If you head to Google's homepage to do a little searching, you'll find the usual logo replaced by some puppets... make that six original Jim Henson Company-designed puppets which you can manipulate (just press the buttons under them) and be a virtual puppeteer! Today would have been Henson's 75th birthday (he passed away in 1990) and his son Brian Henson wrote on Google's blog:
Jim often had a little lesson about the important things in life: How to be a good person. How to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. And above all, how to forgive. If anything was stolen from one of us—like when the car was broken into—he would always say, “Oh well, they probably needed that stuff more than we did.”
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.
And here's video from the Jim Henson Company talking about the collaboration with Google:
PCWorld reports, the digital puppetry system behind the animation is a combination of proprietary hardware and software that provides real-time performance of 3-D generated characters that are “directable” like actors. The patented system is called the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio and has been contracted for live event presentations, commercials, feature film visual effects, game development and for the TV show “Sid the Science Kid.”
Also, the 42nd season (!) of Sesame Street starts on Monday, September 26.