Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sid the Science Kid Comes to PBS

As reported earlier, "Sid the Science Kid" will debut tomorrow (Monday, September 1, 2008) on PBS. The new television series showcases a cast of loveable new characters brought to life though the Jim Henson Company's ground-breaking digital puppetry system, which allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real-time.

The show focuses on an inquisitive kid named Sid who consistently raises questions about simple everyday things (such as why bananas go bad or how a pancakes cooks) and then he goes and finds the answer using a variety of methods. In the first week Sid will find out how to read a chart, use a magnifying glass, estimate and use other scientific tools. Joining Sid in this scientific adventures is Sid's family and a cast of friends - including classmates Gabriela, May, and Gerald and their teacher Miss Susie. The show encourages children to explore the foundations of science through the world they encounter every day, making science an inviting adventure focused on real life, close-to-home topics.

The program is aimed at preschoolers and will air weekdays on PBS (check your local listings for details). You won't want to miss this spectacular new television series when it debuts tomorrow - so be sure to tune in to catch "Sid the Science Kid" on PBS. For more "Sid the Science Kid", be sure to check out the show's official website at And also be sure to check out our full episode guide right here, to see what this season has in store for Sid. I will be sure to keep you updated with more information regarding the series as things develop.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Henson's Gulliver's Travels Comes to Special Edition DVD

The Jim Henson Company's 1996 mini-series Gulliver's Travels, starring Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Peter O'Toole, Alfre Woodard, Omar Sharif and Ned Beatty, will return to DVD with a new and improved "Special Edition" DVD. Genius Products Home Entertainment will release the deluxe edition DVD on September 9, 2008. "Gulliver's Travels: Special Edition" will presents the entire mini-series in a deluxe widescreen presentation, and will include all-new bonus material plus the original "Making Of" special.

The mini-series, based on the classic stories by Jonathan Swift, is 187-minutes long and this DVD release will also inclue never-before-seen interviews and footage from the set, casting notes, and a gallery full of photos, drawings and other behind the scenes images. This fully-loaded DVD will come in a collectible package, is already available to pre-order, and will carry a suggested retail price of only $14.95. Be sure to pick up your copy of this new DVD and enjoy the remarkable magic of "Gulliver's Travels".

Bonus Features:
• 'Making Of' segment
• Interviews with the cast
• Never-before-seen footage on the set
• Photo gallery, casting notes, drawing and other tidbits from behind the scenes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Muppets Assemble a Slate of Specials

Disney is planning a set of Muppets TV specials slated to air this fall, and a new holiday special for next Christmas – all leading up to an all-new theatrical film.

As previously reported, a second "Studio DC" special is already slated to air on the Disney Channel in October 2008. The special, a follow-up to last month's "Studio DC: Almost Live", is aimed at introducing teens and "tweens" to the Muppet characters by pairing the characters with such Disney Channel stars as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and the Cheetah Girls.

Now for the more grown-up fans, the Muppet are working on another television special which will focus on politics, patriotism and presidential polling. Muppet Studios is currently planning a prime-time Election Special starring the Muppets. This all-new television special will air in November 2008, just in time to coincide with the 2008 presidential election.

But that’s not all! Disney is also developing a brand-new Christmas Special starring the Muppets as well. The studio is planning this special for a Christmas 2009 release. While the details of this special are being kept under wraps (as release is over a year away), I have been told that Disney is hoping that this all-new holiday extravaganza will become an enduring holiday classic that families can enjoy year after year.

And remember all the rumblings of a new Muppet movie that surfaced this past spring? Well, I've been told that all these television projects are planned to lead up to the big theatrical event. Disney executives are currently looking at a 2010 release for the Muppets' next big screen adventure. The new film, written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, will feature the Muppets reuniting to put on a big show.

All of these projects are in various stages of development and production; and I will be sure to keep you all updated with more information on all of these exciting new projects as soon as more details become available.

Muppet Comics Coming from BOOM!

As previously reported, BOOM! Studios is planning to release a series of Muppet comic books. The comics will launch next year with a miniseries written by Roger Langridge. As you may know, Langridge had previously created Muppet comics for the now defunct Disney Adventure magazine. The single comics in the initial miniseries will also be designed to be collected together into a trade paperback as well. The debut four-issue miniseries will be based on "The Muppet Show" and is said to be very much in the same vein as the show -- with a lot of skits and gags. Each book will have its own storylines, but there will also be an overlapping narrative connecting all four books. The first installment will focus on Kermit, the second on Fozzie Bear, the third on Gonzo, and the fourth book will be a Miss Piggy book. The debut installment is planned for release in the Spring of 2009.

After the initial miniseries, Langridge will be working with various writers and artists to create future miniseries. BOOM's second batch of Muppet comics are said to feature the Muppets in parodies of classic literary works – such as Robin Hood, King Arthur and the Three Musketeers. According to series editor Paul Morrissey, the approach with these books will be to basically do "kid-friendly Monty Python."

The new comics are sure to garner a lot of attention from Muppet fans when it debuts early next; 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.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Miss Piggy Pens a New Guide to Life and Love

Miss Piggy is about to publish her thoughts on love and life. The famous (and fabulous) Muppet swine has written her very own guide to life and dating which is due to hit bookstores early next year. The book, "The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and the 10,000 Idiotic Things Men Frogs Do" by Miss Piggy, is currently planned for release on January 27, 2009 from Hyperion Books. Miss Piggy's advice will surely help improve any relationship and will help you snag that perfect man (or amphibian). The world's most divalicious pig will offer her unimpeachable advice on men, frogs, relationships, friends, fashion, and much, much more.

The 144-page hardcover book has just become available to pre-order from several online retailers and is carrying a suggested retail price of $14.95. Now this isn't the first time Miss Piggy has written a book, she previously authored "Miss Piggy's Guide to Life" (1981), "In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy" (1996), and "Miss Piggy's Rules" (1997). And while "The Diva Code" is said to be authored by Miss Piggy, the book was actually written by long-time Muppet writter Jim Lewis (who also penned Kermit's 2006 autobiography "Before you Leap" and Pepe's upcoming memoir "It's Hard Out Here For a Shrimp"). This book is sure to be an entertaining and enlightening addition to any fan's library. I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on this exciting new title surfaces.

Temporary black & white cover art. Final color artwork is subject to changes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sesame Street Comes to Busch Gardens

The Muppets of Sesame Street will soon find a home at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. The new Sesame Street attractions are planned to open in spring 2009, adding an all-new village adjacent to the England section of the park. Four new anchor rides offer kid-size versions of popular attractions, including a junior roller coaster and log flume themed after Sesame's beloved characters and designed for parents and children to share together. The Sesame Street village will feature wet and dry play areas with net-and-rope climbs, retail and food outlets, a 4-D movie, character dining experiences, and several stage shows featuring Sesame Street's beloved characters.

England's 900-seat Globe Theatre will be taken over by Sesame Street's biggest stars in a new 4-D movie that is as fun as it is imaginative. "Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!" features Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and others trying to save the Sesame Street Film Festival. Guests will not only see and hear the action - they will be immersed in it through state-of-the art visual effects and sensory surprises.

Families that want even more Sesame Street interaction can dine with Elmo and mingle with the cast of characters over breakfast or lunch at the "Breakfast with Elmo and Friends" indoor dining facility. Parents and children can pose for pictures with the furry red monster and his Sesame Street friends, creating memories that will last a lifetime. The "1, 2, 3 Smile With Me" photo studio will give families an opportunity to capture memorable moments of their children interacting with Sesame Street's characters.

So if you're planning a visit to Busch Gardens in Virginia next year, be sure to check out all the new Sesame Street shows and attractions. And if you've been looking for an excuse to visit the park, well, here you go! To learn more about Busch Gardens be sure to visit

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Blue Elephant Comes to DVD in September

The Jim Henson Company continues to bring humor and delight to children of all ages with the upcoming direct-to-DVD release of the animated tale "The Blue Elephant" on September 2, 2008. From The Weinstein Company, Genius Products and The Jim Henson Company, "The Blue Elephant" is a heartfelt story that follows the adventures of one elephant and the many life lessons he learns along his journey. The film features all-star voice talent including Martin Short, Carl Reiner, and Miranda Cosgrove.

The film follows the adventures of Khan, a little blue elephant with big dreams of becoming a hero, as he sets out on a breathtaking journey. When Khan gets separated from his herd, he'll need the help of his new friends and a whole lot of bravery to find his family and fulfill his royal destiny. Complete with endearing characters, belly laughs, and an uplifting message about the power of courage, "The Blue Elephant" is the perfect movie to share with the whole family!

The DVD will also include great bonus features that will give viewers a fun insight to the making of the film. It will include a special tutorial on how to draw a character from the movie, as well as an exclusive behind the scenes look at the animation process, voice recordings and more! "The Blue Elephant" DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.97 and is already available to pre-order through many online retailers. I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on this release, and other Henson titles, as soon as more information become available.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sesame Celebrates Christmas with CD and DVD Releases

Christmas is coming and to celebrate the occasion Sesame Workshop is planning to releases some holiday items to help fans celebrate the season. Two classic Sesame Street albums - "A Sesame Street Christmas" and "Elmo Saves Christmas: Holiday Classics" - will be re-released on CD later this year. These albums feature hours of great holiday songs sung by everyone's favorite Muppet characters. Both albums are set to hit store shelves on October 14, 2008 (just in time for the holiday season). These new releases have been updated with new cover artwork matching the new look of Sesame Workshop consumer products and CDs, and each disc will come with a color booklet containing the lyrics to all the songs! So be sure to pick up these albums when they hit stores in October (and with a suggested retail price around $10 each, how can you say no?).

Also on October 14th, Sesame Workshop will release the 2007 television special "Elmo's Christmas Countdown" on DVD. Christmas finds itself in trouble when Stiller the Elf's magical Christmas Counter-Downer breaks down. It is now up to Elmo and Abby Cadabby to help find the missing parts and get the official countdown to Christmas back on track. The giant musical extravaganza features many special guests - including Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Brad Paisley, Ty Pennington, Anne Hathaway, Tony Sirico, Steve Schirripa, Kevin James (as Santa Claus), and Ben Stiller (as the voice of Stiller the Elf). The 45-minute feature will make its DVD debut in a special foil embossed packaging, and will also carry a retail price just around $10.

So be sure to mark your calendars for October 14, 2008 and prepare to ring in the holidays with these great new Christmas releases from Sesame Street.

A Sesame Street Christmas:
Sesame Street Christmas Overture
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Medley: Deck the Halls / Jingle Bells / White Christmas / Winter Wonderland
I Hate Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
6. The Twelve Days of Christmas
7. True Blue Miracle
Medley: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas / Silver Bells / The Christmas Song /Santa Claus is Coming to Town
9. All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)
A Christmas Pageant
Keep Christmas With You (All Through the Year)
We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Reprise)

Elmo Saves Christmas: Holiday Classics:
Sleigh Ride
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
O Christmas Tree
Elmo Saves Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Jingle Bell Rock
Here Comes Santa Claus
Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Blue Christmas
Feliz Navidad
It's Christmas Again

HIT Says "No" to Fraggle Rock Season Four DVD

Back in January it was announced that HIT! Entertainment was planning to release "Fraggle Rock: Complete Fourth Season" on DVD in fall 2008. The box set would be the final installment for Fraggle collectors, including the final 26-episodes of the beloved show plus another helping of exclusive bonus features.

Back in April, HIT Entertainment representatives began sharing an exact release date for the highly-anticipated box set. The exact message sent out by HIT’s Consumer Services (as late as July 2008) said that "Fraggle Rock Season 4 will be releases on October 28, 2008. We are not sure of what bonus features this set will include. You may want to try and email us again in August. Thank you for your interest in Fraggle Rock." And even as late as a July 27th presentation at Comic-Con Internation, Henson Company representatives (including Red Fraggle herself) stated that the fourth season was planned for release later this year.

Now it was also announced at Comic-Con that HIT Entertainment is planning to release "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Collection" this fall as well. This 20-disc DVD set, with all 96 episodes, would feature the content of the first three season box sets plus the remaining fourth season episodes and a handfull of new bonus features. The item has a suggested retail price of $139.98 and is planned for release on November 4, 2008. The indication at the time of the announcement was that this big box set would arrive in stores as a complement to the separate release of Season Four on DVD. However now the studio is telling the fans something completly different.

With the formal announcement of the Complete Series Collection, eager fans and collectors began to send inquiries directly to HIT! Entertainment to find out the exact details of the supposed fourth (and final) box set. However the fans received a new and startling report from the customer service staff:

"Thank you for contacting us. As of right now, we are not releasing Season 4 as a stand alone item. It is only available as part of the complete series collection. There are no plans at this time to release it alone."
According to company spokesmen, the current plan is to only release the complete series, with no current listing on the schedule for the fourth Season as a separate DVD. Needless to say, fans and collectors are outraged by this news.

People who faithfully purchased he individual season sets for the first three seasons, are now forced to re-buy seasons those seasons just the get the final 24 episodes and the last batch of bonus features. With a suggested retail price of $49.99 per season, faithful fans have already invested approximately $150 in their collections. But now they’ll have to shell out another $140 just to get the content of the last five discs of the 20-disc series set. Many fans simply can't afford this, especially with the current economic climate.

As HIT has touted in many of their press releases, the season box sets of Fraggle Rock came as "a direct result of a fan-driven campaign calling for the series' DVD debut". Legions of fans proved that they were down with Fraggle Rock, as they created an online petition that was signed by more than 35,000 fans urging for the DVD release of Fraggle Rock. HIT Entertainment responded and released "Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season" in 2005. Fan loyally and enthusiastically purchased the season set, as HIT said the success of the first season would determine if the subsequent seasons would be released. Sales were good, and the second season followed in 2006. Fans again flocked to the stores to show support for the series, hoping their support would sustain the franchise. And in 2007 when season three was released, the fans purchased the set with hopes that their collections would soon be completed. However now it appears that the only way to finish one's collection is for fans to re-buy what they have already purchased. HIT's total disrespect for the loyal fans who have faithfully supported the series is disheartening.

We urge HIT Entertainment to rethink their strategy and release the fourth (and final) season box set separate from the complete series package. While "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series" is great for newcomers to Fraggle Rock on DVD, HIT shouldn’t penalize the collectors who have already purchased the first three seasons independently. Fans should not have to re-buy seasons one, two and three in order to get the final installment of the series.

Now here's where you come it; petitioning and fan support helped get Fraggle Rock onto DVD, so together hopefully we can get urge HIT to give us a respectful (and economical) close to our DVD collections. Please, take a few minute to contact HIT Entertainment and request an independent DVD release for Fraggle Rock Season Four.

The HIT customer service number is:

You can write them a letter at:
HIT Entertainment
Attn: Consumer Relations (Fraggle Rock)
PO Box 9000, Allen TX, 75013

And you can e-mail them at:
With your help, the joy of Fraggle Rock can be shared with all fans and viewers in a fair and economical way.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Tortoise vs. Hare" DVD Details

As previously announced, "Unstable Fables: Tortoise Vs. Hare", the second film in the Jim Henson Company's "Unstable Fables" series, will be released on DVD on September 9, 2008. The film puts a modern twist on the classic Tortoise and the Hare story with help from a voice cast that includes Jay Leno, Danny Glover, Vivica A. Fox, Keke Palmer and Drake Bell.

The movie fast-forwards 15 years beyond the original fabled race to reveal that the rivalry between the tortoise and the hare. Ready for a rematch, Murray Hare (Jay Leno) and his unwilling son Butch (Drake Bell) challenge Walter Tortoise (Danny Glover) and his daughter Crystal (Keke Palmer) to face off in the Mount Impossible Nature Adventure Race. However this time they learn a whole new lesson - that some things are more important than competition.

The hilarious and heartwarming film shows that some things are more important than competition. Aside from the 80-minute widescreen feature-length film, the DVD also comes loaded with exclusive bonus material including a special tutorial on how to draw the characters from the movie, as well as an exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at the voice recording sessions and a Sneak Peek at the next "Unstable Fable". Carrying a suggested retail price under $19.97, the film is already available to pre-order.

The third installment in the "Unstable Fable" series, "The Goldilocks and the Three Bears Show", is planned for release in spring 2009. The film will feature an all-star vocal cast - including Tom Arnold, Brooke Shields, and Jamie Lynn Spears. I will be sure to keep you posted as more information on releases in this exciting series becomes available.

"Tortoise vs. Hare" DVD Bonus Features:
- How to Draw a Character with Director Howard E. Baker
- The Voices of "Tortoise vs. Hare"
- A Sneak Peek at the Next Unstable Fable

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Skeksis Action Figure Coming from NECA

As reported earlier, NECA is planning to release the first figure in a potential line of Dark Crystal action figures and collectibles. The first figure set for release is SkekSil, the Skeksis chamberlain. The incredibly detailed and poseable action figure stands 7-inches tall and is modeled on the original puppet and designed featured in the film.

NECA plans to release this highly-anticipated figure under their "Cult Classics Presents" banner this fall. The 7-inch ChamberlainAction Figure is currently available to pre-order from several retailers (generally selling for around $14.99). I've been told that the figure is expected to ship to retailers by October 2008, so be sure to secure your very own Skeksis figure by pre-ordering one today. You can take a look at the upcoming figure below; and I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on Dark Crystal merchandise surfaces.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Memoirs of a Prawn

Pepe the King Prawn, a fiesty little crustacean from the coast of Spain, was introduced to audiences in 1996 as a part of the cast of "Muppets Tonight"; he has since become famous, successful, unavoidable, and a favorite of fans everywhere (he's especially a hit with the ladies, h'okay). Building on his fame, Pepe decided to sit down and write his own book. The new book, "It's Hard Out Here For a Shrimp: Life, Love & Living Large" by Pepe the King Prawn, is expected to hit bookstores later this fall and is full of Pepe's unique words of wisdom on life. Pepe's advice is guaranteed to make your life lively, hot, and very, very spicy!

From family and friendship to romance and roguery, Pepe's words are sure to delight readers of all ages. "It's Hard Out Here For a Shrimp" is being published by Hyperion Books and is planned to hit stores in Novemeber. The 176-page hardcover book will also feature a special introduction written by the one and only Kermit the Frog. "It's Hard Out Here For a Shrimp" is already available to pre-order through many online retailers. While the book is said to be authored by Pepe the King Prawn, the book was actually written by long-time Muppet writter Jim Lewis (who also penned Kermit's 2006 autobiography "Before you Leap"). This book is sure to be an entertaining and enlightening addition to any fan's collection. I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on this upcoming title surfaces.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Muppets Take Laugh Break

If you have Sirius Satellite Radio then you'll want to be sure to check out the "Laugh Break" channel (channel 105) next weekend for an exciting Muppet appearance. Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the gang have been invited to host a special hour of hilarious family friendly comedy.

The Muppets' special radio guest spot will be broadcasted on Sirius on Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 10:00am and 1:00pm ET; however if you miss it (or if you want to catch it again) Sirius is set to rebroadcast the Muppets' appearances on Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 11:00am and 2:00pm ET

Sirius is currently offering a three-day free trail of their programming online, so even if you don’t have Sirius you could still listen to the Muppets' exclusive radio gig online.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Henson's "Time Piece" Comes to iTunes

Following in the footsteps of Jim Henson's "The Cube", the Jim Henson Company has just released another vintage Jim Henson film onto iTunes. Henson's award-winning short film "Time Piece" is now available to purchase in the iTunes Store. The film showcases the effects that time keeping has on life. The 1965 film stars Jim Henson in the leading role; Henson also wrote, directed, and produced the film. Time Piece received many awards, and was even nominated for an Academy Award in the "Best Short Subject" category. You can currently download the entire film via iTunes for only $1.99. The Jim Henson Company is planning to release more titles from their vast video libray on iTunes in the future. I will keep you updated as more titles become available.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Catch the Muppets in "Studio DC" Again

For all of you who missed last night's big premiere of "Studio DC: Almost Live" on Disney Channel (or for all of you who just want to catch it again), the Muppet-filled television special is set to re-air several times this week. Disney Channel plans on re-airing "Studio DC: Almost Live" on:

  • Monday, August 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM
  • Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 5:00 PM
  • Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 2:30 PM
  • Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 3:00 PM
  • Sunday, August 10, 2008 at 6:30 PM

The half-hour variety show featured Miley Cyrus performing with the Electic Mayhem; the Muppets joining the cast of "The Suite Life" for an original comedy sketch; Kermit and Ashley Tisdale performing "Bop to the Top"; Miss Piggy's failing attempts to join the Jonas Brothers; and much more.

A second "Studio DC" special starring the Muppets is tentitivly slated to air on the Disney Channel in October 2008. The follow-up special is said to include such Disney Channel stars as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and the Cheetah Girls.

So be sure to set the VCR and mark your calendars so you don’t miss "Studio DC: Almost Live!" (again). And I will be sure to keep you updated on the future of "Studio DC" and the Muppets on Disney Channel.