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Google doodle celebrates Jim Henson's 75th birthday

Muppets pop up on Google homepage to celebrate the 75th birthday of their creator, Jim Henson. And it lets you play puppeteer to boot.

Head on over to the Google homepage today and you'll see a line up of Muppets, mimicking the search giant's logo. They're there to celebrate the life of Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, among others, who would've been 75 today.

But as is Google's way, it's not just there to look nice. It's a fully interactive doodle -- mouse over one of the characters and you can play puppeteer.

The Muppets respond as you click around, looking in the direction you choose. Get a little over-enthusiastic with the mouse, and they'll perform individual flourishes. (The bald one with the yellow nose flipped his glasses up in the air when we went to town with the mouse. Then the red one at the end ate the tall green one after we'd flicked over him a few times.)

A circled hand lights up when you click on one of the Muppets, so you know which is under your control.

It's the latest in Google's long-running series of doodles. A couple of weeks ago the search giant celebrated Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday with a frankly awesome 8-bit animation set to the Queen song Don't Stop Me Now. The Hungarian physiologist responsible for discovering vitamin C was also honoured, and before that Pierre de Fermat, who came up with Fermat's theorem, had his own doodle.

Henson created many greatly loved shows including The Muppets and Sesame Street, as well as working on films such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Labyrinth and The Empire Strikes Back, for which he created Yoda. Or should that be, "for created Yoda which did he"?

Henson passed away in 1990, at the age of 53, but his legacy lives on, with his creations still loved by millions around the world.