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Talk:The King of Eight

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Narrator

Whoever this narrator is, it's the same guy who voices the Scanimate "Floating Face" films. (And the Queen of Six, as previously mentioned.) Galenfott 16:34, September 10, 2011 (UTC)

I think the narrator sounds a lot like Ken Nordine. Just saying. Kenjiro (talk to the coin!) 17:31, September 10, 2011 (UTC)

The best example of his voice is in the Queen of Six spot. I think he's clearly Southern, quite possibly African-American. I do NOT think it's Morgan Freeman...but in a way, it kind of sounds like him. Galenfott 20:28, September 10, 2011 (UTC)

Two more things

I just noticed that the article lists Jerry Nelson as the narrator. Is this based on an attribution somewhere? Because it doesn't sound like Jerry Nelson to me. The timbre and accent sound distinctly African-American to my ears, and the voice is deeper. I also don't recognize Jerry's voice particularly as any of the guards. (Guard 6 sounds like Frank Oz, though.)

Here's a lot more of the same narrator: [1]

This guy has a gentle southern accent. Anyone else have an opinion? It sounds more like Jerry than it does, say, Jim or Frank, but I don't think it's Jerry.

Also, the film is described here as "stop-motion animated" but there's a heck of a lot of live puppetry in it, too. -- Galen Fott

Yeah, I wonder about the Nelson claim myself. It sounds more like the same narrator of Queen of Six. As for the description, it's because the King himself certainly appears to be stop-motion and most sources, including Old School and Henson film festivals, describe it as such. Can you point out the live puppetry, and source it (did the Fantastic Worldf exhibit say anything about technique)? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
The narrator does not sound like Nelson to me either. Re-watching the film, I think the jester/messenger may have been done in real-time rather than stop-motion. -- Brad D. (talk) 23:12, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Looking at the history, it seems Michael added the Nelson claims back in February 2006. No source is cited. If he has one, he can mention it here, but for now, we seem to be in consensus that it certainly doesn't sound like Nelson to us, so I'm going to remove it. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:20, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe the Fantastic World exhibit also referred to it as "stop motion", but I'm not sure. Unfortunately I don't have Old School and so only have the crappy YouTube video to judge from. But yeah, the Jester's entrance and speaking are definitely live puppetry. I suspect that when the King speaks that he might be a mechanical puppet; it somehow doesn't feel quite like stop-mo to me, and we never see the bottom of the puppet when he's talking. But without a better quality clip (to look for things like blur) it's hard to say for sure. -- Galen
Given the time frame, I'm skeptical of a mechanical puppet at that point. Plus Henson definitely had an affinity for animation in general, including stop-motion (see Raisin Army), and had Don Sahlin (a veteran stop-motion animator for George Pal) assist with stop-mo effects on Time Piece. So without a source to the contrary, and given the background and how many Henson-authorized sources refer to it as stop-motion, I don't think we have enough evidence to say that the King is a puppet (several George Pal shorts didn't always show the bottom when the character was talking, for dialogue close-ups, and on the whole his mouth movements aren't noticeably different from the Rankin/Bass method). Re the Jester, can you or Brad upload a image of the possible moments? That might help. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:41, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Notice that in the close-ups the archway behind the King is narrower than it is in the long shot when he enters. I think the close-up is a completely different set-up, lending a lot of credence (I think) to the mechanical puppet idea. There were probably two Kings, a stop-mo version and a mechanical puppet. Also, in the YouTube video it looks like in the King's entrance shot he blinks about 1 second before it cuts to the close-up. Can someone verify this? If the stop-mo figure was rigged with replaceable eyes, it's hard to believe they wouldn't have utilized that blink again in all those long lip sync shots. Anyway, I have a friend who's a stop-mo authority and Muppet fanatic besides; I'll let you know what he thinks. -- Galen

The Jerry Nelson claim is just based on voice. I think it sounds a bit like a slightly lower Gobo-type voice. But you can delete it, if you really don't think it sounds like Nelson. --Minor muppetz 00:05, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The narrator only vaguely sounds like Jery to me. It could be him, but it's just a guess and not a good enough one to keep without a source. As for puppetry and stop-motion, Henson was doing mechanical soldiers in the 60s so it wouldn't be unheard of. But looking at the copy of this film on Old School, the king looks reminiscent of a Rankin/Bass special to me. That said, the jester's running up the stairs and close-up are clearly puppetry, there's no question about it. —Scott (talk) 04:46, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I think there's enough concurrence that there's SOME puppetry in the spot that note might be made of it in the article. But my friend Ken Priebe, author of "The Art of Stop-Motion Animation," agrees with me about the King also being a live puppet in the close-ups. He writes: "Me thinks you are correct....the King sliding forward out of the door is stop-motion, also in the last shot with the giant 8 falling down is stop-motion, including the king moving his head a little bit. The knights, doors, princesses, all stop-mo. But the King's close-up puppet used for dialogue is some sort of rod puppet. Perhaps an early prototype of the Doozer design. His movement is too fluid and rhythmical for it to be stop-mo, plus his hair doesn't flutter around." That cinches it for me, plus the difference in the width of the archway in the close-ups indicates an entirely different set-up.

Again, I'm only judging by the crappy YouTube video, but I think the rod controlling the Jester on the stairs is visible in a few frames. I think the rod extends horizontally from his right side, then bends downward vertically and goes behind the arm railing on the stairs. It's the vertical part that I think I see beneath the Jester in a few frames. -- Galen

Seems everyone has neglected to notice that the 8 on the castle falls down on one of the puppets( I'm not sure which one)at the end.

it's/that's

I hear "Good grief, IT'S princess number nine" rather than "Good grief, THAT'S princess number nine". Hard to tell for sure, but I think the useage of "it's" in the storyboard (Good grief, it's princess nine and ten) helps the argument for "it's" a lot in the final ending.

"it's" is also written in the lyrics found in Sesame Street Unpaved and Songs from the Street. --Minor muppetz 14:59, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

alternate endings

I drove over to Little Rock yesterday to see the Jim Henson's Fantastic World exhibit. It was, indeed, fantastic. One of the more interesting things there was the storyboard for this King of Eight animation. The actual ending wasn't included in the storyboards, but two alternate endings were. Perhaps they should be included here? I don't know if it's allowable to post lyrics on the Muppet Wiki, I guess perhaps they're copyrighted, but what the heck, I'll type them in here anyway. Someone please delete them if this is a big faux pas. I recorded the lyrics into my cellphone at the exhibit, so the words are correct, but the punctuation is my own. Both endings happen after the King says "So I love eight, eight is great, eight is the number I do not..."

JESTER: Wait! Important news has happened since:
Your eldest daughter eloped with a prince.
She left to marry the handsome Kevin.
KING: Good grief, I now have only seven!

-

JESTER: Wait! Important news your queen sends:
She's given birth to a set of twins.
That's two new daughters you have, then.
KING: Good grief, it's Princess Nine and Ten!

If it's cool to have these on the actual article page, maybe someone would want to insert them...I get confused with all the formatting conventions.

-- Galen Fott

Oh that's great! I added the information. I had heard about these somewhere, but never could find exact details. Although the full lyrics can't be posted, I think (like what's done on I Want a Monster to Be My Friend) excerpts from the lyrics can be included for commentary, analysis and discussion purposes. -- Brad D. (talk) 03:55, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
In these storyboards, does the segment still end with the 8 sign falling on the jester? --Minor muppetz 15:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I wish I remembered, but I don't. Sorry! -- Galen

Your'e right! I still remember from my childhood that scene. But everyone, as previously mentioned, has neglected to notice. The storyboard images you gave us do not show the 8 sign falling. --Not gentile

Date

"Although this sketch was first seen on Sesame Street during the second season, the booklet for Songs from the Street gives this song a 1986 copyright date." Minormuppetz, did you mean 1968, or 1986? If the former, it's likely a renewal date and not necessarily relevant. If the latter, it would indeed be useful to note, suggesting how far in advance some of the special counting films were prepared. --Andrew, Aleal 03:47, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I meant 1986. It could be a renewal date, though that booklet does list a lot of songs with "copyright renewed" along with the original copyright date. The credits for this song don't list "renewed" alongside the copyright date. --Minor muppetz 03:53, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Either way, I don't think it really adds to the page. It's most likely that this was the first time the song was released in audio form. I'm just not sure whether this would be a good pattern to set for other song/sketch pages, and may confuse the casual reader. --Aleal 03:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps a rewording might be helpful: "First seen in 1970, the copyright was renewed in 1986 for commercial release." Something like that. We should also get a confirmation of what the renewal was for in 1986. -- Scott Scarecroe 04:11, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Do we really care when the copyright was renewed? I'd say just yank the section. -- Erik Ebrowne 20:31, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

One benefit of including that information is that it would stop a later editor changing the date to 1986. It's a relevant fact about the sketch, albeit a minor one. Gusworld 22:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

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