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Little Muppet Monsters Revelation...

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

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    One thing I've always wondered was where all those titles came from. I think somebody said that the episode list came from a TV website, which wouldn't be a proper source for the wiki, but I don't know what source was used for that website. Henson.com never had an episode list for this show (I think LMM is the only Henson series to not even have a page on the official site). That list was there long before the second and third episodes surfaced online, and they ended up having the same titles as those episodes, and the recently-found episodes have the same titles as titles on that list.

    One thing that I didn't think about until now, but considering Pee-Wee's Playhouse began airing a season later, maybe having Pee-Wee Herman in that special was meant to be like a pilot, to test out whether he would make a good children's show host.

    I remember when I first saw the second and third episodes, I felt they were okay but not too great (aside from seeing something rare), while the first episode was great, and I wondered if the show improved with the later unaired episodes. But seeing these, I feel like Foo-Foo Phooey and Gunko are great (haven't watched Gonzo's Talent Search yet), so I guess the show did improve later on.
  2. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    It's a very Richard Hunt-heavy show, with him taking on directing and cartoon voice acting duties as well as playing Tug and Scooter.

    The writer whose archive this tape is from was most fond of "Gunko."

    I will upload restored versions of episodes 1 and 2 to the Youtube channel when I can -- I've done an edit of episode 1 now which is more complete than you've probably seen.

    We've been planning to do a better (or even semi-interactive) capture of Muppet Madness for the Viewmaster Interactive Vision for awhile now but it's technically difficult to accomplish. Hopefully at some point. Our previous capture is up at the Youtube channel.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  3. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    Sounds like Richard Hunt as incidental aliens in the first episode.

    Just got an improved capture of part of episode 3. Episode 3 and the unaired eps are going to look really, really good.
  4. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Great to see the previously lost puppet segments. It would be great to see whatever animated stuff was actually finished, but somehow they sound like they're lost forever.

    I wish, at least, some of the animation cels of those would surface, but they'd probably be expensive as they're rarities. I'd love a Pigs in Space shot.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Considering Kathryn Mullen was a writer, I'm surprised to not see her name in the performer credits (I thought I heard her voice as Foo-Foo in Foo-Foo Phooey, guess it's someone else unless). And considering she had said that she used an alternate name yet her real name ended up in the writer credits, I wonder if they credited her by her real name without her knowing. Or could she have used the alternate name later and misremembered using that name there?

    She said that Jim Henson didn't really want her writing, which is why she used a different name. That doesn't really sound like the Jim Henson I hear about, who would encourage others and, among other things, let Frank Oz be a director. It's also weird how in her Tough Pigs interview that Jim eventually just stopped hiring her to perform, which is odd. But this thread isn't really about Kathryn Mullen in general...

    With Richard Hunt being the only TMS performer to be a main performer on this show, it makes sense that Scooter would make appearances and that Hunt would do animated voices. It makes me wonder if he performed any of his other characters outside of the segments that were shot differently. It would make sense for Sweetums to appear, since he's a monster, though it might have been difficult to do on this set (and by then I think Richard had stopped wearing the Sweetums suit). Though even then, interactions between his characters and the monsters would have to be limited since he was Tug Monster.

    I know that Nicky Napoleon was performed by James Kroupa, but his voice sounds like a Kevin Clash voice.

    When it comes to incomplete animated segments, I wonder how much unaired animation was actually shot. I wonder if there were any extra completed animated segments but not enough to fill even one episode.

    I remember when Jim's Red Book first did an entry on the show, I think it confirmed that some shows weren't completed. I think it was speculated here by fans as well, but I thought that meant that they had incomplete material for shows 14-18. Didn't realize that all of the unaired episodes weren't complete. I also wondered whether they shot enough live action footage for these shows, enough animated segments, or just enough live-action segments with Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and other main characters who appeared separately from the others.

    It's interesting that Jerry Nelson performed on this and is credited, since the only performing I know of on this show was performing Floyd who had one line of dialogue. I wonder if any of his characters did anything more significant.

    And considering around this time that Jim was interested in doing projects for home video, I wonder if he had considered releasing the remaining episodes on home video. That would have given Marvel more time to complete the animated segments (as it wouldn't be on a weekly TV schedule).
  7. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt perform Floyd and Janice in episode 2.

    Kathryn Mullen is credited as a performer in both episode 1 and 3 (I have no credit sequence for episode 2). She is credited in a place of honor alongside Jim, Frank etc. She is also credited as a writer under her real name. She may be remembering behind the scenes drama rather than the actual credits as aired.

    Would she have played Wilhemina in "Gonzo's Talent Hunt," for example?

    I have basically completed a restoration of episode 1. It's been a lot of work. I am restoring the Muppets, Babies and Monsters opening titles (again), which is a crazy amount of work for one minute of footage but is about 80% done now. Episode 2 will probably go much smoother.

    Really minor things you notice when restoring footage -- different edits.

    In CBS' 1985 saturday morning preview special, Pee Wee Herman and Rowdy Roddy Piper introduced a scene with Piggy, Kermit and Gonzo from an unaired episode. Other clips shown were from slightly different edits of scenes. A different take of the penguins from the beginning of "The Great Boodini," and a different take of Gonzo saying "see what I mean?" without music.

    Footage from "Kermit the Frog: Private Eye" in the MB&M opening sequence is photographed differently than in the final show. The camera is pointed higher, it's browner and the blimpcar shakes as if hitting a bump.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    minor muppetz likes this.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I see it now. I guess I was expecting to see her in the "with" section and assumed that final section was just crediting Jim, Frank, Jerry, and Dave, the performers who just shot their scenes separately from the rest of the show.

    I've seen that you've posted other Muppet things besides LMM in the Henson Rarities channel. I don't know if you're accepting requests or what all you have, but if you happen to have them, I'd like to see some of the Playhouse Video compilations not online (The Muppet Revue and Children's Songs and Stories are currently the only ones on YouTube, while Rock Music with the Muppets is on Daily Motion).
  9. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    I don't have any of the Playhouse compilations personally -- though I did release stuff from the singalongs on some of my DVD releases recently. Billy Bunny on Tale of the Bunny Picnic for example. I could ask for help like I often do, but I'd rather post what I've actually restored.

    It's worth looking at those Muppets, Babies and Monsters end credits, which are incomplete in - I think - every copy online until now.

    Here's a typical Youtube upload of the end credits:

    My restored versions:


    Mo Frackle and Phillip like this.
  10. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    Episode 1 edit is done. That was tough.
  11. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    "That is definitely Kathy Mullen performing Wilhemina."
  12. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

  13. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Thanks for restoring this!

    A couple of comments on the "Muppets, Babies, and Monsters" intro.

    - If I'm not mistaken, the intro is supposed to begin with Boo informing Tug that he's on television. The copy you used (the same one that's been circulating for years, I assume) opens a few seconds after that. You can just barely hear the last bit of Boo's line at the very beginning.
    - I noticed you used a clearer copy of the "Muppet Babies" theme for their second appearance in the intro. Personally, I would have kept the version already included, as it seems to be a different recording of the theme (you can hear Russi Taylor a little more clearly in this version).
  14. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    It's very hard to tell when the Muppets, Babies and Monsters intros actually begin. I only have one tape of these, and in all cases the recording cuts in with the pre-intro already in progress. Episodes 2 and 3 use Muppet Babies scenes before the intro. No idea how much of the scenes were actually shown.

    I could add Boo's line to the edit, though it sounds like there's some sort of music over the first line as well, which I'd have to remove.

    It's that music which made me simply cut the intro the way I have it already -- as it suggests the intro just started.

    I could probably edit the theme both ways. What you're hearing is a hodgepodge already, as I cut in a clearer "Little Muppet Monsters" theme as well. The existing copies leave something to be desired, qualitywise.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  15. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

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  16. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It is so great to see that whole Saturday Morning Preview special. I guess there was a time when they did those kinds of specials every year, since there was one in 1984. I'd like to see the whole one of that, to know what rabbit was being referred to in that clip with the Muppet Babies voice cast (I assume Bugs Bunny, but it could have been someone else). In that clip in question, it's weird how Frank Welker said he was supposed to be Baby Kermit and not adult Kermit, as the voice he did before the correction doesn't sound like adult Kermit to me, or even different from his Baby Kermit voice. And that was a year before Little Muppet Monsters (can't remember off-hand if Welker's adult Kermit had any kind of voice difference.... Baby Kermit sounds nothing like Jim's/Steve's Kermit, yet every impression of Kermit is of the Muppet Babies version).

    I wonder who performed the carrot in Gonzo's Talent Hunt. A YouTube commenter says it was Brian Meehl, but it doesn't sound like any Meehl voice I'm familiar with.
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  17. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I have a feeling that scene was scripted. I honestly can't picture anyone telling Frank Welker how to do a voice.

    As far as I know, Meehl didn't work on LMM (if he did, he didn't receive credit). I thought it might have been Noel MacNeal, but I'm not too familiar with his work to be sure.
  18. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

    Noel was on LMM; I could try to find out.

    The preview special clips were definitely scripted, so not quite reflective of reality. I have both of them in full (they're torrented at several sites) but am trying to track down better quality copies (like that YT link). The Roddy Piper one is pretty wild, as you can see at that Youtube link.

    I'll be uploading a restored episode 2 of LMM finally, and a corrected version of Little Mermaid's Island episode 1.

    You'll be happy to hear that my "final" versions of all the aired LMM episodes don't use the DVD Muppet Babies theme anymore. I didn't "extend" the opening to MBM episode 1, but did extend the other two.

    And yes, my restored versions of the Little Muppet Monsters/Muppets Babies and Monsters episodes 1 and 2 (and MBM titles for 3) are - largely - from the same tape that's been circulating for years, retransferred (as a much sharper copy) and heavily cleaned up digitally. I also had a second source for episode 1 that's laid in over the picture and used for all the footage missing from the other copy.

    The "Muppets, Babies and Monsters" intros (and bits of the LMM intro) were a huge challenge. I combined all my - heavily damaged - sources for them into one video, and from there - after a couple of automated runs - I removed all the damage on a frame by frame basis. It was definitely an exercise in just how much can be wrong with 1 minute of video.

    I've decided to be less perfectionist about episode 2 than I was about episode 1, and just put it out there with some damage present - though a lot of automated work has been done, and some manual work.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  19. tygerbug

    tygerbug Well-Known Member

  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing that the YouTube commenter was just guessing (then again, I know that Brian Meehl does have an official website, and has answered fan e-mail in the past). But one thing to keep in mind is that the unaired episodes (that we've seen) don't have end credits. So if it was him or a performer who didn't perform in other episodes (or all the episodes), I wonder if he would have been credited for that. It seems like most of the credits for Muppet Babies and Muppets, Babies, and Monsters were the same from episode-to-episode per season (the only exception I know of being the credits for the various clips used on Muppet Babies).

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