Well in the continuing trend of me being the last to know everything, the Jim Henson Company (now owned by who else, the Disney Corportation) is planning a 2009 release of a new Fraggle movie. Actually this would be the first Fraggle movie, although their first 3 seasons are now available on DVD. There were a total of 5 seasons, with nearly 100 episodes. It was only a couple of days ago that I recounted my first Fraggle experience in over 10 years, a fun rerun with my 4 year old son. Now I discover that they’re making a movie!
Fraggle Rock was an interesting show. It basically dealt with 4 species of beings: humans, fraggles, doozers and gorgs – those giant humanoid creatures that gave themselves royal titles. The Fraggles were really the uniting factor in the story, visiting each of the other species (Uncle ‘traveling’ Matt going to the human world and sending back postcards, all of the fraggles eating the radish flavoured doozer’s building sticks, and running into the Gorg’s garden to steal radishes (what’s with the importance of radishes?) and talk to the all-knowing garbage heap.
Apparently the Fraggles were spiritual, eco-friendly and virtuous, although that went right over my 9 year old head. I know I loved them, and so did the rest of my brothers. What I do remember about them was they could mind-meld and enter each other’s dreams by touching heads, and they often broke into spontaneous song. I remember feeling scared when the Fraggles were close to the Gorgs, although Junior basically wanted to put them in a jar like a human kid would collect bugs. The rats in the compost pile (whose names escape me) were creepy too.
I wonder if a movie will work. I’ll go, but even when I go back and look at the old muppet movies I sense my kids fading out by the middle act. Although they look OK, they lack CGI, fast-action, and big name actors. Staples that people nowadays seem to require to sit through 90 minutes of entertainment. Part of the charm of the muppets is the campy look, the fact that they’re actually puppets (not like Yoda’s 21st century reincarnation as a digital fiend), and the sort of homemade looking sets. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.