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Muppet Babies - 20+ years later

Discussion in 'Muppet Babies' started by dwmckim, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I feel the Super Mario World cartoon feels the most like a kiddie cartoon, almost as if it were aimed at a younger audience that the two previous Mario cartoons. And the theme song is very annoying.

    I had read that the series legally had to be released as "Captain N and the New Super Mario World", but I wonder if that's true, considering they were able to release single-disc DVDs with Mario segments from all three series. Also, the last few half-hours of the series were just Super Mario World, with no Captain N (the Captain N part of the opening and closing was even removed).

    I have wondered why they paired the two cartoons in one half-hour. I know that Captain N. and the Mario 3 cartoon were paired together as an hour-long show, but still. I have a few theories of my own:
    • They wanted to make a cartoon cashing in on the success of Super Mario World, and pairing it with another cartoon in a half hour was the best way to make it a quality series without feeling too rushed (they wouldn't need to make full half-hour stories, and wouldn't need as many half-stories).
    • They wanted to continue Captain N and create a Mario World series, NBC didn't have room on the schedule for both, and so they chose to put them together to save schedule time.
    • They produced all those Captain N episodes for the previous season, and needed to air them all, but didn't have enough for a full season.

    I also wonder why Captain N got top billing. I would think Mario was a bigger selling point, and not only was Captain N the second cartoon in each episode, but Captain N's part of the theme song was the second part.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    No real explanation is given, but suffice to say, this is when NBC was about to drop their cartoon line up, and they wanted to combine the show into one half hour to make more room on the schedule. Honestly, those are some of the worst Captain N episode, they only had 7 of them, and the animation was moved to a different outsourced company, leading certain characters to be streamlined (including a squashed, over simplified version of Mother Brain, who thankfully only appeared in one episode).

    Really a shame, since there was so much more potential in Captain N episodes when they were a full half hour. Though A Tale of Two Dogs is good. But hey, they had another video game to advertise, so..

    As for the DVD release, it IS considered a different show from the full half hour Captain N's... so that's why they were released on that collection.
  3. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

    Yes, both must have been made at the same time since Filmation's hit tv six days before Columbia's. The only thing was, when the deal fell through, it was because Columbia told Filmation they weren't going to make a cartoon at all. So that's why Filmation said, "Well I guess we can make a cartoon based on our 75 show then!" not knowing Columbia was secretly making a cartoon. That's the way I heard it, anyway.

    Which is strange since Filmation didn't do anything wrong - if anything, Filmation were the ones lied to, unless I'm missing something. But since I like the work of both series (the 2 Columbia movies, and the live action Filmation show, and the Filmation cartoon and 80's Columbia cartoon and "Slimer!" Cartoon), I'm not bad mouthing anyone here, just telling what I've heard. Either way, I like the He-Man scene in Ghosbusters 2, it's definitely funny :) Poor Winston and Ray - in the start of the 2nd movie that is - no respect!

    Are we sure Harold, Dan, and even John Belushi (originally planned to be in it) didn't watch it religiously?:D I know it was a totally different concept originally though, so I have to admit that.

    Interesting, especially as you said it's the only US character besides "Baby Felix" where they made an anime on it.

    If only a company here would have combined Darkwing and Ducktales (after both shows ended, of course) but I know that'd make more sense for obvious reasons. though Launchpad would never have a day off.

    I'll have to listen to that :) I'll try the link

    I too love the original silents, and though I'm not sure if I saw the 60's series, the characters you mentioned from it being in Baby Felix, I know from the movie and the NES game, so I look forward to their arrival on the show. So far I saw what seems to be the first episode of Baby Felix - it was all about baseball - and I was cracking up when Baby Felix was getting his older self in trouble by eating the cake. I'm sure this sounds crazy to anyone who hasn't seen it!
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    They had absolute knowledge that Columbia was going to do a cartoon. After all, part of the agreement lead to Columbia INITIALLY going to Filmation for that series. After they found out they had been dumped for another animation studio, they got annoyed and made their own cartoon. Think of it like that episode of Futurama where Bender keeps getting kicked out of places and says "FINE! I'll make my own theme park, with hookers and Blackjack! On second thought forget the theme park!" Only, of course... with the cartoon.

    To my knowledge none of them knew about the existence of the 1970's live action series, and the concept was based off of that old movie I mentioned, Spook Busters. Something someone at Filmation probably saw. So, the odd truth is, both knew of the original movie and wanted to make some sort of homage to it.

    Wanna know the most confusing part?

    The original concept of Ghostsmashers (the working title Akroyd as working with) had the characters go back and forth through time and space battling ghosts and monsters. The concept of the Filmation animated series WAS the descendants of the live action series could go through time and space to battle monsters. So I'm guessing they were going to use the movie's original concept had Filmation did the cartoon version of the Columbia movie.

    Oh, BTW... Columbia had to pay Filmation for the name. I think I forgot to mention that, but it is very important to the anecdote.

    Of course, what really bugs me is that the cartoon version of Forrest Tucker (the Ghost Busters' fathers appeared sporadically through the series) is younger looking AND sounding than he was in the actual series. Plus... well, their kids would have had to have been at least 5-10 and not shown during the course of the live action series if they were teens-early 20's in the animated version. And Tracy the Gorilla didn't age a day!
  5. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

    The version of the story you heard (which might well be true!) and the version I heard, only have one difference: I heard after Columbia decided against Filmation making their show, they told Filmation they weren't making any show based on the Columbia film, so that's why Filmation went ahead with a show based on their 1975 show. The reason this makes sense to me, is because I'd figure Filmation would know the Columbia cartoon would probably get more viewers, because it's based on the smash hit movie. Even though you and I agree Filmation made a great cartoon show (I was happy to hear you liked that too, since so many call it a "rip off" of Columbia's show which we know is wrong.)

    But the story you heard may be the true one. Because after all, I wasn't there.:D
    But of course if Filmation themselves said they knew about it, then I'd definitely know they did. But since Columbia didn't let Filmation make the cartoon after saying they would, that makes me possibly skeptical of the Columbia folks (only in that respect, though) even though I do like their show, too:D
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

  7. Yorick

    Yorick Active Member

  8. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Muppet Babies! We make our dreams come true! Muppet Babies! We'll do the same for you!
    :attitude:: When your would looks kinda weird and you wish that you weren't there (a position I find myself in quite frequently on The Muppet Show, but I try to grin and bear it)
    Me: Just close your eyes and make believe and you can be anywhere- I like adventure!
    :mad:: Hey! Those were my lines! I mean- I like romance.
    Fozzie: I love great jokes!
    Animal: Animal dance!
    Scooter: I've got my computer!
    Skeeter: I flip through the air!
    Rowlf: I play the piano!
    Gonzo: And I've got blue hair- Ha!
    Bunsen: I invent things!
    Beaker: Meep!Meep!Meep!
    Nanny: Is everything all right in here?
    All: Yes, Nanny!
    And it's all right now- at the Muppet Revival thread- join us for some fun, laughter, make believe and the occasional pie in the face.:)
    http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?p=864200#post864200
  9. Baby Rowlf

    Baby Rowlf Member

    Baby Animal may be cute, but you don't get any more adorable than fluffy musical puppies in diapers! :sympathy: (On a side note, why is it that Animal is the youngest....but that Rowlf's the only Baby that wears diapers?

    As for my stance on the Muppet Babies, I love it obviously. but the funny thing is that I never really thought of them as canon younger versions of the Muppets. Baby Rowlf looks very different from his adult counterpart, and the characteristics of some of the characters (Scooter and Gonzo especially) are wildly different from how the grown ups act. Another thing that always did it for me was the fact that the Muppet Babies didn't take place in the past, it took place in modern times.

    Honestly? I liked the Babies as a stand alone piece, but never completely associated them with the grown up Muppets. When I got older, I just figured they were child actors hired to play baby versions of the Muppets. :)
  10. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I think it's a dog/papertraining thing. (For that matter i always wondered if "mama dada poopoop chihuahua" was the other babies saying it was time for Rowlf's diaper change.

    Actually Scooter, Skeeter, and especially Gonzo all look like they're packing diapers underneath their clothes.
  11. zns

    zns Well-Known Member

    If only someone would put the shows on DVD. Let's hope that Disney will pull out the big guns with the movie soon. (along with the season 4 release of the Muppet Show).
  12. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I have no doubt that MB will see a dvd release someday - but more in the long term. With the movie/relaunch taking place at the end of the year, i really don't see an official MB release until 2013 at the earliest. MB is a bit of an explosive, needs to be handled with care and only used when the time is right. Disney's worked too hard on getting the Muppets back to being a hot property. If they play the Muppet Babies card anywhere close to the movie's release that will just bring up all the mass confusion about the "real" Muppets' audience and the whole Muppets=babies Pandora's box that set the Muppets back in the 80s.
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Even if it does... there are so many insane rights to get cleared when it comes to video footage. I'm sure Lucas would lone out the Star Wars footage, but remember, and I've said this a while now, When Muppet Babies came out, it was during a pretty big partnership between Henson and Columbia at the time... hence the Ghostbusters scene used even in the theme song at one point.

    There are a LOT of episodes that don't have that sort of footage, sure. But most of them aren't all that memorable. We could see best ofs, but not complete seasons. We'd either have episodes or scenes missing... and there's no guarantee we'd even get the uncut original Saturday Morning broadcast versions of episodes either...

    All and all if season 4 ever the heck came out (even that's doubtful now), I'd love to see ONE episode as a bonus. I'd rather see various shorts from Little Muppet Monsters, though... especially ones from unfinished episodes.
  14. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    As i type, i've got "What's New at the Zoo?" dubbing from vhs to dvd in the background and i am laughing out loud at several parts. (And almost always at every Baby Animal scene - "WATER ballet!" "Deer Friend!")
  15. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    ...and now just finished transferring the Muppet Museum of Art episode which is another classic (and i've noticed tends to be the one most often cited when people recall their memories of watching the show: "the one with Piggy and the roller skate") "What would Nanny like? I've got it! An Italian cookbook! That way when Fozzie tells a bad joke, Nanny can scrape the tomato off his face and make us a pizza! Uh...ravioli?"

    And of course an excellent Baby Animal episode. This has got probably one of my favorite scenes in the entire series...Animal distracting Nanny/Skeeter with the paddleball (followed immediately by the door slam in his face right after! The timing, sound effect and Animal's yelp are priceless. Rewound this several times and laughed to the point of tears.) plus Piggy/Animal's whole "Me Renoir-har-har-har!" scene. Love the expressions on both characters' faces along with the voice actors' performances! Cracks me up every time. Another classic "acting" moment is Gonzo/Kermit's Butch/Sundance nose bump over the map.

    The incorporation of some of the Kermitage pieces...Kermit's oil painting...Fozzie's "My painting is ruined!"...cleaning up Animal's painting fantasy...Animal's totally random direct smile to the camera during Piggy's confession. Love it all to pieces! This is a terrific episode to show someone who's not so fond of the Babies!
  16. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Haha- "the one with Piggy and the roller skate" is an awesome episode!:mad::)
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I still completely lose it over the scene where everyone's Pablo Pa-Rowlfo and Pablo Pa-Kermit... and they turn Scooter into Pablo Pa-Scooter by bending his glasses...

    I can't say what episode is my favorite... but the Sunday Funnies episode, Gonzo's Video Show, the great Muppet Cartoon Show, and that one where everyone explores their inner weirdness are my tops... unless I remember others.
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I reckon that if the series ever does get released, the hardest episode to release would be This Little Piggy Went to Hollywood. That used a lot of TV and film footage, and a lot of the footage seemed important to the plot. Editing all those scenes out would shorten it significantly.

    Though Muppet Babies: The Next Generation was released on VHS back in the early 1990s, and included footage from the Star Wars movies (and I think Star Trek clips). Was the video release of that episode edited?
  19. Great Gommzo

    Great Gommzo Member

    MB was ok as a kids show but absolutely nowhere near as good as TMS.


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