Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Date With An Otter

HIT Entertainment is planning to release Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas on VHS/DVD on October 4, 2005. This re-release of the 1977 holiday special will be edited to remove the few scenes featuring Kermit the Frog. At this time, information on disc details, other edits, or bonus features are not available. HIT says that all the details should be avalible around August/September. I'll keep you posted as more information is released.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Disney Working Hard to Relaunch the Muppets to the Top

The Muppets Holding Company said that it planned to “develop new content in all arenas, including television, feature films, music, stage plays and theme parks, and to enhance the Muppets’ global licensing and distribution presence”. Some more information on Kermit and the gang’s worldwide comeback has surfaced.

A new television series, destined for a prime-time slot, is in the very early developmental stages. Like the Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight, celebrity guests will again work with the Muppets in an all new format; proposed stars such as Jennifer Lopez to Ricky Gervais have invited to follow in the footsteps of such stars as Liza Minnelli and John Cleese. The project for a new Muppet TV show is in very earlier stages of development at the Muppet Holding Company -- so don’t expect to see it showing up on the new fall line up this year (and it probably won’t be ready by next year either). Information on this project, its format, title, cast, or production are not available at this time, and they are not estimated to be finalized for sometime either – but the Muppet Holding Company is currently working on developing something to get the Muppets back on regular TV again. It takes time to create a new TV show, and (depending on the networks' feelings) the show may never get past the planning stages. Only time will tell for sure but, fingers crossed, the Muppets may be back on regular TV by the end of the decade.

A Muppet stage musical is also in talks at Disney, along with Muppet expansion at Walt Disney World based around Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D. No real information on what Disney is planning in this field yet. But multimedia is a vital part of the Muppets’ strategy. Mobile phone wallpaper and ringtones will be available online in the next month, and The Muppets’ website will be expanded and updated more in the coming month with all kinds of new information and goodies (Miss Piggy is working on writing her Sow in the City weblog right now).

Disney also hopes to collect on the home entertainment market when they release the first season of The Muppets Show is on DVD later this year – and they are working other getting other parts of the Muppet library onto the market. The Muppet Holding Company is working hard on other new merchandise concepts with the Muppets. The Disney Store is already preparing to sell special Christmas products featuring the Muppets; such products should be ready in time for the 2005 Holiday season.

Disney is working on getting the Muppets back in the spotlight full force! Right now they are in the early stages of many products and productions are being worked on. The coming year will be an exciting one for all Muppet fans – old and new. There are even rumblings of another Muppet movie (unsure if it'll be television or theatrical) going into the works after “Oz” airs later this month (May 20th at 8/7c on ABC). I’ll keep you posted as these projects develop! I will work to you your information as the Muppet Holding Company advances and finalizes on items. But rest asured that Disney is working full force to keep the Muppets alive and growing.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fraggle Season Set No Longer Set in Season.

As you have probally heard me say several times in the past week, Fraggle Rock Season 1 Box Set is set for release in "fall 2005". Well now I have some good news, the release timeframe has been narrowed from a vague season ("fall 2005") to an exact month (September 2005). HIT has stated that the set is due for release this September - just a little over four months away. They don't know the exact date yet, but it will be in September (either 9/6/05, 9/13/05, 9/20/05, or 9/27/05). The exact date will be released soon. Below is the list of episode titles on that will be included on the set (this list was given to me by HIT themselves). Sadly, they said that information on bonus features and full technical specs is not available at this time; all that information should be avalible later this summer.

Fraggle Rock Season 1 Box Set Episodes:

  1. Beginnings
  2. Wembley and the Gorgs
  3. Let the Water Run
  4. You Can’t Do That Without a Hat
  5. The 30 Minute Work Week
  6. The Preachification of Convincing John
  7. I Want To Be You
  8. The Terrible Tunnel
  9. The Lost Treasure of the Fraggles
  10. Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk
  11. Catch the Tail by the Tiger
  12. The Finger of Light
  13. We Love You Wembley
  14. The Challenge
  15. I Don’t Care
  16. Capture the Moon
  17. Marooned
  18. The Minstrels
  19. The Great Radish Famine
  20. The Garden Plot
  21. New Trash Heap in Town
  22. Gobo’s Discovery
  23. Mokey’s Funeral
  24. The Beast of Bluerock

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Animal Jam Details

As I reported earlier, HIT Entertainment will release Jim Henson's Animal Jam on VHS and DVD on May 24, 2005. The details of these release have surfaced, both titles will feature two episodes from the show and the VHS and DVD versions will have the same exact features (there are no bonus features or extra episodes on the DVD version).

The first title, "Jim Henson's Animal Jam: Hug a Day” will feature two episodes from the show. The first episode is “A Hug A Day”, in the episode Waffle’s quest for the perfect “super hug” to give his mother pushes Edi away. And the second episode is “Not So Lost In Space”, in the episode Edi needs more personal space to move and groove, but Waffle has problems letting her move to her own beat. The run time for the DVD and VHS are approximately 50 minutes.

The second title, "Jim Henson's Animal Jam: Springin’” will also feature two episodes from the show: the first episode is “The Right Size For You”, in the episode Edi wishes she was bigger (like Bozark) and could get more attention, but soon she learns that she’s just the right size the way she is. The second episode is “Everything’s Springin’ Up!”, in the episode springtime comes to the Jam Room are the plants are blooming beautifully – except Edi’s. Waffle tries to help Edi’s plant to grow, but the group soon learns that all things grow at their own pace. The run time for the DVD and VHS are approximately 50 minutes.

The DVD’s and VHS’s are already up for pre-order on many online stores, with a retail price of $9.99 (or less) for the DVD, and $6.99 (or less) for the VHS. HIT has not announced any plans for future Animal Jam DVD/VHS releases, but it is possible that they may consider producing more 2-episode discs and tapes in the future if these sell well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fraggle Facts

Over the past 3-days I have been bombarded with e-mails asking about the details of the Fraggle Rock Season 1 Box Set. And I must say that a lot of the specific details are not known right now. I am working (as I always am) to dig up the information on the set, but there is not that much detailed information available yet. I talked with several people at HIT and they said for certain it was coming, but they stated that they could not share all the release details, or retail/technical specs yet. They plan to have an official press release created soon with all the details, but until then they are trying not to leak any information out (as features could change; not everything has been finalized yet; and they don’t want to take away from the impact of their big announcement). They also said that the creation of box sets for season 2-5 will depend on season 1's sales.

I have written up a full article about what is known about the set, and stating loud and clear that the sets are indeed coming. You can read the whole thing at Muppet Central, by clicking here. Hopefully later this summer there will be more to tell (like features listings, release date, retail price, etc.) But this article pretty much says everything publicly known at this time, as more information is released or uncovered I'll let you know the details. So check out the article and let my inbox have some time to breathe. This is indeed comforting news for every Fraggle fan; hopefully more information on the sets is not to far behind.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Nakajima USA & Sesame Workshop Partner Up

Nakajima USA and Sesame Workshop announced that they have signed a license agreement to design and market a collection of fashion accessories for "tweens and teens". The new collection will launch in time for the 2005 Holiday season and will feature favorite Sesame Street characters including Elmo, Cookie Monster, The Count and Oscar the Grouch. Products will retail between $4 and $40, with a portion of proceeds from their sale going to help fund Sesame Workshop’s educational projects for children at home and around the world.

Nakajima USA currently serves as the U.S. master licensee for the specialty channel for Japan’s Sanrio, famous for its “Hello Kitty” products, and will unite its unique ability to quickly create thousands of fashionable products over multiple categories along with Sesame Street’s 36-year heritage of educating and delighting children of all ages with characters they know and love. “Sesame Workshop is an ideal partner for Nakajima, marrying Sesame Street’s timeless appeal and popular characters that have a strong emotional connection with they young teen consumers with our exceptional product development and distribution capabilities,” said Eric Weber, Nakajima’s US President.

Liz Kalodner, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Global Consumer Products for Sesame Workshop added, “the collection we are developing with Nakajima USA allows us to keep teens engaged in the Sesame Street brand. The characters are nostalgic and the styles are modern and trend-right.” The multi-category collection will launch in October at the Sanrio stores, and also at many other chains and independent specialty stores to be announced.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Another Fraggle Rock Single-Disc DVD on Tuesday

"Live By The Rule of the Rock", the third Fraggle Rock DVD, will be released by HIT Entertainment this Tuesday (April 26, 2005). The DVD will feature four episodes of the Fraggle Rock (three standard play, and an unlockable one). The DVD will also feature a collection of bonus features. The entire DVD run-time is set 170-minutes (including bonus features), and will sell for around $14.99 (or less). There will also be a VHS version of "Live by the Rule of the Rock"; it will include only the first two episodes off the DVD version, and it will have none of the bonus features (its runtime is set at 50 minutes). The full details of the episodes and the bonus features for the DVD are listed below.

HIT has announced the fourth single-disc Fraggle DVD, called "Doin' Things That Doozers Do", will be released on September 6, 2005. HIT is also planning to release "Fraggle Rock - Season 1 Box Set" on DVD this fall as well; no exact date has been announced yet. Details on both of these products has not been released. So pick up this new discon Tuesday, it will hold you over until the fall when season 1 is released (and will also hold until the other seasons are released; whenever that will be).

"Live By The Rule of the Rock"

  • Catch a Tail by the Tiger (from season 1)
    Gobo has not received his usual postcard from his Uncle Traveling Matt. He eventually comes to realize that he must venture out into outer space to look from him – a trip that would terrify a Fraggle.
  • Believe It or Not (from season 3)
    Red and Wembley discover a creature who is whatever you believe he is. The trouble starts when Ma Gorg believes him into being a monster in the basement of the castle.
  • All Work and All Play (from season 2)
    Cotterpin Doozer decides she’d rather be a Fraggle, like Red, than spend the rest of her life building with the Doozers.

"Live By The Rule of the Rock" Bonus Features

  • Behind the Scenes: Traveling Matt
    An except for the behind the scenes documentary "Down at Fraggle Rock", despite the packaging saying it is about Traveling Matt, it focuses on the Gorgs.
  • Fraggle-oke!
    Follow the bouncing radish while singing your favorite Fraggle songs.
  • Fraggle Rock trivia that unlocks a bonus episode
    Answer 10 trivia questions to unlock the episode "'The Great Radish Caper" (season 3). In the episode, Junior Gorg's only friend is a huge radish named Geraldine, a fact which he discovers thanks to Mokey.
  • Animated Episode: "Mokey’s Flood of Creativity" & "What the Doozer’s Did"
    The DVD also features a full episode from the Fraggle Rock cartoon show from 1987.
  • Pingu Episode: "Pingu and Pinga Go Fishing"
    The DVD also features an episode from the HIT owned property "Pingu", a show about a claymated pinguin; this is not Fraggle related.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

HIT Commits to Season Sets!

The following image is a scan the an insert ad that will be found inside the upcoming "Fraggle Rock - Live by the Rules of the Rock" DVD that is being released on Tuesday:

As you can see, HIT is now on the record saying "Coming Fall 2005 Fraggle Rock Season 1 Box Set". Now I don't know the exact date of the release; I don't know the exact details of what will be on the set; I don't know when (or if) the other seasons are coming; but I do know that HIT has officially publicized the first season of Fraggle Rock coming to DVD! And it is coming this fall! I am currently trying to get into contact with HIT for more information and details (but being it is a Saturday I have not been able to get in touch with anyone at HIT yet). I'll keep you all posted as I dig up more details on this awesome news!


Friday, April 22, 2005

Thursday, April 21, 2005

America’s Funniest Home Muppets

It has been announced that there will be yet another Muppet TV apperance, courtsey of healthy dose of Disney synergy. The Muppets will be appearing on the hour-long America’s Funniest Home Videos season fanale on Sunday, May 8, 2005 (7:00pm-8:00pm EST on ABC). In the season finale of AFHV, the Muppets will be there to help host Tom Bergeron show the best videos of the season and award the season's final $100,000 prize. They’ll also show some never-before-seen Muppet “home videos” during the show as well. So be sure to mark your calendars and set your VCRs to catch the Muppet gang on AFHV. For more information check your local listings and

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

"Oz" Promo Site Launched with One Month to Go!

One month to go! Just one month to go! 30-days and counting! That's right everyone, in exactly one month "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" will hit the airwaves (If you missed this information before the details are: Friday, May 20, 2005 at 8/7c on ABC).

To help promote the film, which is one month away, ABC launched an
official promo page . This small section of the ABC website has a brief plot overview, six cast bios for the films stars (from Ashanti to Pepé), there are over 50 new pictures from the film, and you can watch videos of all three specialized teaser ads (Alias, Lost, and Desperate Housewives)! This site, which is part of, was launched to share some information and promotion for the film (which is in just one month). So what are you waiting for? Take some time to surf on over and check out the pages, the pictures, the information, and the fun --- just click here. And also don't for get to set your VCRs, clean off the couch, call off from work, stock up on popcorn, call your neighbors, and prepare youself because we only have 30 days (less than 720 hours) left until "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" will be upon us!

Did I mention there is only one month to go?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Snooping at the Academy Reveals Jim Henson Honor

Comics/animation writer Mark Evanier's blog reported that while attending an event at The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honoring the animation legends Joe Barbera and the late William Hanna with a wall-sculpture, he discovered the following:

"One section of wall nearby was covered with a drape which some of us peeked under. Beneath was a very handsome likeness of Jim Henson, surrounded by Kermit, Gonzo, Rowlf, and other Muppets. It was in the same style as the one of Hanna and Barbera, perhaps even by the same sculptor, Richard Ellis. No unveiling date has been announced. In fact, we weren't even supposed to know it was there."

Although Mark has other photos from the event, he didn't risk taking one of the Henson sculpture, for obvious professional, moral, and legal reasons. To read the complete story and see the Hanna-Barbera wall-sculpture (to see the style the Henson one will be in), click here.

The Academy has yet to comment or announce anything regarding Henson's honor. But when the Academy is ready to announce this, you're sure to find a press release at, plus I'll be here to report the news and all the information as soon as it breaks. Many speculate that given the Academy's current timeframe and schedule, it's likely they could announce somewhere around the time of Jim Henson's birthday in September. I'll keep you all posted as soon as I hear anything.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Tough Stuff

The great Muppet fan site known as Tough Pigs has posted some more Muppet goodies this week. First off, be sure to check out the transcript and screen-grabs from the new Oz commercial that aird yesterday during Desprate Housewives. Danny Horn, the webmaster, just put them up there and they are great; click here to view it. I know most of you have been waiting to see the ugliest Muppet toys, so you'll be happy to hear that the winner of the Ugly Toy Pageant has been announceld! Be sure to find out who the "winners" are, and be sure to read the colorful comments made by the voters. Just click here to view the toy-riffic horror. Plus there's a bunch of Oz updates -- more photos, a new Oz Merchandise page, ads and commercials, and all kinds of great stuff. Be sure to check out the Muppets' Oz section by clicking here. So take some time to surf over to Tough Pigs and check out all the great stuff they have to share. You won't regret it, heck you may even learn something new.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Another Oz Ad on ABC

Earlier tonight ABC aired another exclusive "Muppets' Wizard of Oz" advertisements during their primetime programing. A Special commercial aired during ABC's "Desprate Housewives" delighted not only Muppet fans but also the fans of the hit ABC show. The new ads used the Muppet character linked the themes of the current ABC show with the upcoming tele-film. This was similar to the "Lost" and"Alias" themed ads that were seen earlier this month. In the ad Kermit is seen looking at a sign that points to one way to "Oz" and the other way to "Wisteria Lane" . He starts heading toward Wisteria Lane but Miss Piggy yells at him so he goes the other way towards Oz. The ad ends with the ABC logo and quick information plugging the film. ABC and The Muppet Holding Company will not commented on the possibility of any other ads in this campaign and if any promotion will air with during other popular ABC shows. If any other ads surface I'll keep you posted; and hopefully these ads find their way onto the August DVD release of the movie. Be sure to keep your eye on ABC, because the promotion will continue to build as we get closer to the debut on May 20th.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bids on HIT Point to Buy Out.

HIT Entertainment is considering buy-out offers due to financial issues in their company. HIT Entertainment is the company that currently holds the distribution and marketing rights to the Jim Henson Family Showcase programming (including Fraggle Rock, Mother Goose Stories, Jim Henson's Animal Show, The Secret Life of Toys, Dog City, Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas, and many more). HIT retains the rights until April 2009; at that point contracts with Henson would need to be filed if they desire to continue the deal. I have been told that all current DVD and merchandise plans should not be affected if any deals take place. After a deal there will still be work, focus and support of the Henson properties by the acquiring owner. In fact many think that a new company may be able to back the Henson programming with even more support, resources, and energy than HIT has been able to in the past year. HIT has been suffering since late August after it issued a profit warning when their net profit dropped 57%.

Among the companies considering the idea of purchasing HIT are Classic Media, and Lions Gate Entertainment. These are all well established companies with a lot of resources and knowledge in producing quality products. Nothing official has been announced and no deals have been made yet. Hopefully the Henson properties don't burred under HIT's other popular properties (Barney, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Wiggles, and more). If any deals do take place, I'll be here to tell you all the details, and what it all means to the future of the Henson properties. Although their may be a hick-up in output of stuff while a new company adjusts to their newly aquired company, Henson fans should not worry; this deal should not hurt the Family Showcase programming – if anything it will be helping them get more resources, support, attention, and care. I'll keep you all posted as this story unfolds.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Oz DVD Features

The Walt Disney Home Entertainment Customer Relations is responding to e-mails about the features for the upcoming Muppet's Wizard of Oz DVD. They say the DVD will include a Making-Of Featurette (Featuring Pepé), "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Music Video Starring Ashanti, outtakes and bloopers, an extended ending, and more! It is unsure how solid this information is, being they also respond with the DVD's release date as Sunday, May 15, 2005 (which is completely false). The Muppets Holding Co reported to me that the DVD features are still being worked on and nothing definite can be reported yet. Despite what the consumer relations information is reporting, I have been told that the DVD will be release on August 9, 2005; however at this, the exact details of the disc are not completely ready. They are still working on lining everything up. Keep in mind that in a huge company, like Disney, the Consumer Relations representatives work off the small amount of information specially provided to them - sometimes there are errors and misstatements (just look at HIT and the whole Fraggle Rock season box set blunder of last fall). I am working to sort out the claims from the Customer Relations, the DVD producers, The Muppet Holding Co., and Walt Disney Home Entertainment -- I'll keep you all posted as information on the disc develops. And remember, as always, to watch "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" on Friday, May 20, 2005 at 8/7c, only on ABC.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Muppets go Mobile

According to Jim Hill, Disney recently purchased two new domains - and It has also been reported that this sites will eventually have new content for fans, where you will be able to download Muppet-related images, ring tones, and screensavers for mobile phones. Considering the great job Disney did with and many of their other mobile phone licensees, I can't wait to see what develops for Muppet fans with mobile phones. At this time there is no further information on when the site will be activated, what the exact details of this service are, or if there are any other online plans for the Muppets at this time. I'll keep you posted as I learn more - special thanks to Andrew "Buck Beaver" Young from The PuppetVision Blog for the news tip.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Muppets' Wizard of Oz Soundtrack Listing

Walt Disney Records plans to release “The Best of the Muppets: Featuring the Muppets’ Wizard of Oz” CD Soundtrack on May 17, 2005 (three days before “the Muppets’ Wizard of Oz” TV debut). The compilation will be led by the brand new songs that appear in the new TV-movie, accompanied by some of the Muppet’s classic hits.

This CD marks the first commercial release of Muppet media since Disney acquired the Muppets last year. The Muppet’s Holding Company hopes that the success of this CD will allow them to justify more collections, re-releases, and new recordings featuring Muppet music. The upcoming disc contains the six (6) new songs written for "The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz", and nine (9) Muppet classics.

This collection was not only created to supply fans with the tunes from “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz”, but it also allows Disney to share some of the Muppets’ most memorable (and marketable) songs from the past. By including such hits from the Muppets’ catalog, Disney hopes the release will attract past fans, casual fans, and new fans alike. Many hard-core fans are disappointed that eight out of the nine “classics” also appeared on a 2002 CD compilation, “The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More”; Disney states that the success of this album would allow them to dig into the Muppet music archives and release more treasures in the future.

The CD will be in stores on May 17, 2004 with an average retail price between $9.99 and $15.99.

Track Listing:
1. Kansas - Ashanti
2. When I’m With You - Ashanti & Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzie, Pepe
3. The Witch Is in the House - Miss Piggy & the Electric Mayhem
4. Calling All Munchkins - The Munchkin Tap-your-knuckle Choir
5. Good Life - Ashanti
6. Nap Time - The Electric Mayhem
7. The Muppet Show Theme - Featuring the Muppets
8. Mahna Mahna - Mahna Mahna & the Two Snowths
9. (It’s Not Easy) Bein’ Green - Kermit
10. Rainbow Connection - Kermit
11. Lady of Spain - Marvin Suggs and his Muppaphone
12. Halfway Down the Stairs - Kermit and Robin
13. What Now My Love? - Miss Piggy
14. Tenderly - The Electric Mayhem
15. Happy Feet - Kermit and the Frog Chorus

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 Up For Award, the official Muppets website, has been nominated for webby awards, the leading international award honoring excellence in Web design, creativity, usability and functionality.! The website, which is the official source for all your Muppet needs, is not only full of Muppet fun and charm, but is also beautifully designed - complete with custom integrated videos, graphics, games, and more. However in this award competition, the winner will be determined by the public-at-large. The Muppet Holding Company is hoping that all the Muppet fans will go and vote for as best celebrity website under the "People Voices" competition! They need as many people as possible to go to and show their Muppetational support.

There are six easy steps to vote:

1. Go to
2. Click on "People's Voice Awards" link (located in the "NomineesAnnounced" box on the right).
3. Fill in a username and password information (you may need to register, for free, first by using the register link).
4. Connect to the categories listing and click on the "celebrity/fan" Link.
5. Click on the box next to the listing.
6. Press submit!

Support, and the Muppets, earn this award. Not only will you be showing the Webby Awards that you care about the Muppets, but you will also be showing Disney that you care about the Muppets. Go and vote today!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Stamp Story

When the U.S. Postal Service announced last year the late Jim Henson and his beloved Muppets would grace a panel of 11 postage stamps to be released last month, officials never dreamed how great the demand would be. The stamps feature 13 Muppet characters (Kermit, Fozzie, Sam Eagle, Miss Piggy, Statler & Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, Animal, Dr. Bunsen & Beaker, Rowlf, and Gonzo & Camellia) and one stamp of Jim Henson.

The U.S. Postal Service said that in the past few months the Muppet stamps quickly became of the most requested and most anticipated. Not only have the fans celebrated the news, but the media has picked up on the news of this releases and are sharing the news about these stamps in newspapers, magazines, websites, and more. The USPS says that these stamps will be hot items – similar to when Bugs Bunny appeared on a stamp in the 1997, and Elvis in 1993. But unlike the big hit stamps of the past, this is more than one or two stamp; this is a whole series of stamps (11 to be exact). Needless to say, the USPS is very excited about this release.

In fact, the stamps, originally slated for a March release, were moved back to be released in September. The reason behind the move was deeper than merely giving the Postal Service more time to print and distribute the large number of stamps they anticipate (although that is one big benefit they are now thankful for). But the reason was to have the stamps give a reverent tribute to their inspriation. By releasing the stamps in September they are able to coincide the release (September 14) with Jim Henson’s Birthday (September 24); Jim would have been 69 (2005 marks the 15th anniversary of his death). Vanessa Patterson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Services' commemorative stamp program said despite the push-back with the Muppet series, next month's stamp honoring late actor Henry Fonda is still on schedule to be released May 16, (on what would have been his 100th birthday), and the highly anticipated Muppet stamps will be released in September.

So be sure to stop by your local post office and pick up a few sheets of the Muppet stamps on September 14, 2005. Whether you frame them to hang on your wall, or you use them up sending letters to your friends; these stamps are sure to be a delight to any Muppet fan. The souvenir sheet of stamps will be able to be bought through the USPS Online Store or at your local post office in September.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Got Links? (and an Elmo Alert)

Upon popular request, I have added a expanded section for me to share and spotlight links to other great sites in the Muppet/Henson online community. The links section can be access though a link in the right column of the site. Be sure to check out the list and all the other great sites. As of right now, the collection is somewhat small, but I hope to see it grow in the future to actually showcase all the great sites that will enhance any Muppet/Henson fan s 'online experience. If you have a website (or know of one) that you would like to see added to our listing of related links please send me the site’s name and URL, and I'll add it. Also, if you have a website of your own, please consider adding a link to this site on your site. Happy surfing!

Also, set your VCRs because Elmo, from Sesame Street, will appear on The Tony Danza Show tomorrow (April 11)! (Check local listings for times, station, and details).

Saturday, April 09, 2005

New Images from Oz

Yesterday, Ashanti's official website,, posted some new pictures from the production of The Muppets Wizard of Oz (click here to view). As you probably already know, Ashanti will be playing Dorothy in the Muppet's twisted version of everyone's favorite story. Ashanti's site is now getting geared up for the debut of the film. More exclusive pictures are reported to be hitting her site in the weeks to come, so be sure to continue to check out the Ashanti community for more Oz developments. Along with the three new images from the set (click here to view), a copy of the new promotional poster has surfaced (see below). It is a great looking work of art that features all the stars of the film coming out of a twister over the Emerald City and Yellow Brick Road. As always, once any more "Oz" news breaks, I'll be there to share it with you -- and be sure to watch The Muppets Wizard of Oz on May 20th at 8/7c on ABC.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Puppet-free Bert & Ernie Spin-off Show in Development

A new claymated television show show based on the beloved characters of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street is in development. Sesame Workshop has produced a short pilot episode to test a new concept of a show that will be available to buyers and co-producers at the MIP-TV Market show next month. The dynamic duo, Bert and Ernie, have been put into animation by Misseri Studio, one of the leading children’s animation companies located in Europe. A 3-minute claymation pilot, along with development materials for future episodes, has been created and will be available for potential buyers and co-producers to screen at MIP. If the series gets a good response from buyers and investors, the series could be picked up, full length episodes would go into production, and a Bert and Ernie TV show could be seen on your TV in the years to follow. At this time the shows development is in the very early stages, but it is still great to hear Sesame Workshop still loves these characters. The decision to use claymation rather than puppets is perplexing to many Muppet fans, but Sesame Workshop promises that the charm, humor and heart of Bert and Ernie is still there. Other shows that Sesame Workshop has in planning to share at MIP include "The Upside Down Show" and "The Little Carousel" (more details on all these shows can be found in this official press release from Sesame Workshop).

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Oz Ads on ABC

Last night ABC aired two exclusive "Muppets' Wizard of Oz" advertisements s during their primetime lineup. Special commercials that aired during ABC's "Lost" and "Alias" delighted not only Muppet fans but also the fans of the hit ABC shows. The new ads used the Muppet character to link the themes of the current ABC show with the upcoming tele-film. ABC and The Muppet Holding Company have not commented on the possibility of these ads airing again, but it seems likely that other upcoming episodes of "Lost" and "Alias" may air with these ads again. There is no word about any the creation of other ads in this campaign and if any promotion will air with during other popular ABC shows (such as "Desperate House Wives", "Extreme Make Over", "Jake in Progress", "8 Simple Rules", "According to Jim", ect.). If any other ads surface I'll keep you posted; and hopefully these ads find their way onto the August DVD release of the movie. Danny over at Tough Pigs has posted transcripts and screen-grabs from the two commercials last night, you can check them out here. Be sure to keep your eye on ABC, because the promotion should continue to build as we get closer to the debut on May 20th.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wizard of Oz Soundtrack and DVD

It has been announced that Walt Disney records will release the CD soundtrack to "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" on May 17, 2005 (three days before the TV debut). The soundtrack will feature the new songs in the TV-movie, along with some classic Muppet songs. Some of the tracks on the soundtrack include Ashanti's solo rendition of "Gotta Get Out of Kansas" and "It's a Good Life," plus a collaboration of Ashanti, Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzie and Pepe on "When I'm With You". It will be rounded out by such familiar Muppets tunes as "Mahna Mahna", "Rainbow Connection", and "The Muppet Show Theme". The complete track listing is not available at this time, but one it is I'll share the full rundown.

It has also been announced today that the DVD release of "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" is scheduled for release through Disney Home Entertainment on August 9, 2005. The exact details of the DVD’s content have not been released yet. I'll share more details with you as soon as Disney releases more information later this summer.

Also remember to mark your calendars, because that the film will air on television on May 20, 2005 at 8/7c on ABC. All these dates have been added to the GelflingWaldo Files'
Henson/Muppet calendar for future reference.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Emmet Slaughter?

In 1977 a holiday special premiered on television and touched audiences around the world. Based on a book by Russell and Lillian Hoban, “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas” is about Ma and Emmet Otter—a family that has little more than each other. When a talent show is held in town, a fifty-dollar prize gives them each hope of buying the other a real present this year.

Columbia Tri-Star released the Henson holiday classic on VHS in 1998 and in 2001 released it for the first time ever on DVD. Both of the Columbia Tri-Star releases were edited from the original broadcast form. The changes in the broadcast original to the Columbia Tri-Star release are as follows: the sequence where Ma and Emmet deliver Gretchen Fox's laundry was slightly re-edited; there was a short cut of Emmet’s introduction to 'Ain't Got No Hole in the Washtub', and two new lines of "Ain't No Hole in the Washtub" were inserted; during the talent show, a new act is shown after Clarence the Dancing Horse; Will Possum's comment to Mayor Fox was removed; and Kermit the Frog's closing appearance watching Emmet's band perform was completely removed. It is unsure exactly why these changes were made, but many suspect they are due to the source material used to master the releases video.

Fans did not take these changes well, and to this day there are people who will do anything for the original edit of the special. It wasn’t until last fall that fans saw hope of seeing the un-edited version of the film released. Information came out that HIT Entertainment would be re-releasing the special on DVD and VHS in the fall of 2005, and people started to get excited. The classic holiday film would be released to the public, but would it be un-edited? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but…

…the HIT Entertainment release will showcase a new cut of the film. I have talked with HIT and have some answers. Now, it is unsure if the “minor re-edits and inserts” (Ma and Emmet deliver Gretchen Fox's laundry; 'Ain't Got No Hole in the Washtub'; the inserted talent show act; and Will Possum's comment to Mayor Fox) from the previous releases will carry over to the HIT release (it all has to do with which cut of film HIT and Henson have access to and feel is best). In fact, the HIT representatives I talked with did not know that most of those edits took place. But there will definitely be something cut out of the upcoming HIT re-release. Brace your self - The HIT release will not feature Kermit the Frog at all. After the Disney-deal it was discussed what would happen to Kermit’s (and the other Muppet character’s) appearance in the non-Disney owned productions. It was originally stated that Kermit would be able to say in. But HIT has gone on the record say that with respect to “Emmet Otter”, Kermit is out.

Since HIT does not own Kermit, including the character would require setting up agreements and deals between Disney and HIT. HIT does not feel the effort would be worth their time and resources in the end, so they took the simple road and just, “clip-clip-clip”, cut Kermit out. I was informed by HIT that Kermit will not be seen in the special – and as for the other edits we’ll have to wait and see when the DVD hits stores in the fall.

This makes it pretty clear that if HIT ever releases “The Christmas Toy” on DVD, you can bet Kermit will be cut too. So if you want to see the specials in their original form, you’ll want to pick up an old VHS on E-bay; if not you’ll still be able to enjoy the classic special – just without our froggy friend. I've already sent HIT a letter saying that because of their lack of effort to work with Disney to be able to preserve the film, I for one will not be buying the disc (I already own one hacked-up version on DVD, I don't need another).

Feel Free To Contact HIT:
Phone: 1-866-405-7625 (toll-free)
Mail: HIT Entertainment; PO Box 9000; Allen TX, 75013

Monday, April 04, 2005

Fraggle Rock DVD Details

"Live By The Rule of the Rock", the third Fraggle Rock DVD, will be released by HIT Entertainment on April 26, 2005. The DVD will feature four episodes of the Fraggle Rock (three standard play, and an unlockable one). The DVD will also feature a nice collection of bonus features. The entire DVD run-time is set 170-minutes (including bonus features), and will sell for around $14.99 (or less). There will also be a VHS version of "Live by the Rule of the Rock"; it will include only the first two episodes off the DVD version, and it will have none of the bonus features (its runtime is set at 50 minutes). The full details of the episodes and the bonus features for the DVD are listed below.

HIT also announced the fourth DVD release of Fraggle Rock. The next single-disc release will be called "Doin' Things That Doozers Do", and is planned for release on September 6, 2005. HIT has still not commented on the claims of Fraggle Rock season box sets, and there is still a good possibility they could be coming as well. Hopefully some kind of announcment will be released in the coming months to clear everything up.

"Fraggle Rock - Live By The Rule of the Rock":

Catch a Tail by the Tiger (from season 1)
Gobo has not received his usual postcard from his Uncle Traveling Matt. He eventually comes to realize that he must venture out into outer space to look from him – a trip that would terrify a Fraggle.

Believe It or Not (from season 3)
Red and Wembley discover a creature who is whatever you believe he is. The trouble starts when Ma Gorg believes him into being a monster in the basement of the castle.

All Work and All Play (from season 2)
Cotterpin Doozer decides she’d rather be a Fraggle, like Red, than spend the rest of her life building with the Doozers.

DVD Bonus Features:
- Behind the Scenes: Traveling Matt
- Fraggle-oke! Follow the bouncing radish while singing Fraggle songs
- Fraggle Rock trivia that unlocks a bonus episode
- Animated Episode: "Mokey’s Flood of Creativity" & "What the Doozer’s Did"
- Pingu Episode: "Pingu and Pinga Go Fishing"

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sesame Reminders

Today I will keep the news post short, sweet and to the point:

Remember that Sesame Street season 36 starts tomorrow on PBS KIDS (check local listings for details). Be sure to tune in, enjoy, and possibly learn something.

Also remember that Grover will be a guest on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" tomorrow night. Be sure to tune into "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on ABC at 12:05am tomorrow night (check local listings for details).

And lastly, I added 11 upcoming Sesame Street DVD titles to the Henson/Muppet Calendar earlier this week, but I never formally mentioned them in a news post. So check the titles out. Many of the titles are already up fro pre-order on major e-retailers (such as These look like some great discs; from single disc re-releases of old Sesame VHS productions; to 3-disc DVD sets; to a collection of the 5-part "hurricane on Sesame Street" episodes; to even more Elmo's World DVDs. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sesame Characters appear in news PSA's

Members of the United States Senate took time out of their busy schedules to encourage our nation’s children to eat right and exercise as part of an overall “Healthy Habits for Life” initiative launched by Sesame Workshop. More than a dozen U.S. Senators taped public service messages with Elmo and Rosita. The public service announments will be distributed to television outlets as early as this week. Topics of the public service messages range from the importance of health and nutrition to physical fitness and personal hygiene.

The PSAs will be made available to public television stations, as well as cable and broadcast networks and channels. So whenever you are watching TV keep an eye out for Elmo and Rosita to pop up with a breif announcment. Senators joining the Sesame Street gang include Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Kent Conrad (D-ND), John Cornyn (R-TX), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Frist (R-TN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

These messages will unite the trusted characters of Sesame Street with the respected voices of more than a dozen Members of Congress. Sesame Workshop is working to guide preschoolers and their families through lessons related to healthy eating, the importance of active play and other key activities such as hygiene and rest. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these PSA's and also be sure to check out Sesame Street 36th season on Monday (April 4) as well.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Grover and Jimmy

Sesame Street season 36 is almost here! As many of you may know (or may not know; or may have known, but forgot) Sesame Street will kick off its 36th season this Monday (April 4) on PBS. So be sure to tune in this Monday and checkout the new season of fun on the street. (Check local listings for time and details). More information on the new season’s features can be found at

To celebrate the new season Sesame Workshop will be sending a blue and furry representative to promote the show and the new season. Grover, the fun and furry monster from Sesame Street, will be a guest on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Monday night to promote the new season of Sesame Street. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is shown on ABC at 12:05am (so technically it is really early Tuesday morning).

Along with checking out the new season earlier that day, be sure to tune in to ABC to see Grover and Jimmy chatting and having fun. This should be a fun television appearance by Grover (helmed by Muppeteer Eric Jacobson). Muppet fans may remember the appearances of Kermit the Frog on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in 2003. Hopefully Grover will be able to delight the audience and provide a fun segment for fans to enjoy. You don’t want to miss this appearance – so say up late, tune in, and watch (or at least set your VCRs and check it out in the morning).

Note: Although today is April Fools day this news post is not a joke. The news reported today is real and is not an elaborate prank set up by myself, Sesame Workshop, Jimmy Kimmel, or ABC. As many of you know, I lost my sense of humor in a horrible accident at rubber-chicken factory many years ago. I also lost my wallet in the same accident; if you happen to find either please let me know.