1 The Muppet Mindset: June 2013

Jun 30, 2013

Electric Mayhem Silk Screen Prints Coming Soon

On Friday, the fine folks over at Acme Archives announced their newest Muppet silk screen art print would be released on July 5th around 10am via Dark Ink Art. What is the forthcoming print in question? It's the fantastic "Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem" prints by our super talented friend James Carroll. Check out all three versions of the print below...
"Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem" standard edition
195 piece edition
signed by the artist
"Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem"
Rock Star Red Variant
60 piece edition
signed by the artist
"Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem"
Purple Haze Variant
60 piece edition
signed by the artist

Don't miss out on your chance to own one of these very limited edition silk screen prints! Remember to keep an eye on Dark Ink Art on July 5th (Friday) around 10am to snag one of these beauties up before they're gone!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 29, 2013

The Muppet Movie Blu-ray Bonus Feature Details

The official Disney Movies website has revealed what appears to be the official and complete listing of bonus features for the August 13th release of The Muppet Movie on special edition Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack. Check out the list of features below!

  • Disney Intermission Frog-E-Oke Sing-Along
  • Jim Frawley's Extended Camera Test
  • Doc Hopper's Extended Camera Test Commercial
  • Original Theatrical Trailers
  • Outtake Easter Eggs
  • Pepe Profiles Kermit - A Frog's Life

It certainly looks like we've got a nice mix of exciting bonus features which combine some of the classic footage with some newer stuff. Once again we get the fantastic "Disney Intermission" feature which, like on the Blu-ray releases for The Muppets and The Muppet Christmas Carol, provides some entertaining Muppety fun when the movie is paused. This one appears to be a sing-along of sorts which could be interesting.

I'm most excited about having Jim Frawley's camera tests which are a fantastically fun feature starring Kermit, Fozzie, Sweetums, and Piggy as Jim and Frank and Richard goof around in real world settings. The camera tests were available on the first DVD release of The Muppet Movie but not the most recent, so it's great to see Disney bringing them back. The Doc Hopper camera test feature is a never-before-seen as far as I know. What a wonderful tribute to the late Charles Durning. I can't wait to see it!

The theatrical trailers can be seen on YouTube and a few other places, but it will be nice to have them as well. I had no idea that outtake footage from the movie existed, so I'm thrilled to see that listed as one of the features. I can't wait to see what those contain, considering Muppet outtakes are the best. The Pepe Profiles inclusion is interesting--it's a fun little feature from the 2005 DVD release.

So there you have it! The official, seemingly complete list of Blu-ray bonus features for The Muppet Movie! What are your thoughts, Muppet fans? I know I would have loved to see some audio commentary for the film as well, but I'm pretty satisfied with what we're getting.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 28, 2013

News Update: July 28, 2013

NEWS UPDATE: July 28, 2013

A new piece of pretty awesome Muppet merchandise is apparently coming soon. We have only found it available for pre-order at ComicsInfinity, who provide this information about the cool piece: "This character-authentic polystone mini-bust is designed and sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons. Standing 6 1/2" tall, Kermit the Frog comes painted and ready to display." The bust is currently on sale for $64.70, down from the normal $70. Hopefully more Muppets will be made into busts soon. Check out the Kermit bust below and click over to ComicsInfinity if you wish to pre-order!
Our friends at ToughPigs.com found a musical little gem on YouTube this week from Canadian rapper Classified. His new song, "3 Foot Tall" features a sample from "Life's a Happy Song." Classified sampled Walter's line from the song, "When you're alone, life can be a little rough, it makes you feel like you're three foot tall. When it's just you, well times can be tough when there's no one there to catch your fall." The song is insanely catchy and really, really well done. Take a listen below! (WARNING: There are a few semi-explicit lyrics.)

Over on the suddenly-active-again Facebook fan page for The Muppets, the fine folks from Disney posted a cute little picture to promote the release of The Muppet Movie on Blu-ray on August 13th. The image, which you can see below, shows a few pages from Walter's scrapbook about his favorite film, The Muppet Movie. It's adorable and absolutely something Walter would do.
And, unfortunately, that's all the news this week. So... happy Friday! Go have some ice cream--on us! (NOTE: Ice cream will not actually be on us, unless you dump it on us because we didn't pay for it when we said we would.)

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 26, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Dearth Nadir


Performed by...
Dave Goelz

First appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 402: Crystal Gayle (1979)

Most recent appearance...
On-Screen - The Muppet Show Episode 417: Star Wars (1980)
Other - Disney Parks Star Wars Merchandise (2008-present)

Best known role...
Mysterious intergalactic evil being in a black suit

True identity...
The world may never know!

Dearth Nadir is a villain from The Muppet Show. Cloaked in black and wearing a mask, no one knows the true identity of this evil being. Nadir haunts the crew of the S.S. Swinetrek in the "Pigs in Space" segment in two different episodes. In his first appearance in Episode 402 with guest star Crystal Gayle, Dearth Nadir invaded the Swinetrek with his army of chicken stormtroopers. After some banter, Nadir orders his chicken-troopers to peck the crew, including Captain Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, and First Mate Miss Piggy, to death.

When Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2, from something called Star Wars, were guest stars on the show in Episode 417, they took to the Swinetrek to search for their lost comrade Chewbacca the Wookie. Their search did not last too long before their communications were hailed by that villainous scourge Dearth Nadir. The Swinetrek lands on the surface of the planet Koozebane to face Dearth Nadir, who is holding Chewbacca captive.

This leads Luke Skywalker, Captain Link Hogthrob, and the rest to face off with Dearth Nadir. As the menacing fiend approaches, breathing forcefully, he simply asks Skywalker the terrifying question... "Who's your tailor, I love that outfit!" We never get an answer, so Dearth Nadir uses some terrible power to neutralize all of the weapons--except for Chewbacca, who arrives to attack Nadir. Dearth Nadir seems defeated, until he calls in his secret weapon: Angus McGonagle the gargling Argyle Gargoyle!!

After coming to a stalemate, both Skywalker and Nadir wonder what could possibly get them out of this mess. Kermit the Frog rushes in with the answer... a song and dance number! Dearth Nadir happily joins in on performing a medley of "You Are My Lucky Star" and "When You Wish Upon a Star" before never being seen onscreen again.

Dearth Nadir has been immortalized in scores of merchandise throughout the years. He graced the cover of Muppet Magazine (shockingly unmasked), appeared in comics for both Muppet Magazine and the Muppet Babies comic book, has been seen on posters and t-shirts, and was made into a PVC and action figure at Disney Parks in 2008 (seen at right). Dearth Nadir continues to be used in a lot of Disney Parks merchandise, and the world may still never know who he is.

No one needs this villainous scourge! He is ruthless and menacing to the entire galaxy. If only we knew his true identity...

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 25, 2013

Confusing Things About "Follow That Bird"

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird is such a great movie, but it has many things that I am a bit confused about, or at least things that really get me thinking and wondering. Some are continuity errors, some are things that would have ended the movie sooner. Anyway, here are some things I am confused about Follow That Bird.

First of all, when Big Bird gets a postcard from Mr. Snuffleupagus about him planning to come and visit, and the Dodo's laugh, Big Bird thinks they won't allow Snuffy to visit because he's not a bird (and since this came out just before the adults finally saw him, I can't quite tell if they actually believe Big Bird), which is what makes him leave. But then the Dodos never exactly say that Snuffy can't visit at all, though when Big Bird says he wants to go home if Snuffy can't visit, they never point out that they didn't say that.

And now for a continuity error... Supposedly, Big Bird runs away later that night, and it's getting dark outside. It's also dark on Sesame Street when they watch the news report, which I assume is a live broadcast, but during Kermit's news report it's clearly daytime. I know that Illinois and New York have a one-hour time difference, but would it be significantly darker in New York than Illinois? And even if it were, Big Bird is seen watching the news report outside and it's as dark there as it was in New York, and Big Bird couldn't have gone too far by then (plus, as I said, it was dark when Big Bird left). And Miss Finch is interviewed at the Dodo's house, but is shown leaving, and shortly after Big Bird watches the report she just barely misses him.

Big Bird's letter to the Dodos said that he expected to get back to Sesame Street in three hours. That's at night time, then after the sun comes up and he's still heading home he still thinks it'll take three hours, being shocked when the truck driver tells him it's more likely to be three weeks. Big Bird should have known that it'd be more than three hours if it's daytime and he's still on his way home, unless he couldn't tell time. Or maybe he found some place to sleep.

Miss Finch and the Sleaze Brothers are all on their way to find Big Bird, but they know that he's on his way to Sesame Street. Why not just head for there, assuming he's in the right direction? Of course, we don't know that they weren't planning on that. After all, Miss Finch does show up on Sesame Street as soon as Big Bird finally returns.

In the first scene at the Sleaze Bros. Fun Fair, they have a big set-up and seem to have a staff, yet they also seem to be a traveling fair, with their supplies in a truck (which couldn't possibly hold everything) and they just set-up where they please. And after they set up in Toadstool it seems they are the only ones working at the fun fair.

A few more quick things to point out or question: What happens to Ernie and Bert's plane? After their big number they are seen with the others at the gas station and fun fair but we never see the plane at either place. Cookie Monster spent so much of the movie eating Gordon's car, so why don't they get him to eat the bars of Big Bird's cage? And finally, Sam Sleaze thinks he'll be rich with Big Bird in the fun fair, I guess he's not familiar with all the residents of Sesame Street that could make the place more money. In fact he saw other large talking birds AND a frog reporter on TV, why not go after them?

Anyway, that's a lot to question about such a great movie, so I guess it all can be forgiven. Though I must still wonder how they made that nighttime/daytime error regarding the news report.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 24, 2013

The Great Muppet Survey - Justin Tonglet

Answers from Justin Tonglet

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
Rowlf the Dog has always been one of my favorites. For one, there's nothing I find more entertaining than a piano player. I also feel pretty close to Rowlf personality wise. Scooter is probably my next favorite. As far as characters go, he's pretty underrated. He's way more important to the Muppets than most people understand, and he's a great character that can not only run the show backstage, but can also sing and dance. Finally, I have to give a little love to Lew Zealand. He's such a zany character that really can't be used for much, but he has still managed to become a bigger character. I also love him because his line in The Great Muppet Caper with paper towels is the most quoted movie line in my family, and I'm not the one to use it. Even though I'm the Muppet nut in my family, the rest of my family quotes Lew Zealand.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
When it comes to Sesame Street, my first favorite character has to be Snuffy. As a child, I had a birthday party where my parents hired a Big Bird to entertain. His reason for leaving was to go hang out with Snuffy, and I'm still to this day offended that he didn't think to bring Snuffy with him. Snuffy was my favorite growing up, and I'm still a bit sad that I do not own a Snuffy toy of any sort. My next favorite has to go to Grover. Grover has always been a great character for laughs, and there's very little not to love about Grover. My nephew is terrified of Grover, and I'm not sure why. Finally, I have to show some love for the little red guy. I know Elmo isn't very popular among a lot of older fans, but I've grown to love him. I think it was mostly Kevin's performance, but I've fallen in love with Elmo, and I'm very proud that I can do his voice pretty well.

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
With Fraggle Rock, Wembley was always my favorite as a child. I'm a bit of a Wembler myself. I can't decide much for myself. Or maybe I can. My next favorite is Boober. I really want Boober for a roommate. He'd cook and do all of my laundry. Finally, I'm going with Cotterpin Doozer. She's such a great rebel. She challenged the norms of society and did her own thing.

4.   What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson's creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
I love The Muppet Show the most. I like the idea of a show about characters putting on a show. And the show within the show always looked like a fun one to attend. If I ever become a millionaire, I'm building a replica of the Muppet Theater and hosting a variety show.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
My favorite Muppet movie is The Great Muppet Caper, because it would have made for a great movie even if the Muppets weren't in it, and that's what makes it so great. It could have been a serious crime mystery, and then they inserted Muppets and made it funny. That's such a great way to make a movie.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
My favorite song is "Rainbow Connection." It's the Muppet version of "When You Wish Upon a Star." It's also the song I plan to use whenever I sing to my children one day in the future.

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
I'd love to have dinner with Dave Goelz. He's the last of the original performers that's still performing. I'd love to hear some of his stories from the early days of The Muppet Show up to now.

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Thank you.

9.   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the "Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time"?
In my opinion, the greatest Muppet moment ever would have to be the finale of The Muppet Movie.  It's a magnificent scene with a magnificent song. And the shot of all the characters is one that was etched into my mind from a young age.

10.   What's the name of that song?
Radar Love.

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
I'd have Grover follow me everywhere. He'd probably help me with throwing parties. I hear he has experience describing distances, which would come in handy when giving people directions to my place. He'd also get the party going when he dances to the alphabet.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
I would love to see David Tennant, Rowan Atkinson, or Martin Freeman appear in the next movie. I feel all three of those men would work perfectly with the Muppets.

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I'd be leaning on Rowlf's piano or sitting on a couch talking with Kermit.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I have a porcelain Big Bird statuette that plays the Sesame Street theme song like a music box. I remember wanting it since I was a child, and it's mine now. I'm very proud of it, and I've never seen another one like it. It belonged to all of my brothers and sisters, which means it probably dates back to around the dawning of the series.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 23, 2013

Muppet Retro Reviews - The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years

Ryan Dosier - This week I watched the delightful 1984 special The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. This special features almost all of Jim Henson's Muppet creations, from Sam and Friends all the way to Little Muppet Monsters. The special is hosted by Fozzie Bear and features appearances by all of the major characters from The Muppet Show and Sesame Street.

Mostly the special pays homage to Kermit the Frog, technically the only main Muppet turning 30 at that point, with tributes and thanks from various characters to the frog. The Muppets are there to present different clips from Kermit's long career. Lew Zealand presents the bicycle scene, Floyd and Janice present Muppet music, Bert and Ernie present Sesame Street, Scooter presents the guest stars, Uncle Matt and Sprocket present imaginative segments, and so on and so on.

The clips presented really do showcase the best and the best of the Muppets. Everything from "That Ol' Black Magic" to "Rainbow Connection" is there. But the best parts are the new interstitial material with all of the Muppets. Jerry Juhl wrote the special, so the new stuff is funny, charming, and Muppety. All of the Muppeteers were at their peaks here and it shows. Miss Piggy makes a painful entrance that is one of her best.

My favorite line comes from Robin, however, who asks Kermit what his favorite Muppet moments are. Kermit says, "Well Robin, there are times when the Muppets aren't funny." Robin replies, without missing a beat, "Yeah, but I always thought that was the writers' fault."

Oddly enough the only major Muppet production that isn't given a showcase in the special is Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. It's not a noticeable exclusion until you really start thinking about it, but it is odd that Jim didn't want to find time for Emmet Otter in this celebration of his work.

The greatest moment of the special comes at the end when Jim Henson makes an appearance, eating at a table in the back of the ballroom, watching the festivities. He is happily enjoying it until Grover the waiter brings him the bill... the very, very long bill. The look on Jim's face is hysterical and it's one of the best Muppet moments of all time.

If you haven't seen this special, check it out on YouTube for yourself. It's a great piece of Muppet history--and a great education on Muppet history as well.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 21, 2013

News Update: June 21, 2013

NEWS UPDATE: June 21, 2013
This week Disney Mobile released a brand new iPhone application called "My Muppets Show" which features a virtual Muppet Show with unlockable characters and props. Unfortunately, and immensely frustratingly, the app is currently only available in Australia. The Facebook fan page for the app suggests that it will be released wider soon... so cross your fingers, Muppet fans. Thanks to our friend Zac Parker, we have some exclusive screenshots from the app, so check them out below!

As we reported last weekend, the 40th Daytime Emmy Awards were held and Sesame Street won a lot of shiny statues. But a meaningful piece of news came after viewers had time to upload the ceremony to YouTube, including the In Memoriam segment, which featured both Sesame Street director/writer Emily Squires but also Muppeteer Jerry Nelson. Watch the video below for the full segment (which starts at 3:10).

I don't know if we've mentioned it on the site before... but our friend Brian Jay Jones is in the finishing stages of his new, all-encompassing book Jim Henson: The Biography, which will be released on Jim's birthday, September 24th. The book already has a lot of buzz around the internet including a newly released blurb from none other than Frank Oz, who had this to say about the book: "I worked with Jim for over thirty years.  He was one of my closest friends. And yet I found out things about him in Jim Henson that were new to me.  Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim’s genius and humanity as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect. Jim needed this book to be written. I thank Brian for giving Jim life again. This book has captured the spirit of Jim Henson." You can pre-order the book on Amazon now, and check out the awesome cover art to the right!

Finally, we now have confirmation that The Muppet Movie Original Soundtrack will be re-released in conjunction with the film on Blu-ray on August 13th by Walt Disney Records. Still no cover art or track information (though we can probably guess the latter with some accuracy). However, you can pre-order the soundtrack on Amazon.com and check out the announcement from our friends at StitchKingdom.com for some more information about the re-release.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jun 20, 2013

Fraggle Rock 30th Anniversary DVD Box Set Review

Christopher O'Connor - Well, I finally gave in and bought the new Fraggle Rock 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition DVD Box Set. A recent competition in the UK was giving away the box set, seven Manhattan Toys plush Fraggles, and a Fraggle Rock comic book signed by Lisa Henson. I didn't win, but a week later the winner listed it all on eBay!! It didn't sell, so I offered a bargain price which was accepted and I received the lot today!

The Box
The packaging on this set is beautiful. It is thick, strong card covered in a high gloss print. Most the images are recently used photos combined to make up the pictures. It's nice to see Doc and Sprocket on the back though. Also it's nice that three different versions of the Fraggle Rock logo are used on the packaging. The lid has a removable sticker on the top with a list of contents and a description of the show. When you lift the lid off, the 5 DVD cases are tucked behind the Red plush key ring. She's not the best looking plush, but its pretty neat!

The DVDs
Each season is represented exactly as it was released in previous years. Five discs for each of the four seasons--four discs with episodes and one disc of bonus features. The DVDs are presented in new cover art, and the sketch books, Jim Henson's journal replication, etc. are not included like in the HIT! DVD releases.

The fifth DVD case features Mokey on the cover with the title Bonus Material. So what does these discs include? Well, all 13 episodes of Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series fill all of disc one and most of disc two. Some animated episodes were split in two, if this is the case, it selects the two episodes together for you to watch.

In a little corner of the menu is a box called "From the Archives" when selected bring up "Recently Discovered Interviews." The first interview features Fraggle Rock musician Dennis Lee talking to Mokey, then head writer/co-creator Jerry Juhl talks to Gobo, co-creator/writer Jocelyn Stevenson talks to Red and Mokey about how the Fraggles got their names, and puppet engineer Faz Fazakas talks to Cotterpin Doozer. There is also an interview with Uncle Traveling Matt called "A Minute with Traveling Matt!" where an interviewer asks Matt to list all the countries he's been to and if he can speak all the languages. The total running time is 9 minutes 26 seconds.

Also included in the bonus DVD case is the all new graphic novel.

So now you know exactly what is included in this set. It's a nice set, great for fans who have not bought the previous sets, but for die hard Fraggle fans, it's all previously released, except for the new novel, the new packaging, and the nearly 10 minutes of new bonus material.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com
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