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Number Twelve Rocks, a classic Sesame Street animation

Number Twelve Rocks is an award-winning stop-motion animation created by filmmaker and Muppet pioneer Jim Henson in October 1970. In it, twelve rocks emerge one-by-one from a massive crowd of rocks, counting their places as they line up. The crowd echoes the numbers and the rocks spell out the number 12 at the very end.

number 12 sesame street stop motion
The piece was inspired in part by the Woodstock Music Festival. It was also one of many films that Henson used that year to hone his craft. From The Red Book, an official site about Henson’s written log:

Heading into the second season of Sesame Street, Jim took advantage of the need for material to enhance his filmmaking skills. He had done a series of live-action number films for the first season (featuring the baker who fell down the stairs), and now he was eager to experiment with various animation techniques. Along with traditional animation, painting under the camera, and simple computer generated animation, Jim made three films using stop motion.

Related watching: Sesame Street’s Mad Painter paints the number 7, The 30 Dots Collection, and Pinball Number 12 (remade).

Bonus tutorial: How to make puppets with Jim Henson (1969).

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