Did you catch Nintendo’s zany puppet-filled E3 showcase? Were you left wondering whether those were just slick Nintendo-fashioned Muppet knockoffs or the real thing?
The video above lays the question to rest. In it, Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto confabs with The Jim Henson Company chairman and Muppets maven Brian Henson, and tours the company’s historic Charlie Chaplin Studios headquarters. (Yep, that’s Mr. Miyamoto grabbing a shot of Kermit with his smartphone.)
That’s also pioneering Zelda and Mario collaborator Takashi Tezuka as well as Nintendo Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen accompanying Mr. Miyamoto on the tour. It sounds like Nintendo reached out to The Henson Company when it was pulling its idea for the E3 video together. The Henson Company then built the puppet likenesses of Nintendo’s executive team (including Mr. Miyamoto) as well as their elaborate Star Fox analogues. And Nintendo asked Brian Henson himself to sit in ther director’s chair:
Also of interest, it seems The Henson Company gave Mr. Miyamoto a rare award back in 2008 (they’ve only handed out 15 total) for, as Mr. Miyamoto describes it speaking to Brian Henson, “all the games [he] made for children and helping them to dream different dreams.”
“We gave them out to who we thought were the most imaginative people in the world,” says Henson.
“Even now I have it in the center of my room,” says Mr. Miyamoto.