Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Muppets Sing The Muppet Show Theme Acapella!

To help promote the "rebooting" of their ABC series, The Muppets have made a new acapella version of "The Muppet Show" theme!

A shorter version aired on ABC during a repeat of "Going, Going Gonzo" and was online via Entertainment weekly. 

Now check out the full version below!

Here's hoping some of these familiar faces make their way to the show itself. We've been waiting for backstage penguin drama!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Men's Nine Box Muppets T-Shirt!

A new Muppet t-shirt featuring Dr. Teeth, Rowlf, and Floyd(!) can be found at Target.

You can get yours in select stores or online here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Look at Diamond Select Muppet Figures!

Diamond Select posted this image of their upcoming Muppet action figure and it immediately stirred a controversy among fans. 

First off, let me say that I know one of the people working on these figures. He's a true fan that also worked on the Palisades line and is doing amazing things to get each character's look perfected.

The Pros: 
  • Fozzie and Gonzo: What more could you ask for. They look perfect. 

The Cons:
  • Kermit: His pupils just need to be slightly smaller so they don't look like blobs.
  • Bean: First, so great to have him included since he wasn't in the Palisades line, and he looks great. He just needs to be a little bit bigger. 
  • Robin: Again looks great, but he shouldn't be bigger then Bean.
  • Camilla: Again she looks great, but may be too big, especially when it some to the size comparisons between Bean and Robin.
  • Scooter: I'm not sure what happened here as the original mold was spot on. His nose is too long and it's made worse that his glasses are too far back.

Below are the production images Diamond had previously released for comparison. 

These figures are so well done, that even the cons are easily fixed and we hear that many of these concerns are already being addressed.

That said, after each figure is put through a lengthy back and forth approval process, they still go through other procedures that are sometimes out of the designer's control. 

There are many figures planned in the line and we hope it's successful enough that we see all of them get made. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

River Horse Labyrinth Game - First Peek Goblin!

Over the weekend news broke the The Jim Henson Company has  Labyrinth "reboot" in the works.

Scriptwriter Nicole Perlman later clarified via twitter that it won't be a reboot, and that "Labyrinth is my favorite film from childhood, so I share your concerns that any continuation of the world be handled with love and respect."

Speaking of new goings on in the word of Labyrinth, River Horse is hard at work on their upcoming game based on the film. 

They've been great about showing off the progress of the figures for the game and today we present their first Goblin:

We also learned that these figures will be available separately from the game itself. 

From their press release: 

"Along with the board game we will be releasing some collectible figurines sculpted by Johnny, which can of course be used in the game.

These figurines will be well known characters from the Labyrinth. I won't spoil the surprise by telling you which, but here is a peek at one of them.

Be sure to check out our previous first looks at their upcoming HoggleLudo, Sir Didymus and Sarah figures. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Labyrinth "Reboot"!?!?? What?

Yes you read that correctly. Late last night word was announced that a Labyrinth "Reboot" is now in the works.

According to Variety: "Sony is developing a reboot of “Labyrinth,” the final movie directed by Jim Henson, and has closed a deal with the Jim Henson Co. to produce the film with Sony’s TriStar division."

Lisa Henson will produce the project and “Guardians of the Galaxy” co-writer Nicole Perlman, who's also co-writing the upcoming Marvel film "Captain Marvel”, will write the script.

No further details have emerged, so I'm not sure if "reboot" is even there correct word for this this project or if it's just the industry buzzword de jour.

Obviously the major creative forces of Jim Henson and David Bowiewill not be involved, nor does it sound like Terry Jones, who wrote the screenplay will be either. But, that doesn't mean the Frouds, Terry Jones, or Jennifer Connelly couldn't - and should! 

Here's hoping the film is some sort of continuation of the world, and not a remake. In fact, MoviePlot has a great list of the pros and cons of this announcement. 

I would love to return to the world of Labyrinth and discover new "fwends" and catch up with our ones. There are many positives tooth's news so let's not loose our heads over this news, just yet.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Happy Birthday, John Hurt!

Celebrate the great John Hurt's birthday by revisiting his role as the title characters from Jim Henson's The Storyteller!

Labyrinth Honest Trailer and the Original Version of Chilly Down!

In tribute to David Bowie, Honest Trailers released their take on Labyrinth. It's as hilarious as you'd expect, and also surprisingly heartfelt. 

As another tribute to Bowie, someone who worked on Labyrinth posted the original recording of David Bowie singing "Chilly Down" accompanied with behind the scenes photos of the recoding session!

According to the description:
"The song 'Chilly Down' from Labyrinth was originally called 'The Wild Things' but because of a copyright issue with the name, the characters were renamed 'The Fireys' and the song renamed 'Chilly Down'."

Here's another behind the scenes photo of Kevin Clash and Mike Quinn, who puppeteered many of the feet and legs in the sequence.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jim Henson: The Biography Paperback Coming in May!

Brian Jay Jones' excellent book, Jim Henson: The Biography will be released in paperback May 10th!

According to Jones, the differences between the hard cover and paperback (beside the cover) is "one line, to mention the new Muppets TV series" and that it "will correct the errors brought to my attention on @MuppetWiki."

The minor errors he's referring to can be found here

You can pre-order it now from Amazon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Henson Produced Show From John Tartaglia Coming to PBS!

John Tartaglia and the Jim Henson Company are teaming up for a new show coming to PBS this fall. 

Read the full press release from BusinessWire below:

PBS KIDS Announces New Series SPLASH (w.t.)* 

Will Premiere in Fall 2016

New Multiplatform Media Property Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises Encourages Kids to Explore Marine Biology and Ocean Science and Builds Social-Emotional Skills
PASADENA, Calif.--()--Television Critics Association Press Tour: In fall 2016, PBS KIDS will premiere SPLASH (w.t.), a new animated series that dives into marine biology and ocean science. Created by John Tartaglia (“Imaginocean,” “Johnny and the Sprites”) and produced by The Jim Henson Company (DINOSAUR TRAIN, SID THE SCIENCE KID) and Herschend Enterprises (Dollywood, Harlem Globetrotters), SPLASH (w.t.) is designed to encourage kids ages 4-7 to explore the diversity and spectacle of our natural undersea world. The multiplatform media property will debut on PBS stations nationwide, along with integrated digital content.
“SPLASH (w.t.) will engage and educate young viewers by presenting the novelty of the ‘strange-but-true’ world of the ocean with humor and music. Funny, character-driven songs will reinforce the show’s learning goals, helping kids build key skills as they sing along with their underwater friends.”
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“PBS KIDS offers high-quality media content to meet the needs of today’s kids, sparking their curiosity and excitement about learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS. “While oceans cover the majority of the Earth’s surface, there is a profound lack of educational media for young children that explores the science of the fascinating world under the sea. SPLASH (w.t.) will introduce kids to the wonders of marine biology, building science skills and fostering an appreciation for the biodiversity that lives in our oceans.”
SPLASH (w.t.) follows the adventures of its title character, a yellow fusilier fish who has migrated all over the oceans before settling down with his family in Reeftown, where he befriends three inquisitive fellow sea creatures. Until Splash came along, Bubbles, Dunk, Ripple and most of the other Reeftown residents had no idea what lay beyond the cozy confines of their coral walls. Together, Splash and his friends explore the world’s oceans, where they meet wildly diverse marine animals and discover otherworldly undersea habitats, bringing back what they’ve learned to share with their neighbors.
Forty episodes of SPLASH (w.t.) will be produced, each including two 11-minute stories full of comedy and adventure. A production of The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises, the series is created by John Tartaglia and executive produced by Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company, Julie Phillips and Merrill Puckett-Miller of Herschend Enterprises, as well as John Tartaglia, Michael Shawn Lewis and Jill Shinderman. Tom Keniston is producer and David Skelly is supervising director. The Jim Henson Company oversees all distribution and merchandising for the property and Herschend Enterprises administers all themed entertainment rights.
“We are so proud to bring our newest show to PBS KIDS and introduce young audiences to meaningful ‘first friends’ we know they will love,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “Reeftown is a bustling ocean neighborhood, welcoming kids to get to know the incredible citizens of the sea. Through the adventures of Splash and his friends, we hope to inspire environmentalism by helping young children build confidence in their ability to make a difference. We also hope they develop empathy for all the creatures that share this planet with us.”
“The ocean is a fascinating and essential part of our world, yet most kids have a very limited understanding of what it is, what lives there and why it is so important to all of us,” said John Tartaglia, the series creator and the performer of the show’s title character. “SPLASH (w.t.) will engage and educate young viewers by presenting the novelty of the ‘strange-but-true’ world of the ocean with humor and music. Funny, character-driven songs will reinforce the show’s learning goals, helping kids build key skills as they sing along with their underwater friends.”
The characters, storylines and settings in SPLASH (w.t.) are grounded in a marine biology curriculum that focuses on themes of diversity, individuality, interconnectedness and the celebration of learning and discovery. Created in partnership with an advisory panel of top marine biologists, digital media innovators and preschool educators, the series will cover a variety of foundational concepts in biology that are relatable to the everyday lives of young children, such as home and habitat, as well as physical and behavioral traits and differences. SPLASH (w.t.) also introduces the concepts of ecological balance and the importance of taking care of our oceans.
The series will emphasize important social and emotional skills, as Splash and his friends learn about getting along in a community on the reef. SPLASH (w.t.) aims to help children discover the interconnectivity among all living creatures, the planet and the relationships human beings share with them. The series will help children and their families build an understanding of the diversity of life that exists under the sea and build compassion for that life. Viewers will also discover and celebrate the value of diversity overall, as Splash and his friends explore new habitats, make new friends and learn about all the different ways life looks and lives in the ocean. As Splash and his friends play and explore such topics as habitats and symbiotic relationships, viewers will discover these connections and appreciate their importance.
SPLASH (w.t.) will offer families a multiplatform media experience, including the on-air series, as well as interactive content online and on mobile. A variety of SPLASH (w.t.) games, hands-on activities and parent resources will be available online at, and mobile apps from the series will be offered. The series’ digital content, which will launch in fall 2016, will help inspire children’s curiosity and excitement about exploring the wonders of the sea.
*(w.t.) means working title. So the official nam for the show could still change. 

Muppets Minimates - Gonzo & Swedish Chef!

Diamond Select Toys began releasing their line of Muppets Minimates last month and most could be found at Toys R Us - either online or  in their stores. 2 figures however were absent from both the back packaging and on shelves - Gonzo and The Swedish Chef!

These two figures are comic and specialty store exclusives and, if you can find them, many stores have been marking them up as part of their exclusivity. 

We found one online retail outlet, that while priced higher than Toys R Us, are only by $1 for the regular version, and $2 for the damaged variant. 

That online retailer is Luke's Toy Store. The cost of shipping was reasonable as well and made each set average around $11.

Click the links to order the regular version or damaged variant

Monday, January 18, 2016

Preview: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons Issue 2!

The second issue of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Dragons will hit comic stands this Wednesday.

Here's a sneak peek:

Be sure to pick up your copy at your local comic shop or through Amazon.

Happy Birthday, Jason Segel!

Jason Segel co-wrote, starred, and as was instrumental in getting the 2011 feature film The Muppets produced. He also celebrated his birthday on the set!

With out Segel, The Muppets probably wouldn't be having the resurgence in popularity that they currently are. 

Here is singing the Academy Award winning song from that film, "Man or Muppet."

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

RIP Alan Rickman (1946 - 2016)

We've lost another Hollywood legend, Alan Rickman.

Best known as Harry Potter's Professor Snape and Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Rickman also voiced Marvin the depressed robot in 2005's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Marvin and the rest of the film's creatures were produced at Jim Henson's Creature Shop. 

Take a look as Alan Rickman's work as Marvin below:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pre-thoughts on The Muppets "Reboot"!

We've all read the reports that ABC is "rebooting" The Muppets in February and has brought Kristin Newman on to be the new showrunner.

Mrs Newman has now talked to The Hollywood Reporter and hitflix as part of a panel with Television Critics Association as it seems like the problems, and solutions many fans and critics brought up will be be immediately addressed!

I don't like to review things before they're released before but based on her answers she seems to get what was missing, like The Muppets doing a late night show without any sketches or recurring segments...

"So Up Late will become more of a variety show?
It's more of a Jimmy Fallon-style late-night show where there are bits and sketches. We won't be doing sketches straight out of 1979, but we may be doing some of them updated. We're doing an updated Veterinarian's Hospital, we're doing an updated Swedish Chef where Bunsen is helping him do molecular gastronomy. We're taking some of the inspiration from a lot of the old stuff and trying to think about how would Fallon do it? How would [Jimmy] Kimmel do it? And getting to see the Muppets being zany and not just being guys who are having a hard time at work but also getting to perform and do silly things.

An updated Veterinarian's Hospital? YES!
(It'll be great to see more Rowlf, and not just in his Tavern)

An updated Swedish Chef ... with Bunsen? 

We know there are new Pigs is Space shorts set to be released on youtube soon, so I bet we may see them pop up in some form on "Up Late" as well. 

"It's all about heart"

And though later episodes saw the series gaining more of it, many people thought the show was too mean spirited...
There are moments from different things, but mostly it's the spirit I'm looking to for inspiration: joy and friendship; Muppets take care of each other; Muppets root for each other, even if Muppets drive each other crazy and get in each other's way. Muppets, at the end of the day, love each other. So that's what I try to make every single decision based on. I walked into the writers' room on my first day and wrote the word "joy" on the wall. That's what I'm trying to make every decision based on. What's the most joyful moment we can have here? What's the most fun we can have here? Let's let them do what humans can't do because they're puppets and they're silly. Just because they live in a human world doesn't mean they have to act like humans. Let's enjoy and play with what they can do.
What they were doing a lot, was having the celebrity guest of the week create the conflict. What that was doing was creating A stories among celebrity guests that took so much screen time away from the Muppets, who everybody tuned in to see. I'm using guest cast a lot more as cameos and trying to up the amount of musical guests we get so that if somebody comes on who can sing an incredible piece of music, we can use that to emotionally help a story finish .

EXACTLY! She really seems to get it. 

Now if only they'd utilize more characters...

 Camilla will be coming back for Gonzo.
Lew Zealand will be throwing some fish around.. there will be a baby penguin coming into the show.
Foo-foo will be around more.

Also, Robin is coming back. We're breaking the finale now, but the idea is that we're having a Muppet reunion, so we're going to be bringing a lot of characters back.
For the finale, I'm going to have a lot of the beloved Muppets that all the fans and performers have really been missing come back for the last show. We're going to have some cameos of old Muppets that haven't been around a lot. I'm really trying to spread the focus as far as story goes onto all of the core characters that we've been seeing so far."
Wow, I mean talk about about taking our suggestions to, um well heart! (Now if only
they could figure out how to have Walter appear!)

In addition to bringing back classic Muppets, sketches, and heart, there'll be a new human antagonist to rally the Muppets together (Again. Again!) against

I'm bringing in a human bad guy who will, I hope, be used to unite the Muppets fighting against him — instead of fighting against Piggy and fighting against each other. The human threat is obviously from the network because they work on a TV show. He is a branding guru named Pache — played by [recurring guest] Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project, Pitch Perfect) and he has rebranded warlords and network presidents and he has a lot of slick ideas and it's all about new, new, new and slick, slick, slick, which is not The Muppets. The Muppets are all about joy and zaniness and heart and the way that they have to fight this bad guy is by binding together. They're going to bring the people who have been backstage on Up Late With Miss Piggy, doing more sketches and bits and bringing more joy back to her show.
It'll be interesting to see how he and Denise will interact since she's in charge of marketing for the network.

Even before Kristin was brought on board, each episode had gotten better at incorporating more songs, and utilizing the characters better. 

I expect these next 6 are going to get the show firmly on track and bring back the viewers who were missing the Muppet Show format.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie (1947-2016)

The world woke up to sad news this morning as word spread that legendary musician and artist David Bowie passed away after battling cancer for the last 18 months.

Though his career spanned 6 decades, Muppet fans will most remember him from Jim Henson's 1986 film Labyrinth.

From The Muppet Wiki:
The character of Jareth was originally meant to be another puppet creature in the same vein as his goblin subjects, but Jim Henson eventually decided he wanted a big, charismatic star to the play the Goblin King, and decided to pursue a musician for the role. StingPrinceMick Jagger, and Michael Jackson were considered for the part; however, it was ultimately decided that David Bowie would be the most suitable choice. 
"I wanted to put two characters of flesh and bone in the middle of all these artificial creatures," Henson explained, "and David Bowie embodies a certain maturity, with his sexuality, his disturbing aspect, all sorts of things that characterize the adult world." Henson met David Bowie in the summer of 1983 to seek his involvement, and continued to pursue Bowie for the role of Jareth, and sent him each revised draft of the film's script for his comments. During a meeting that took place on June 18, 1984, Henson showed Bowie The Dark Crystal and a selection of Brian Froud's concept drawings to pique his interest in the project. Bowie formally agreed to take part on February 15, 1985, several months before filming began.  
Discussing why he chose to be involved in the film, Bowie explained that "I'd always wanted to be involved in the music-writing aspect of a movie that would appeal to children of all ages, as well as everyone else, and I must say that Jim gave me a completely free hand with it. The script itself was terribly amusing without being vicious or spiteful or bloody, and it had a lot more heart in it than many other special effects movies. So I was pretty hooked from the beginning."

In May, Jennifer Connelly talked about working with on David Bowie on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Bowie would write five songs for the film: "Underground", "Magic Dance", "Chilly Down", "As the World Falls Down", and "Within You". 

"Underground" was released in various territories as a single, and in certain markets was also released in an instrumental version and an extended dance mix.

His 25th album was just released on Friday and leaves behind a legacy of hits which I recommend you listen to today as we remember David Bowie, "The Goblin King".

 It's only forever... RIP.