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Celanese Chemical Company

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In 1963, Jim Henson was hired by the Celanese Chemical Company’s ad agency to provide two pillow puppets, performed by Henson and Jerry Juhl, for a 60-second spot. Unlike other commercials at the time, Jim Henson did not produce these ads.

Over the next year or two, the advertising manager from the Celanese Company, Frank Cosmen, discussed other projects with Jim Henson, including an idea to have Rowlf perform at their spring sales meeting which ultimately did not happen. Jim Henson was more intrigued with the opportunity to make a 15-20 minute film to be used on television and in stores. It was to launch a multi-year campaign and include new characters that could appear in print ads, as merchandise and at live sales shows. Jim Henson's notes included things like “2 kids on a quest”, “mythical animals”, “action – humor – charm”, and “visit planets”.

Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl wrote up a two-page proposal detailing their concept which, in many ways, had a lot in common with what would become Fraggle Rock. The story would follow, “…one or two warm, lovable, friendly creatures and contrast them with many different wild and wooly-weird creatures nobody’s ever seen before.” The show would have original music and a storyline that would be, “…a fast paced adventure done in a humorous and whimsical style.” But most importantly, Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl explained, “…we hope to sneak in a couple of subtle moral themes. For instance, brotherhood would never be mentioned outright, but we would see that on one planet, all colors of creatures live peacefully together.”

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