The muppets don't talk, but they play with each other and the red muppet monster on the far right devours the tall skinny green one next to him. Placing the mouse over the muppets moves their heads from left to right. The arrows beneath the muppet opens their mouths.
While scrolling the mouse over each puppet gets the character to move and open its mouth, Google doesn't provide sound. Today, Saturday September 24, is Jim Hensons's birthday, he would have been 75. Google unveiled the doodle Friday night so people could play with it a day earlier.
Jim Henson's company (Henson Company) created the digital muppets for Google. Jim Henson's son, Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company contributed a blog to explain the muppets google doodle and his late father's passion for the diverse family of muppets.
The younger Henson described his father as someone who, after work, headed down to his garage workshop to repair the things that his children broke while he was away, or build a dollhouse for one of his daughters. "Jim never stopped making things," Brian Henson wrote.
The muppets characters, Sesame Street and Children's Television Workshop have become the most revered television programming for children in the history of television. Its content produced solely for public television, Jim Henson's muppets' legend has long outlived Henson their creator.
Although 75 is comparatively young, many of today's Google's users may not know who Henson is. The addition of cable to the 80s generation y'ers has reduced early morning programming dependency on PBS children's shows. When Sesame Street first hit network television, stay at home kids and parents had one station to choose--PBS and the revered Sesame Street show with its muppets that aired more than once a day.
Like today's generation of pc users, whether for fun or for work, Jim Henson was also a tech-geek. His son Brian wrote:
"He loved gadgets and technology. Following his lead, The Jim Henson Company continues to develop cutting-edge technology for animatronics and digital animation, like this cool Google doodle celebrating Jim’s 75th birthday. But I think even he would have found it hilarious the way today some people feel that when they’ve got their smartphone, they no longer need their brain.
Jim was clearly a great visionary. But he also wanted everyone around him fully committed creatively. If you asked him how a movie would turn out, he’d say, “It’ll be what this group can make, and if you changed any one of them, it would be a different movie.” Every day for him was joyously filled with the surprises of other people’s ideas. I often think that if we all lived like that, not only would life be more interesting, we’d all be a lot happier."
You can read the full blog here at the official Google blog.
Jim Henson was born in Mississippi and studied at the University of Maryland at College Park. He died of organ failure after an aggressive but untreated bout of pneumonia. He was 53.