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Muppet Babies

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Title.babies
First aired September 15, 1984
Last aired December 29, 1990
Network CBS
Seasons 7
No. of episodes 107
MuppetBabiesGroup
From Left to Right: Baby Animal, Baby Skeeter, Baby Scooter, Baby Fozzie, Baby Piggy, Baby Kermit, Baby Gonzo and Baby Rowlf

Muppet Babies is an animated series which ran on CBS for seven years, winning the Outstanding Animated Series Emmy for four consecutive years. The concept of presenting familiar Muppet characters as babies was introduced in a sequence of The Muppets Take Manhattan. The film featured puppet versions of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, and Rowlf as babies (the puppet versions later returned one more time, for a home movie sequence in A Muppet Family Christmas). The series added baby versions of Animal, Bunsen Honeydew, and Beaker, plus new characters such as Scooter's sister Skeeter and Nanny (seen from shoulders down only, per the children's point of view). Later cast additions included an infant version of Bean Bunny and avuncular versions of Statler and Waldorf (plus guest appearances by Robin as a Tadpole and Janice as a toddler).

The show's humor relied heavily on incorporating footage from live action film and television productions, most often Star Wars, but clips from Henson's own The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Labyrinth also surfaced. Live-action cameo appearances included Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Selleck, amongst others.

In an interview with Hank Saroyan, he talks about Jim Henson's vision of this animated series:

He wanted children to believe that anything is possible. That's the only thing that's going to save this planet - the power of imagination.[1]

The series prompted a short-lived spinoff, Little Muppet Monsters.

Opening and Closing

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The theme song written by Hank Saroyan and Rob Walsh, featured the Muppet Babies singing about the power of imagination. Originally, the opening featured a middle verse where each baby introduced him/herself. This part of the opening was later cut during the second season when two episodes of Muppet Babies aired back to back following the cancellation of Little Muppet Monsters, and it is cut from most episodes in syndication to make room for more commercials.

During the first season, the closing theme was an instrumental version of the theme song. Starting in the second season, the music was changed to an instrumental version of the Little Muppet Monsters theme song. This version of the closing replaced the original closing when aired on Nickelodeon. The closing also showed various stills of the cast (and the second season closing also included various background artwork from the series).

Reruns

After the series ended its run on CBS, reruns aired on FOX from 1991 until 1992, and the first 96 episodes aired on Nickelodeon from 1992 until 1999, and as a syndication package. These same episodes were also rerun on the Odyssey Network in 1999. Although 11 episodes from the last season were not shown in syndication, a number of them were released on video. The show was seen in the United Kingdom on Playhouse Disney from 2005-2007. The shows and the franchise are now owned and controlled by Disney.

Cast

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Additional Voices

Credits

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  • Producer/Supervising Producer & Director: Bob Richardson
  • Executive Producers: Jim Henson, Margaret Loesch, Lee Gunther, Michael K. Frith, Joe Taritero
  • Created for Television by: Jim Henson
  • Developed for Television by: Jeffrey Scott
  • Executive in Charge of Series/Story Editor/Voice Director/Song Producer: Hank Saroyan
  • Creative Consultant: Michael K. Frith
  • Writers: Jeffrey Scott, Hank Saroyan, Larry Swerdlove, Sindy McKay, J.R. Young, Lois Becker, Mark Stratton, Chuck Lorre
  • Development Story Consultant: Jack Mendlesohn
  • Art Director: Takashi
  • Supervising Directors: Terrence Lennon, Ray Lee
  • Original Score: Robert J. Walsh (1984-1989), Hank Saroyan/Robert Irving (1989-1991)
  • Original Theme: Robert J. Walsh/Hank Saroyan
  • Original Songs: Robert J. Walsh, Janis Liebhart & Alan O'Day, Scott Brownlee, Hank Saroyan

See also

Sources

  1. The Prescott Courier: "Muppet Babies venture into fascinating world of opera"

External links

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