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Little Muppet Monsters Revelation...

Discussion in 'Muppet Babies' started by Drtooth, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    This is interesting.

    According to the Toughpigs interview with Kathy Mullen it seems the whole bit about Jim Henson not liking the mix of puppetry and outsourced animation wasn't entirely the reason that they pulled LMM prematurely.

    So something was wrong with Marvel's (and presumably Toei's) end. And that stalled production enough to just get rid of it. It would be amazing if these animations were found. They seem lost forever.
     
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder if maybe Marvel was unable to send in the animation on time, causing CBS to put on another half-hour of Muppet Babies until they were ready, and then Jim decided the show wasn't that good and figured they shouldn't bother trying to complete the show.

    An article at Jim Henson's Red Book website mentioned that 13 episodes were done and segments for an additional few were made. Various sources say that there were 13 episodes and others say it was 18. Earlier this year when scans from legal documents regarding the 2004 sale were posted online, I thought it was strange that it mentioned Little Muppet Monsters having 3 episodes instead of 13-18. I guess if none of the unaired episodes were never completed then it makes sense. And I wonder if it really was 13 unaired segments as opposed to unaired episodes.
     
  3. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member


    Did you read the quote? Jim had nothing to do with the decision. It was all on CBS.
     
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Yes, I read the quote. There's two different quotes from people involved with the show about its cancellation, the one about it being Jim's idea was sourced from writer Jeffrey Scott. I assume that the two were truthful to the best of their memory/ knowledge, and was just trying to figure out a way it could have been a little of both.

    It's possible that Jeffrey Scott didn't know about the deadlines (would it be weird if one of the performers did and the writer didn't?), and it's possible that Jim did suggest ending it and Kathy didn't know it (she might have known about the delays but not every detail involved).

    On a similar note, she mentioned writing the show but using a different name. The fact that she was a writer was noted on Muppet Wiki, but if she was credited with a different name then I wonder what the source was that she was a writer (there must have been a source somewhere, given how little she's written it'd be weird if somebody just made up the info and ended up being correct). In fact this got me to watch the ending credits for Muppets, Babies and Monsters, and I actually didn't see any writers credits (I also checked the title card and didn't see a writers credit... I know that the Muppet Babies episode title cards have either writer or director credits). In fact I also didn't see a list of voice actors and performers. The copy on YouTube does have some glithciness affecting the screen at times but I don't think it's long enough to block an entire screen of credits.
     
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that's the case. I have a feeling that Jim also had problems with that concept, but he was probably willing to ride it out until the end of the season. But Jeff either got second hand information or something...

    It really sucks that there was problems with the animation. Clearly it was meant to go on hiatus, but the network just gave up. Now we have all these lost puppetry and animation segments. If only someone got a hand on both and could cobble them together.
     
  6. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Some of the LMM animated segments appeared in a late-season Muppet Babies episode. However, IIRC they were ones that had been broadcast with LMM, so if you've seen those three eps on youtube then they're nothing new.
     
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Yeah, if only Disney would put the show out on DVD and include as many completed unaired segments as possible...


    I always thought it was weird they chose clips from broadcast episodes as opposed to unaired ones (maybe finally get some use out of them), but now that we know those remaining episodes weren't completed, I guess that's why (I wonder if any unaired animated segments were completed).

    I wonder if Marvel had the same problems delivering animation for other shows. It seems they didn't have that problem with Muppet Babies.
     
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I was just looking at the Little Muppet Monsters page on Muppet Wiki, and I was wrong about who the quote about Jim Henson deciding to end the show was by. It was Scott Shaw!, not Jeffrey Scott.
     
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Suddenly, I wonder if any additional animated segments might have been completed but never edited into the live-action episodes. Like if they completed some animation but CBS wasn't going to bring it back until they had enough completed shows, and then canceled it.

    When thinking about the possibility of a DVD set, I wonder if they could include the incomplete episodes but for the animated bits show the storyboards and audio tracks (hopefully all that still exists).
     
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Today's Red Book article is about Little Muppet Monsters, and it also mentions Marvel's problems getting the animation on time and Muppet Babies having great ratings without Little Muppet Monsters. It also mentions Jim's reason for doing the show.

    http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2013/09/14/9141985-2/
     
  11. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    So basically, they gave up on LMM because of the fact that MB had high ratings? And they decided to just go fourth with double episodes?
     
  12. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    That's what the network decided.
     
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And that the episodes were late. Networks don't have patience for that kind of thing. That's mostly why John K was fired from Ren and Stimpy. The episodes were overdue and well over budget. Then you look at the Mighty Mouse cartoon he was part of in the 1980's, and they had to fill several episodes with clip shows and music videos of old Terrytoons to keep on budget and schedule. Heck, that's why Filmation cartoons got the look they did. That's why a lot of weekday cartoon shows from the 80's had strings of terribly written episodes rushed out to fill up the syndication requirements.
     
  14. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Well, whatever the reason- what's done is done. I just want to see "Little Muppet Monsters" on DVD. (Of course, I'd love to see all of "Muppet Babies" on DVD along with it.):coy::dreamy::smirk::excited::sigh::busy::drool::oops:-I mean, :):o:concern::mad::sympathy:;):halo::confused::eek::flirt::boo::sleep:- wait, no smilie for Skeeter? Oh well...lol- I wonder what smilie Nanny could get? Green, stripey socks?
     
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Whatever has been finished is lost forever. There's those 3 completed episodes, and they have to exist somewhere... but I don't think anyone kept the completed live action segments, and there's no telling how many of the animated segments were completed in full. It would be amazing if Disney were somehow able to cobble together the rest of the episodes and release them based on what they have in their possession (if anything), but I'd rather they actually find a way to release the last 2 seasons of The Muppet Show first.

    Though I wish there was some way to get a hold of the animation cels used. Japanese produced shows usually have pretty affordable (even cheap) cels if you look for them. If they're a big brand name (Say Disney or any big name Japanese series) you'll really have to pay a lot for them... but I got three of them for under 40 bucks. But I'm feverishly looking for Little Muppet Monsters cels, preferably the Pigs in Space cartoons.
     
  16. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Totally agree on that. Season 4 and Season 5 of The Muppet Show on DVD should be Disney's top priority as far as DVD releases go. (Or I'd like them to be anyway.)
    After that, I'd like to see Muppets Tonight get released to DVD. But somewhere down the road after those- definitely- anything at all that can be released on video for "Little Muppet Monsters" would be incredible. And the MuppeTelevision segments of "The Jim Henson Hour"- still want to see that. Thankfully, at least some of the specials and all of "The Storyteller" segments have made their way to DVD- but there is still a wealth of material out there yet to make its way out to the public......
     
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I never thought about the possibility of the unaired Little Muppet Monster segments no longer existing or being in storage. I'd like to think that they'd still exist, but I don't think there's anything officially confirmed as to whether they do or not. The Jim Henson Company clearly saved a lot of unaired pilots and pitches for shows that never made it past the pilot stages (though the Cinderella pilot was missing from the archives until recently). In the Red Book post that announced that the company found the long-lost Cinderella pilot, it was said that Jim Henson seemingly saved everything (though it seems he didn't save the deleted scenes from The Muppet Movie and most likely Great Muppet Caper, I know that Craig Shemin confirmed when he was interviewed for The MuppetCast in 2008 that he often searched for but could never find any deleted scenes from The Muppet Movie).

    When it comes to the uncompleted animation, I wonder if it was Henson or Marvel who kept the storyboards, pencil tests, voice recordings, and so on. Or if both companies would have copies of everything.
     
  18. wiley207

    wiley207 Active Member

    If I recall, 1985 was a pretty busy year for Marvel Productions. In addition to "Muppets Babies and Monsters," this was also when "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" became a main syndicated series (65 episodes in the first season!), and there was also the second season of "Transformers," and I think "Jem" as well, along with the Transformers movie being in production at the time. So you can't really blame Marvel for falling behind a bit.
    The mid-1980s were when Marvel Productions was at its busiest, but 1985 may have been the busiest for them.
     
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It wasn't so much Marvel. They were the production company. The true problem was the outsourcing to the animation studio TOEI. And even without the American cartoon productions, they had lots of their own series at the time. Marvel may have been short handed on oversight, but the true problem was overloading an animation studio. They did not yet outsource to Taiwan or South Korea yet.
     
  20. wiley207

    wiley207 Active Member

    That would make sense. All those Marvel shows I mentioned were also animated by TOEI, and aside from those they were probably also busy with their animes, so I can't blame them for having such a large workload. It wasn't until 1986-1987 when they began working with AKOM in Korea, though I don't think Marvel began outsourcing to Taiwan (i.e. Wang Film Productions/Cuckoo's Nest Studios) until the early 1990s. (LOTS of companies were using Wang/Cuckoo's Nest in the 1980s and 1990s!)

    At least they didn't hire Kennedy Cartoons to work on the final season of "Muppet Babies." That weird bouncy style (like their "Tiny Toon Adventures," "Darkwing Duck" and some of their "Goof Troop" work) would have been WAY out of place with the Babies. And even there, Warner had numerous problems with Kennedy, firing them after the first season of "Tiny Toon Adventures" (the studio quickly found work with Disney, whom seemed satisfied with them.)
     

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