Bonnie Erickson

Last updated

Bonnie Erickson
Bonnieerickson.jpg
BornSeptember 20, 1941
Anoka, Minnesota
EducationUniversity of Minnesota, Art Students League of New York
Occupation designer of puppets, costumes, toys, and graphics
Spouse(s)
Leslie Lewis
(m. 19631975)

Wayde Harrison
(m. 1977)

Bonnie Erickson (born September 20, 1941) is an American designer of puppets, costumes, toys, and graphics, best known for her work with Jim Henson and The Muppets where her most notable creations include Miss Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, and as a partner in Harrison/Erickson, the Major League Baseball mascot the Phillie Phanatic.

Contents

Biography

Jim Henson Company and The Muppets

Erickson began her career with a background in theater and art, having studied at the University of Minnesota and the Art Students League of New York. After working in legitimate theater as assistant to costume designer Patricia Quinn Stewart, she was hired by Jim Henson in 1970 to provide costumes for the Muppet characters in The Frog Prince . She continued with the company, specializing in puppets made from carved foam like Miss Piggy and Statler and Waldorf. [1] [2]

Erickson served as Head of the Muppet Workshop for Jim Henson Associates, and set up the original London workshop for The Muppet Show . [3]

In 1983, Erickson served as Design Consultant and Workshop Director for the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock .

In 1986, Erickson became Vice President of Creative Projects for The Jim Henson Company in which she worked on productions such as The Tale of the Bunny Picnic and The Christmas Toy .

Erickson served as a Creative Director for the product division of The Jim Henson Company and Children's Television Workshop from 1987 to 2000, in which time she art directed the creation of the popular children's toy Tickle Me Elmo. [4] [5]

Harrison/Erickson, Inc.

In 1977, she and Wayde Harrison established Harrison/Erickson, Inc., a design and marketing resource for national sports teams, television production and the advertising and toy industries, with Jim Henson Associates as their first client. [6]

Erickson designed many professional sports mascots, including the Phillie Phanatic and Youppi!, now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. [7] [8]

The Jim Henson Legacy

In 1994, Erickson became a trustee of the Jim Henson Legacy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Jim Henson’s contributions to the worlds of puppetry, television, motion pictures, special effects and media technology. From 2007 to 2010, she served as president, and then Executive Director until 2014. During her tenure, she oversaw the Henson Family collection of objects from Henson productions at the Smithsonian Institution, Center for Puppetry Arts, Museum of the Moving Image, The Strong, and Museum of Pop Culture. [9]

Erickson was also instrumental in the installation of a statue of Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog at the University of Maryland. The caricature Muppet of Jim Henson she created inspired the action figure by Palisades Toys. [4]

Erickson's notable credits

The Muppets

Mascots

Phillie Phanatic, originally designed by Bonnie Erickson in 1978 Phillie Phanatic.jpg
Phillie Phanatic, originally designed by Bonnie Erickson in 1978

Advertising clients

Notable toy and product manufacturer clients

Related Research Articles

The Muppets are an ensemble cast of puppet characters known for an absurdist, burlesque, and self-referential style of variety-sketch comedy. Created by Jim Henson in 1955, they are the namesakes of the Disney-owned media franchise that encompasses television, film, music, and other media associated with the characters.

Puppeteer

A puppeteer is a person who manipulates an inanimate object, called a puppet, to create the illusion that the puppet is alive. The puppet is often shaped like a human, animal, or legendary creature. The puppeteer may be visible to or hidden from the audience. A puppeteer can operate a puppet indirectly by the use of strings, rods, wires, electronics or directly by his or her own hands placed inside the puppet or holding it externally or any other part of the body- such as the legs. Some puppet styles require two or more puppeteers to work together to create a single puppet character.

Statler and Waldorf Muppet characters

Statler and Waldorf are a pair of Muppet characters best known for their cantankerous opinions and shared penchant for heckling. The two elderly men first appeared in The Muppet Show in 1975, where they consistently jeered the entirety of the cast and their performances from their balcony seats.

Phillie Phanatic Official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball

The Phillie Phanatic is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies Major League Baseball team. He is a large, furry, green bipedal flightless bird with an extendable tongue. According to his official biography, the Phanatic is originally from the Galápagos Islands and is the Phillies' biggest fan. He performs various routines to entertain fans during baseball games at Citizens Bank Park and makes public relation and goodwill appearances for the Phillies. The Phanatic is widely acknowledged as one of the best ballpark mascots, and one of the most recognizable mascots in North American sports.

Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem Fictional Muppet rock house band that debuted on The Muppet Show

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem are a fictional Muppet musical group that debuted on The Muppet Show in 1975. They are the house band for The Muppet Show, with personalities and appearances inspired by prominent real-life rock music and jazz performers. Following The Muppet Show, they appeared in various Muppet films and television specials and have also recorded album tracks and covered numerous songs.

Youppi!

Youppi! is the official mascot for the Montreal Canadiens, and former longtime mascot of Montreal Expos. Youppi! wears an exclamation mark as his jersey number.

<i>The Muppets Take Manhattan</i> 1984 film by Frank Oz

The Muppets Take Manhattan is a 1984 American musical comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is the third theatrical film in The Muppets franchise. It features special appearances by Art Carney, James Coco, Dabney Coleman, Gregory Hines, Linda Lavin, and Joan Rivers. Filmed in New York City during the prior summer, it was released theatrically on July 13, 1984, by TriStar Pictures. A fantasy sequence in the film introduced the Muppet Babies, toddler versions of the lead Muppet characters.

<i>A Muppet Family Christmas</i>

A Muppet Family Christmas is a Christmas television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets. It first aired on December 16, 1987, on the ABC television network in the United States. Shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, its teleplay was conceived by longtime Muppet writer Jerry Juhl, and directed by Peter Harris and Eric Till. The special features various Muppets from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Muppet Babies. It also stars Gerard Parkes as Doc from the North American wraparound segments of Fraggle Rock, and Henson as himself in a cameo appearance. In the plot, the Muppets surprise Fozzie Bear's mother with a Christmas visit to her farmhouse, unaware of her planned getaway to Malibu.

Muppet*Vision 3D

Muppet*Vision 3D is a 3D film attraction located at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Directed by Jim Henson, the attraction consists of a pre-show which then leads into Kermit the Frog guiding park guests on a tour through Muppet Studios, while the Muppets prepare their sketch acts to demonstrate their new breakthrough in 3D film technology. The show, however, completely unravels when Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's experimental 3D sprite, Waldo, causes mayhem during the next portion of the show.

Dave Goelz American puppeteer

David Charles Goelz is an American puppeteer and puppet builder, known for his work with the Muppets. As part of the Muppets' performing cast, Goelz performs The Great Gonzo, as well as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Waldorf, Zoot and Beauregard, originating on The Muppet Show. Goelz's puppeteering roles also included in Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. Outside of puppeteering work, he was also the voice of Figment in the Journey into Imagination with Figment attraction at Epcot.

<i>The Great Muppet Caper</i> 1981 film by Jim Henson

The Great Muppet Caper is a 1981 musical heist comedy film directed by Jim Henson. It is the second theatrical film in The Muppets franchise. In the plot, the Muppets are caught up in a jewel heist while investigating a robbery in London.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World is a television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The special aired on NBC as part of The Magical World of Disney on May 6, 1990, and turned out to be the last Muppets special that Henson would work on.

Jane Ann Henson was an American puppeteer and the wife of Jim Henson.

Karen Prell

Karen Leigh Prell is an American puppeteer and animator. She was the performer of Red Fraggle in Fraggle Rock.

Victor Yerrid is an American puppeteer and actor for the Jim Henson Company and has performed Muppet characters in many movies, TV shows and TV commercials. Yerrid is best known in the Muppet World for his work on the online series Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony, in which he performed Waldorf along with an assortment of other characters.

<i>Rocky Mountain Holiday</i>

Rocky Mountain Holiday is a television special and a soundtrack album of songs from the special, performed by American singer-songwriter John Denver and The Muppets. The show has Denver playing host to the extended Muppet family; he takes them up into the scenic Rockies for an excursion that includes fishing, hiking, and camping. The soundtrack album was released in November 1982, and the special itself aired May 12, 1983, on ABC. In 1984, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Album for Children, but lost to Michael Jackson's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook.

The Muppets Go Hollywood is a one-hour television special that aired on CBS. It was used to promote The Muppet Movie.

The Muppets Go To The Movies is a 1981 one-hour television special that aired on ABC. It was used to help promote The Great Muppet Caper.

Caroly Wilcox American puppeteer

Carolyn Wilcox, known as Caroly Wilcox, was an American theatre professional, best known for her work with the Muppets, on television programs including Sesame Street,The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock, and in The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and other films.

References

  1. Jones, Brian Jay (24 September 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. pp. 186–187. ISBN   978-0-345-52611-3.
  2. Traubman, Eleanor. "From Muppets to Mascots: The Incredible Journey of Bonnie Erickson". Creative Times. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  3. Jones, Brian Jay (24 September 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. p. 238. ISBN   978-0-345-52611-3.
  4. 1 2 3 Roe, Ryan. "An Interview with Bonnie Erickson". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  5. Jones, Brian Jay (24 September 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. pp. 208–209. ISBN   978-0-345-52611-3.
  6. Jones, Brian Jay (24 September 2013). Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books. p. 276. ISBN   978-0-345-52611-3.
  7. Rubin, Mike. "Master of Puppets". Victory Journal.
  8. Jarvis, Robert M. (23 May 2002). "Hi-Jinks at the Ballpark: Costumed Mascots in the Major Leagues". Cardozo Law Review. 23 (5).
  9. Gupta, Anika. "The Woman Behind Miss Piggy". Smithsonian.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  10. Falk, Karen (26 October 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 82. ISBN   978-1-4521-0582-6.
  11. 1 2 Falk, Karen (26 October 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 88. ISBN   978-1-4521-0582-6.
  12. 1 2 Finch, Christopher (1981). Of Muppets & Men. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN   0-394-52085-8.
  13. Falk, Karen (26 October 2012). Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal. Chronicle Books. p. 98. ISBN   978-1-4521-0582-6.
  14. 1 2 3 Hennes, Joe. "Bonnie Erickson - Career timeline". ToughPigs.com. Retrieved 7 July 2017.