|Written by||Christopher Finch|
Jim Henson: The Works is a hard-cover coffee-table style examination of Jim Henson, focusing primarily on his career as a puppeteer and filmmaker, with occasional examinations of his personal life. Author Christopher Finch's previous book, Of Muppets and Men, focused on the making of The Muppet Show, only briefly touching on the history of the Muppets as a whole. The Works is a comprehensive follow-up volume, starting with Jim Henson's childhood and going all the way up through the most recent productions of the Henson Company after Jim's passing -- including the most recent production at the time, The Muppet Christmas Carol.
At the end of the book, Finch explains the book's genesis:
“This book has been more than a decade in the making. Jim Henson first discussed it with me in the early 1980s, when the Muppets were at the height of their success. He emphasized, however, that it was a long-term project. He felt his career had not yet reached a point that justified such a book, explaining that there were too many things he still wanted to do. But he added that I should expect a call one day.
He mentioned the project a couple of times over the next several years, but the call did not come until 1990. It arrived in the form of a telephone message that said, 'I think this is the right time to do the book we talked about. I hope you'll be available in the near future and that we can get together soon to talk about it.' Less than a week later, he was dead.”
- Introductions by Frank Oz, Candice Bergen and Harry Belafonte
- Before Chapter One - Jim's Childhood
- Chapter One - The Early Years: Sam & Friends and Commercials
- Chapter Two - Experimental Films: Time Piece and The Cube
- Chapter Three - Sesame Street
- Chapter Four - The Muppet Show
- Chapter Five - Muppet Movies
- Chapter Six - The Jim Henson Company
- Chapter Seven - The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth
- Chapter Eight - Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies and the family showcase
- Chapter Nine - The Jim Henson Hour, The StoryTeller and later works
- Chapter Ten - Jim Henson's Legacy
- Some Thoughts
The book was published without an index; see: Book Indexes ~ Jim Henson: The Works
- On page 47, Prince Arthur Charming is incorrectly referred to as "Prince Arthur Charlie".
- On page 58, it's said that Richard Hunt "joined the Sesame Street troupe in 1970", while the timeline section says that Richard Hunt joined the company in 1972.
- On page 64, it's incorrectly stated that Martin P. Robinson took over the role of Mr. Snuffleupagus during the 1971-1972 season. That season was Snuffy's debut year, and Martin Robinson wouldn't take over until the 1981-1982 season, and had joined the company a year earlier.
- On page 69, it's said that Cookie Monster's personality evolved from a game show sketch, but the monster who actually appeared in that sketch was Beautiful Day Monster.
- On page 74, Baby Tooth and the Fuzzy Funk are mistakenly referred to as the "Funky Funk."
- Pages 82 and 245 incorrectly refer to The Muppets Valentine Show as The Muppet Valentine Special.
- Page 92 incorrectly refers to "the Robin Hood episode guest starring Lynn Redgrave" as being from the fourth season.
- On page 105, Foo-Foo is misspelled as "Fou-Fou".
- Page 134 refers to "Together Again" as the final production number from The Muppets Take Manhattan. It actually opens the film.
- On page 145, it says that the last four episodes of The StoryTeller were included as part of The Jim Henson Hour, when it was actually five (though one of those episodes didn't air in the United States and the StoryTeller episode in question wouldn't air in the United States until after this book was released).
- On page 246, it's incorrectly claimed that Kevin Clash joined the company in 1986. Clash had actually joined in 1984, after having a number of occasional performing jobs since 1979.
- The timeline section refers to the "Herb Alpert Special" as Miss Piggy's debut, but her debut was actually in a May 24 appearance on The Tonight Show.
- The front cover shows Kermit looking out through a hole torn in paper (see picture at top of this page). The back cover shows Kermit as viewed from behind, but the shape of the hole and the position of his hands do not match the front cover.