Thursday, February 28, 2008

More of the Henson Library Comes to iTunes

Last month The Jim Henson Company launched their content on iTunes. The intial launch brought the first season of "Fraggle Rock" (24 episodes) and the first season of "Farscape" (22 episodes) to the iTunes Store. You can purchase individual episodes or download the entire season. The company has recently released the subsequent season for each of these two programs, plus two classic Henson Company feature films.

the entire second season of "Fraggle Rock" (24 episodes) and the complete second season of "Farscape" (22 episodes) are now available for purchase via iTunes. Additional two classic Jim Henson feature films - "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth" - can also be downloaded from the iTunes Store as well.

The Jim Henson Company plans to continue to release more titles from their vast video libray through iTunes in the near future. I'll keep you updated as more titles become available.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Labyrinth Anthology Series Coming From Tokyopop

Tokyopop made a big announcement at WonderCon this past weekend that is sure to delight fans of Jim Henson's classic fantasy film "Labyrinth". As you may know, the company is currently producing the "Return to Labyrinth" manga series, an epic four-part sequel to the 1986 film. The third installment in the series will be released in November 2008, and the final volume is planned for release in the fall of 2009. Well, the company is now beginning work on a second series of original "Labyrinth" graphic novels - planned to debut in March 2009!

Tokyopop is working with the Jim Henson Company to produce an original anthology series featuring a collection of independent stories based in the world of "Labyrinth". The mangas will include prequels and sequels (and possibly even mid-quels) to the events of "Labyrinth" and "Return to Labyrinth". Each book will tell a story focusing on a different character or element within the world of the Labyrinth - such as Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus, the Fierys, the Junk Lady, and even Jareth the Goblin King. While the number of volumes in this series has yet to be determined, the series will feature a large range writing styles and artistic sensibilities, as each story will be produced by different writers and artists. Jake Forbes, author of "Return to Labyrinth", has revealed that he will be writting a story for the series that shows how Jareth became the goblin king.

The first installment in the anthology series is planned for release in March 2009. I will be sure to keep you updated on this new manga series, and the final installments of "Return to Labyrinth", as soon as more information becomes available.

Weekly Muppet Update on DxD

The Muppets' official channel on Disney XD, located at, was updated today with the weekly batch of new videos. The main stage features more care-free dancing from Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo in "Never Had A Lesson! - Part 2" and Gonzo finds a new use for the elevator in "Going Up?". There is also a new video on Kermit's channel featuring his impression of Pac-Man. Plus, there is a new gadget, "A Frog's Eye View of Health", which features another excerpt from "Before you Leap".

New videos will continue to be added each week, so be sure to visit the Muppets on DxD and enjoy the great Muppet videos, games, gadgets, and general wackiness.

Go to Now!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Emmet Otter Takes the Stage

"Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas", the beloved 1977 holiday special, is set to become a stage show. Produced by the Jim Henson Company and iTheatrics, the show is in development and is planning to hit the stage soon.

Paul Williams, song writer on the original television special, is involved with the project; Williams says that this is a project he's wanted to do for a long time. The story is being adapted for the stage by Timothy McDonald. McDonald recently adapted such well-known films as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and several Disney animated features for the stage; he also adapted a stage version of "James and the Giant Peach" which is also in development.

Auditions are reportedly getting ready to gear up in New York for this stage adaptation of "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas", which is also said to feature puppets.

The production details are currently being kept "under wraps" as the show slowly moves into the pre-production phase, and the creative team has not made any major announcement of the at this time. However fans can expect to see the Frogtown Jubilee Jug-Band take to the stage in the not-so-distant future. I will be sure to keep you up dated with more information on this show as soon as more information surfaces and as the producers prepare ready to raise the curtain on this exciting new incarnation of this beloved Henson classic.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

CD/DVD Combo to Introduce Audiences to the International Sesame Family

Putumayo Kids, a company that focuses on introducing children to music from around the world, has partnered with Sesame Workshop to produce a brand-new release entitled "Sesame Street Playground". This upcoming DVD/CD combo will feature a unique compilation of musical numbers, sketches and songs from a multitude of different international co-productions of Sesame Street.

The 2-disc combo set will introduce audiences to the original Muppet characters and Sesame productions from around the world. The CD will include a great collection of songs and the companion DVD will include an equally impressive collection of video clips (along with subtitles for the English-speaking audience).

"Sesame Street Playground" is set to hit stores on September 30, 2008. So be sure to mark your calendars and prepare for some multicultural educational and entertainment from Sesame Street's extended global family.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dark Crystal Action Figure Coming from NECA (Plus More Labyrinth)

Fans of "The Dark Crystal" will be excited to hear that they will soon be able to own their very own Skesis action figure! NECA has announced plans to release an action figure of SkekSil, the Skesis chamberlain, under their "Cult Classics" banner. The figure is expected to be released later this year.

Fans of Jim Henson's "Labyrinth" may be familiar with NECA's work; the company released two Jareth the Goblin King figures last year – a 7-inch action figure in April and a 12-inch talking figure in September. The company has been planning a third "Labyrinth" release, and the latest "Labyrinth" action figures have finally arrived. The highly-anticipated Jareth and Hoggle box set was released this week at Toy Fair in New York and the initial shipments should be hitting stores within the next month – you can already pre-order the set from several online retailers.

I will be sure to keep you all posted as more news on these exciting "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth" action figures as things develop.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Batch of Muppet Videos on DxD

The Muppets' official channel on Disney XD, located at, has been updated with yet another batch of new videos. Six exclusive videos were added today. On the main stage you can see Pepe dance in a tutu, enjoy part two Rizzo's hidden camera footage, watch Animal let loose, and view yet another secret elevator tape (featuring Fozzie, a penguin, and Kermit the Frog). Plus there are two new videos on Kermit's channel as well - Kermit explains some web humor to Gonzo, plus Kermit showcases an impression of himself in the Thanksgiving day parade. Lastly, in celebration of Valentine's Day, two new preview clips from "The Muppets' Valentines Special" have been added to the collection of preview clips for The Muppet Show's second season on DVD and a new gadget, "A Frog's Eye View of Romance", is available on Kermit's Pad.

New videos will continue to be added each week, so be sure to surf over to the Muppets' channel on DxD and enjoy the great Muppet goodness.

Go to Now!

Elmo Comes Alive!

You will want to toss your Tickle-Me-Elmo away and put your Chicken Dance Elmo into storage, because Fisher-Price has just revealed a new Elmo toy that is sure to leave all those other talking dolls in the dust. Elmo Live is the latest interactive toy from Fisher-Price and Sesame Workshop.

The Elmo Live doll actually appears to speak as his mouth opens and closes just like the real Muppet. Elmo Live waves his arms, sits and stands, and even crosses his legs, while telling stories and jokes, singing songs and playing games. The doll comes loaded with stories, jokes, songs, games and other unique interactions that will keep you entertained for hours.

The toy was first show to the public yesterday at a special Valentine's Day demonstration. Elmo Live is simply one of the most exciting, engaging, entertaining and expressive new toys. The talking doll is set to invade stores on October 14, 2008 (just in time for holidays) and will carry the suggested retail price of $59.99. For more information and to see the doll in action, check out the video below.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Details on "The Muppet Show" Season 3 Bonuses

Last month I shared the exciting news that the third season of "The Muppet Show" was coming to DVD later this spring. The initial report gave some great information on what fans can expect on the upcoming four-disc set, however those early details were not entirely complete. While doing more digging into the details of the set, I uncovered some more information about the bonus features that will be included on the set.

As initially reported, the DVD set will include the vintage 1968 documentary "The Muppets on Puppets". Hosted by Jim Henson and Rowlf the Dog, this hour-long documentary gives a detailed look at the art of puppetry and shows how the puppeteers create and operate the unique Muppet characters.

The DVD will also feature two brand-new featurettes detailing the making of the Muppets. The first featurette is entitled "A Frog is Born" and will explore the origins of Kermit the Frog – from his early days as a unknown lizard-like creature on "Sam and Friends" to his role as the amphibian leader of "The Muppet Show". Aside from exploring the character's development, the featurette will also look at the relationship and similarities between Kermit and his creator Jim Henson.

The second "making of" featurette, entitled "A Company of Players", focuses on the troupe of puppeteers behind the Muppets. This featurette gives a brief look at the group of performers who brought the dynamic cast of "The Muppet Show" to life each week and created an astonishing and memorable group of characters.

Lastly, I've been told that the bonus features also includes am exciting batch of "Original Muppet Commercials". So aside from experiencing all 24 great episodes of "The Muppet Show" (digitally remastered and restored), you'll also get "hours of bonus features" – including a vintage television special, two brand-new documentaries, original commercials, and much more! Below is an updated list of the disc features, and I'll be sure to keep you updated as I continue to uncover more details on this upcoming May 20th release.

"The Muppet Show - Season Three" DVD Features:
24 episodes of "The Muppet Show" - The complete third season with digitally restored picture and sound!
"The Muppets On Puppets" - The original 1968 documentary hosted by Jim Henson and Rowlf the Dog.
"A Frog Is Born" - An all-new featurette exploring the origins of Kermit the Frog and his relationship with creator, Jim Henson.
"A Company of Players" - An all-new featurette focusing on the troupe of puppeteers who operated the Muppets on "The Muppet Show".
Original Muppet Commercials
...and much more!

New Sesame DVD is Full of Prehistoric Fun

Sesame Street's Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Telly Monster will show their interest in dinosaurs in an all new direct-to-DVD production. Prehistoric adventure abounds when a dinosaurs come to Sesame Street. "Sesame Street: Dinosaurs" shows the adventures of the Elmo, Abby and Telly as the power of imagination allows the trio to see what it would be like to be dinosaurs. The DVD will feature lots of brand-new content, including the animated song "If Elmo Had a Dinosaur".

"Sesame Street: Dinosaurs" is planned for released on May 13, 2008, although you can already pre-order the title from many online retailers. The 40-minute feature is said will be presented on the DVD along with a bonus feature of a special dino-centric edition of "Journey to Ernie".

Sesame Workshop is also planning more DVD releases for 2008. I've been told that Abby Cadabby is set to star in her very own DVD feature set for release in September 2008, and the Christmas special "Elmo's Christmas Countdown" is planned for release in October. I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on these and other Sesame Street DVD titles as soon as more information is available.

Prairie Dawn Celebrates Valentine's Day on Sprout Morning Show

Sesame Street's Prairie Dawn is set to make a special Valentine's Day appearance on Sprout's live morning program, "The Sunny Side Up Show", on February 14, 2008. Prairie Dawn (performed by Fran Brill) will be joining hosts Kelly and Chica the Chicken on the live show to make Valentine's Day cards, share Valentine's wishes, and take viewer calls.

Prairie is isn't the first "Sesame Street" star to appear on "The Sunny Side Up Show", Big Bird also appeared as a co-host on the program last fall. "The Sunny Side Up Show" airs on the PBS KIDS Sprout television network from 9:00am to 12:00pm ET (check listings for details). So if you get Sprout and you're a Prairie Dawn fan, then you'll want to be sure to tune in on Thursday to see this special Muppet appearance.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Muppets Win the Grammy!

The 50th annual Grammy Awards were presented last night in Los Angeles, and The Muppets' most recent studio album, "A Green and Red Christmas", took home the Grammy for "Best Musical Album for Children." Released on October 17, 2006, "A Green and Red Christmas" features 12 delightful holiday songs performed by everyone's favorite Muppets. This is the Muppets third Grammy award - "The Muppet Show" album won for "Best Recording for Children" in 1977, and the soundtrack for "The Muppet Movie" won in the "Best Recording for Children" category in 1979.

We congratulate the Muppets on their great achievement; and we thank them for all the great music they've brought us over the years. And if you still haven't picked up this marvelous, and award-winning, album, be sure to pick up a copy today!

Six New Muppet Videos on Disney XD, the official online home of the Muppets, has been updated with a new batch of videos. On the main stage you can see Gonzo's attempt to clean up the internet, view what happens when Miss Piggy is caught on hidden camera, watch Animal provide the rim shot for Pepe's comedy act, and enjoy the thrilling conversation that abounds when Animal, the Swedish Chef and Beaker share an elevator. Plus there are two new videos on Kermit's channel as well - Kermit says "Hi-Ho" from here, there and everywhere, plus Kermit showcases his impression of a pickled frog.

New videos will continue to be added each week, so be sure to surf over to the Muppets' channel on DxD and enjoy the great clips.

Go to Now!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Details on MINDStyle's Fraggle Figures

As reported earlier, MINDStyle is planning to release a series of Fraggle Rock vinyl figures in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock. Everyone at MINDStyle is excited about the project and they have enthusiastically sent me some more detailed information about what consumers, collectors and fans can expect.

MINDStyle plans to unveil the Fraggle Rock anniversary figures at next week's Toy Fair in New York (February 17-20, 2008). Each figure will measure about 3 to 4 inches tall and will come with a special building block. Each of these blocks has different letters of the alphabet on them, so with several figures you'll be able to spell out words or names with the Fraggle blocks. Unlike action figures these collectible figures will be sold blind boxed, not blistered. So there will be a sense of collectorship associated with the series. Also in this way, there will be some unique and secret chase figures released as well.

The initial publicized line-up will include: Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red, Uncle Traveling Matt, The Trash Heap, Sprocket, King Gorg, a Fraggle, and the Doozers.

Dark Horse will be the worldwide distributor for the series, and the figures should be obtainable through most retailers of Dark Horse products. While the exact sales price will vary from vendor to vendor, you should be able to get the figures for under $10.

The Fraggle Rock 25th anniversary collector series is coming, and you'll want to be sure to start collecting these exciting figures as soon as they hit store shelves. I'll be sure to keep you updated with more details, and pictures, as soon as they become available.

Don't Eat the Microphone

This week, NPR's "In Character" takes a look at Sesame Street's famous Cookie-loving Muppet monster - the one and only Cookie Monster. The extensive piece gives a unique behind-the-scenes look at the creation, operation, personality and evolution of Cookie Monster. The segment will air on February 10, 2008 as part of the weekend edition of "All Things Considered", however you'll be able to listen to the entire piece online anytime at afterwards. Cookie Monster even made a personal visit to the NPR studio earlier this week for an exclusive interview.

The NPR website also features special audio and video extras to accompany the radio piece - Cheryl Henson talks about where all the cookies go, Frank Oz chats about Cookie Monster's grammar, and Carol-Lynn Parente debunks the "Veggie Monster" rumors. Plus there is an exclusive video showing Cookie Monster's time in the NPR studio.

So be sure to check out this week's "In Character" on NPR, or at, in order to learn a little more about everyone's favorite blue, furry and cookie-loving monster.

Go to Cookie's "In Character" report on

Thursday, February 07, 2008

More to Come on the New

Last Friday Disney launched a multitude of new Muppet content onto the web as part of the Disney Xtreme Digital network. As reported earlier, the site launched with more than 10 exclusive video sketches totally more than 15-minutes of brand-new content. Well, more videos have already been produced for the site and Disney is planning to continue to add videos and other content to the site on a weekly basis over the next several months! That's right, new Muppet videos every week well into the summer!

These web videos, initially filmed for DxD last fall, were directed by Muppeteer/director Bill Barretta and were written by long-time Muppet writers Jim Lewis and Kirk Thatcher. The Muppet crew spent several days in the studio filming sketches for the website, and I have been told that Disney is already planning on getting the Muppets back together to film even more stuff for the DxD site.

As for the international Muppet fans out there, sadly the DxD network is only accessible from within the US. There is a UK version of DxD, but the Muppet content is not on it (or at least not yet). This is not a personal conspiracy against the Muppets, but is the unfortunate result of the structure, configuration and design of Disney's entire online endeavors. The folks at Muppet Studios are looking into the issue; but there is no definite solution at this point in time (there are some unofficial backdoor methods to get in, however none are endorsed or supported by Disney).

So if you haven't already checked out the site, what are you waiting for? Check out the new right now -- with more than 25 video clips, 5 interactive games, 4 fun gadgets, 25 song samplings, several unique polls and plenty of Muppet wackiness. Plus remember to check back for even more new Muppet content to come as there will be new content up every week for the next couple of months. And, as always, I will be sure to keep you updated as things develop with this exciting Muppet endeavor.

Go to Now!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

MINDstyle to Make "Fraggle" Figures and More "Crystal" Collectibles

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of "Fraggle Rock", MINDStyle has announced plans to releasing a set of Fraggle Rock figures. The series of vinyl figures based on the beloved characters are planned for released later this year.

MINDstyle has licensed several properties from the Jim Henson Company and has already produced several successful product lines, including the Jim Henson's City Critters and a series of high-end "Dark Crystal" collectibles. More limited-edition figures in the "Dark Crystal" line are currently in development. The third collectible, a replica of the Skeksis' castle, is planned for release this spring with more "Dark Crystal" products planned to follow.

Initial offerings of many new MINDStyle products, plus sneak-peaks at others upcoming figures, is planned to take place at the International Toy Fair in New York later this month. I'll be sure to keep you updated as soon as more information on these, and other pieces of Jim Henson merchandise, becomes available.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jim Henson Biopic in the Works

Empire Films has acquired the motion picture production and distribution rights to "Henson," an original screenplay by Robert D. Slane that chronicles the life and achievements of Muppet-creator, Jim Henson. Empire is planning to start production later this summer, and has attached a $30-million budget to the project. A theatrical release for the film is currently slated for 2009.

"Henson" covers the life of the famous puppeteer, filmmaker and entertainment mogul - from his early fascination with television as a teenager, through his spectacular career and life achievements. Empire is planning to hire a major "well-known" director for the project and hopes to attract a notable cast of stars as well. Dean Hamilton-Bornstein will serve as executive producer on the film, with Eric Parkinson and Xavier Mitchell producing.

Bornstein commented on the project in a statement made earlier today stating: "This is a major project about an entertainer of legendary stature and worldwide acclaim. The script is superb and should provide a terrific roadmap for a completed film that will satisfy both mainstream audiences and critics. We are very excited about this acquisition and the commercial caliber of this project."

I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on this very exciting film as soon as more information surfaces.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Muppets Launch New Site on Disney XD

The Muppets launched their brand-new website on Friday, full with tons of new videos and much more! The official website, located at, has gotten a major overhaul featuring brand-new Muppet videos.

The site, part of the Disney XD network, is full of great Muppet material and mayhem. There is already more than 15-minutes of brand-new video content, plus you can enjoy clips from the Muppet Show DVDs, the Muppets’ New Years party and even listen to clips from the recent Muppet albums. There are photos, polls, gags and even games. If you register and log-in with an XD account you can get even more connected with the site – creating your own playlists, storing things to your favorites, chatting with others, and even playing the multi-player Muppet games against other people.

And there is still more to come – Disney is planning to continue to add content and clips to the site. If fact, only 3 of the 7 "channels" are currently open – "The Muppets' Stage", "Kermit's Pad", and "Miss Piggy's Dressing Room" are up and running. New content will continue to be added to the existing channels, plus Fozzie, Gonzo, Pepe, and Animal are planning to have their own channels launch in the future as well.

So what are you waiting for? You can see Gonzo tap-dance on tapioca pudding and thumbtacks, meet Pepe's talking popsicle-stick, listen to Fozzie's stand-up, enjoy Rizzo and Pepe bouncing around on pogo sticks, watch Miss Piggy's Aerobic workout video, and so more! Go check out all the fun on this new, exciting and Muppetational website right now!

Go to Now!

Friday, February 01, 2008

New Kermit Merchandise Makes Being Green Easy

Kermit the Frog is planning to star in a brand-new line of merchandise and apparel. Disney is planning the launch of a new product line this spring entitled "Think Green". At the center of the line will be the one and only Kermit the Frog and, as the name suggests, the merchandise will be green. While the items will be green in color, many of the items will also sport messages of "green" thinking and environmentalism, and several items will even be produced using environmentally-friendly methods and materials. I have been told that the product line will cover a large variety of items - including clothing, accessories, collectibles and even some home decor. Products and merchandise in the "Think Green" line will be available online at, plus select items may also be offered through other retailers and several exclusive items will also be available at some of the Disney theme parks and resorts. I will keep you updated with more information on this new line of green merchandise that you may want to spend some of your hard-earned green on.

The Muppet Newsflash: Three Years and Counting!

It is hard to believe, but it has been 3 years since I started blogging here. This site debuted on February 1, 2005 and has been growing ever since. The site was founded with a simple mission - create a place to collect the latest Henson and Muppet news in convenient place. Today, over 1095 days later, The Muppet Newsflash continues to provide fans with all the latest Muppet happenings.

I want to thank everyone who has given support to make The Muppet Newsflash one of the web's premiere spots for Muppet news. Over the past 1,000 days this site has grown (and grown) - the blog has published more than 750 news stories (that averages out to a new story every 36 hours). However, despite this impressive history, there is still a job to do. The Muppet Newsflash will continue to uncover, investigate, report and compile all the news that Muppet-fans crave; and I hope that The Muppet Newsflash continues to be your definitive source for Muppet news.

Once again, I want to extend a gigantic "thank you" to everyone who supports this site, everyone who sends in news, everyone who gives us feedback, all the visitors, all the readers, all the friends and all of the fans around the world.

To celebrate our triennial year, we are proud to unveil a new URL – It's short, it's catchy, and it's even easy to remember. But don't worry about broken links, as the old "blogspot" address will continue redirect to the new domain; however updating your links, bookmarks and RSS feeds to reflect the new sleeker address would be appreciated.

Here's to many more years of great Muppet news!