Rock Season 3 DVD
Chapman (August 31, 2007) - Jim
Henson’s Fraggle Rock Season 3 will be arriving in stores on Tuesday
September 11. As many around the world will be remembering and honoring
the loved ones that lost their lives on September 11, 2001, a beloved children’s
show with the goal of bringing peace throughout the earth will be released
on the same day.
Entertainment continues to lead the pack as the third box sex of Fraggle
episodes debut on DVD. The
Muppet Show Season 2 was just released in August while Sesame
Street Old School Volume 2 won’t see the light of day until
November. What sets the HIT Entertainment releases apart is their dedication
to great bonus features using extensive archived material and new cast
interviews. Will HIT be able to keep up the high expectations with this
third box set?
menus and discs are colorful like the previous releases. However, unlike
Season 2, the characters on the faces of the discs don’t necessarily
match with those that are on the menus. You’ll also notice a disclaimer
at the beginning of each disc for “HIT Auto Play”. Here you
can choose to go to the main menu or if you don’t make a selection
after a few seconds the disc will begin playing the first feature automatically.
of the twenty-four episodes are uncut and presented in 1.33:1 full frame,
along with English Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtracks over four DVD’s
(a bonus feature DVD is the fifth disc). Hidden “Easter Eggs”
can be found if you hover over each of the Fraggles on the menus (or the
compass on the bonus disc). You’ll then unlock an international
Traveling Matt segment.
1 included a replica of Jim Henson’s notepad. Season 2 had a replica
of the original pitch book for the series. Series 3 may outdo them both
with more than 50 early sketches and notes by designer Michael Frith.
Michael insists these were never meant to be “art”, but us
fans who cherish the show know better.
HIT Entertainment has done a fantastic job on previous Fraggle bonus features,
several living cast members have been noticeably absent including Kathy
Mullen, Michael Frith and Gerry Parkes. Thankfully all three are featured
in the bonus interviews on the third season box set. There are many other
crew members interviewed here for the first time. Overall, the production
values of the new interviews are much higher than the Season 2 collection.
The bonus DVD is divided into the following four categories with specific
features in each section:
CAVE OF FRAGGLE TALES
performer of Red
Co-Creator and Writer
3 Overview (31:03) – The Fraggle team gives a behind-the-scenes
look at nearly half of the episodes of the third season including “The
Bells of Fraggle Rock”, “Wembley's Wonderful Whoopie Water”
and many others. Interviewed are: Jocelyn Stevenson (Writer), Lawrence
Mirkin (Producer), Bob Sandler (Writer), Karen Prell (“Red Fraggle”)
and Kathy Mullen (“Mokey Fraggle”).
Silly – Art Imitating Life (9:45) – This segment
includes stories from Dave Goelz about Don Sahlin and the practical
jokes the cast played on each other during Fraggle Rock. Joceyln Stevenson
shares that the episode “Scared Silly” is really about Joceyln
overcoming the many jokes that Dave Goelz and Steve Whitmire played
on her. Tim McElcheran shares a surprise that was played on the cast
along with video footage of the actual incident. Interviewed are: Dave
Goelz (“Boober”), Steve Whitmire (“Wembley”),
Jocelyn Stevenson (“Writer”) and Tim McElcheran (Special
Promo: Traveling Matt’s Coming Attractions (2:43) –
Matt’s exploring a television studio and writes a postcard back
to Gobo while being interviewed about Fraggle Rock from a woman off-screen.
Promo: The Minstrels (:30) – Here’s the first of
several HBO promos that aired as commercials teasing the upcoming program.
While these spots are lower quality and need color correction, it’s
great to have them included none the less.
the Trash Heap with Wembley, Philo and Gunge
and Conceptual Designer
Design (12:34) – Michael Frith describes the inspiration
for the show from personal events. Attention is also given to the complex
set designs for the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs. Interviewed are: Michael
Frith (Conceptual Designer), Lawrence Mirkin (Producer) and Bill Beeton
the Trash Heap Came to Be (4:37) – Michael Frith shares
the evolution and character design for Marjory the Trash Heap. The idea
for a trash heap that imparts wisdom was actually a character design
originally developed for Sesame Street’s 10th season until the
CTW producers rejected the idea.
Promo: Doc and Sprocket Sweepstakes (1:59) – You’ve
got to love the disclaimer on the screen that says “Offer Expired
May 31, 1983” just in case anyone thinks they can still enter
the sweepstakes. (I remember sending in my entry when the show originally
Promo: Capture the Moon (:30) – Here’s another
vintage HBO promo.
TUNNEL OF FAZ-INATING SECRETS
Milller and Connie Peterson, Puppet Designers
Puppetry (13:17) – Michael Frith discusses the key contributions
of Faz Fazakas and how Henson took the new technology created for the
Dark Crystal and used it in the magical world of Fraggle Rock. Tom Newby
provides an in-depth look at Fazakas’ “Waldo” system
for puppetry performing. Interviewed are: Michael Frith (Conceptual
Designer) and Tom Newby (Electro-Mechanical Puppetry).
Design (11:39) – Learn all the secrets behind creating
the Doozers and performing the loveable characters. Michael Frith shares
some insight into how his drawings evolved into the final characters.
Interviewed are: Tom Newby (Electro-Mechanical Puppetry), Michael Frith
(Conceptual Designer), Kathy Mullen (“Cotterpin Doozer”)
and Tim McElcheran (Special Effects).
Design (11:52) – The Gorgs were some of the most complicated
puppets Henson ever created. It is wonderful to hear the puppet designers
describe the challenges of the enormous Gorg costumes. Interviewed are:
Tom Newby (Electro-Mechanical Puppetry), Tim Miller (Puppet Designer)
and Connie Peterson (Puppet Designer).
Promo: The Terrible Tunnel (:30) – Here’s another
vintage HBO promo. Of particular note is Wembley saying “Down
at Fraggle Rock” at the end of the spot. This was likely the same
scene used as an alternate ending to the theme song in the original
broadcast of the show.
CAVERN OF TALKATIVE SILLY CREATURES
performer of Doc
performer of Mokey
Frith Interview (13:50) – Michael shares how Jim’s
vision for Fraggle Rock went from concept to reality. One of the Muppet
mottos is that “in silliness there is hope” and this was
part of the basis for the belief that Fraggle Rock could impact the
world. Of particular joy is hearing Michael tell stories behind the
development of the main five Fraggle characters and their personalities.
Mullen Interview (11:41) – Contrary to some of the conspiracy
theories on the web, Kathy Mullen loves Fraggle Rock just as much as
all the other cast members who worked on the show. While scheduling
conflicts prevented her and Michael from appearing on the first two
sets, thankfully she’s interviewed here and discusses the character
development of Mokey Fraggle, the cast and Jim Henson.
Parkes Interview (6:10) – Fraggle fans get a real treat
with a sweet and loving interview with Gerry Parkes. He discusses the
audition process, the character of Doc and performing with Sprocket.
Promo: The Challenge (:30) – Here’s one more HBO
promo from a popular episode from the first season.
is similar to previous years with an embossed Fraggle Rock logo on the
front of the box. The box opens like a book with each cardboard page holding
a disc. The characters pictured on the discs include Wembley, a Doozer,
Sprocket, Traveling Matt and Gobo. The Michael Frith sketches are in the
back of the book in a brown paper pouch with a Fraggle logo.
also a flyer advertising other Fraggle
products like shirts, plush, calendars and the upcoming collector’s
CD box set of Fraggle music. The CD collection is called Fraggle Rockin':
A Collection. It contains reissues of the three Fraggle Rock albums and
for the minstrels out there, the collector’s set will even include
some sheet music from the series.
the third season, the evolution and character development of the show
is what sets this series apart from all others. As the characters among
the species continue to learn more about one another as in “Sprocket’s
Big Adventure” and “Gunge the Great and Glorious”, it’s
obvious the show is moving towards a climax. This was the late Jerry Juhl
and his wife Susan at their best as they wrote and finely crafted many
of the episodes included in this collection.
Entertainment hopes to release one more DVD box set of the Fraggles next
fall. However, sales of Season 3 need to continue to go well. Fan support
is the reason the previous three seasons have been released, so we need
everyone to continue
to buy (and give away) the Fraggle DVD box sets to ensure more releases
like the final season and an animated Fraggle box set come to fruition.
the Season 4 box set we’d love to see more with Gerry Parks (“Doc”)
sharing his thoughts and memories on the show. Considering he’s
such an important character in the final episodes it would be nice to
hear his perspective. Likewise, we would like to hear about the final
shows from Jerry Nelson and particularly writer Susan Juhl. The final
episodes are the best series wrap up ever by Henson and deserves special
treatment in next year’s box set. It would also be nice to see some
interviews with song writers Philip Balsam and Dennis Lee. The cast production,
“Fraggles Look for Jobs” would also make a great bonus feature.
can listen to the music of Fraggle Rock from the show’s five year
run on Muppet Central Radio.
what you may be missing!
Learn the differences
between widescreen and pan-and-scan DVDs.