Fraggle Rock Season 2 DVD
Phillip Chapman (August 28, 2006) - We just received an advance copy of Fraggle Rock Season 2 from HIT Entertainment and we’re excited to present the first in-depth review of the completed season 2 DVD box set.
While little is happening outside of Sesame Street with new Muppet productions, this isn’t the case on the DVD front. Classic Sesame Street will be arriving on DVD in October and The Muppet Show continues to sell exceptionally well with the second season set for release in 2007. However, HIT Entertainment is leading the pack with the upcoming September 5 release of Fraggle Rock Season 2.
If you already bought Fraggle Rock Season 1, then you need no introduction as to HIT's high-quality presentation from packaging to bonus features. Thankfully, Season 2 continues the same high standards as last year.
While the menus on the Fraggle Rock Season 1 set are fairly basic (highlighted text on selection), improvements are made with Season 2. Motion menus are featured with moving backgrounds and falling rocks (similar to the later singe-disc Fraggle releases). An instrumental version of the theme is played on each menu.
Each of the episodes themselves are complete as they originally aired with a couple minor exceptions. If you pay close attention, you may notice a couple inconsistencies from episode to episode. The first involves the opening theme. At the end of the theme, the title was originally listed as “Fraggle Rock with Jim Henson’s Muppets.” No doubt due to Disney’s ownership of the word “Muppet” some of the episodes show “Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock” instead. I say some because strangely all the episodes on disc 1 show the newer title during the theme, while discs 2-4 show the original version.
Also, during the original run of the second season episode specific titles were not seen on-screen at the beginning of each episode. However, when HIT released a few Season 2 episodes on single-disc DVD’s, titles were added at the beginning of the Doc and Sprocket scenes. Those titles are shown here on “Wembley’s Egg” and “Boober’s Dream”. None of the other episodes have visible show titles.
Last year's Season 1 set includes a replica of Jim Henson’s notepad. Season 2 comes with a larger replica (6 ½ by 4 ½ inches) of the original Fraggle Rock pitch book. This pitch book was used to sell the series and features conceptual art by Michael Frith and an overview of the world of the Fraggles. The pages of the book are printed on white glossy paper and make for a fun read of the original concepts and ideas for the show.
Each of the twenty-four episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full frame, along with English Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtracks. There are many wonderful episodes here including “Manny’s Land of Carpets”, “Uncle Matt Comes Home”, “A Cave of One’s Own”, “Mokey and The Minstrels” and “Boober’s Quiet Day”.
Jerry Juhl Tribute: The first bonus feature is a thirty-six minute tribute to Jerry Juhl, who was Muppet head writer for more than four decades. It's an in-depth look at not only what Jerry Juhl brought to the characters, but many of the attitudes and beliefs he brought to life. Susan Juhl, Jerry's wife, shares some wonderful memories of their relationship and collaboration together on Fraggle Rock. The tribute concludes with clips from Jerry’s celebration service. The highlight is a beautiful new version of “Follow Me” by Dennis Lee and Phil Balsam. If the Muppets have touched your life, there is no doubt you’ll be moved by this tribute.
Exclusive Interviews: At first glance it may appear that there are only two bonus features in this box set. However, there are many other gems included in the interview section. The exclusive interviews and features total sixty-four minutes. Unlike Season 1, where most of the performers were together in a sound stage, new interviews were conducted in different settings. While this provided variety in scenery, the personal interaction with crew members was lacking in some areas. These interviews are still very good and show HIT’s dedication to Fraggle Rock and the fans of the series.
The cast and crew that are interviewed include: producer Lawrence S. Mirkin; writers Sugith Varughese, David Young, Robert Sandler, and Susan Juhl; performers Karen Prell, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, and Jerry Nelson; creative consultants Duncan Kenworthy and Jocelyn Stevenson; and composer Phil Balsam. Noticeably absent are Kathy Mullen (performer of Mokey and Cotterpin) and Michael Frith, conceptual designer of the series.
Season 2 Overview (13 minutes): The cast and crew give a synopsis of the show's evolution during Fraggle’s second season.
Travelling Matt (9 minutes): The crew shares the challenges of producing unique Travelling Matt segments for each different co-production.Steve’s Home Movie (6 minutes): Steve Whitmire takes us back 20 years to a recording session for the episode "Doozer Is As Doozer Does".
20 International Travelling Matts (19 minutes): Twenty 40 second international Travelling Matt segments are shown here. These aired on the Odyssey Channel (1999-2001) in the United States.
All Around The World Music Video (7 minutes): To accompany the overseas radio single “All Around The World”, a corresponding music video was produced.
Credits (1 minute): Thanks to all the fine folks who contributed to the bonus features on this box set.
The packaging is the same as last year with an embossed Fraggle Rock logo on the front of the box. When you open the box a cardboard book appears with each disc having its own page. The pitch book is in a slot in the back of the packaging. The characters and colors on each disc match the menus for consistency.
A lot of fans have questioned the recent absence of Mokey Fraggle, one of the main characters of the show. You may have noticed that she is not included on the front of the Season 2 box set. Coincidently, Mokey’s performer Kathy Mullen has not appeared in the cast interviews on Season 1 or 2. Hopefully, these issues will be corrected if future box sets are produced.
During the second season, Fraggle Rock makes considerable leaps in terms of quality across the board. From writing to production to character development, Fraggle Rock Season 2 is an outstanding value for not only children but adults as well. In today’s world we all need to be reminded of what’s really important… each other.
If you’re hoping to see the remaining 48 Fraggle Rock episodes on DVD, it’s imperative that you order Season 2 promptly. We've been told that the “go-ahead” decision on the Fraggle Rock Season 3 box set will occur before the end of the year so it’s important that fans show their support by ordering Fraggle Rock Season 2. Because the characters on Fraggle Rock are always growing and developing (unlike most children’s programs), the show only gets better as the seasons progress.
You can listen to the music of Fraggle Rock from the show’s five year run on Muppet Central Radio.
what you may be missing!