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Muppet Babies: Puppets vs. Cartoon

Discussion in 'Muppet Babies' started by dwayne1115, Feb 26, 2008.

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Which do you like better? (tell why in the thread)

Muppet Babies from TMTM (Puppet Versions) 12 vote(s) 70.6%
Muppet Babies Cartoon Versions 5 vote(s) 29.4%

  1. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I was watching muppet take manhatan and i think that the puppet types of the MB's are really better then the cartoon.
  2. Fozzie Bear Moderator

    I prefer the puppet versions because it is in Miss Piggy's fantasy. It holds better for story continuity that the Muppet Babies are in her fantasy since, in TMM, Kermit tells Robin, "It's sort of approximately how it happened." when asked if it's how the Muppets really met.

    However, the cartoon could fit continuity if it is considered an extension of Piggy's fantasy. Still, that is dispelled when, in Muppet Family Christmas, Scooter announces, "Hey, I found old footage of us as babies!" (Paraphrased, of course).
  3. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think the puppets are just plain cuter. There's also a nuance of performance that comes across with puppetry that can't be compared with low frame rate animation. I just never liked the quality and inconsistent proportions in the Muppet Babies animation (not to mention the voices). I do think the Babies could be done well and I admire the attempts of the production with its juxtaposition of stock film footage and animation, but it just didn't seem Muppety enough in the right ways for this fan. I lost interest after the first couple of seasons. I also am happy it kept the Muppet brand alive after Jim's passing. :sympathy:

    So puppets for me! I also did see some of them up close in a Central Park exhibit after the Muppets Take Manhattan. The exhibition also included behind the scenes footage of how that puppetry was accomplished. Additionally there was a rumored Brian-helmed project for motion capture Babies cartoon/puppetry project (like what they’re doing with the Skrumps) that I am sad never came to fruition. That would have been something! :eek:
  4. Muppet Pro New Member

    I would go with The Puppet versions any time. I don't really care much for the saturday morning cartoon. Because when I watch it, it doesn't seem like it's The Muppets.

    I know that the history behind it was I think CBS wanted to ask Jim if they can make a Muppet Babies saturday morning cartoon for their line up. Though Jim didn't think that saturday moring cartoons were that great and he didn't really care for doing cheap business deals like this but I think he did it for two reasons. 1. to give out the idea for this program to teach children to use their imagionation and 2. I think it was a way to get money to make Labyrinth. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  5. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm going to say this... While I once decried the idea of Sesame Beginnings, I feel they really had Henson beat by using real puppets. And the puppeteers in most cases.

    That said, I like the MB cartoon for what it was. We'll never see that sort of quality in writing in a preschool show for some time. I think Toei did a pretty good job with their animation. it wasn't the best things, but they really added a lot of small details into the show. The first season wasn't too great, and the Japanese animators confused some voices from time to time (due in part the fact that Japanese animators aren't accoustomed to animating a vocal track- all voice over work is done after wards). I wish they would have gone with TMS instead, looking at the absolutely beautiful job they did with Ducktales and Rescue Rangers.

    I think the animation suffered in the last few seasons, where the animation was sloppy, the coloring varied, and it just looked stilted. After watching Fraggle Rock animated, I really wish they went with Akom productions. I'm not a fan of how half the characters looked (the Gorgs especially), but the animation was pretty fluid and well done. This is the studio that would one day do the Simpsons, among other things.

    A Puppet MB would have been amazing... but the budget for the show would have been pretty amazing too. And not amazing in a good way.

    It's almost too bad that Jefferey Scott didn't get on board and work with the Waldo/motion capture series so it would have got off the ground, though. That had potential.
  6. Muppet Pro New Member

    I thought that it was the Marvel comics Animation studio that did the animation for MB and the Animated verson of Fraggle Rock. Unless you were just talking about the animation system with North Korean animation companies in general.

    Because I was going to say that Klasky Cpuco (sorry, I can't think of the proper spelling for it) animated the first 3 seasons of The Simpsons then Film Roman took over after words.

    The only animation studio that I could think of that did the most animated programs is Rough Draft Studios, but I didn't think they were invalved with MB in anyway. But then again, I could be wrong.

    I don't think overseas animation started until the 1980s. So it's possible that MB was animated overseas.

    Sorry for going off subject but I'm a huge animation as well.
  7. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think you're right on that. A representative of Film Roman gave a lecture at my college in 2002. They also spoke of Family Guy's on-again, off-again issues.

    Also, I'm quite an animation fan, but have never favored the Japanamation or Anime looks styles or involvement in beloved American classics. I will say that Ducktales is one of the nicely animated series on television so it can be done right. But I was never pleased with the Muppet Babies animation. The conceptual art is far superior. And what was so special about the voice casting that they animated to the recordings? The voices were largely grating and the mouth movements were unrefined.

    Classic WB Bugs Bunny cartoons were made on shoestring budgets and in many cases very limited frame rates and they seemed to hit it out of the park nearly every time. I long for the days of Chuck Jones and US animation production studios. :sympathy:
  8. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Your right well accoruding to Muppet Wikie MB was produced by Jim Henson Company (Also known as Henson Assocests) and Marval Comics. So yea I don't know if they did all that over seas or not.
    I found out something today thought Howie Mandel did the voice of Sceeter and Animal in Seasons One and Two. Thats pretty cool.
    I love the cartoon of the Muppet Babies i really think it paved the way for other shows (Like Sesame Street has) . For a satuday morning cartoon i think it was one of the best, but i also think it would have been real cool to have done it with the puppets as well. I think now it would really do well and not be that hard to do a puppet Muppet Babies. With the help of CG and stuff i don't see why they could not do it.
  9. muppetperson Well-Known Member

    I voted for the puppets because I enjoy watching puppets over animation.I suppose because it has a more real feel to it visually.The same goes for why I want the Adult muppets to stay as Puppetry.
  10. Muppet Pro New Member

    Yeah, when I watched Muppet Babies, even as a kid I knew it was the Muppet characters but it just didn't seem like I was watching The Muppets. There are strong differences between The Muppet Show and Muppet Babies. The Muppets are insane, wacky, zanny and most importantly FUNNY! Whille Muppet Babies didn't really make me laugh (except Baby Animal in the first season, now that cracked me up. LOL)
  11. Boppity Member

    I've gotta say that I prefer the animated version simply because it was one of my first muppety things I saw. I loved the stories and the imagination involved.
  12. Baby Gonzo Member

    I grew up with the cartoon and think it held a very nice message for small children. There are moments of the show that are genuinely funny and other moments are touching. I for one am glad that I grew up with it, because I consider the imagination to be one of the most important things in my life. I don't think I would have discovered art without it.

    But I get off track. For design and general cuteness, the puppets win hands down. However, the animated series has it's charm.

    They were really off model in Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue... that was almost scary.
  13. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Oh yes I'm not trying to say that the Muppet Babies show was bad by any means. I wish they would put it out on DVD, and soon. I think all the cartoon Muppet Babies had a bit of cuteness to them, but i think the Baby Piggy puppet was just the cutest out of all of them. I'v not always been a big Piggy fan untill here lattly when i have seen that she really does have a lot of heart. That said i think Baby Piggy really helps set her true self, or at least in my eye.
    I would love to see a Skeeter puppet, baby or grown up. I think that would be wild to see.
  14. Muppet dude Active Member

    Well that's because Marvel didn't produce the special. It was mainly done by Southern Star Productions, and the overseas animation studio was Wang Film Productions in Taiwan. The regular Muppet Babies series' overseas studios were Toei (1984-1987) and Akom (1987-1991). I DID notice that the earliest episodes, and the first ones done by Akom, the babies look kind of odd. I guess the studios had to get used to their characters a bit. It wasn't until the middle of the second season when Toei began drawing the babies perfectly. Then near the end of the fourth season, the babies looked like their normal selves once again after looking weird again for several episodes.
  15. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I don't know I never really looked to close at the Animation. i think mostly because I was a kid, and didnt really pay that close attention. I do however rember that the voices sometimes didnt match the mouth movement, I always thought it made it funyier to me.
  16. Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Yes, but things were really different then. Warner Bros and studios like that dealt with 7 minute cartoons theatrically released. They did not have the same weekly deadlines, and they didn't have to make about 13- 60 episodes per year. Television animation wasn't even a possibility until the early 50's. There were "Cartoons" but they were mostly just black and white drawings narrated. Still frames. Nothing more. Crusader Rabbit was the first to really have any animation at all, and it was mostly made up of those stills.

    Outsourcing animation is NOTHING new. It didn't start in the 80's at all. You can thank Jay Ward, who heard about a new movement of overseas outsourced animation. Oddly enough Rocky and Bullwinkle was going to be animated in Japan, but the studio they were going to use was nothing more than chalk lines in a vacant lot. The money from the contract was going to be used to build the studio. They went with a Mexican firm instead, and it's animation was outright horrible to begin with. Mainly due to the low quality of the studio's equiptment. This was Gamma Studios, whose animation didn't even improve until Bullwinkle was a distant Memory, and they were working on Underdog (not a creation of Jay Ward).

    The first Japanese outsourced cartoon series was King Kong- produced for Rakin Bass, by the way. Another creation of Toei.

    When it comes right doen to it, I just don't think ANY TV cartoon can live up to great stuff from the theatrical Golden Age. Doesn't matter which country animates it. Though I do think Spumco did some great stuff in the 90's.
  17. heralde Well-Known Member

    I voted for the cartoon. I mean, we ultimately ended up seeing more of it and what it could do. The puppets were great, but it was just a one time thing.

    I think the cartoon was a wonderful show, very creative, witty and innovative in its use of pop culture and cultural references, and combining cartoon with video. Very few shows have yet to do it as well.

    I know some fans don't like the show because people use it as evidence that the Muppets are just for kids. But I don't care what people say, they are wrong. I won't let them get in the way of my appreciating a decent show. ;)
  18. Muppet dude Active Member

    Spumco's animation was really good, too. It was practically done in full animation!

    I know that many of DiC's cartoons in the 1980s and some in the 1990s were outsourced to Japan. Usually it was Tokyo Movie Shinsha, like on "Inspector Gadget," "Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats," "The Littles," "The Real Ghostbusters," "The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog" and a few others. Some like "Captain Planet" weren't done by TMS, but obviously appear to be animated in Japan. At least TMS knew how to do quality animation, and that is rare for an overseas animation studio!

    Even Hanna-Barbera got into the overseas game in 1971. "The Funky Phantom" was done by Hanna-Barbera Australia (which would soon become Southern Star Productions, the studio that did "Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue"). Soon in the 1980s, many of their shows were done by usually Wang Film Productions or Cuckoo's Nest Studios, both in Taiwan. Some of the 1980s H-B action cartoons like "Sky Commanders" were animated by Toei, resulting in a very un-H-B -like animation style.
  19. Redsonga Active Member

    The way I see it if they had had the money for it they would have used the puppets but since they did'nt that is more than okay :)
    I loved the muppet babies cartoon and it was the muppets to me. I had seen the Muppet movie, SS muppets were not 'muppets' to me, and the Muppet Show was before my time and never shown on tv. So I loved the Muppet Babies cartoon and all the toys that were made of them...
    To be honest I never knew about the 'muppet baby' puppets until a couple of years ago :p
  20. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I gusse it really never crossed my mind that there would be people who would only know the Muppets from the Mupet babies.

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