Peeks: Muppet Babies Series Reboot

It would seem that the twenty teen years are the era of the reboot. Many series that fans watched from the 90s to the early 00s seem to be getting a reboot or revamp of some kind. These shows range from the good to the “eh”. This past Saturday, we became aware of the latest series to contract revival fever: Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies.

Muppet-Babies-

Yes, this is a thing that happening.

Muppet Babies ran from September 15, 1984 to November 2, 1991 on CBS. And now, it’s getting a reboot.  Not a lot has been revealed about this new series just yet, but here’s what we know so far:

  • The new series is slated to air sometime in 2018 on Disney Junior and as such, it will be aimed at kids aged 4 to 7.
  • Unlike the previous series, which was traditionally hand drawn, this show will be rendered in CGI to give the characters a more puppet-like appearance.
  • Also unlike the first series, each half hour episode will consist of two 11 minute shorts rather than a single 22 minute story.
  • It would appear that the producers have decided to streamline the main cast. Going by the character profiles on the Disney Wiki,  this shows’ central cast will consist of Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal and a new character, Bobbi Ba-Ba, a female sheep. No mention of Rowlf, Scooter, Skeeter, Bunsen Honeydew or Beaker or in what capacity these characters will appear, if they appear at all.

OUR THOUGHTS:

We think that the shorter stories is a good idea, as some of the previous episodes did (gotta be real, here) feel kind of padded out. It will be a bit of a shame if Skeeter doesn’t show up, since the character hasn’t been used for literally anything since the original Muppet Babies ended. However, the addition of a new female character seems to be replacing Skeeter as “the other girl”, so that’s show biz. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rowlf sits out this one, as his character never made much of an impact on the proceedings anyway. There were 8 central characters in the original Muppet Babies (10 if you count Bunsen and Beaker, who didn’t appear every week), so I can’t fault the producers’ wanting to trim down the main cast.  I can say from experience that working on larger casts and trying to keep everyone’s parts equal is no easy task. Bigger casts means that you have less time to focus on each individual character, so it’s not surprising if the producers want fewer characters to focus on this time.

Also, according to the character profiles, the titular characters will be about 4 years old on the show, so they aren’t technically babies here. I wonder why the producers didn’t just call the new series Muppet Kids?

Muppet Kids 1

There was a series of children’s books in the 1990s called Muppet Kids. It was essentially the same idea as Muppet Babies, except the characters were a little older this time, but still pre-adults.

Muppet Kids 3

The premise of the books made more sense, as this time around, the Muppet characters all lives in a suburban cul-de-sac with their respective families as opposed to all of them living in one house like The Monkees.

Muppet Kids 2

This leads me to wonder why there was no Muppet Kids TV series. That would seem to be the natural progression after Muppet Babies…

Graham Chapman And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) 5

“Get on with it!”

Right. Enough rambling. I plan to watch at least one episode of the new Muppet Babies just to see how it compares to the original, but I probably won’t be doing a Cartoon Country about it, not unless it’s really good. To be honest, I was never a super fan of the original series. Flashing back to shows from our youth is nice and all, but quite frankly, we need to continue to make more original fare, not bring back stuff for people who can’t get over things that need to be gotten over, like nostalgia. I’d much rather see these producers come up with some more new and original ideas as opposed to new takes on earlier established properties, but if Hollywood truly must continue resurrecting shows from the 90s to 00s….

mission_hill-show

We never got a second season of Mission Hill. Just wanted to point that out…

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1 Comment

  1. silverstar

    More random thoughts:

    -There hasn’t been a ton of news about this show as of yet, and no footage of the new series is available as of this writing, but I’ve already been reading several complaints about the CGI animation style. Typical “It’s different than what I grew up with! Childhood ruined!” crap. Once again, I don’t see this as a big deal: the only reason the original Muppet Babies was made into a cartoon was for practical rather than artistic reasons (doing a weekly series with those tiny puppets wouldn’t have feasible on a TV schedule), and while I understood why the producers did it, I always felt that converting puppetry to animation negated both art forms. At least here the characters look like puppets.

    -Since the stories will be shorter this time, I’m hoping they dial back on the role-playing fantasy sequences, as I never thought they were all that necessary, as if the premise of child versions of the Muppets wasn’t premise enough. Maybe they’ll only do the fantasies once in a while as opposed to multiple times throughout each episode.

    -Also, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there won’t be any inserted TV show and movie clips in each episode like before. That was simply a product of its’ time: TV and popular media was like the Wild West back in the 80’s, but these days everything is under the umbrella of Big Corporations, and as such there are stringent copyright laws. The extensive use of copyrighted footage was one reason why the original Muppet Babies has yet to get a proper DVD release.

    -Part of me is going to kind of miss Scooter and Skeeter if they aren’t used; I kind of liked Skeeter and I also liked the idea of 2 of the characters being twins (probably because I am one myself); maybe the other characters will show up from time to time and just not be regulars. However, at least we’ll be getting another girl Muppet besides Piggy, whom I’m kind of hot and cold on; I’ll hold off any opinions on Bobbie Ba-Ba until after I’ve seen her in action.

    -I really, really hope the producers of this show don’t continue that gawd-awful love triangle: the whole ‘Piggy macks on Kermit, Gonzo is hopelessly, obsessively in love with Piggy and she just hates on, insults and abuses him in each episode’. That got old REAL fast for me; it really soured me towards the character of Piggy and I hated how it ruined Gonzo’s character. All of his trademark guts, willingness to be himself no matter how odd and iconoclastic nature were gone, in place we just got this lovesick loser thing walking around in his skin. That shtick put me off so hard that I eventually just stopped watching the show and didn’t see a lot of the later episodes until the reruns turned up on Nickelodeon; I just didn’t feel the need to keep watching now that one of my favorite characters was essentially gone. So here’s hoping that tired routine stays dead and buried.

    -No Lips again. Pity. Oh well, maybe next time.

    Like

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