Tall Poppy

Brian Henson (2022)

Welcome to the town of Bland, where a not-so-little girl is about to change the way we see ambition forever.

Tall Poppy is a 10-minute short film produced by the Jim Henson Company and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for Australian company CGU Insurance. The short was directed by Brian Henson.

CGU Insurance partnered with the Henson Company to develop a short to address the cultural phenomenon wherein people hold back, criticize, or sabotage those who achieved notable success — commonly referred to as tall poppy syndrome. A 2021 CGU Insurance study found that “one in five Australians have either passed up an opportunity for fear of being seen as a ‘tall poppy’ or been a victim of the tall poppy syndrome.”

The main character is Poppy, who represents the positive aspects of ambition and retains and shares it. Tabletop puppetry (using dozens of puppets) was combined with visual effects, provided by Stargate Studios.

Tall Poppy is about celebrating ambition and facing the feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability that can get in the way of living to your fullest potential. The ambitious team that came together to create this film, brought together by our incredible partners at CGU Insurance, definitely saw the magic and innovation that can happen when everyone feels free to share their own unique talents. We hope that Poppy’s story will inspire Australians to celebrate their own tall poppies.

Brian Henson

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