This Thanksgiving holiday Lifetime and the Jim Henson Company present Turkey Hollow a new lifetime original movie for the whole family. Based on an original idea by company founder Henson and long time The Muppet Show collaborator Jerry Juhl, the made for TV movie takes us back to the heartfelt storytelling that endeared generations to the Muppet monster creations.
Following the story of the Emmerson family, the movie centers around Tim (Graham Verchere) and Annie (Genevieve Buechner),the children of a recent divorced father Ron (Jay Harrington), who during a trip to spend time with Ron’s distant and kooky Aunt Cly (Mary Steenburgen) in her hometown of Turkey Hollow discover some strange creatures in the woods. After Tim accidentally frees the Turkey’s on Cly’s sleezy neighbor’s grounds, their Thanksgiving is on the line when Cly is held responsible, her land on the line unless she comes up with an exorbitant amount of money.
Tim gets the wild idea to track down the local legend, ‘The Howling Hoodoo’ for a reward to save Aunt Cly’s land and finds help in a gaggle of monsters. I can’t express how much joy you’ll feel when Tim befriends Thwring, Squonk, Zorp and Burble. Seeing Muppet monsters interacting with people feels so much more real than anything CG can create especially when they start singing. When everything isn’t fun and games, the sneaky neighbor and his two co-conspirators kidnap the kids when they know way too much and it’s up to our Muppet friends to help Aunt Cly save the day.
Overall, the movie is a much needed throwback to what made the Muppets so special. It has the magic of discovering friendship in the most unexpected places and working together to make things right. The bad guys are taken down by a fun musical bunch and family overcoming all obstacles. It’s like no other Jim Henson production in years. It’s authentic, full of love and is joyous fun for the whole family. Mary Steenbergen and the performances of the cast (especially the puppeteers) speaks to the legacy of wholesome family storytelling that makes the Jim Henson films so beloved.
At the special screening that That’s It LA got to check out, Mary Steenbergen shared how the spirit of Henson guided the production of the film, “There was this sense that he was our partner, and I certainly felt that, that he was with us. This came from him so there was this sense of really honoring this master who really invented a whole new art form. He took this to a place no one had ever taken it. There was such a sense, for me, when I was telling my friends what I was doing, I felt the honor of doing it. So I think all of us brought that infatuation to the table and you could feel it everywhere. Everybody on the crew, everybody was honored to be there. It’s so great to be working with puppets in the movie because CG has taken over so much. ”
Turkey Hollow premieres November 21st 2015 on Lifetime!