Michael Wermuth - Muppet Babies was a great show. It was animated, had great music, we got to see many of the main characters as babies, and the imagination sequences were amazing. But there is something I'm confused about. No, I'm not talking about the fact that they were friends as babies even though they "met" when they grew up. No, what I'm wondering is, WHEN does the show take place?
The show began in 1984, and most of the characters had been adults for at least a decade, though Kermit had been an adult since 1955 and Rowlf had been an adult since 1962. I think it might be wise to overlook that and say that they were all babies in the 1950s, or maybe 1940s. And who's to say that each Muppet ages as fast as its actual species, even though the Muppets tend to stay the same age forever?
For the most part, the show did a good job of staying timeless. Though there were many parodies of things that started in the 1970s or 1980s, and clips were used. But since they were the imagination of the babies, we could just say that they were way ahead of their time, or since the Muppets grew up to be in show business, maybe they were secretly behind many movies and TV shows. But at times they tend to acknowledge stuff from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. In "I Want My Muppet TV" they know who Johnny Carson is, I think they know who many 1980s celebrities are in "This Little Piggy Went to Hollywood," and in one episode they know who Dick Clark is. And in "Muppet Babies: The Next Generation," Gonzo mentions Star Wars, which wouldn't have existed when they were babies.
What about modern technology? Baby Scooter has his own computer. Most homes didn't have computers until the 1970s or 1980s. It's especially interesting how someone as young as Scooter would have his own computer, but today when kids are getting their own cell phones and other forms of technology at younger ages perhaps the show was ahead of its time (though I haven't heard of any babies or toddlers having their own computers). I know there's one episode where they watch a video on a VCR, which wouldn't have been around when they were babies. Whenever they watch TV, the programs are usually in color. Color TV wasn't invented until the late 1950s, and wasn't more mainstream until the 1960s. And in "It's Only Pretendo," the Muppet Babies are playing video games, which didn't become mainstream until the 1970s.
Then again, considering the Muppets always stay the same age, if we want to ignore the majority of productions the Muppets have done over the years I think they could have realistically been babies in 1984 and grew to their current ages by now. Or I could be thinking too much about something that was originally just a fantasy sequence in a movie... Yeah, it could be that.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com