|Premiere||August 28, 1990|
The show combined live-action child actors with elaborate puppets from Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The show featured puppeteers Mike Quinn, Mak Wilson, and Karen Prell as various characters, along with Angie Passmore as the titular Mother Goose. Fourteen of the episodes were based on stories in L. Frank Baum's 1897 book Mother Goose in Prose, while the others were original tales written for the show. The general look of the characters was based on the work of Maxfield Parrish, the artist who illustrated Baum's book.
Jim Henson explained the approach to the material was their attempt to help explain some of their mysteries when teaching them to children: "On Sesame Street, we did a lot of things with nursery rhymes, but they tend to go as parodies, so you have to know the rhyme before the parody works. I like the idea of a series that teaches the rhymes."
The first and third seasons of Mother Goose Stories were directed by Brian Henson, in one of his earliest directorial efforts for the Jim Henson Company, while Michael Kerrigan directed the episodes in the second season. Henson and Kerrigan received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Program for their work on the show.
The series was originally conceived as a co-production between the Jim Henson Company and Television South West for British television. A pilot episode, the story of "Humpty Dumpty", was produced in 1987 along with other episodes. The series was considered for a network slot in 1987, but was passed on. The first release of the series came in 1988 through a home video release as part of Jim Henson's Play-Along Video. The video featured three episodes of the show, "Miss Muffet", "Song of Sixpence" and "Boy Blue", plus original linking footage between each story.
Mother Goose Stories finally found a home as a broadcast series on the Disney Channel in 1990, and was the company's first new television series to debut after the death of Jim Henson. Mother Goose Stories had three production seasons, spawning thirty-nine eight-minute episodes. For airing on the Disney Channel, the 39 independently produced episodes were grouped into 13 broadcast episodes to fit the half-hour time slot. Each of these broadcast episodes was comprised of three separate stories (with individual opening titles and closing credits attached to each one).
- Daytime Emmy Awards
- ACE Awards
- Best Achievement in Children's Programming
- Best Achievement in Art Direction in a Comedy or Music Special/Series (Gordon Toma, Dennis King)
- Best Achievement in Writing in a Children's Series (David Angus).
- American Film and Video Association
- Honorable Mention in the Children's Video Entertainment awarded to Jim Henson's Play Along Video: Mother Goose Stories
- Episode 01: Humpty Dumpty - A prince needs a riddle to baffle the King so he can marry his beloved princess. But he can't think of one until an egg comes along and an idea is hatched.
- Episode 02: Baa Baa Blacksheep - Two bags full is a lot of wool for any sheep to grow. But Baa Baa has a special reason to grow at least one more. Can she do it?
- Episode 03: Mary, Mary - Mary Mary Quite Contrary tries to grow some flowers, but it isn't quite as simple as she thinks. For the flowers that she grows prefer to mix, not stand in rows. As they wither, Mary Mary's heart sinks.
- Episode 04: The Prince and the Beggars - The King lets Prince Lilimond rule for a day, but the Chamberlain fears the worst. For the Prince vows to share all the kingdom's gold with the poor and the town fills with beggars, some rich and some poor.
- Episode 05: Tommy Tucker - A slice of bread and butter is a feast to Tommy Tucker for he hasn't any money to buy food. But he has to sing a song for it and singing isn't easy for a boy who's never tried.
- Episode 06: Little Bo Peep - Little Bo Peep thinks she knows about sheep. She has only to take them to graze. But her sheep give her trouble, they're off on the double, and it becomes one of those days.
- Episode 07: Hickory Dickory Dock - It's one hour after midnight and the three mice are still awake. Their mother has left them to go looking for food. The temptation is too great and they go wandering down a hole only to find exploring is not a piece of cake!
- Episode 08: Jack Horner - Jack is working in the forest when he hears some urgent cries. It's a traveller who has fallen in a bog. Is it too late for Jack to rescue him or can he save the day and earn himself one of his grandmother's Christmas pies?
- Episode 09: Miss Muffet - Miss Muffet was rich. She had maids to do this, she had maids to do that, and a nurse called Nurse Holloweg. But when they wouldn't let her do what she wanted, she ran off but got such a fright, it made her run right back again.
- Episode 10: Song of Sixpence - It's the day of the King's coronation and everyone's going to town. Young Gilligren sets off with sixpence to make himself rich. But he spends the money and is left with only blackbirds which, by chance, are just what's needed at the palace.
- Episode 11: Boy Blue - Boy Blue is asleep while he should be at work. When the Squire comes round, he's angry for the sheep are in the meadow and the cow is in the corn. But there's a good reason why Boy Blue can't stay awake.
- Episode 12: Old King Cole - Old King Cole was a merry old soul before he wore a crown. Then a touch of luck made him King and happiness ruled the land.
- Episode 13: Hey, Diddle Diddle - Little Bobby tries to write a song that tells a story, but he's stuck on the first line: "Hey Diddle Diddle." Then his cat inspires a crazy tale, but only after getting caught up in a fiddle.
- Episode 14: Eenie Meenie - Eenie, Meenie, Minie and Khan the tiger are all in Mr. Mo's circus. When Khan runs away, he's soon caught and invited to come back to the circus.
- Episode 15: Dicky Birds - Two little dicky birds sitting on the palace wall would like to become royal dicky birds. Will the Princess have them?
- Episode 16: The Crooked Man - Wrigley Squiggley is unhappy being the only straight person in the crooked land until he discovers that he can do something that makes him very special.
- Episode 17: Mother Hubbard - When Mother Hubbard goes to fetch her poor dog a bone, the cupboard is bare! Can Sherlock Hubbard track down the thief or the bone?
- Episode 18: Eensy Weensy - When Eensy Weensy Spider is washed down the water spout, he's washed right down the drain and into the long-lost cavern where two explorers are trapped. Can he climb back up to save them all?
- Episode 19: Hector Protector - Evelyn the wicked witch is turning all the people in the kingdom into animals and only the man in green, Hector Protector, can save the day. Can he do it in time?
- Episode 20: Mary's Little Lamb - The school rule says "no pets!" But Woolworth the lamb has his own ideas!
- Episode 21: Duke of York - The Grand Old Duke marches to the top of the hill only to find his castle has been taken over. But his faithful servant Youngblood has a plan.
- Episode 22: Pat-a-Cake - Monsieur Le Pat-A-Cake is the finest baker in town. When he is asked to bake a cake for the King's birthday, disaster strikes and he has to ask for help from his assistants.
- Episode 23: Jack Be Nimble - Who will win the pot of gold by jumping over the Great Candle of the Glimmers? Many try, but can Jack B. Nimble succeed where others have failed?
- Episode 24: Willie Winkie - Children must be in bed by eight o'clock and so must Wee Willie Winkie. But why is he late one night and can his mother find him in time?
- Episode 25: Man in the Moon - No moon in the sky? Why? Gilbert Filbert and Rufus the dog make an amazing discovery and take a night trip to Norwich.
- Episode 26: Jack & Jill - Jack and Jill go up the hill to fetch a pail of water. But when they tumble down there's a very large fire-breathing surprise at the bottom.
- Episode 27: Queen of Hearts - The Queen of hearts baked some tarts, all on a summer's day because the King of Clubs is coming, but a knave steals them away!
- Episode 28: Hickety Pickety - Hickety Pickety is a hen who lays nine eggs and sometimes ten. But when the truth is revealed, the other hens get a boost.
- Episode 29: Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat - The Queen is in her chamber. All she wants to eat is cheese supplied each day by Ellen's dairy. Why won't the Queen come out?
- Episode 30: Peter Pumpkin Eater - Peter's passion for his pumpkin patch poses problems for his wife until their son provides the answer: they can grow themselves a house!
- Episode 31: Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross - Nicholas wants a real pony more than anything. Will he win the contest and the pony?
- Episode 32: It's Raining, It's Pouring - The King is always working and he never has time to play, until one night he goes to bed and bumps his head.
- Episode 33: The Giant - The land is filled with dread for there's a giant on the loose who grinds up bones to make his bread. Can he be made a friend?
- Episode 34: Tommy Tittlemouse - Tommy's pastime is going fishing in a ditch. But the ditch is owned by Mr. Mean who tries to stop the fishermouse.
- Episode 35: Little Nut Tree - Tom has a little nut tree but nothing will it bear until it grows a silver nutmeg and a golden pear. He doesn't want to part with it, but what else can he do, when the King of Spain's daughter wants the little nut tree too.
- Episode 36: Little Girl with a Curl - Lost, alone in the big dark forest, Jenny must show the wolves how bad she can be.
- Episode 37: Twinkle Twinkle - When a shooting star comes down to Earth, Stella gets her wish, but it doesn't turn out as she expected.
- Episode 38: Margery Daw - Jackie the scarecrow is employed to scare the crows. But, instead, they come to the farm to hear him sing.
- Episode 39: Rub a Dub Dub - A butcher, a baker and a candlestickmaker set sail to find adventure. But when a storm blows up, they are saved by a rotten potato.
When broadcast on Disney Channel, the episodes were grouped by story:
|#||Story 1||Story 2||Story 3|
|1||Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat||Little Bo Peep||Willie Winkie|
|2||Pat-A-Cake||The Giant||It's Raining, It's Pouring|
|3||The Queen of Hearts||Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross||Hickety Pickety|
|4||Tommy Tittlemouse||Mother Hubbard||The Prince and The Beggars|
|5||Song of Sixpence||Jack & Jill||Twinkle Twinkle|
|6||Mary, Mary||Mary's Little Lamb||Man in the Moon|
|7||Margery Daw||Hector Protector||Baa Baa Blacksheep|
|8||Dicky Birds||Rub a Dub Dub||Humpty Dumpty|
|9||Hickory Dickory Dock||Duke of York||Hey, Diddle Diddle|
|10||Old King Cole||Eenie Meenie||Little Nut Tree|
|11||Little Girl With A Curl||The Crooked Man||Tommy Tucker|
|12||Eensy Weensy||Jack Horner||Boy Blue|
|13||Miss Muffet||Jack Be Nimble||Peter Pumpkin Eater|
- Created and Produced by: Roberta Kurtz
- Directed by: Brian Henson, Michael Kerrigan
- Written by: David Angus
- Music by: Linda Danly, Mimi Danly
- Puppeteers: Mike Quinn, Mak Wilson, Karen Prell, Angie Passmore
- Designers: Ron Mueck, Jamie Courtier
- Puppets Created by: Jim Henson's Creature Shop
- Costume Designer: Jill Thraves
- ↑ Roush, Matt. "TV Commentary; The week was pumped up on all fronts". USA Today. August 24, 1990.
- ↑ Bacon, Matt. No Strings Attached. p. 67
- ↑ The Disney Channel Magazine July/August 1990
- ↑ Nathanson, Paul. "Bonner set to replace Allan in top ITV children's slot". Campaign. October 30, 1987.