Q: Were the trolls in "Ernest Scared Stupid" done by Jim Henson?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

No, but the Chiodo brothers would probably be flattered by your guess.

The villainous trolls who terrorize Briarville, Missouri, in "Ernest Scared Stupid" (1991) were designed by Chiodo Brothers Productions, a competing character-design company — as much as anyone can be said to "compete" with the legendary, pioneering Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

That said, you're likely familiar with the work of the Chiodos — Charles, Edward and Stephen — whether you know it or not.

Most notably, perhaps, they were the puppeteers behind the all-puppet, adult-oriented comedy "Team America: World Police" (2004). They also designed the titular monsters in the Critters horror-comedy film series.

They largely made their names with 1988's "Killer Klowns From Outer Space," a bizarre horror-comedy about — well, it says it all right in the title. This was a true labor of love for them, and they directed, wrote and produced it as well as doing the effects and design. They later reused some of the clown masks from that film for the trolls in "Ernest Scared Stupid."

The Chiodos' reputation certainly leans more toward grown-up fare, but it's much wider than that. Along with the kid-friendly "Ernest" film, they also worked on lighter projects such as 1997's "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" and 1995's "Theodore Rex" (another one people often attribute to Henson).


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