Monday, April 30, 2007

More Classic Sesame Street Coming to DVD

Back in October, Sesame Workshop released the first DVD box set of "classic" Sesame Street material – appropriately titled "Sesame Street Old School – Volume 1". Since October fans have been waiting, and hoping, for the news of a second installment in the "Old School" series.

I have been contacting Sesame Workshop about the issue of more "Sesame Street Old School" DVDs and what to expect (and when). I am happy to say that I have some great news for Sesame Street fans. Recently I received the following response on the issue from a member of Sesame Workshop's administrative team:

"Yes! Indeed there are plans to release a Sesame Street Old School: Volume 2 some time between August and October of this year. Please stay tuned for more details, and thanks for your interest in Sesame Street!"

So there you go! I think that message says it all. "Sesame Street Old School - Volume 2" should be release (if all goes as planned) early this fall (in around five months from now). There are no further details on the set available at this time, but I'll be sure to keep you all updated as soon as any more information is revealed on this upcoming release.

Jim Hill Looks Back on 3 Years of "The Muppet Holding Company, LLC"

Disney fan and blogger Jim Hill has published an interesting article on his site that walks readers through the three-year business history of Disney's Muppet Holding Company. Jim looks into the past work done bt a trio of Vice Presidents attempting to relaunch the Muppets, and Jim casts hope towards future with the current Muppet leader, Lylle Breier.

Jim Hill leads readers through "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz", Kermit's world tour, Kermit's Ford endorsements, "America's Next Muppet", the French "Muppets TV" show, the 2007 mocumentary pilot, Muppet Mobile Labs, and also mentions the possibility of a series of brand-new Muppet-related short films, videos and other interstitials for the Disney Channel.

The article is an interesting read for Muppet and Disney fans, so if you have some time you might want to check it out (here). Also, if you're interested, Hill also published a beaming review of Kermit's book "Before you Leap" last week (here).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Muppet Show: Season 2 is "Coming Soon"!

Disney is reassuring fans that the second season of "The Muppet Show" is coming to DVD – and "soon". A trailer for the upcoming DVD release of "The Muppet Show Season Two" set is included on the "Dinosaurs: Complete Third and Fourth Seasons" DVD set (on sale Tuesday). Although an exact release date is given in the ad (nor any further information on the features), this is a great sign for Muppet fans and it shows that things are on track and the set will be coming our way soon. Earlier reports have hinted at a "late summer" release and, given this ad, that looks very likely to be true. I'll keep you updated as soon as I hear more on The Muppet Show season two and the DVD release details.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Kermit and the 2008 Ford Escape

Back in 2006, Kermit the Frog teamed up with Ford to become the official spokesfrog for the Ford Escape Hybrid. Kermit the Frog has since appeared in several advertisements, including a 2006 Superbowl commercial, to promote the environmentally friendly vehicle. Recently Ford unveiled the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid and Kermit is onboard once again.

Kermit is currently appearing in special video inserts featured throughout the new website for the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid (click here). Video footage includes Kermit in reporter garb "on location in the Internet" announcing the 2008 Escape, Kermit dressed in a Ford lab coat inspecting the 2008 Escape, Kermit backpacking through the wilderness and Kermit relaxing on a log in the swamp. The videos are also slightly interactive, as visitors can attempt to "tickle" Kermit with their mouse and Kermit will occasionally harass visitors if they linger too long on the page. Five videos of Kermit are embedded throughout in the site, through links accessible off the front page.

So check out the site, enjoy Kermit's informative and cheeky comments and learn a bit about the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid.

Dinosaurs DVD Website Updated

In anticipation of "Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons" coming to DVD, Disney has updated The official Dinosaurs website has the rundown on the upcoming DVD and other goodies. There are character profiles, video clips, buddy icons, desktop wallpapers, behind the scenes videos, design sketches and all sorts of other cool stuff. If you're a fan of Dinosaurs you'll want to check it out and explore what the site has to offer. "Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons" will be released on Tuesday (May 1, 2007) so be sure to get your copy as soon as you can - and if you still haven't picked up the first box set be sure to do that too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sesame Street Promotes Vaccinations in the Americas

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has partnered with Sesame Workshop to encourage parents throughout the Americas to immunize their children during Vaccination Week in the Americas which runs from April 21 to 28.

Bert, Ernie, Elmo, Grover and other Sesame characters will be featured in posters, flyers, and “I’ve Been Vaccinated” stickers produced by PAHO for the hemisphere-wide effort to vaccinate children in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, South America and elsewhere. The Sesame Street and Plaza Sésamo characters have broad appeal throughout world and are just one of the ways PAHO is reaching out to children with life-saving immunizations.

Vaccination Week in the Americas, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of immunization and to improve vaccination coverage, particularly in difficult-to-reach populations and areas with historically low coverage. Since 2003, the event has reached over 147 million children and adults.

Sesame Workshop’s participation in this campaign is an important compliment to their Healthy Habits for Life initiative in the United States and the recently launched Plaza Sesamo Healthy Habits imitative, which encourages children to exercise, eat healthy foods, and develop a repertoire of healthy habits that are simple, fun, and can be practiced forever.

For more information on Vaccination Week in the Americas, and to download Sesame Street flyers and other graphic material, check out

Friday, April 20, 2007

Puppet Up! Australian Press Round Up

The Jim Henson Company's group of talented improv puppeteers concluded their set of shows in Australia earlier this month. The troupe performed 17 shows between March 22 and April 15, taking part in the Big Laugh Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The reviews and reactions from those who attended have been overwhelmingly positive. For all those fans that didn't make it to the shows in Australia here are some links to give you a taste of what happened when the Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up! stage show was unleashed down under. This is just a sampling of articles, interviews, reviews and videos on the web related to Puppet Up! in Australia. Enjoy.

Also don't forget to check out the weekly webisodes of Puppet Up! - Uncensored on's Laugh Lab. New videos are posted every Wednesday - so far there are 14 "very funny" episode of Puppet Up! online and ready for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dinosaur DVD Bonus Feature Details

The finial pieces of information surrounding the "Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons" DVD set have surfaced. The fully-loaded, 4-disc DVD box set will be released on May 1st, and as stated earlier will hold the final 36 episodes of the series (several of which never aired during the initial run of the show). Well, here is some more of the information that you are craving in regards to the bonus features.

The DVD set includes special audio commentary tracks on two select episodes in the set. The selected episodes, for all of you wondering, are "Nature Calls" and "Into the Woods" – and the commentary participants are Brian Henson, Kirk Thatcher, Kevin Clash and Bill Barretta. The set also comes with a six-minute featurette, titled "I'm the Baby, Gotta Love Me!", that discusses the popularity of Baby Sinclair; and there is a nine-minute featurette titled "Creatures With a Cause: The Issues of Dinosaurs" that look at the political issues tackled on the show. Also, as mentioned earlier, the set will include the "I'm the Baby (Gotta Love Me)" music video. But wait there's more... the set will also come loaded with hidden "Dino-Eggs" for you to uncover, find, watch and enjoy.

So be sure to pick up your copy of "Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons" when it hits DVD in just two weeks!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Vote for Statler & Waldorf in the 2007 Webby Awards!

That’s right, your favorite curmudgeons are in the running for a Webby! The Muppet web-show, "Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony" has been recognized by the Webby Awards and needs your help to win! Show your support by visiting the Webby voting site and making your voice heard.

Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times, the Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Interactive Advertising, Online Film & Video, and Mobile Websites. And now and the Muppets have been honored with their first-ever Webby nomination for "Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony".

The Webby Awards have a "Peoples Voice" element and so the Muppets need your support in voting them to victory! Go to the Webby Award site (click here) and register to vote. Once you’ve registered, go to the Online Film & Video area - you’ll find "From the Balcony" in the Comedy: Long Form or Series category.

The competition is stiff, but the Muppets have a great shot at it - "From the Balcony" is currently in 2nd place and with your help, we can get the show to #1! Let's rock the vote!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Muppet Fan Launches Muppet Podcast

Do you like the Muppets? Do you like podcasts? Have you ever wondered why there are thousands of podcasts on the web covering every topic under the sun yet no one has made a Muppet podcast? Well, thanks to Steve Swanson you don't have to wonder anymore, because Muppet fans now have a podcast to call their own. Muppet fan Steve Swanson has just started a wonderful Muppet podcast – appropriately titled The MuppetCast.

The MuppetCast is an audio podcast; and like most podcasts, you can subscribe and/or download the episodes to your computer or portable listening device for your listening enjoyment. The MuppetCast is the first podcast on the web completely dedicated to the Muppets, and I have to say it is wonderful!

The first episode, which is over 23-minutes of Muppet fandom, includes an introduction to the cast (and an explanation on why it was started); clips from, and a review of, the 1990 television special The Muppets at Walt Disney World; a look at the new Muppet Mobile Lab at Disney's California Adventure; commentary on, and from, Muppet fandom and much more.

This project is a wonderful testament to what happens when a fan focus his or her creativity, talents and love for the Muppets. I'm sure Steve's podcast will grow and build a strong audience and community of listeners (I already can't wait to listen to the next installment!) So be sure to check it out, take a listen, bookmark the site, subscribe, and keep an eye (and an ear) out for new episodes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Henson Prepares for The Doubful Guest

As reported earlier, The Jim Henson Company is working with Walden Media and Fox 2000 to produce The Doubtful Guest. The live-action film, which is based on the classic story by writer/illustrator Edward Gorey, will be directed Brad Peyton with the script written by Matthew Huffman.

The Doubtful Guest will be produced by Lisa Henson, Brian Henson and Jason Lust; and the film will be released by 20th Century Fox and Walden Media through their "Fox Walden" arm. No release date has been set at this point, but production is expected to start later this year.

Originally published in 1957, the whimsical story revolves around a mysterious and mischievous creature that arrives unannounced and unwelcome at a family-owned bed & breakfast. However this guest wreaks havoc and brings nothing but trouble with him.

Known for his gothic flair, the work of Edward Gorey has shown a heavy influence in the work of many top Hollywood productions – including Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Corpse Bride" among others. However Gorey's own works has never been given the cinematic treatment until now. Gorey's unique style is known for the gaunt, bleak-eyed figures, gothic motifs and a somewhat morbid sense of humor.

Jim Henson's Creature Shop is currently working on the creature creation, aiming to faithfully translate Gorey's sketched look into animatronic design while giving him expression and the ability to be articulated as a character on screen.

Lisa Henson told reporters that, "It's hard to come up with a creature that you've never seen before in any medium, and he's a unique little creation who is very appealing without being cute or cloying."

The Doubtful Guest is just one of several films that the Jim Henson Company and Creature Shop are currently working on. I will keep you posted as details on this film, and the other Henson Company projects, surface.