Monday, February 28, 2005

Bear is Back in "Breakfast with Bear"

Brace yourself Bear fans, because Bear, from "Bear in the Big Blue House", is making his TV come back in a brand-new, daily, hour-long television show for kids. "Breakfast with Bear", a new song-filled hour for preschoolers, will bring Bear out of his Woodland Valley surroundings for the first time ever. The show will illustrate the benefits of healthy living as Bear pays visits to real homes in cities throughout the country. Each weekday morning, Bear will be seen greeting a preschooler (and his or her family), and interacting with them as they go about their daily routines; including brushing teeth, making wardrobe choices and getting dressed, tying shoes, stretching, getting their body moving, and eating a healthy breakfast.

The announcement for the show was made today by Gary Marsh, the Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Production for the Disney Cable Networks Group. "Breakfast with Bear" is the first new entertainment initiative launched by the Muppet Holding Company. And of course fans can expect the new show will be supported with additional initiatives, including Internet content, live theatre shows, and a new merchandise rollout.

The Breakfast with Bear hour, features the highlights from Bear's visits to a new home along with fun songs, activities, lessons, and fun. The show will premiere in June, 2005 during the new learning-based programming block for preschoolers on the Disney Channel. Production of the show begins next month (March 2005) in cities around the United Stated (to be announced soon).

Preschoolers and parents have come to depend on Bear to help decipher the world around them and he's a trusted source for reinforcing the message about good nutrition, healthy habits and age appropriate activity, but from Bear, it's not presented as a lesson, rather a wonderful learning experience where warmth and affection stands out. This new show will not feature as large of a puppet cast as the original show, but will still keep the charm and fun of the original. Stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Uno Fraggles, Por Favor!

Here is some great news from the New York Toy Fair. Sababa Toys has created some excellent Fraggle products in the past, and this year they plan to do it again. Sababa plans to create some more dolls of Fraggles - Mokey and Uncle Traveling Matt plush dolls are getting ready to ship (to go with the already existing Gobo, Wembly, Boober, and Red plushes Sababa created). They also have created a new two-pack of "Beanie-baby" type Fraggles coming that will include a bonus DVD with one Fraggle Rock episode.

But one of the more unique and exciting Fraggle products is a Fraggle Rock UNO game. The game, which is a variant of the classic card game UNO, features Fraggle fun on every card! The set comes in a special collectors tin, and a full deck of specialty Fraggle UNO cards. The Fraggle Rock version even features a new special "Travel" card which is new to the UNO game-play experience. There is no set release date for the UNO game announced, but it is coming, probally this spring/summer sources say.

There are also a rumor buzzing around the Sababa booth of a Fraggle Rock DVD Box Set coming real soon (like this summer), but still no official confirmation of these claims. I'll keep you posted on this one. But it is great to see the Fraggles coming back into the spot light on some great products this year.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Muppet Makeover.

According to ABC's website, The Muppets will be on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." on Sunday, March 6, 2005 at 8/7c on ABC.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -- along with the help of a special team of Muppets -- gives a home makeover to the family of America's first-ever set of surviving African American sextuplets. When Diamond Harris was pregnant, she was put on bed-rest and had to leave her nursing job. Husband Chris's salary as a third-grade teacher wasn't sufficient to cover their expenses, and soon they found their home in foreclosure. Fortunately their wonderful neighbors rallied around them and raised enough money to stop the bank proceedings. But the 2000-sq. ft., three-bedroom house was in desperate need of repair, and matters were made worse when Hurricane Ivan sent a tree crashing through the living room, which had become the children's playroom. Because there were so many children in the family, design team leader Ty Pennington thought some "child experts" should be brought in to help. The Muppets themselves heeded his call, along with Florence Henderson -- "Mrs. Brady" herself!"

So be sure to set your VCRs and be sure to watch the Muppets lend a hand in making on family's dream come true. (Check local listings for details). Disney has been sending the Muppets to "promo-land" recently with apperancnes on Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, The Apprentice, The Disney Christmas Parade, and many more; now you can add "Extreme Make Over - Home Edition" to that list.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Barretta Brothers Prepare to Pen "Elbo Elf" for Henson

In December 2004, The Jim Henson Company acquired the rights to Elbo Elf: P.M.O.C., a book by Ralph Romano and Joe Burke. It is a holiday tale about an unusual elf in Santa’s workshop - an elf with four arms. The book is now in development to become a feature length production written by brothers Bill Barretta (Muppeteer and co-writter off Jim Henson's Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story) and Gene Barretta (children’s book illustrator of Merry Creature Christmas and Journey, Easter Journey).

Elbo Elf: P.M.O.C. has a heart-warming message about never giving up and helping others. It’s the kind of project that continues Jim Henson's mission to "celebrate diversity through creative and inspiring stories."

Tom Romano, Ralph Romano's brother and co-owner of the rights to Elbo Elf, said, "My favorite holiday has always been Christmas and Henson had the vision to see that Elbo Elf could become a seasonal favorite. After 35 years, we look forward to working with Gene and Bill [Barretta] to bring Elbo to life for all children to enjoy."

There is no information on when the film would be released, who would star in it, or anything else - they're still working on the script. But as soon as I hear anything, I'll keep you all posted on the status of this production.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Grumpy Old Men on Films

The Disney synergy is working for the Muppets once again, this time giving them a weekly internet gig. The Disney owned website, now features a weekly video segment called "Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony". The 8-minute segment (available for viewing in 2 files sizes for Windows Media, Real Player, or Quicktime) features the classic Muppet hecklers commenting on current films hitting theatres; even Pepé pops in with a review of new DVD releases. Not only do viewers get a look at upcoming films and DVD, but they also get a good laugh from the Muppets. So surf over to the From the Balcony section of and watch this week's clip. This is a great use of the characters and gives them a new opportunity to shine, and grow their fan base. So check out this weeks video, and enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

More Mother Goose.

Last month HIT Entertainment released 2 DVD collections of Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories on DVD. Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories: Humpty Dumpty and Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories: Jack and Jill. Each of the DVDs featured 8 stories from the show (that comes to 16 total), leaving some to wonder what would happen to the remaining 23 stories from the show that are not be found on these two releases.

Well HIT has responded to that question saying that 2 more single-disk DVD collections (similar to the first 2) will be released towards the end of June 2005. The two DVDs, titled "Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories: Eensy Weensy Spider" and "Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", will each contain 8 stories like the first releases. There is no word on which episodes or features will be on the 2 upcoming disks, or the exact release date; HIT says that information is not avalible yet. I'll keep you posted on that information once it is avalible. Hopefully the 7 remaining stories will also get a DVD treatment on a 5th collection later on in order to finish out a compleate Mother Goose Stories collection.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bert and Ernie go around the World

According to a recent press release, Sesame Workshop and National Geographic Kids are working together to create a one-hour, prime-time family special. The two globally respected powerhouses will send Bert and Ernie on Globe-trotting Adventure in 2005!

Sesame Street residents Bert and Ernie are about to embark on one of their biggest adventures ever; a one-hour, prime-time, comedy-adventure special. Developed for a family audience, the special will star Bert and Ernie in a rollicking on-the-road adventure that finds the pair on several continents, celebrating the unique cultures they experience along the way. The special was conceived due to the positive response from the Sesame Street segment “Global Grover,” which supports Sesame Workshop’s cultural diversity initiative.

The special will include on-location shoots in South America and Africa, and has a targeted premiere date during the fourth quarter of 2005 and a home video to follow. National Geographic Kids’ Group and Sesame Workshop are currently exploring broadcast outlets for the one-hour program in the U.S. and abroad.

“National Geographic has an unequaled history of introducing people of all ages to the world beyond their door,” said Karen Gruenberg (Sesame Workshop Vice-President ). “We look forward to collaborating on a unique program that will invite children and families on a global adventure that celebrates cultural diversity and builds geographic literacy. Sesame Workshop has a long history of providing content towards creating a global community.”

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Emmet Otter Strikes Back

I recently contacted HIT Entertainment , and asked if there was any news reguarding "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas" (DVD, VHS, TV airings). And it looks like they now have a plan for Emmet. They responded with this great news:

"Thank you for contacting us. We are looking into releasing Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas on VHS/DVD Fall 2005. We are also looking into deals for TV airings for the 2005 holiday season.
Thank you for your interest in HIT Entertainment."
So it looks like this Christmas HIT will give us Emmet . But I think the letters, phone calls, and e-mails about getting the unedited version should start before it is too late. I also wonder if any special features will be encluded on the dvd? Wow, this is great news for those who missed the release the first time (and even those who didn't miss it).

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Muppet Show Season Sets!

At November's "Muppets, Music and Magic: Jim Henson's Legacy" event in New York, Henson writer and historian Craig Shemin announced that Disney will be releasing season by season box sets of "The Muppet Show" on DVD.

Craig Shemin (Henson Historian), Jerry Juh (Muppet Writter)l, Jerry Nelson (Muppeteer), Dave Goelz (Muppeteer), Carroll Spinney (Muppeteer), and many other Henson employees and fans were interviewed for bonus material on the discs at the event.

It was announced that the season box sets would begin arriving in the summer of 2005. That estimate seems a little optimistic. Late 2005, early 2006 sounds like a more realistic target date. Nonetheless, this is long-awaited news for Muppet fans. Hopefully, Disney will release the episodes uncut with UK skits and the original first season openings. Bonus material like two pilot episodes/specials ("The Muppets Valentine Show", and "The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence") and the behind the scenes special "Of Muppets and Men" would be excellent special features.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Welcome to the Blog!

Hello and welcome to the blog. This is the place you can find all the greatest and latest Muppet, Fraggle, Sesame, and Henson news on the web. Feel free to read all the posts, and comment on any of the ones you like. Some of you may know me from the Muppet Central forums, other's may know me from elsewhere, and some may not know me at all. Check back each and every day as I try my best to bring you the updates on the Muppet, Jim Henson, and everything else. I hope you enjoy it!

So with all that said; And now let's get things started. Why don't you get things started? It's time to get things started on the most sensational inspirational celebrational Muppetational. This is what we call the GelflingWaldo Files!