watch Jim Henson's (Slightly) Spooky 1965 'Shrinkel and Stretchel' TV Commercial

YouTube // The Jim Henson Company
YouTube // The Jim Henson Company

In 1965, Compax Corporation's ad agency hired Jim Henson's company to make three TV ads. Compax sold a line of pre-shrunk cotton fabric called Pak-Nit RX, designed to resist shrinking in clothes dryers and stretching outside of them.

Henson and his partner Jerry Juhl ginned up three ads, including the tale of "Shrinkel and Stretchel" (loosely based on Hansel and Gretel). In the spot, the young duo encounter a witch (Taminella Grinderfall, voiced by Juhl), who puts them in an oven. Due to their aforementioned heat-resistance, they're unscathed. This attempted murder leads to an extended discussion of the positive properties of the brand.

So gather around, kids, and watch the eerie tale of two shrinkage-resistant Muppets!

Read more about this ad from the Jim Henson Company Archivist.

Note: There are unofficial videos online of the other two videos, Shrinkenstein and Rumple Wrinkle Shrinkel Stretchelstiltzkin (featuring Kermit!).

nextArticle.image_alt|e
The Jim Henson Company
arrow
entertainment
The Dark Crystal Is Coming Back to Theaters
The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company

In 1982, Jim Henson and Frank Oz dared to venture into somewhat gloomier territory with the release of The Dark Crystal. Though the film, which centers on two Gelflings (a sort of creepy elf-like creature) attempting to save their species and restore peace to the world, wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, it has developed a large cult following in the more than 35 years since its release—even among those kids it scared the hell out of back in the day. Now, as Netflix preps its prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, for release later this year, Nerdist reports that the original film will make its way back into theaters next month.

As part of Fathom Events’s ongoing effort to breathe big-screen life back into classic films with limited releases across the country, The Dark Crystal will be playing in more than 500 theaters nationwide on February 25 and February 28. In addition to the original film, the screenings will also feature a brand-new introduction courtesy of Lisa Henson, Jim’s daughter and current president/CEO of The Jim Henson Company, who will talk about the making of the film and how it fit within her father's creative legacy.

To find out whether The Dark Crystal will be coming back to a theater near you, log onto Fathom’s web page for the movie and type in your ZIP code; tickets are on sale now.

[h/t: Nerdist]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
arrow
Pop Culture
See How Sesame Street Puppeteers Bring Their Characters to Life
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Elmo, Big Bird, and Mr. Snuffleupagus aren’t just puppets to fans of Sesame Street: They’re vibrant characters who are every bit as real as the beloved series' human actors. It may look effortless, but bringing foam, fur, and feathers to life is a skill that takes years to master. WIRED asked five Sesame Street puppeteers to share the secrets behind the craft in a new video.

Different puppets rely on different mechanics to function. Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus, for example, consist of puppeteers (two in Snuffy's case) wearing full-body suits, while smaller characters like Elmo and Abby Cadabby have single puppeteers with one hand inside the head moving the mouth and another controlling rods attached to the arms. Some puppets have eyelids that move up and down. For puppets without this feature, puppeteers have to come up with creative ways to express emotion. Elmo puppeteer Ryan Dillon pulls a wooden handle in Elmo’s head when he wants to give the character a puzzled look.

Translating hand movements into convincing facial expressions is tricky, but one of the biggest challenges the crew faces is space. Next time you see four or five Sesame Street puppets in the frame at once, try picturing that same number of full-grown adults rolling across the floor beneath them.

For the full interviews with the puppeteers, check out the video below.

[h/t WIRED]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios