AI: ILM Vs. Henson

Inspired by the No Right Answer concept at The Escapist, I give you an impossible question:

Which is better: Industrial Light and Magic or the Jim Henson Company?

Industrial Light and Magic was founded by George Lucas in order to make the first Star Wars movies possible. They have remained an FX studio on the cutting edge of technology ever since and are responsible for the visual effects in such films as Willow, Jurassic Park, Terminator, Avatar and the NeverEnding Story.

The Jim Henson Company is, unsurprisingly, the company created by Jim Henson and is responsible for not only the Muppets and Sesame street, but also Labyrinth, the Dark Crystal, and Farscape amongst others.

Which is the better FX house: Industrial Light and Magic or the Jim Henson Company?

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Ryan Consell is a skeptical artist, tap-dancing armorer, juggling scientist, rock-climbing writer, sword-fighting math teacher, uni-cycling gamer, fire-spinning academic and devout nerd. He has a Masters in Applied science, most of a bachelors in Fine Arts, and a very short attention span. He is the author of How Not to Poach a Unicorn and half of the masochistic comedy duo that is Creative Dissonance. Follow him on Twitter @StudentofWhim


  1. December 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Henson. Duh.

  2. December 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    This is very subjective, yes? The two studios target very different niches in the SFX world and “best” will depend on what type of movies you prefer.

  3. December 5, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    @Bytor, it is indeed subjective, but can you make an informed argument one way or the other?

  4. December 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Henson. ILM has always been about make special effects more and more photo-realisitic with what appears to be the goal of making them indistinguishable from stuff shot in real life. But here’s the thing: I’m never going to suspend disbelief enough to not notice the scenes where special effects are absolutely necessary , aliens, physics defying stunts and so on.

    Henson’s creations do it for me because the design emphasis is on creating something delightful, something visually interesting and unique rather than something photo realistic. I’m always going to know that that alien isn’t real so I’d rather they spend the time and effort making it cool to look at; Henson wins hands down.

  5. December 6, 2011 at 8:42 am

    That’s it. I need to know how to change my nym. It should read: Coelecanth: Lobe-finned Killer of Threads. I know my schedule and antipodal location put me at a disadvantage when it comes to timely commenting but always being the last entry is starting to make me paranoid.

  6. December 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

    @coelecanth: Lobe-finned Killer of Threads: No, no. You are not the thread-killer. Fear is the thread-killer. Everyone kno– What’s that? What do you mean, “turn in your geek card”? Why? Hey! Get your hands off me! Help! Help! I’m being repressed!

    –End Transmission–

  7. December 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Can’t answer. It’s apples to oranges for me. They’re two different things.
    You’re not gonna ask Henson to do Iron Man or ILM to do Kermit.

  8. December 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Oooh, there’s some lovely filth over ‘ear. [Looks around] Brian? Brian!? Dammit, another miracle? Fine. [Runs off to join the Judean People’s Front]

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