Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UK Puzzles

Polish company Trefl released two Muppet UK exclusive puzzles in 2012: Trefl Round 300 Piece Puzzle and the Trefl 1000 Piece Puzzle based on John Barrett's classic  Kermitage parody "The Birth of You Know Who." 

UK puzzle maker Ravensburger, not only has a licence to make Muppet puzzles, but they can also ship them to the US!

They have a Muppet 1000 Piece Puzzle and a more kid friendly XXL 100 Piece Muppet Jigsaw Puzzle

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dconstructed: "The Muppet Show Theme" (Shy Kidx Remix)

Sometimes an item comes along that just honestly leaves us at a loss for words. The latest such item is "The Muppet Show Theme" remix by Shy Kidx. It's part of the just released albu"Dconstructed", which features Electronic Dance Music remixes of classic Disney Songs we told you about last month.

Disney liked the track enough to "make" a music video for it. "Nightmare" is one aptly used word to describe it. Check it out for yourself below:

What do you think of Shy Kidx's take on the tune? How about the Disney video editor's take for the music video?

 If you can;t wait to add it to your music collection it's available as an MP3 and as part of the full CD

Thanks to our friends at Tough Pigs for uncovering this monstrosity. 

UK Piggy Bath Items!

The UK also has a collection of Miss Piggy bath products.

Toiletre case and Hair Wrap Towel

Happy Earth Day!

In 2010, Vivendi released a DVD titled "The Song of the Cloud Forest and Other Earth Stories."

Here's brief look at how the visuals were created:

If you've never seen it, or have yet to get your copy, Amazon still has this classic special available. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

UK Backpacks!

While a majority of this year's merchandise is available on both sides of the pond, there are still some items that are UK only. This is due to many issues including
licensing agreements on where an item can be sold. 

 One pair of items are these Kermit and Animal full body backpacks. 

Each features a head large enough to hold all your books and school supplies, with a little body attached.   They're sort of a mix of the large, head only back backs and the full proportional body back packs that came out a few years ago. 

 UK residents can purchase Kermit and Animal from Amazon UK. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Record Store Day Exclusive: The Muppet Movie Soundtrack

Tomorrow is Record Store Day!

For those hoping another something vinyl would come along after the re-release of "John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together" in November, you're in luck. 

Select record shops will have an limited edition vinyl reprint of "The Muppet Movie Soundtrack"!

You can find out which stores are participating here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Muppet Reviews: Muppets from Space

A few weeks ago our friend Rachel posted another great review in her countdown to Muppets Most Wanted. If you haven't already, you can watch her take on 1999's Muppets from Space here. 

I find myself enjoying this Muppet film slightly more then it's predecessor,  Muppet Treasure Island, which would have be greatly improved if it included Pepe, Bobo (who I know didn't exist yet) and Clifford.

Rachel hits all the right beats, in her examination of the film, and correctly points out the standouts of the film are Pepe and Bobo. She barely mentions Clifford though, who I feel is a very welcome addition to the film.
In Muppets From Space, Clifford returns to his cool Jim Henson Hour persona after audiences didn't quite dig his more amped up Muppets Tonight vibe.  He's great in this film, fits in well, and has a few memorable scenes and one liners. It's just a shame he wasn't utilized more. This is mostly due to his performer, Kevin Clash, performing Frank Oz's characters, much like he did for the previous two features.
Which brings me to the real reason Muppets From Space suffers in comparison to the other Muppet features. It's just so .. stiff! With Frank Oz overdubbing his character's voices in post production, there was no room for the spontaneity or improvisation that makes the Muppets feel alive. What was in the script HAD to be said or else the dialogue wouldn't match the characters mouth movements. In fact, there are a few cases where they obviously DID change some lines afterward and it's painfully obvious. 

There are a couple Easter eggs in the film that Rachel didn't cover that I think should be addressed. 

The first, Rachel hinted at when she mentioned the production being rushed. This was due to the fact the they were shooting not one Muppet movie, but two Muppet movies back-to-back for summers releases. Two you ask? Yep two. 

You see, Muppets From Space was shot in North Carolina near where Dawson's Creek was filmed (hense their cameo) and after shooting wrapped, most of the cast and crew stayed to film Elmo in Grouchland. Sony figured hey, we have the studio and Henson own both properties let's save some time and more importantly, money by shooting these two back-to-back. Needless to say I don't think MFS or EIG does either franchise any favors with EIG, bombing even worse then MFS would a few months earlier.

Rachel also mentioned that movie would have been better if it were a sci-fi spoof, which it sort of is, but it's more of a sci-reference movie then full on spoof. She notes the Independence Day spoof with Phil Van Nueter, but misses quite a few others. 

The henchmen tasked with brimming Gonzo and Rizzo to C.O.V.N.E.T.? They're Men in Black get it?, yeah I know its not that funny. 

The Cosmic Fish that seem to babel? They're a nod to the Babel Fish from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy".

The mash potato Gonzo sculpture? It's right out of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." 

And, while not a true sci-fi film, Pepe's "Build it, and they will come" line, is a direct reference to the Kevin Costner film "Field of Dreams."

 These little touches do help add a little more for adults and sci-fi fans to enjoy. 

Another great eater egg, is in the breakfast scene immediately following "Brick House." You hear the characters saying good morning to each other, and Bunsen says "Good Morning , Baab." to a what is basically a random lamb. Why a random lamb, and not an already established character? 

The reason is the person under the lamb. That person is 11-year old Kristina Donnelly, who was terminally ill and her dream was to be in a Muppet movie. The Make-A-Wish Foundation made her dream come true and when given the choice between puppeteer or actress, she chose puppeteer, performed Baab and got a shout out in the scene.  At the end of filming she got to keep Baab as well as a couple of other mementos from the set. 

So while Muppets From Space my not be the greatest Muppet movie,it has Clifford, some great Pepe and Bobo moments, a few references for adults, it got to make a dream come for a dying child, and did I mention it has Clifford!