1 The Muppet Mindset: 2009

Dec 31, 2009

2009 - The Year in Muppets

Today is the eve of the new year. Before we know it, 2010 will be upon us and 2009 will be over. This is the time that we look back on the past year and remember the good things that came out of it. Today, I've provided a time line showcasing all of the major happenings in the Muppet world over this past year.

Let us begin where most years do... January!

  • Miss Piggy pens her tome The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and the 10,000 Idiotic Things Men Frogs Do with help from Jim Lewis. In an unrelated story, Kermit lets out a sigh of relief after Piggy stops at 42 idiotic things.
  • Miss Piggy makes the rounds promoting her book and provides her special brand of self-help to the ladies of Today and The View (lord knows those women could use the help...).
  • Statler and Waldorf make an impromptu appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to heckle Jason Segel. Segel has said nothing about writing the new Muppet movie since then. More proof that Fozzie Bear is more perseverant than Jason Segel. (Because everyone keeps track of that.)

  • The first issue of Roger Langridge's The Muppet Show Comic Book is released, telling the story of a homesick Kermit. If he's so homesick, maybe he should get out of the comic book and back on the TV! ...On second thought, just do both, please. The comics are most excellent--keep 'em coming!
  • The new Muppet movie is released to rave reviews.
  • April fools!
  • Kermit Culture, a book of analytical essays about the Muppets (on the same "...Huh?" level as mixing the Three Stooges with Schindler's List) is released and gives college students everywhere essays to plagiarize for years to come.

  • Muppet Robin Hood, the first Muppet fairy tale adaption in a comic book, is released. Everywhere, Muppet fans squint really hard to see if Armand Villavert, Jr.'s drawings will look more like Gonzo.
  • Fozzie Bear makes an unannounced appearance on The Late Late Show to give Dennis Leary some tips on telling jokes and Craig Ferguson has a funny accent. That last part isn't Muppet related... but it's still true.

  • Beaker's "Ode to Joy" video on YouTube wins the People's Voice Webby Award. Beaker appears to give a speech with hilarious results. Kermit declines to use Dr. Honeydew's electronic notecards if he ever wins the Oscar.

  • eFX Inc. acquires the rights to produce authentic Muppet Photo Puppet Replicas announcing that Rizzo will be the first poser made. Pepe loses fifty dollars in an unrelated bet with Rizzo.
  • Beauregard makes a triumphant return in a Muppets.com video with Bobo the Bear about working out. When the director called out "Beau! BEAU!" both of their heads turned. (And I just fired my joke writer.)
  • Miss Piggy takes over the fashion world once again, appearing at Macy's Glamorama in Chicago. The hog even rides a hog and does not scuff up her heels.

  • The Muppet Mindset blog launches with a review of Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams. (C'mon... I had to!)
  • Starting off what would become one of the most influential months in Muppet history, Kermit and Miss Piggy appear on America's Got Talent to perform "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." Unfortunately, Kermit was not performed by Steve Whitmire and broke the hearts of Muppet fans all over the world.

  • The D23 Expo kicks off in Anaheim, California and the Muppets--all of them--make an incredible entrance atop a riverboat. Along with then Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook, they officially announce the next Muppet movie: The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made! They do not sing "Proud Mary."

  • Later in the D23 Expo, tons of announcements flood into the Muppet world.  Including...
    • The Muppet Cooking Show with TV chef Cat Cora
    • A Halloween special to be released fall 2010
    • More viral videos to hit YouTube in 2010
    • An update of Muppet*Vision 3D to Disney Digital 3D
    • A huge expansion of the Muppet Whatnot Workshops
    • "Muppets: Revisited," an album of Muppet songs covered by popular artists
    • A new book written by Statler and Waldorf
    • Muppet iPhone applications to be released in 2010
    • The Muppet Show Season 4 and Studio DC: Almost Live! to be released on DVD in 2010

  • Fozzie, Gonzo, and Pepe appeared live and in the fuzz to sing "Bippidi, Boppidi, Boo" and participate in a meet and greet with expo guests. Thankfully, no one pulled Pepe off of Bill's hand and ran away.

  • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa is released on DVD. Christmas comes early to Muppet fans willing to fork over $20 for a wonderful special and lackluster special features.

  • The Muppets star in Disney Parks "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day." promotions. They are featured in numerous commercials with random celebrities and appear in gorgeous print ads.

  • Kermit and Miss Piggy appear with Disney CEO Bob Iger to kick off the promotion. Kermit is performed by Steve Whitmire once again and all is right with the Muppet world once again.

  • Gonzo and Animal appear on Dancing With the Stars to provide some entertainment and humor to the otherwise bland and annoying performance of Aaron Carter with backing by The Muppet Show theme song.
  • The Muppets receive their own section of the Disney's "Haunted Holidays" webpage, which features new videos starring the Muppet monsters. I would say no one was harmed... but a lot of people got eaten.

  • Muppet Halloween costumes hit the shelves and scare the pants off of everyone everywhere--for the wrong reasons.

  • New Muppet viral videos debut, starring Bunsen and Beaker and The Swedish Chef. No word on how long Kermit was in hiding after Miss Piggy found out she wasn't starring in the videos.
  • Miss Piggy (and her lifeless head) appear on Dancing With the Stars. Aaron Carter once again dances to The Muppet Show theme song and Muppet fans once again sigh.

  • Some hacker accessed Kermit's computer files and uploaded a video conference featuring The Muppets rendition of the Queen classic rock ballad "Bohemian Rhapsody" to YouTube. And aren't we all SO glad they did? Almost every Muppet ever (sort of) appears in this video to pay tribute to Queen and show the world that they are still a force of enormous power in the entertainment industry. The video currently has over 11 million views in a little over a month. Kermit should upload video conferences more often.

  • The soundtrack for A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa is released on Amazon and iTunes for $2.99. Christmas wishes really do come true! (I'm talking about Bohemian Rhapsody, of course.)

  • The Muppets Studio launches their official Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Millions of Muppet fans feel odd by "Becoming a fan" and "following" the Muppets.

  • Kermit and Disney star Tiffany Thornton performed "I Believe" in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and released a single of the song on Amazon and iTunes with a music video appearing on Disney Channel. Muppet fans everywhere shout a chorus of "Who the heck is Tiffany Thornton?" and then shrug it off when the song and music video is good.
  • Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem (including Lips) make their first TV gig in years. Unfortunately, it only airs on New York area local channels. Fortunately, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rizzo, and Pepe appear everywhere else. I think Lips is on the government television ban list everywhere but New York. It would explain a lot...

  • The Muppets performed "Jingle Bells" with Andrea Bocelli numerous times this month. It never got any funnier, though.

  • People Magazine awards The Muppets "Comeback of the Year." As if this time line wasn't enough proof of that... Sheesh!

  • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa airs on NBC three different times throughout December. Why would you buy the DVD if it's on that much? ...I completely condone the purchasing of this DVD and do not support not buying it.

  • Kermit appears on the USPS postmark throughout the month of December; appearing on nearly every Christmas card sent out in the U.S. The Liberty Bell takes second billing for once.

  • The Muppets "Bohemian Rhapsody" is released as a single on Amazon.com and iTunes. It reaches #32 on the charts in the UK. I demand a recount in the U.S.!

  • The Swedish Chef, Animal, and Beaker debut a brand new viral video: "Ringing of the Bells." They perform (and destroy) the classic Christmas carol "Carol of the Bells." The Liberty Bell is used to nearly kill Beaker. Revenge against Kermit's postmark? I think so.

  • The first Muppet iPhone application, "The Muppets: Animal Drummer" is released and it's completely awesome. I still can't beat "Blues for Bunny"!

  • The Muppets (eleven of them!) appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to perform "The Twelve Days of Christmas" with Jimmy. Robin and Jimmy became BFFs.

  • The Muppte Movie is announced as a brand new induction to the Library of Congress. Ah, a bear in his natural habitat... a Studebaker in the Library of Congress.
Obviously, 2009 was a huge year for The Muppets--and 2010 is shaping up to be even bigger! Be sure to stay dedicated to The Muppet Mindset all next year for all the Muppet news you could possibly want!

Check back on Saturday for The Year in Sesame Street!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Dec 30, 2009

News Update: December 30, 2009

NEWS UPDATE: December 30, 2009

Remember that The Muppets will be appearing on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition this Sunday, January 3rd on ABC at 8/7c. This looks to be a can't-miss appearance featuring, at the very least, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Pepe, Animal, and Camilla (the chicken) and maybe even a few more surprises! Muppets Studio has the whole scoop on their Facebook page.

Major Muppet all-star, Dave Goelz, and major Muppet weirdo, Gonzo, will be appearing in St. Louis, Missouri at the St. Louis County Library on February 6th, 2010 to host Muppet History 101: an Evening with Dave Goelz and Gonzo. (I think they picked the right fellow to host such an aptly-named event, don't you?) I will be there front and center to see Dave and Gonzo and an in-depth report on The Muppet Mindset will follow. If you live in the Missouri or southern/central Illinois area, I hope to see you there!

Steve Whitmire will be hosting a 4-day lecture and workshop called, Steve Whitmire: Perspectives "The Sentient Puppet" at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia on January 9, 10, 16, and 17. Apparently Steve will be offering actual puppetry lessons along with giving in-depth lectures on his experience with fuzzy things with hands up their bums. The Muppet Mindset will not be there for this, but we do have a corespondent who will be and will provide an in-depth report for us!

The trade paperback containing all four fantastic issues of The Muppet Show Comic Book: The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson will be released this coming Wednesday (January 6th). The Muppet Show Comic Book: On the Road #1 will also be released on the same day. Keep an eye on your local comic book store to find these great new Muppet comic book releases!

Finally, The Muppet Movie is going to be preserved by the Library of Congress along with Michael Jackson's "Thriller." This is an incredible honor for any film--an honor only bestowed upon a select few. Congratulations to Kermit and the gang for this monumental honor!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Dec 29, 2009

The Best Sesame Street of the Decade

This week marks the last week of the year--and the decade. In accordance, The Muppet Mindset is dedicating the rest of the week to celebrating the greatest Muppet and Sesame Street moments of the year and of the decade.

Today, our good friend Michael Wermuth, Jr. brings us his thoughts on The Best Sesame Street of the Decade.

Sesame Street: The Best of the Last Decade

Michael Wermuth, Jr.
- This past decade has brought us many changes to Sesame Street, some good, some bad. The 2000s brought us a reformatted show using a structured block format. It was the decade where the number of episodes per season was reduced significantly to 26 per season. It was the decade that Sesame Workshop purchased the rights to the Sesame Street Muppet characters. The decade has had it's ups and downs. We have been introduced to great new characters (Abby Cadabby, Murray Monster) and great daily segments (The Letter, Number, and Spanish Word of the Day, Trash Gordon). The street stories have changed from being split into multiple scenes with insert interruptions to being single-stories in the middle of the show, to being single-stories at the beginning of the show, to just being at the beginning of the episodes. But it's still a good show and there have been a lot of great moments. I'll present the best moments from the past decade, in no particular order.
Super K Cereal: One of the funniest segments from the recent season was this parody of Special K commercials, with Anything Muppet kids (performed by Leslie Cararra and Joey Mazzarino) looking through their "ordinary Alphabet Cereal" for the letter K. The announcer tells them that they'd need to eat from many bowls to make words like Kangaroo, Kitten, and King (man, all of those only use one K... Could Lefty the Salesman have a job for the company that makes this cereal?). In my opinion, I feel like Leslie Cararra steals the show as the fat blue daughter, who suggests giving the cereal a kiss. If there's a new Sesame Street alphabet-related DVD in the next few years then I sure hope that this one makes the cut.
Mad Men: Another highlight of the recent 40th season, and it includes Frank Oz's first original character in who-knows-how-long. This parody of the TV show of the same title invovles two ad executives showing pitches to their boss for a "Happy Honey" advertisement, with the pictures making them feel mad, sad, and happy (all treated equeally, despite the title). Though the boss seems to get emotional easily... I wouldn't get mad just because a picture of a bears honey getting stolen. But it is one of the season's best sketches. Seriously, Sesame Workshop needs to release a DVD about television production, as an excuse to have a DVD collection of it's best television parodies (and Sesame Street News... and Guy Smiley's non-parody game shows).
A Cookie is a Sometimes Food: Sure, news of this song helped cause rumors that Cookie Monster would give up cookies and become "Veggie Monster", but it's still one of season 36's best. The song is real catchy, and it's one of Hoots' best songs (I prefer this to Put Down the Duckie).
Outrageous Makeover: Home Addition: When the format changed in 2002, Mr. Johnson was seen less frequently. Then in season 36 he started making at least one new appearance a year (plus his older segment appearances were shown again). His best appearance since then was in this parody of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in which Grover comes to Johnson's apartment to add doors. Outrageous, indeed!
Oscar sings Bein' Green: While not as good as Kermit's performances, Oscar's version with alternate lyrics is hysterical. It's pretty much got the same message as the original song but Oscar's reasons for it not being easy being green are different from Kermit's (and the various non-green people who have sung the song since).
1,2,3,4: I feel like this was the highlight of the 39th season, and I already liked the song (and music video) of the original from Feist before it was spoofed by her on the show.
Sleep!: Ernie watches Bert sleep, leading to the two singing a song about sleep... And eventually leading to Ernie sleeping while Bert stays awake. In my eye it's the duo's best from this decade.
Six Feet Under: Perhaps the standout "Number of the Day" sketch, The Count watches his favorite show, a parody of the HBO series of the same name, featuring the feet of three of the Monster Clubhouse monsters (in their only decent appearance).
Everybody Be Yo'Self: Keb Mo sings a song about being yourself with several Sesame Street characters, including Elmo, Grover, Frazzle, a Honker, and Kermit the Frog, who appears in one of his last original appearances on Sesame Street, and also introduces Keb Mo like he would introduce acts on The Muppet Show (one of the few times he actually introduced an act on Sesame Street).
A Song About Elmo: Adam Sandler's appearance this year has also been a highlight, but maybe I'm biased because I'm a fan of the comedian. He sings a song about Elmo (duh!), making up many interestign rhymes, and beign joined by a variety of Muppet animals (including a dragon who resembles the one seen in the Imagine That! song).
Don't Know Y: Okay, I also like Nora Jones, but her parody of her own song, "Don't Know Why", was THE highlight of the 35th season, and it's been repeated in just about every episode since then that was sponsored by the letter Y.
Because We're Friends: Abby Cadayy, Rosita, and Zoe sing a song about being friends, after talking about the time they met Abby. Honestly, I feel like this is Abby Cadabby's best insert from the show.
And I suppose I should take the time to talk about some of the best street stories this decade had to offer. I should probably mention the two most important stories of the decade, the five-part hurricane episodes from season 32, and Elmo's trip to the fire department in season 33.

Season 34 brought us the very funny episode in which Cookie Monster and the cast meet Cookie Hood, who is basically a Cookie Monster version of Robin Hood, and that season also brought us the great karaoke night episode.

Season 35 brought us an epsiode where Miles and Elmo learn that Gordon was once in a band with Luis and Bob (which included a very funny flashback), who then subsequently learn that Gordon's father was once a professional singer, and the season gave us a great episode with Seth Green, who delivers the "letter of the month" to Telly (the letter of EVERY month in one day!).

Season 36 gave us the episode where Big Bird and Alan prepare birdseed cookies for Granny Bird, and it was either season 36 or 37 that gave us "Cookie's World", in which Cookie Monster hosts his own version of Elmo's World. I can't think of any particularly great street stories from season 38, but season 39 gave us the episode where Neil Patrick Harris played the role of the Fairy Shoeperson.

All these moments are great, proving that the show still has a lot of great material, long after the early years have ended. Though the early years are the best (and it helps that the early years had more episodes and therefore more inserts).

Are there any moments you felt like should have been included on this list? Let us know and we would love to feature them!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

Dec 28, 2009

Muppet Comic Mondays: The Muppet Show Comic Book - Pigs in Space #0

The Muppet Show Comic Book
Pigs in Space #0 Review

James Gannon - Somewhere between the destruction of the Muppet Theater and the Road Tour of the theater troop lies Muppet Show issue 0. This stand alone story focuses on Rizzo and Fozzie trying to pitch a bold artistic vision based on the classic Muppet Show sketch series Pigs in Space. And uh… spoiler alert… you can kinda guess who they’re trying to pitch it to.  Right from the start something popped into my mind.  How come Rizzo has never been paired up with Fozzie before? The writing gives them a great chemistry as the shrewd Hollywood wise pitchman and his reluctant, nervous partner.

Now, Pigs in Space is my favorite segment of the Muppet Show, and I really liked how the animated version of the segment worked in the short lived Little Muppet Monsters series. The latter took them out of the same old set and put them on alien worlds, the fortresses of evil space fiends, and all those classic Sci-Fi standbys and clich├ęs. This comic is more successful than that, giving it that great feel of the classic Muppet Show segment, blended of course with Langridge’s brand of Muppety humor. Link is just as vapid and vain as ever (the way he should be), and Piggy and Strangepork have to suffer his leadership. In fact, the action begins with Link wanting to flee the galaxy as soon as possible after accidentally insulting the Martian President’s daughter.

While this is a Pigs in Space based story, it still is a Muppet Show Comic Book. Breaking up the action is some of the usual skits, but with a themed twist. Muppet Labs features Dr. Honeydew with a Beaker-like Robotic assistant. Also breaking up the action is Rizzo and Fozzie trying to sell the story as hard as possible.  Even going so far as interrupting the actual “movie” to change a sequence where giant Chickens are going to boil them when the film producers complain about the instance of cannibalism.

And as this is a Sci-Fi story, we see a lot of nods to classic Sci-Fi movies. A scene in a bar resembling Star Wars (you can even see silhouettes of Han Solo about to shoot Greedo in the back ground) for example.  And the villain of the piece, Gonzo in a Ming the Merciless type role, who stole the Earth’s Moon to destroy his own planet. Apparently, he’s bored.  I thought that’s how that sort of thing works.

This issue sees a new artist, Shelli Paroline (apparently, she’s from Massachusetts! Yay us! ). She has an angular yet fluid look that gives everything a very animated look.  You could swear that if there was a Muppet Cartoon series on the horizon, it would at least look similar to this. This is what I wanted to see since the comic line was announced… different guest artists working on different stories.  Not that I don’t like Langridge’s work, that is.  But it seems that without the art work, his writing feels a lot more focused. The Pigs in Space segments of the regular comics are my favorite of all the comic adapted series, and this shows how amazing they’d be if they had the full issue to focus on this one sketch.  But I do have one little complaint.  If anything, this comic is too short. This really feels like it should be a 4 issue saga, or a side comic series instead of the fairy tale line. There’s just so much you can do with a Pigs in Space comic, and I think this only gave us a sample of what can be accomplished. But for one issue, it’s a heck of a ride anyway.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Dec 26, 2009

Sesame Street Saturdays: The Day After Christmas

'Twas the day after Christmas, and all through Sesame Street,
Everyone was bustling and moving their feet.
They were cleaning their homes after a long Christmas day--
One full of food and presents and Santa's red sleigh.
They tossed all of their wrapping and packaging from windows most high
And it landed in the street without so much as a sigh.
For Oscar the Grouch collected the trash that day.
And had himself a wonderfully trashy Day After Christmas Par-tay.


The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Dec 25, 2009

Merry Christmas From The Muppet Mindset!

I don't know if you believe in Christmas.
Or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree.
But if you believe in love, that will be more than enough
For you to come and celebrate with me.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
From The Muppet Mindset

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

Dec 24, 2009

On The First Day of Christmas Eve, My True Love Gave to Me...

Did you see The Muppets on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night? You didn't? What a shame... Good thing it's already online! Check it out and see how incredibly AWESOME it is! Rowlf, Scooter, Sam Eagle, Robin? Epic. Who else agrees that Jimmy Fallon NEEDS to be hired for the next Muppet project?

Happy Christmas Eve, all!

Dec 23, 2009

Weekly Santa Wednesday

Be sure to catch The Muppets on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon TONIGHT at 12:35am/11:35pm on NBC!


Performed by...

First (Muppet) appearance...
The Ed Sullivan Show (performed by Arthur Godfrey)

Most recent (Muppet) appearance...
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (performed by Richard Griffiths)

Best known role...
Father Christmas. Jolly fat man. Toy maker. Elf Union savior. Reindeer farmer. Red fabric purchaser. Mrs. Claus's husband. All-around nice fellow.

Famous quote...
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Favorite food...
Milk and cookies.

...You really don't know who Santa Claus is? Santa has been around in Muppet productions since the early days on The Ed Sullivan Show and continues to be around to their most recent production, A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa. Claus is truly a friend of the Muppets (yes, even naughty ol' Oscar the Grouch). If you don't believe me, just look at all of these Muppet Santas and Santas from Muppet things!

See? Santa is everywhere in the Muppetverse! Sheesh, imagine the competition for milk and cookies with Cookie Monster... or the aggravation he must feel when having to stuff Big Bird or Sweetums' stockings!

Santa has been performed by many a Muppet and friend of the Muppets in his days. These are just a few notable examples:
  • Arthur Godfrey (The Ed Sullivan Show)
  • Art Carney (The Great Santa Claus Switch)
  • Charles Durning (Elmo Saves Christmas)
  • Kevin James (Elmo's Christmas Countdown)
  • Richard Griffiths (A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa)
  • Bobo the Bear (It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie)
  • Cookie Monster (Elmo Saves Christmas)
  • The Two-Headed Monster (A Muppet Family Christmas)
  • Doc (A Muppet Family Christmas)
  • Oscar the Grouch (A Sesame Street Christmas Carol)
  • Mr. Snuffleupagus (Christmas Eve on Sesame Street)
  • Kermit the Frog (The Christmas Toy)
Well... The Muppets need Santa because he represents the same things they do. He represents childhood and imagination and innocence and goodwill and happiness. And really, it's not too much to ask for Santa to be around with the Muppets--it's only once a year! (Right, Elmo?) Santa Claus may seem childish to some, but I think he and the Muppets are right in the same vein of making people happy.

Now... who took my milk and cookies?

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.

    Dec 22, 2009

    News Update: December 22nd, 2009

    Don't forget to watch The Muppets on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night (Wednesday, December 23rd). Muppets Studio's Facebook page is reporting that Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rizzo, Pepe, Scooter, Rowlf, Robin, Sam Eagle, and Animal will all be appearing to sing "The 12 Days of Christmas." This is sure to be an incredible appearance--and not just because Scooter, Rowlf, Robin, and Sam Eagle will be there. Well... okay, mostly because of that. Be sure to check it out!

    Multiple Disney blogs are reporting that the Muppets will be a big part of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World's daily "Celebrate a Dream Come True" parades. Tentatively scheduled to begin January 4, 2010, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Sweetums will be on-hand to help welcome those volunteers who got into the park for free as part of the Give a Day. Get a Disney Day. promotion during the pre-parade ceremonies. Some sources are reporting that the actual Muppets, and not walk-around characters, will be in the parade. If we find out more information, you know we will report it!

    ToughPigs has another interview with The Muppet Show Comic Book writer and artist Roger Langridge posted. Be sure to check it out!

    ToughPigs has also broken the news that artist Katie Cook will be writing and drawing one of the new Fraggle Rock comics from Archaia Comics to be released next year.

    Dec 21, 2009

    Muppet Comic Mondays: Muppet Peter Pan #3

    As reported yesterday, The Muppets will be appearing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Wednesday night on NBC. Muppets Studio's Twitter feed is now reporting that the Muppets will be performing "The 12 Days of Christmas." This appearance is most definitely unmissable, so make sure to check it out!

    Remember that tonight is the night that the Muppet community gets together to ring their bells. Remember to ring some sort of bell of your own tonight at 9:00pm U.S. Eastern Time. To figure out what time that is for you, check here.

    Muppet Peter Pan #3

    Comic Book Review

    Ryan Dosier
    – As we learned last Monday, Peter Pan and the Darling Children had finally arrived at the Neverswamp and faced the menacing (sort of) Captain Hook. We were left with a real cliff-hanger—Piggytink searching for the missing Wendy and Peter, Michael, and John off to meet the Lost Boys.

    Issue #3 was released in October 2009.

    The story opens, once again, with Sam Eagle refreshing us on the plot—as only he can (loudly and patriotically).

    We’re soon swept away to the camp of The Hippen Groovee Tribe (portrayed beautifully by The Electric Mayhem) who have saved Janice from her trap in the forest. They soon welcome her into their clan, proclaiming her their prophetic “caged bird who fell from the sky.” They soon give Wendy a guitar, and psychedelic mojo overtakes her as Piggytink finally discovers her. As soon as Piggytink arrives, she flies off again to “rouse the idiots” who are Peter and the Lost Boys.

    Meanwhile, Peter assimilates John and Michael into the Lost Boys (Fozzie, Rowlf, and Pepe) and convinces them that the Hippen Groovee are vicious savages who have captured Wendy. This rallies the Lost Boys to fight for her freedom (while Piggytink conveniently takes a bubble bath).

    Wendy soon finds Captain Hook in the jungle making himself a new hat (long story). It’s here that he reveals his plight prior to being Captain Hook. He was once a daredevil obsessed with canons (sound familiar?) who dreamed of having a pirate themed show on a ship.

    Hook appeals to Wendy’s sympathetic side and quickly offers the assistance of the Hippen Groovee to brainstorm on how to make his dream a reality. This is abruptly interrupted by Peter and the Lost Boys, who, of course, try to attack Captain Hook.

    Wendy, with her new found sense of love and harmony, man, puts a stop to Peter’s senseless fighting. Peter won’t stand for this, of course, and the two get into a big fight that causes the group to abandon Peter as soon as dinner is called.

    The end of this issue is even more suspenseful than issue #2, and it’s sure to bring us a great finale come issue #4.

    The writing in this issue is phenomenal—just as it has been throughout the series. I’m amazed at how wonderfully Grace Randolph writes The Electric Mayhem, Bean Bunny, and especially Miss Piggy. Bean has a handful of laugh out loud moments that really make him shine through and Miss Piggy is absolutely perfect throughout; from telling Floyd to get a job, to whacking Rizzo on the head, Piggy is perfect. She is the real highlight of this entire series. Kudos to Grace for bringing back the pig we all know and love!

    This is the only real place I have any discrepancies in this issue. Normally, I’m the biggest supporter of Amy Mebberson’s art, but I wouldn’t be a fair and balanced blog if I didn’t provide some constructive criticism now and again. Amy’s flawless artwork hits its first snag in this issue on one character: Pepe. Now, Amy has mentioned before that she is much more partial to the Jim Henson-era Muppets—and Pepe is extremely difficult to draw—but with, literally, every other character looking gorgeous and perfect, it’s a little striking to see one be illustrated rather poorly.

    But other than this one little flub, the rest of the issue is absolutely beautiful. The backgrounds are strikingly gorgeous and there are tons of subtle little comedic nuances with Amy’s drawings that you can catch something new each time you read through. It’s obvious that Amy has a true grasp on all of the characters, and it shows in her work.

    This series has the best writing and artwork out of any of the Muppet comic books I’ve seen. Like James Gannon said in the last review, this really feels like it could be a Muppet movie. Most of us are tired of the Muppets portraying literary characters rather than themselves, but I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t feel like the Muppets are acting at all. It feels as if they are playing themselves—they just happen to be named Peter Pan and Piggytink.

    Be sure to pick up Muppet Peter Pan as soon as you can!

    Kermit the Frog as Peter Pan, Miss Piggy as Piggytink, Gonzo the Great as Captain Hook, Janice as Wendy, Scooter as John, Bean Bunny as Michael, Sam Eagle as Mr. Darling/the Narrator, Rizzo the Rat as Mr. Smee, Sweetums as Mr. Starks, Fozzie Bear as Tootles, Rowlf the Dog as Slightly, Pepe the King Prawn as Nibs, Dr. Teeth as His High Grooviness Dr. Goldentooth, Floyd Pepper as Firecheeks Floyd, Zoot as Zoot Runningmouth, Animal as He-Who-Runs-With-Sharks/Animal, The Swedish Chef as himself, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker as gunmen.

    The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier.
    The Muppet Whatnot Workshop-Only Available at FAO.com
    The Muppet Whatnot Workshop-Only Available at FAO.combanner