Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tokyopop Talks Henson at WonderCon

Tokyopop will be holding a special panel at WonderCon in San Francisco focusing on their successfully line of Henson-based mangas – "Return to Labyrinth" and "Legends of the Dark Crystal". The panel will include Tim Beedle (editor of both series) and Jake Forbes (author of "Return to Labyrinth"). The event will be held on Saturday, February 23rd from 4:30-5:30pm. Beedle and Forbes will be there to answer questions and talk about the origins and development of the series plus give insight on where they are going. I've been told that they will have also some awesome "Legends of The Dark Crystal" posters, and will be giving away some special signed items as well – plus I'm sure there will be some other surprises too.

I have been told that the third installment in the four-part "Return to Labyrinth" series is tentatively planned for a November 2008 release. Tim Beedle has said that takes about a year to produce each volume when you factor in all the time it takes to develop, write, illustrate, and get all the nessesary approvals from The Jim Henson Company.

I will be sure to keep you updated on the future of both series as soon more information surfaces. And if you are a fan of "Return to Labyrinth" or "Legends of the Dark Crystal" and you are planning on attending WonderCon, be sure to check in with the folks from Tokyopop.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Henson Library Comes to iTunes

The Jim Henson Company announced today that select titles from their television and film library will now be available for purchase and download via the iTunes Store. The Jim Henson Company has partnered with New Video, a leading digital aggregator of independent video content, to bring several highly sought after programs to the iTunes Store - including "Fraggle Rock" and "Farscape" television series.

The first batch of Henson Company material launched on iTunes today, including the entire first seasons of "Fraggle Rock" (24 episodes) and the complete first season of "Farscape" (22 episodes). Digital releases of the subsequent seasons of these two show are planned to happen in the coming months, and other film and television productions will likely enter the iTunes catalog in the near future as well.

Henson has also released a new episode of the Podcast today. The latest installment of the podcat discusses the release of these Henson titles on iTunes and gives some insights on what the future will hold for the Henson library; plus Nicole Goldman answer some listener mail about the newly updated

Muppet Studios Preparing to Launch a New Series of Graphic Novels

Muppet Studios is planning to release of a brand-new series of graphic novels starring the Muppets. Disney has partnering with Boom! Studios to produce this new series of illustrated adventures starring Kermit and the gang. The deluxe comic books will feature the classic "Muppet Show" family of characters in a whole new set of adventures.

This new comic series is sure to garner a lot of attention from Muppet fans when it debuts ; and you can be sure that I'll keep you updated with more information on these upcoming books as soon as more details become available.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Muppet Show Season Three Coming this Spring!

It's time to play the music. It's time to light the lights. It's time to mark your calendars!

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has just announced the release of the highly anticipated "The Muppet Show: Season Three" DVD box set. The four-disc "special edition" set will include all 24 episodes from the third season of "The Muppet Show" along with an impressive collection of bonus features. This fully-loaded DVD box set of the complete third season is planned to hit store shelves on May 20, 2008... that's less than 117 days away!

Below is a full list of the DVD features which include the classic 1968 documentary "The Muppets on Puppets" (hosted Jim Henson and Rowlf the Dog), plus a new documentary entitled "The Making of The Muppets". Disney has also released an early glimpse at the cover art for the set, featuring the face of Fozzie Bear - and similar to the first two seasons, the set will feature collectible fuzzy packaging.

I will be sure to keep you updated with any other details on this very exciting release as soon I get them.

Episode Listing:
• Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge
• Leo Sayer
• Roy Clark
• Gilda Radner
• Pearl Bailey
• Jean Stapleton
• Alice Cooper
• Loretta Lynn
• Liberace
• Marisa Berenson
• Raquel Welch
• James Coco
• Helen Reddy
• Harry Belafonte
• Lesley Ann Warren
• Danny Kaye
• Spike Milligan
• Leslie Uggams
• Elke Sommer
• Sylvester Stallone
• Roger Miller
• Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
• Lynn Redgrave
• Cheryl Ladd

Bonus Features:
• "The Making of The Muppets" documentary
• "The Muppets on Puppets" vintage documentary
• ...and much more!

Retail Specifications:
• 4-disc DVD collection
• $39.99 suggested retail price
• Release date: May 20, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Book to Celebrate the Art and Magic of Fraggle Rock

Insight Editions is a publishing company known for creating unique art and photography books that celebrate iconic artists, films, television series and other entertainment franchises. Their award-winning collectors' books have covered such topics as the art of Star Wars, Shrek, Hannah-Barbara, and Brian Froud. Several sources at Insight Editions have informed me that the company is planning to release a deluxe book on the art and magic of "Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock" and, after talking to several representatives at Insight Editions, I now have some early information on this release.

The book will showcase the art, magic and vision of Jim Henson's beloved series by celebrating and showcasing the unique and imaginative world of Fraggle Rock. This book will include hundreds of rare drawings, concept artwork, storyboard images, production photos, and other treasures from the studio archives and private collections. This giant "coffee table book" will be a visual feast for any Fraggle fan. The book is said to include hundreds of beautiful color illustrations, photos and artwork from the making of Fraggle Rock along with behind-the-scenes comments, notes and other insights.

This beautiful book is planned to hit store shelves on September 30, 2008, just around the same time that the final season of Fraggle Rock makes its way onto DVD. The gigantic hardcover book will retail for around $34.95 and will quickly become a prized possession of any Fraggle fan. More details on this comprehensive book are sure to surface as the release of draws closer, and I will be sure to keep you updated with any and all information as soon as I get it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Sesame Bonus on Law & Order DVD

Universal Home Entertainment is planning the DVD release of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The 6th Year". The box set of the New York City crime drama will be released on April 1, 2008 and aside from the 23 episodes the set will include a fun Muppety extra. The set is said to include the 4-minute Sesame Street sketch "Law and Order: Special Letters Unit" as a bonus feature.

Produced for Sesame Street's 37th season, the sketch features an alphabet parody staring a group of Muppets. Detectives Meloni, Mariska, and Munch search for a missing letter "M." As they investigate, they find many things that start with the letter "M" (such as a cow named Murray that makes Moo sounds, a mallard, and much more).

Now it probably isn't sensible to buy this set just for one small supplement, however if you're already an SVU fan it'll be a wonderful bonus in your collection (plus it gives a different audience some exposure to Sesame Street's more current work).

The MuppetCast Celebrates Richard Hunt

Earlier today our friend Steve Swanson posted a very special episode of The MuppetCast, the remarkable fan-run Muppet podcast. This week's installment of the podcast celebrates the life and legacy of Muppeteer Richard Hunt. Richard, who sadly passed away in 1992, was the puppeteer behind such beloved characters as Scooter, Janice, Beaker, Statler, Sweetums, Junior Gorg, Forgetful Jones, Placido Flamingo, Don Music, and many, many others.

This is an episode that every Muppet fan should listen to. With tons of stories, music, memories and heartfelt emotions, Steve has assembled a beautiful tribute to a truely amazing Muppet legend. The episode features exclusive interviews with Kevin Clash, David Rudman, Jane Hunt, Jocelyn Stevenson, Martin Baker, and Pete Coogan; plus personal messages sent-in by Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Jim Lewis, and many others. Steve has brought together Richard's fans, friends, family and colleagues in an unprecedented way to produce a moving tribute to this extraordinary man. This episode celebrates Richard's life in such a beautiful way – with laughter, some tears, and a lot of love.

You can download and listen to the entire episode (#41) by visiting or by subscribing to the show via iTunes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More Details on Henson's Unstable Fables

As reported earlier, the Jim Henson Company is producing a new series of direct-to-DVD movies entitled "Unstable Fables". These brand-new computer-animated films feature irreverent retellings of classic stories with a modern twist and will be hitting store shelves this spring.

The first title, "3 Pigs and a Baby", is currently set for release on March 4, 2008. The film, written by Craig Bartlett and Joseph Purdy, adds a twist to the tale of "The Three Little Pigs" when a team of wolves attempt to penetrate the infamous house of bricks by leaving a baby wolf on the pigs' doorstep. The pigs take the infant in, but will the young cub fulfill the wolves' plan and turn on the pigs after they've raise him as their own? Directed by Howard Baker, the 80-minute feature-length film will showcase the vocal talents of Brad Garrett, Steve Zahn, and John Cryer as the three pigs along with Jesse McCartney as the young wolf cub brought into their family. The DVD, which is now available for pre-ordering, will include a widescreen presentation of the film along with a special "making-of" featurette.

The second "Unstable Fable" feature, which is entitled "Tortoise vs. Hare". The film, written by Tom Martin, gives a unique follow-up to Aesop's classic fable "The Tortise and the Hare" and I've been told that Jay Leno and Danny Glover have been tapped to provide the voices of the titular roles.

Looking to the future of the brand, I've been told that the third "Unstable Fable" film, dubbed "The Goldilocks & the 3 Bears Show", will feature a reimagining of the story of "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears". This film is also said to feature an all-star cast, including Tom Arnold, Brooke Shields, and Jamie Lynn Spears, among others.

More installments in the "Unstable Fables" line are expected to follow, however the ultimate fate of the franchise depends on the success of this first wave of releases. So be sure to pick up these exciting Jim Henson company titles when they are released later this year. I will be sure to keep you posted as more information on releases in this exciting series becomes available.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Four Sesame Music Reissues Coming in March

Back in October, Sesame Workshop signed a long-term deal with KOCH Records to release "Sesame Street" albums and other audio titles. With perennial classics like "Rubber Duckie," "The People in Your Neighborhood," "Bein' Green," and new favorites like "Elmo's Song" no other children's audio catalog has meant more to so many generations.

To kick-off their partnership with Sesame Workshop, KOCH Records is planning to re-releases four classic Sesame Street albums - "Platinum All-Time Favorites", "Kids' Favorite Songs", "Sing the Alphabet", and "Elmopalooza". These four albums are among Sesame Street's best selling audio releases to date and feature hours of classic Sesame Street music. These four currently out-of-print albums are all set to be re-issued by Koch Records in March – planned to hit store shelves on March 4, 2008. These four new CD releases have been updated with new artwork matching the new look of Sesame Workshop consumer products and DVDs, and it has been said that each CD will include a color booklet contain the lyrics to all of the songs.

I have been told that KOCH is planning to release more classic Sesame Street titles in addition to creating all-new CD compilations; and I will keep you updated as information on other Sesame Street albums surface. So be sure to pick up these albums when they hit stores in March (and with a suggested retail price just around $10 each, how can you say no?). Below is a copy of the track listing for each of these title as given to me by KOCH Entertainment.

Platinum All-Time Favorites
1. "Sesame Street Theme" - The Kids
2. "ABC" - DEF" - GHI" - Big Bird
3. "The People in Your Neighborhood" - Bob and the Anything Muppets
4. "Rubber Duckie" - Ernie
5. "Elmo's Song" - Elmo, Big Bird, and Snuffy
6. "Doin' the Pigeon" - Bert
7. "'C' Is For Cookie" - Cookie Monster
8. "I Don't Want To Live On the Moon" - Ernie
9. "The Monster in the Mirror" - Grover
10. "Sing" - The Kids
11. "Happy Tappin' With Elmo" - Elmo
12. "Fuzzy And Blue (And Orange)" - Grover, Herry Monster, Cookie Monster, and Frazzle
13. "Bein' Green" - Kermit the Frog
14. "Lambaba" - The Count (with the Singing, Dancing Lambs)
15. "What Do I Do When I'm Alone?" - Grover
16. "One Fine Face" - Ernie and Elmo
17. "I Love Trash" - Oscar the Grouch
18. "Little Things" - Prairie Dawn
19. "Put Down the Duckie" - Ernie and Hoots the Owl
20. "We Are All Earthlings" - A Boy and the Anything Muppet Animals

Kids' Favorite Songs
1. "The Farmer in the Dell" - Big Bird and the Kids
2. "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" - Elmo and the Kids
3. "Ring Around the Rosy/Skip to My Lou" - Prairie Dawn and the Kids
4. "She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain/Turkey in the Straw" - Elmo
5. "The Grouch Medley: Jack and Jill/Little Miss Muffet/Mistress Mary – Oscar the Grouch
6. "In The Evening by the Moonlight" - Hoots the Owl
7. "ABC Medley: Alphabet Song/Baa Baa Black Sheep/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" - The Count
8. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat - Snuffy
9. "Old MacDonald" - The Count
10. "I've Been Working On the Railroad" - Zoe
11. "Eensy Weensy Spider" - The Count and the Kids
12. "Oh, Dear, What Can The Matter Be?" - Telly, Big Bird and Elmo
13. "Oh Susanna" - Noel Cowherd and the Kids
14. "Home on the Range" - Elmo
15. "This Little Pig Went To Market" - The Oinker Sisters

Sing the Alphabet
1. "ABC-DEF-GHI" - Elmo
2. "A-The Sound of the Letter 'A'" - Big Bird
3. "B-Oscar's 'B' Sandwich" - Oscar the Grouch
4. "C-'C' Is For Cookie" - Cookie Monster
5. "D-Dee, Dee, Dee" - Ernie
6. "E-What's My Letter?" - Guy Smiley and Prairie Dawn
7. "F-Four Furry Friends" - Grover, Herry Monster, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster
8. "G-Two 'G' Sounds" - Grover and George
9. "H-Ha Ha" - Harvey Kneeslapper, Herry Monster and Big Bird
10. "I-I Stand Up Straight and Tall" - Grover
11. "J-'J' Friends" - The Anything Muppets
12. "K-Herb's Silly Poem" - Herbert Birdsfoot
13. "L-La La La" - Bert and Ernie
14. "M-MMM Monster Meal" - Herry Monster and Cookie Monster
15. "N-The Noodle Story" - Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch
16. "O-Would You Like To Buy An 'O'?" - The Salesman and Ernie
17. "P-My Favorite Letter" - The Anything People
18. "Q-The Question Song" - Grover and a Little Girl
19. "R-The 'R' Machine" - Ernie and Bert
20. "S-Sammy the Snake" - Sammy the Snake
21. "T-The Tale of Tom Tattertall Tuttletut – Herbert Birdsfoot and the Anything Muppets
22. "U-'U' Lecture" - Professor Hastings
23. "V-Very, Very Special Letter" - Big Bird
24. "W-The National Association of 'W' Lovers" - Bert
25. "X-'X' Marks the Spot" - Sherlock Hemlock
26. "Y-Just Because" - Grover and a Little Girl
27. "Z-The Zizzy Zoomrs" - The Anything Muppets

1. "Mambo l, l, l" - Gloria Estefan
2. "I Want A Monster to Be My Friend" - En Vogue
3. "Zig Zag Dance" - Mighty Mighty Bosstones & the Count
4. "Nearly Missed" - Rosie O'Donnell and Elmo
5. "Just Happy To Be Me" - Fugees
6. "I Don't Want To Live On the Moon" - Shawn Colvin and Ernie
7. "I Love Trash" - Steven Tyler
8. "Caribbean Amphibian" - Jimmy Buffett, Kermit the Frog and the All-Amphibian Band
9. "Happy To Meet You" - Celine Dion, Herry Monster, Elmo and Big Bird
10. "One Small Voice" - Kenny Loggins and the Kids
11. "Songs" - Elmo and the Kids

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Wubbulous World" DVD Three-Packs

Sony Home Entertainment has announced plans to re-package and re-release their "Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss" DVD titles into a series of three convenient box sets. Each of the 3-disc sets will feature 9 episodes of the series in one easy-to-own package. These gift sets will be released on February 19, 2008 – however you can already preorder your copies online today.

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss - Pack 1
Disc 1 (The Cat's Playhouse)
• The Cat in the Hat Cleans Up His Act
• The Cat in the Hat's Indoor Picnic
• The Cat in the Hat's Big Birthday Surprise
Disc 2 (The Cat's Musical Tales)
• The Sounds All Around
• Horton Has a Hit
• The Grinch Meets His Max / Halfway Home to Malamaroo
Disc 3 (The Cat's Home But Not Alone)
• Make Yourself at Home
• The Cat in the Hat Gets a Package
• Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss - Pack 2
Disc 1 (The Cat's Colorful World)
• The Cat In The Hat's Art House
• Lester Leaps In
• The Simplifier
Disc 2 (The Cat's Adventures)
• The Cat in the Hat's First-First Day
• The Cat in the Hat's Flower Power
• Oh, The People You'll Meet
Disc 3 (The Gink, The Cat and Other Furry Friends)
• The Gink
• The Cat in the Hat Takes a Nap
• The Feed You Need

The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss - Pack 3
Disc 1 (The Cat's Family & Friends)
• The Snoozer
• The Road to Ka-Larry
• Talkin' with the Cat
Disc 2 (The Cat's Fun House)
• Yertle The King
• The Muckster
• Who Are You, Sue Snue?
Disc 3 (The Cat's Playhouse)
• The Song Of The Zubble-Wump
• The Birthday Moose
• The Guest

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Final Fraggle Rock Season Coming to DVD!

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Fraggle Rock - the first episode debuted on HBO on January 10, 1983. The show ran for more than 4 years, spawned 96 episodes, produced more than 150 original songs, and inspired and entertained an entire generation of fans. In 2005, The Jim Henson Company and HIT Entertainment partnered to release the complete first season in a deluxe box set loaded with hours of bonus features. Seasons two and three followed with equally impressive sets in 2006 and 2007, and now fans are waiting to discover what the fate will be for the final episodes of this beloved show and their DVD collections.

Well, the Jim Henson Company and HIT Entertainment are planning to release the final 24 episodes of Fraggle Rock in a deluxe season box set later this year. That’s right Fraggle fans, the "Fraggle Rock - Complete Fourth Season" DVD box set is coming!

A representative from HIT Entertainment informed me earlier this week that the fourth season is tentatively lined up for release in "Fall 2008". Details on the specific disc specifications and bonus features are not available yet; however I've been told that a new batch of interviews and other behind the scenes content is currently being worked on for the set. I've told to expect a detailed announcement sometime this summer (and given the past timelines of when such information surfaces, it would be likely be around June or July).

This DVD box set will include the final 24 episodes of the series. Whereas HBO had stretched the 96 episodes of Fraggle Rock into 5 broadcast season (of 24, 24, 22, 13 and 13 episodes respectively); Henson had produced and filmed the series in 4 evenly sized seasons of 24 episodes each. HIT is following the production seasons with these sets, and I have been told that all of the remaining episodes will be included on this final set.

With this release fans will finally be able to complete their collections and own every episode of this beloved series. I will be sure to keep you all posted as soon I hear anymore on this highly anticipated "Fraggle Rock – Complete Fourth Season" set (due to hit stores in "Fall 2008").

Episode Listing:
• "
Sidebottom Blues"
• "Uncle Matt's Discovery"
• "Junior Faces the Music"
• "A Tune for Two"
• "The Perfect Blue Rollie"
• "A Brush with Jealousy"
• "Wembley's Flight"
• "Red's Blue Dragon"
• "Wonder Mountain"
• "Space Frog Follies"
• "Boober Gorg"
• "Mirror, Mirror"
• "The Riddle of Rhyming Rock"
• "The Voice Inside"
• "The Trial of Cotterpin Doozer"
• "The River of Life"
• "Beyond the Pond"
• "Gone, But Not Forgotten"
• "Mokey, Then and Now"
• "Ring Around the Rock"
• "Inspector Red"
• "The Gorg Who Would Be King"
• "The Honk of Honks"
• "Change of Address"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

1 vs. Oscar (and 99 others)

Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch will be making a very special appearance on the hit NBC game show "1 vs. 100". It's been reported that Oscar's guest appearance is set to air on Friday, January 11, 2008 at 8pm on NBC (check your local listings for details). The world famous grouch will join other celebrities in the mob as a single contestant faces off against the mob of 100.

So mark you calendar, set that VCR or program your DVR, and be sure to tune in to catch this very special Muppet guest appearance on "1 vs. 100".

Meet the Celebrities in the Premiere Mob

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Stock Up with Seasame Street Double Features

Sesame Workshop is planning to release a series of "double feature" DVDs next week. These two-disc DVD sets will feature a pair of Sesame titles in one package. These sets are not only a convenient way to pick up these titles, but will also save you money! With these "Double Features" you can get two great Sesame Street videos for the price of one! Eight of Sesame Street's top selling DVDs are now being repackaged into these"double feature" collections for you to enjoy.

The "double feature" titles include "Learning About Numbers"/"Learning to Share", "123 Count with Me"/"Learning About Letters", "Elmo's Musical Adventure"/"Sing Yourself Silly", and "Sing Along"/"Fiesta!". These sets will be released on January 8, 2008 – but you can already preorder your copies online today!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2008 Muppet Fan Art Calendar Winners!

In the final months of 2007, The Muppet Newsflash ran their first ever contest. We called upon the community of fans to submit original artwork inspired by the work and magic of Jim Henson. We wanted to showcase the talents of Muppet fans around the world by creating the first ever Muppet Fan Art Calendar for 2008.

We received submissions from more than 30 artists and graphic makers and the final images were selected by a panel of judges, with the top twelve pieces of artwork being featured in the calendar.

We would like to congratulate the winning artists and would like to thank all of the talented artists who participated in this exciting debut fan art calendar.

The 2008 Muppet Fan Art Calendar

  • January: "Sesame Street Gang Playing in the Snow" by Kyle W.
  • February: "Piggy's Dream Date" by Zachary H.
  • March: "Dark Muppet" by Benjamin G.
  • April: "Dr Teeth" by Tom S.
  • May: "Jim Henson and Friend" by James C.
  • June: "Red Swimming with Orcas" by Katheryn F.
  • July: "Worm" by Marie B.
  • August: "Waffle and DJ2" by Cory Y.
  • September: "Fraggle Suds" by Jeff M.
  • October: "When You Meep Upon A Star" by Marianne M.
  • November: "Rainbow Connection" by Betsy W.
  • December: "Christmas Spirit" by Anna