Jim Henson's Creature Shop

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Jim Henson's Creature Shop
IndustryPuppets, animatronics, creature suit, visual effects
Founded1979 in Hampstead, England
FounderJim Henson
Brian Froud
Hollywood, California
United States
ParentThe Jim Henson Company

Jim Henson's Creature Shop is a special/visual effects company founded in 1979 by puppeteer Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets. The company is based out of Burbank, California, United States.


Jim Henson's Creature Shop was originally created as a partnership with British illustrator Brian Froud to facilitate the production of The Dark Crystal.[1] Originally located in Hampstead, London, it received its name in order to differentiate it from Henson's original puppet workshop in New York City.[1] It was then used for future films such as Labyrinth and The Storyteller.[1]

It was relocated to Camden Town following Henson's death in 1990 and his son, Brian Henson, took over.[1] A third location in Burbank, California opened to serve Hollywood, and one of its first projects was the Dinosaurs television series.[2] Its main animatronic supervisor is London native David Barrington-Holt.[3]

Since The Jim Henson Company sold off the rights to The Muppets brand to Disney in 2004; the Muppet Workshop in New York is now credited as Jim Henson's Creature Shop. In the modern day, the New York shop specializes in hand puppets, including building The Muppets and most of the puppets in Sesame Street.[2] The Los Angeles branch creates more realistic animatronic creatures and creature suits.[2]

The location at Camden Town, London closed in Spring 2005, and was converted into a luxury apartment known as The Henson.[4]

In addition to practical effects, the shop also specializes in "digital puppetry", a form of computer animation that controls a digital avatar using manual puppet controls to animate them more quickly and easily than if it was entirely digital.[2] This is known as the "Henson Digital Puppetry Studio" and is used extensively in television, including the entirety of the series Sid the Science Kid.[2]

Besides films, the Creature Shop has created costumes for live events. They created a realistic Smilodon "full-suit puppet" for a show at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, which cost more than $100,000.[5]

Selected filmography[edit]


Henson Alternative

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "History – Jim Henson's Creature Shop". Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Rose, Brent (April 14, 2014). "Inside Jim Henson's Creature Shop: Where Gadgets and Dreams Collide". Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  3. ^ https://dl.acm.org/doi/fullHtml/10.5555/583910.583919[bare URL]
  4. ^ Denham, Jess (June 20, 2018). "Move into 'Muppets HQ': Camden penthouse formerly home to Jim Henson's studio is for sale". Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  5. ^ Linthicum, Kate (September 5, 2010). "Role of saber-toothed cat is not for the claustrophobic". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  6. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 15, 2015). "Jim Henson Co. Creates Creatures for Oscar's Hotel Series from YouTube Filmmaker PJ Liguori". Variety. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Vary, Adam B. (October 5, 2022). "Five Nights at Freddy's Adaptation Set at Blumhouse, With Emma Tammi Directing". Variety. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  8. ^ "Coldplay's Chris Martin to perform "Biutyful" live with puppet band The Weirdos". NME. June 8, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.

External links[edit]