Historical information provided by The Jim Henson Company Archivist:
Jim’s second series of counting films for Sesame Street, made mostly in 1970, used a variety of film and animation techniques. For The Queen of 6, The King of 8 and the Number 12 Rocks films, the characters (and rocks) were brought to life through stop-motion animation. Puppet builder Don Sahlin had worked with George Pal and others on stop-motion projects and was able to bring his in-depth knowledge of the process to these productions.
Jim designed the Queen, the King and the related characters which Don transformed into three-dimensions. Using a variety of materials (the eight Princesses were made from small toy bowling pins and balls), Don interpreted Jim’s quick sketches and created a mini royal community to tell their brief stories. For both The Queen of 6 and The King of 8, Jim wrote humorous rap-like songs – the Queen’s spoken by a narrator, and the King (voiced by Jim) telling most of his tale himself. Elaborate sets were built, and Jim hand-painted the large castle with windows that opened to reveal the eight Princesses. He was building doll houses for his daughters at that time so his miniature abode-building skills were sharp. While the Queen’s story ended with her six kittens tucked neatly into bed, the King’s ending had a twist – much to his chagrin, the King of 8 became the father of a ninth Princess. Clearly, Jim wanted a comic ending and created storyboards for several versions. He must have chosen the right one – the film holds up today and still elicits a big laugh.