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Jim Henson's "Drums West" Animation


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Watch How Jim Henson Animated Jazz With Tiny, Dancing Strips of Paper

Before he achieved fame with the Muppets, Jim Henson, a skilled animator as well as a puppeteer, was making all sorts of innovative work out of his home studio, in Bethesda, Md. Around 1961, he made the papercut animation above, which visualized jazz drummer Chico Hamilton's “Drums West."

Released last year by the Jim Henson Company, the video was only recently rediscovered. At the end you can catch a glimpse of Henson at work.

Henson had a big thing for jazz. In his first TV puppet show, Sam and Friends, which ran on a local NBC affiliate, one short sketch featured an early version of Kermit the Frog exploring the concept of “visual thinking” through jazz, says Open Culture.

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