Jim Henson's 'Robot': 1963 Short Film For The Bell System Released (VIDEO)
Before he helped pave Sesame Street or invented the Muppets, Jim Henson was a young, experimental filmmaker. One of his earliest works, a 1963 short called "Robot," has been unearthed and put on YouTube by AT&T.
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.
In 1966, Henson created an Academy Award-nominated experimental short called "Time Piece," which you can see here.
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