Jim Henson died in 1990, yet his work continues to live and breathe.
But before he was known as the creator of the Muppets, Henson did a lot of odd jobs, including some commercial work.
AT&T—which, of course, began as the Southwestern Bell Corporation—recently rediscovered this 1963 movie by Henson. So they dusted it off and slapped it up on YouTube!
The Huffington Post:
The film, made for the company then known as The Bell System, was shown at a seminar for leaders of the then-nascent data-communications field. AT&T, which rustled up the video from Henson’s archive and put it on its YouTube page, writes that the film was inspired by an executive named Ted Mills and his memo to Henson, which described the relationship between man and machine this way: “He [the robot] is sure that All Men Basically Want to Play Golf, and not run businesses—if he can do it better.”
“Robot” features a cold, unfeeling machine consuming “oceans of information” as it derides the laziness and emotional vulnerability of man. It’s a fun, dark little piece with a kicker that will leave you smiling.
It isn’t much of a “kicker” exactly, but the point is, machines will never replace people because all machines eventually break. And as corporations get more and more faceless—more “robotic,” really—I can’t help but wish we had another Jim Henson.
I am really in love with this type of puppeteering, you guys. The machine is supposed to be this cruel, cold thing, but he’s actually really cute! He has googly eyes! He burps! It is even cute when he murders a little bird. Jim Henson was a genius!