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RedPiggy's Realizations

Discussion in 'On the Web' started by RedPiggy, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    By Kelly Masters (RedPiggy)

    In the mid-eighties, there was a show called Fraggle Rock. Fast forward to the early nineties, and you get the show Dinosaurs. Let’s take a look at the shows that, in a way, are related, shall we?

    Fraggle Rock was designed to promote harmony among different cultures, as well as provide a hopeful environmental message. Over the course of four seasons, we find that it is really about Gobo and his personal journey. He begins the series as afraid of leaving his comfort zone, his home, going out into Doc’s Workshop as a desperate necessity to be over as soon as possible. He’s kind of like Ernie of Sesame Street, who dreams of adventure but doesn’t have the spine to explore much farther than his own neighborhood, at least alone. And before I’m flamed for saying that, go watch I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon on Youtube. I don’t pull my opinions out of thin air. At any rate, to Gobo, his home is just his home. He takes most of the environment for granted. Even when the Ditzies, the light and life source of the Rock, start to die out, it’s mostly just an environmental hazard to him (albeit a very dangerous one) that needs to be fixed. He becomes even more cynical as the series progresses, due in part to his realization that his Uncle Matt, his idol in exploration, isn’t nearly the skilled Fraggle Gobo thought he was. When his friends suffer from following Matt’s rules, it’s like his faith is completely shattered. It’s only when he finally learns to sympathize with Doc at the end that he regains faith in his home, and it rewards him by providing him with a magic tunnel that allows him to see his friend.

    Dinosaurs, meanwhile, also deals with different cultures and environmentalism. Over the course of four seasons, we follow Earl Sinclair and his family and their personal journeys. Earl frequently feels torn between being loyal to not only his work and his family, but also a tradition of wild and bloodthirsty nature. In this way, he is very similar to Pa Gorg, who also had trouble learning from the mistakes of his family traditions while trying to honor them. His wife, Fran, starts off as homemaker and mother, but later grows into the jobforce, battling discrimination and her own arrogance. Robbie, the eldest child, is the typical Lisa Simpson-esque naïve liberal, who shrugs off tradition even when there is something valuable to learn from it. Charlene, the middle child, starts off as completely shallow and materialistic, but later develops an interest in more profound subjects. In fact, while Robbie was the ultra-environmentalist, at the finale, it is Charlene who vigorously protests the destruction of the bunch beetles. Baby Sinclair doesn’t change a whole lot, though it could be said that he learned to value his family more as the series progressed, even if he remained largely sarcastic about it. Ethyl, Fran’s mom, was ready to die when we first see her, as per dinosaur tradition when she reached seventy-two years of age, but as the series progressed, she not only found much to live for, but also had to deal with the lonely reality of being one of the few “old” dinosaurs around (though the fact she wasn’t hurled off a cliff seems to have made the rounds in Dinosaur society, as eventually we see lots of elderly dinosaurs, such as BP’s mom, which could be a whole ‘nuther article in itself). BP Richfield … well … doesn’t really change all that much, but we do see at least an ounce of a softer side when dealing with his family. In the first episode, BP hires Arthur, a mammal, precisely because he has no home nor family. BP laughs with glee at the thought of hurling his mother-in-law in a later episode. However, his own mother lives to elderly status and has BP wrapped around her little finger, while his daughter is one of the only lights in his dark heart. He’s not like Sam the Eagle, though: BP is vicious and cruel, whereas Sam is just a naïve conservative who truly wants what is good but doesn’t understand much of the country he loves.

    It’s been said on Muppet Central that Fraggle Rock should be lauded for its upbeat optimism. Well, it’s more optimistic than Dinosaurs, I’ll grant you. However, I might be related to Boober: Fraggles aren’t optimistic insomuch as they are willfully in denial of how bad their lives truly are. This is a world where there are cave-ins, carnivorous plants, carnivorous animals, Gorgs who want to kill the “pests” in their garden, humans who unknowingly poison their environment, a magical species without which the entire location dies out – sheesh, it’s a wonder Fraggles don’t need to drink constantly to deal with all the danger. It’s a wonder they can get out of bed each morning.

    The reason I characterize Fraggles this way is because, if one is truly honest, it’s similar to the cognitive dissonance suffered by the dinosaurs. They are so tempted by the perks of civilization that they tell themselves everything will be okay. Unlike the first show, though, there is no happy ending here. The dinosaurs, we are led to believe in the finale, go extinct. Anything they did to try and help was too little, too late.

    I can reasonably pin this shift in mood on the absence of one person: Jim Henson. Good ol’ Jim wanted his worlds to have happy endings, if they had endings at all (as I understand it, he fought tooth and nail not to give the Fraggles an ending, but lost the argument). It wasn’t just his Muppet properties either … Labyrinth and Dark Crystal both go to great lengths to make sure everything’s hunky-dory by the end credits.

    And yet, while it could be said that the Henson company changed in mood after Jim Henson’s death, one has to wonder if he is blameless for the shift to pessimism. After all, Dinosaurs was his idea, even the notion that civilization was the cause of all their problems. His projects had started getting darker anyway, and while he tried to counter discomfort with Dark Crystal’s dark tone with more Muppety silliness in Labyrinth, he was definitely trying to go for a more Guillermo del Toro mood towards the end of his life, and was, as I have read in various sources, rather depressed that fans who willingly joined him on his dream in the Muppets and such seemed to balk at following him into darker regions of the imagination. He must have felt like Kermit whenever Miss Piggy ditched the group as soon as a cloud darkened the sky of their dream. But, that’s another rant for another time.

    Anyway, another difference between Fraggles and dinosaurs is how they treat other “cultures”, or species. In Fraggle Rock, there’s prejudice and fear, but it’s more like a kid’s discomfort at seeing someone different. It’s innocent ignorance, nothing more. While they do it to lots of different creatures, the Gorgs and the Doozers are the main species that fit with the tolerance theme of the show. It’s only after a couple of seasons are in the hole that Fraggles finally start appreciating the other species for who they are. Dinosaurs, on the other hand, are willfully hostile to both mammals (somewhat understandable as they, unlike Fraggles, are mostly carnivores) and four-legged dinosaurs (who also tend to be herbivores, which is a target of derision in the bipedal carnivorous dinosaur segment of society). There is no “perfect harmony” here. Mammals are continuously on the dinner plate despite the main cast becoming friends with some specific characters and even when Earl agrees with Monica DeVertebrae (an apatosaur) or she gets married to his best friend (a T-Rex named Roy), he never truly accepts her and resents her throughout.

    In some ways, it’s hard to determine which approach I like better. I’ll always love the optimism of Fraggle Rock, but Dinosaurs simply seems more realistic. Sometimes, an unhappy ending is just inevitable, though one can choose how one deals with it. Teaching children that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel is setting them up, in my humble opinion, for a very, very sharp learning curve ahead. It’s like putting a happy face on a failing paper in kindergarten and then wondering why they’re not succeeding in college. It’s like telling a tone-deaf screeching owl they can sing and then watching sadly as the person gets thrown out of American Idol for making ears bleed.

    There’s an episode of Fraggle Rock where Red worries to almost Boober-levels about Mokey’s safety as the latter goes on a solitary journey. Others try to tell her that Mokey will be just fine because she just sort of lucks out, basically. That’s a fine summary of how Fraggles get through their day: they just luck out most of the time. For me, the Fraggles don’t learn if nothing is going wrong. Go watch the episode where Red and Boober get stuck in a cave-in. That has to be one of the most powerful episodes in the series, and it’s an early one at that. From my perspective, it’s our struggles that give us strength. Dinosaurs had to struggle far more often and they just simply couldn’t win regardless. However, it can’t be said they truly lost. While it’s arguable whether BP ever learned anything (on the finale, you’d think he’d at least mention his daughter, but he’s too busy counting money alone in his trailer), it seems everyone else in the main cast was stronger by the end. Was it worth it to grow and learn if you’re just going to die anyway?

    Yes, yes, it was. None of us are immortal. The Gorgs and Fraggles are long-lived, but even they will die at some point. Sometimes we can’t write our own ending. Sometimes, it’s just a given, but we can write how our characters deal with it. Happy ending or sad ending … in the end, everything ends.

    But did you learn from what happened before it?
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    What a good, well-written article.
  3. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Return to Labyrinth: My Thoughts

    Well, the mangas are all gone. Four volumes of a sequel by the actual company (as opposed to a fanfic) to breathe new life into the franchise. These are mainly my thoughts about stuff I've been reading in reviews on things like amazon.com.

    If Jareth and Sarah don't get married, I'm going to scream.
    Spare me. This is basically the loud griping of J/S shippers. They truly believe that Sarah's Disney-esque fantasies should really come true. Let me try to spell it out for the shippers: it ... was ... never ... going ... to ... happen. Jim Henson GAVE you the shippy thing back in the ballroom fantasy scene in the movie. Sarah ... herself ... broke ... away ... from ... the ... fantasy ... because ... there ... was ... something ... more ... mature ... she ... could ... be ... doing. The ballroom scene is the classic stereotypical Disney thing, with a beautiful girl pretending to be older than she is, wearing an impractical dress, dancing the night away with Prince Charming. And yet, the jeering crowd makes you feel like a gang rape is going to occur. Sarah is creeped out when a more "adult" way of looking at it occurs. She FLEES from the Goblin (Pepe Le Pew's School of Sexual Harrassment Graduate) King. And you SERIOUSLY think they're gonna be married? Only in YOUR little bubble dreams, honeys.

    And another thing, if Sarah were anything but white, EVERYONE would gripe that the only way Sarah could be happy is to be the love slave of a rich white guy, who manipulates her into thinking that she has no self-worth without him. The Henson company would have been a pile of cinders in walls of flame. Instead, as apparently this truly is the dream of nearly every white girl (my princess fantasies were always a little more action-oriented), everyone's griping that Sarah should value making goo-goo eyes at Jareth instead of being productive.

    In other words, be happy that they have feelings for one another. Be happy you get some romance. But the love-slave Cinderella thing is best left to previous generations that brainwashed girls into thinking sex and parties defined their self-worth.

    Toby was useless.
    So was Teen Sarah. The plot of the entire movie was about Sarah's coming of age, where she had to learn to grow up and value what's truly important in life. Do you ever really get an idea that she truly values Toby? It seems more like "Holy cow -- if I don't find the kid, I'll be imprisoned forever!" Yes, she even jumps about five feet to a platform to "sacrifice herself" for the baby, but in the end, she admits she still needs to invite characters from another world to her house. Uh, yeah. I'm all for the "keep the inner child" thing, but let's face it ... it's the manga where Sarah finally starts acting like a responsible adult. At the end of the movie, after ALL THE WHINING in the theme about how Sarah needs to stop being selfish ... does she invite her new "friends" to kick Jareth's ***? Of course not. She takes all those lessons about working together and throws them into the trash can so that she trade some barbs with Jareth. Yeah. At least TOBY becomes King, tries his best to do the right thing for his new friends, even the ones who don't really like him, and ends up not killing everyone because he realizes friendship is something to be valued. Did Sarah ever rescue Hoggle from something? Did Sarah ever sit down with her new friends and ask them about their lives? No. She was self-absorbed throughout the entire picture. She didn't value her friends enough to learn more about them. She didn't value Jareth enough to admit that the kidnapped baby thing IS HER FAULT. In fact, she never DOES admit it's her fault. Even after Jareth flat out tells her at the end it's her fault, she STILL BLAMES HIM. How mature is that?

    No, give me Toby, who can at least ACT responsible.

    Sarah deserved to have her fantasies come true.
    Like I noted previously, it's the shippers' fantasies, not hers. At any rate, if becoming Queen was so wonderful, why was Jareth willing to watch the Labyrinth and all its residents die? He HATED his job. He was irritated by the goblins in the movie and saw them as cheap sources of entertainment in the manga (at least in volume 4). If even Jareth can't stand the stereotypical fairy tale thing, why would you make Sarah do it?

    The movie was way better.
    Bull. The movie and the mangas have the exact same moral. Not only that, but as I've noted, we never learn anything about anyone in the movie. We actually get backstories in the mangas. Sarah never fully appreciates the world in which she's thrown. Toby actually goes to the trouble of learning about those around him and how the world works. All Sarah does in the movie is whine about life's not fair. We needed a longer format to delve more deeply into the Underground. You can't do that in two hours in a movie.

    In conclusion, I would submit the mangas are actually better than the movie. However, if the Hensons wanted to make a sequel other than the mangas, I would suggest a video game rather than a movie. A movie would just end up with the same flaws as the first film unless you're Peter Jackson and willing to keep everyone in the theater for hours. The beauty of a video game is that with multiple endings and in-game choices, the shippers can get the story they want, the fantasy action folks can get what they want ... they can shape the story to their own whims. People are whining about the mangas because you cannot stay the hand of destiny, and Forbes and Henson were the hands. However, with a well-written video game, the audience can be the hand of destiny and feel more fulfilled.
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    But do we really know that the other elderly dinosaurs already made it past 72? For all we know Ethyl could have been a year or more odler than Richfield's mom.
  5. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Actually, that's a good point! I only kinda assumed BP's mom's age based on the fragile way she acted, but naturally that doesn't really prove anything.
  6. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I submit that there are many ways to look at the Labyrinth movie, and that S/J shipping does not have to come down to Sarah being a sex slave for him if she was to have picked him. It's all well and good to see Sarah picking her world as the more mature choice but I think that there are stories to be told that are equally mature if she had stayed.
    I guess I just think so much is not told that Labyrinth J/S shipping does not have to come down to 'if you think this\like fairy tales you fail women's lib forever' feeling :\. ( when you say best left to previous generations that brainwashed girls into thinking sex and parties defined their self-worth. ) I mean. It just seems a bit harsh...

    There is so much not there that I see the manga more as official fanfic and would rather make up my own background stories about why Jareth is so unhappy and exactly what it is he rules etc than take what the manga shows as canon. It has pretty art, but that is about all I take to heart....

    Still, I'm not putting down anyone who likes it, just saying it's not for me. If that makes me a blind J/S shipper than I guess I am..But then I always loved pairings where something was a bit less than perfect (Who said being queen\staying had to be wonderful to be worth it anyway? Who knows based just on the movie, what being king or queen really even means besides watching goblins all day? Who sayings that besides 'being' with Jareth Sarah would never be productive or have her say ever again? All we have is what the characters say, and a lot of that is actually lines from a book. (I wonder about that book now, most of all if the whole movie isn't taken as just a dream. Hmmm...) We don't see every side of Jareth or know how much power a queen would have over him in the film, we only get a flash of things.). I don't see Sarah having to be a mindless slave for it to happen is all, and well, writing about the fantasy world is just more interesting to me. I know, I'm weak, but real life can be so...real life :\. I'd much rather write the never going to happen fairy tale, in Laby or FR :\.

    All and all I think that Toby (who was basically a blank character they could grow into anything to fit the plot, not saying he is useless or a bad character, he's not) kind of steals the character growth that could\might have happened to Sarah if she had stayed or at least been trapped there for more than...was it not even a day? I think she would have grown, been fleshed out, and been able to end up being just as understanding as Toby given the chance and well, maybe even friendship and something more with Jareth. Who knows? It's just the feeling I get, like Sarah only had a few hours and because of this she was always in the heat of that moment rather than showing the other sides of her....the same with Jareth, really, now that I think of it :confused:
  7. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    Sorry about the ranting before, I was half awake and sick (actually I still am really) ...

    Sarah deserved to have her fantasies come true.

    You know, now that I think about it even, that doesn't have to mean that if they come true it would be sunshine and rainbows or misery and suffering. You could really make it into both by fleshing the universe and characters out and not even saying anything in the movie was wrong...
    The manga is just one way it could be fleshed out in my POV. A J/S story could just as well be made with the right support of new canon :excited:.
    Since the characters and future in the manga were made after the fact I feel like normal well made J/S fanfic has just as much right to be as anything else is all I'm saying :). Some of we J/S shippers do have IQs ;)
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Are you sure he "fought tooth and nail" and "lost the argument"? Because that doesn't sound like the Jim Henson fans know. Of course I only have the first season set of Fraggle Rock so maybe it was explained that way in the last box set.
  9. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I thought he wanted an ending to :\. I mean, you can have an ending and make it a happy one without ruining anything...
    The feeling I got from the last season was that it was planned and the channel wanted more, not less and that is what he was fighting against, more episodes watering it down....
    I could be wrong though, but I have all the DVD sets and have seen all the extras:)
  10. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I agree. However, in my defense, I've rarely come across anyone who can tell a mature story where she stays. I've read a couple, but most plots seem to be just about Sarah, no matter what age she is in the story, fawning over Jareth, which is 180 degrees away from how she acts in the movie. I don't mind the idea that she grows to love him, but the movie is quite clear she had, at best, a shallow fangirl-type attraction to him, which was utterly decimated by having to face him. She "loved" him while he was merely a daydream in her head, but when she finally saw the reality, she wasn't too thrilled. It's like people who worship celebrities. They don't want to see them as real people. Real people can disappoint.
    *nods* I see how it's harsh. However, keep in mind I'm reacting to stuff like on Jake's website or imdb.com, where most of the flames were the "I'm a little princess" type folks. No one lives that world, and while it's fun to pretend, if one argues that Jareth's kingdom is real, then some reality needs to show up every now and again. I am being harsh to Sarah, but I feel it's still accurate: she never changes. In the movie, there's no concept that she values anything. You can argue that she only tries to get the kid because she's afraid of being blamed for yet another disaster (she IS melodramatic, after all). Sarah, unlike Teen Toby, NEVER tries to get to know her "friends". They are just characters to her. "You may not be much of a friend but ...." The whole movie spends time trying to force this self-absorbed teenager into valuing others, but when the finale finally occurs, she decides to dump everyone and face Jareth herself. Contrast this with Kermit, who admits his strength comes from his friends who believe in him. Even at the end, when Sarah admits she needs them, they are still a bunch of visitors in her life. Yes, she values them more, but it's like fifty cents' worth of love instead of nothing. She's on the road to being an adult, but she certainly never ends the movie like one.
    It's interesting to me as well. I spent better part of a year I think on Comeback King, meticulously researching for it. However, go over on fanfiction.net and see if not a good bit of stories are basically fantasy porn. Sarah turns into the sexual fantasies of whatever woman/girl is writing the thing. They are, in hindsight, just like Sarah, I guess. However, the point of the movie is that fantasy can be much deeper than slobbering over some guy's body. Lest we forget, Sarah ... rejects ... that ... concept. She doesn't kiss Jareth. She runs from him. I'm all for fantasy, but stories that ignore the most basic parts of her character just ask too much of me.
    I agree that Sarah should've had that character development. Unlike Sarah, he WANTS to learn about his peers and surroundings (interestingly, moreso than he wants to engage in his own world). He's different from Sarah. Sarah was happy just to LARP for a few hours, knowing full well that it was an act. Toby seems to live, breathe, and eat the fantasy world. He'd much rather be there (well, up to the end, anyway) than his own world. Sarah is more like Ernie: nice to visit, doesn't want to stay.
    Jim Henson had to be "convinced" to let the Fraggles have an ending. The writers claim he wanted it open. Actually, the idea that this "isn't the Jim Henson fans know" seems to ignore a prevalent theme. Labyrinth has an open ending. By the end of Fraggle Rock, plots were clearly being reused and yet still Jim wanted to keep it open. Kermit and Piggy's relationship was always kept ambiguous. The only evidence I can see offhand, that Jim didn't mind endings, is that near death he finally started to imagine Dinosaurs, which involves the futility of civilization.
    And this is not meant to denigrate the man. I am a deep lover of his dream. But I'll still calls 'em how I see's 'em. Sarah is a spoiled brat, Kermit's relationship is borderline insulting if not fully so, and you can never leave the magic.
  11. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    One could say that that is not the main point of the movie though, it seems to be 'life is hard, just deal with it and leave fantasy behind'. I always got the feeling that Sarah never learnt more about her friends and such ether because we simply weren't shown it, or the world itself did not *want* her to.
    It could even be she was giving into what the world of the Labyrinth wanted to force her to do by *not* giving in to Jareth, or at least pretending to at the start. After all the story as she read it was set up from the start to have her reject the goblin king. What if she had had a stronger character or more time to grow who knows (I still think alot of her brathood is linked to having no time to cool down and always living in the moment of IHATEYOU about Toby the whole time since it was not even in a day)? She could have spun the story on its head and it could have been J/S is all I'm saying. Maybe Jareth was not all that crazy about knowing the story meant from him to be the villain period (based just on the movie)
    I think a lot of that was the power the story had over the both of them. Who knows, if she had not been already decided by the story that ruled that world (which is just the feeling I've always had) if she would have cast him off given more time, or if he would have shown more depth or emotion given the same...
    I think given time she might have changed her mind and learnt something more than the nothing she did is all I mean :). And well, Toby was just basically a canon OC they could do anything with since he was a baby last time and meh...I just think its a very lost chance to have made Sarah a better character. I know how the movie really went and all...
    Who knows, I might very well be one of those princess authors you are talking about to (I share a lot in common with Sarah and am bratty besides no question), but I really try to do my ideas with all things taken into account. I really do reasearch, I do :D. As for the porn yes I will admit I do love romance novels, but that's nether here nor there *lol*

    Gah maybe I should just bite the bullet and write that J/S Labyrinth fic that has been eating my brain for the last 8 years already :p
    I never thought you were. I just thought the ending of FR was so classic and thoughtful it had to have been planned by him from the start is all :).
    As for stories repeating themselves, if they did a bit I really felt as if season 4 had some of the best ones ever in how they were handled. Sometimes it is not the plot newness itself that tells a good story but how a story in of itself is told that makes all the difference, I think...
    Gah, I have been writing hippies a bit too long *lol* Then again, I was raised by some...
  12. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    It's possible, but Jareth seems to WANT a worthy opponent out of Sarah. He constantly nags her about being a spoiled brat. He doesn't really start showing signs of love/admiration until after she rejects him, which shows she has a strong will underneath all the childish narcissism.
    And keep in mind that Sarah is a "textbook teen". In other words, I agree with some web reviews that Labyrinth is a good psychological metaphor. Sarah is precisely what psychology says is typical of the adolescent mind. I never thought I was like her. I thought I was deeper than her, but five/ten years later I realized I was only slightly better off than her, at least cognitively. I still would have at least asked my new acquaintances who they are and where they come from or something. Hoggle is baffled that Sarah would call him a friend. "No one's ever called me 'friend' before." Clearly, empathy is not a strong point of that world. It could be that Jareth wanted Sarah to "color outside the lines", so to speak, and his frustration grew because he thought she was being dishonest about her motives, only because he knew little of teen psychology. Textbook Teen Sarah COULDN'T be that empathetic because adolescence is marked by questions of identity and purpose and delusions that everyone is watching them intently for real and imagined flaws.
    Yeah, I see what you mean. Though, it makes me scratch my head: If Sarah had (nearly) memorized the story, why is she shocked by the things that happen? She thinks fairies are nice. Didn't her book say otherwise? What did her book say about accepting food from others? That had red flags all over the place. Maybe I just have too much street sense, LOL, but Sarah practically walks into a lot of the traps set for her. You'd think if the world were bound by the book, the little fangirl would be better prepared. :)
    Well, so do I. That's why I tend to write her as a middle-aged adult. I figure that's enough time to get her head together about what she wants (of course, by putting her in that stage of life, she risks "midlife crises", LOL ... poor kid can't catch a break).
    I can see your point, but I would guess that Jake chose Toby precisely BECAUSE there are no preconceived notions as to his personality. I've read the shippers' flames of RTL. If Sarah had been the main character, there would have been tons more nagging about wedding than there already was.
    Oh, I understand. What gets me, though, is when repeating the themes start messing with continuity, and let's face it, FR tried way harder than most Muppet stuff to have continuity. How Doozers can threaten jail time to Cotterpin AFTER participating in the "kumbaya" Fraggle Duet-a-thon where everyone decides to stop being jerks toward another baffles me. At least when Red mysteriously forgets the moral regarding the dragons she keeps meeting (that you should leave well enough alone), you can at least argue that she was getting carried away trying to prove herself to Matt and Gobo. I have no problems with plot-twisting ... but pick characters that wouldn't mess with what's gone on before. Otherwise you get the impression that everyone's cursed with severe short-term memory loss, LOL.
  13. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I don't know if it shows she is strong or just how weak she really is against the power play of the story. Maybe that was what Jareth was trying to get her to fight against and the time limit was actually a rule she made up by not answering certain questions right. Perhaps that was what Jareth was trying to make her see and in the end, that was his true form saying the written words but showing the own way he to wanted to be a bit *more*.
    I really don't think it has to take her that long (it could though). I think what we saw was her in a very bad time of her life with her new step family and that, even at maybe nineteen she would have gotten more emotionally balanced..Really, maybe even at only seventeen. I see it less as a matter of her age (even if she is acting like a stereotype) and more a matter of her just having a short tempter and being emotional as a matter of who she is and that nature of herself being pushed to the limit by things she couldn't control, like getting a new brother. Even new mothers have those times that may last for half a day where they want the baby to shut up, so being a new sister after maybe being an only child? Yeah, that to the tenth power me thinks :p. But I think a lot can be explored if you split her age and her emotional reactions and the pressure she might be under at that time into different piles. Add to that if the labyrinth was actually real but she was reacting like it wasn't (and Toby wasn't really in danger in her mind because she had the blanket to hold on to of it's just a story acting out) and I think it adds a whole other can of worms, at least story wise...
    Middle age could be fun to write about, but in Sarah's case it doesn't do much for me. I guess because I like to try her character stepping a bit above the norm sooner in hindsight from being in the labyrinth ( 2o/20 vision after all) and that being powerful enough in of itself that happenings in her world did not need to help it along. After all, how can you remember something like that, most likely keep it to yourself in hard teenage years, and not have it eat at you? Telling someone else wouldn't do anything to help ether I would think...
    I for one wouldn't be nagging. I would just write fanfic :3 It's what I always do, if I
    want to say one thing or another. I have not read any of those flames. All the things I think I've pretty much decided on my lonesome with too much time to myself *lol* At least there is that, right? :)

    I think the things that she reacted badly to were the ones no actually written in the book. As in, it was a real world, but it was a world not that crazy about the rules of the book that it had, over time, grown beyond , with Jareth maybe being 5th gen king. So although it has to bow to the book, it actually wants to be *more* and those extras were it's magic fighting that...and....Gah, now I have to write this :p
    I think fraggles and the creatures that live with them as a rule don't remember things for long if it doesn't go back at least a few generations, at least as serious lessons go. Maybe that is part of what keeps them seeming carefree, because they sort of are unless something serious is reinforced daily :\

    But maybe that is one of the things that makes Labyrinth and FR so timeless, so many people can get so many different realizations from it, and no one is ever truly wrong because of that :D
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I guess what I said about Jim Henson "fighting tooth and nail and losing a battle" about Fraggle Rock having a proper ending being different from how we knew him may have been much... I don't know. It seems like most of the people who knew him well constantly say that he never raised his voice, that he rarely got angry (in Jim Henson: The Works Jerry Nelson says that he only saw Jim get angry twice), that he was more laid-back and rarely showed criticism.

    But I guess it's not too far-fetched that he might have had network problems. We all know that he had creative controll over The Muppet Show (as it was a syndicated series), but did he have the same creative controll over Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, The Jim Henson Hour, and other shows he was invovled with? It is a surprise to hear about Jim Henson creatively "losing the battle". Then again, it seems like he did fight against including the Sesame Street Muppet as part of his deal with Disney. Street Gang mentions during that time that he did show some unusual anger whenever Michael Eisner mentioned Sesame Street as if Disney was going to get the rights to the characters.
  15. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I would think his fighting tooth and claw might be a lot nicer on the whole than anyone elses version of doing the same :3. At least if an ending did happen it seemed on a higher level than many series and movies...
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member


    Believing in a dream is part and parcel of Kermit the Frog and Jim Henson. They wanted to make their dreams reality. It wasn’t enough for them to sit on the couch (or half-rotten log) and just think about what they’d like to do with their lives. It was all about chasing that dream and showing others just how wide, how far, and how real the universe really is.

    In Muppet Babies, the characters use their imaginations quite a bit. Now, they’re toddlers, so play acting isn’t in itself a strange idea. However, the show has some elements to it that will repeat in other ways. The closet door in the nursery is usually the home to many a sight gag, usually some clip of some movie or show. But when one considers other projects of Henson, it can be even more.

    In the Muppet Family Christmas, Robin the Frog reminds Kermit of a story the elder told the younger regarding Fraggle holes. What if Kermit knew of them from his younger years, or at least the location? The nursery closet that represents an opening to different worlds would provide just such a reason for Kermit to be perfectly fine with the idea that a mere hole in the wall would lead to a particular extra-dimensional location.

    But what leads one to find such a thing, this opening that magically appears seemingly arbitrarily?

    You know, it’s a shame that the Kingdom Hearts series haven’t really addressed the muppetverse, but with all its talk about hearts and connecting worlds, let’s be honest, the concept is tailor made for the works of Henson.

    In Fraggle Rock, Gobo Fraggle has many maps of many tunnels. He made some himself while inheriting others from his ancestors. On the other hand, the location itself can never truly be mapped. The tunnels are apparently given life by Ditzies, little sparkles of light that live within. They’re more than just illumination, however. Whenever someone’s heart needs to connect … new tunnels inexplicably appear. Uncle Matt felt purposeless in his explorations. The entry to a near-infinite tunnel-filled room appeared before him. Red wanted to live out her dreams of being a warrior princess. The same room revealed itself to her. Gobo Fraggle wanted to find Doc (the human who lived in a workshop in our world). A tunnel that spanned basically across the entire United States yet was walkable in a few minutes appeared to help him in his quest.

    Meanwhile, in the movie Labyrinth, Sarah wanted to live out her dreams of fantasy and adventure, despite the fact she wasn’t mature enough to decide firmly to do so. Her attempts to connect to the magic allowed Jareth to show her a way, through her parents’ balcony. Later, in the comic sequel, Return to Labyrinth, a goblin slips through what tends to homage a Fraggle Hole, with a teenaged Toby following closely behind. Both were dissatisfied with their lives as they were and wanted new ones.

    On a related note, in the movie Mirrormask, the heroine also dreams of more. Her drawings become the portal that leads to a pocket universe. When she accepts herself and her family and her life, as well as mastering the universe in which she’s thrown, she returns to her world and, like Sarah, finds connections to that other world after the journey is over.

    In Sesame Street, there is something a bit like this, although I’m not perfect and have never really seen the episodes where this kind of thing occurs. However, Oscar’s trash can is a portal to a much larger dimension as well. It’s the reason he can store lots of trash, other belongings, and even an entire menagerie in one simple-looking can. And while I am not familiar with why anyone would go through that trash can to Grouchland, I do smirk at the thought of Oscar’s cameo in Night at the Museum 2. Think about it: the plots of these movies are about fake beings given life. More importantly, though, the villains are out to restore meaning to their lives after having been forgotten for so long, both elderly real human villains and the mannequin of a brother of a Pharoah who seemed more powerful. Darth Vader would merely have been there to increase his power, but the brother of the Pharoah merely dismisses Oscar outright without thought that Oscar’s CAN is certainly a powerful object worth exploring.

    Even Farscape could be argued to have this very same magical mechanism, though it is definitely given a more sci-fi bent. John wants to be a famous astronaut. He dreams of following in his father’s footsteps, making him a lot like Gobo Fraggle, in a way. And while the show explains the wormhole that flings him across the universe is from a particular set of solar flares and such, the fact remains his heart was reaching out to a dream, and the universe answered him. He ends up loving those he met (some more so than others). Even when tempted with going back home, his spirit has really chosen its home … all over the universe.

    The main theme, when taking these particular properties together, seems to be that if you dream it hard enough, you’ll get there … even if you’re not really getting what you wanted, you’ll certainly get what you needed. However, it does seem to be arbitrary, doesn’t it? Why can Sarah or Gobo or John link to other worlds while others try very hard to find their purpose and don’t’ succeed?

    Will we learn in the newest Muppet movie? The plot is about a young whatnot-like muppet (in other words, a stock-like character instead of easily recognizable famous Muppets) who dreams of joining and saving the Muppets from yet another threat to their dream. Will we get more hints as to how this dream-chasing works?

    After all, lots of folks work hard for their dreams, with varying levels of success. Had Gobo been wishing to get to Doc in the Workshop instead of in the tunnels of Fraggle Rock – would a tunnel leading him to the correct location have appeared? Why didn’t Jareth take Sarah while she was LARPing in the park?

    It seems to suggest an idea also brought up in The Princess and the Frog by Disney: you can wish on that magic star, but it takes both hard work and a little “right place, right time” luck as well. The United States loves to perpetuate the Great American Myth that all it takes is hard work to succeed. And yet if you were to really delve into famous rich people’s lives, a lot of them inherited their fortunes, lucked out without much thought, or downright oppressed others to make a buck.

    Does this make dream chasing inappropriate?

    I don’t think so.

    If John had stayed in bed instead of suiting up, he’d never have met all those creatures from all over the universe.

    If Sarah had decided to take up, say, accounting instead of theater, what would Jareth work with?

    I feel it’s worth it to believe in a dream. I feel it’s worth it to try to make them realities.

    But when the World Falls Down, maybe it’s also worth it to take a step back and see if that dream is really what we need.
  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, it's a nice dream... But everybody just came along because they believed in me.
    :): No, they came because they believed in you and the dream. Don't you believe in the dream too?
    Yes, but...
    :): Well then?
    I guess it's good to believe in a dream like that that connects everybody... But we never promised anybody anything.
    :): Didn't you?
    Mmm, yeah, I sorta promised myself. And as long as we believe in that dream, it'll never be just a dream, it'll be something worth chasing worth thinking about worth making true.

    KH serves as a good example of the underlying unifying quality to the Hensonian productions/realms... Connecting dimensions by means of somewhat magical portals generated by the mere belief of the inhabitants hearts to a central core. Then again, that's why we all gravitate towards Kermit's words to Hopper...
    :I've made a bunch of friends who share the same dream I have..." which serve to make the dream all the stronger.

    And then there's the final lines of his signature song...
    "Keep believing, keep pretending.
    Life's like a movie, write your own ending.
    We've done just what we set out to do."

    Good article, thanks for posting this.
  18. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    In the interest of promoting fan works, and because I need to read some fics and look at pretty pictures to vote for the upcoming awards I didn't manage to vote for yet, RedPiggy's Realizations will feature articles based on characters, settings, or themes. However, instead of character profiles you can copy/paste off a Wiki-page, my idea is to feature characters and such AS THEY ARE RELATED BY FANS. I want to do articles on things that fans have given their own spin on, especially when it's stuff there's not a lot of canon stuff to go on. How do fans interpret The Electric Mayhem, or Elmo, or Jareth, or Chamberlain, etc? I feel this run will not only lead people to some good stories and art, but also will give us fans a greater appreciation for how deep some things can actually be.
  19. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I'd be very interested in reading this, RedPiggy. I always like to see people's views and interpretations of fan creativity.
  20. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member


    Handsome Vampire

    Cute Couple

    Down Boy

    Everybody Needs a Friend

    The art above starts us off with a look at Sesame Street’s Count von Count. If taken altogether, these pictures almost tell a story. Count von Count starts off on this list alone, yet very confident in his expression. The second brings us to a sign of the Count expressing his tender love toward the Countess. You definitely feel an intimacy of two characters who adore each other without pandering to some of the, uh, more explicit sensibilities of those on the internet. However, with Barkley glomping Count in the next picture, we start to see a frown. This is a character who seems to have it all: wealth, power, love … yet he can’t deal with an over-exuberant puppy. Finally, an angry, sulking Count is met by Ernie and Bert, with Bert holding his hand out in friendship. While the Count leans away, as though he distrusts the others, one can’t help but notice the Count’s eyes are locked on Bert. So, what happened? Did something happen with the Countess? We’ll never know from these pictures, but they definitely lend one to use one’s imagination.

    The Count

    The Count – H2O589

    The Count Colored

    Here are some nice shots of smexy Count, again letting attitude taking precedence over nastiness.

    You know … there are a LOT of Twilight references. Here are a few:

    Mr Cullen is a bloody sucker
    Heck, even other vampires get in the act of mocking Mr. Sparkly, LOL.

    This awesome action-oriented piece is where I’ll stop. As much as I love to see the references, this is about all I can take. :p

    This does transition well to my next point, that quite a few people like their Count von Count physically aggressive. Here are some pics where Count is involved in fights. Even if you don’t agree with this, keep in mind he WAS relatively more aggressive in his early appearances. He certainly couldn’t be called a brawler, but a guy who’s willing to hypnotize and stun his opponents can be just as fearful.

    Puppet Angel vs The Count

    The Count
    Here the Count attacks Ernie and Bert. Ernie has crossed out eyes, as though he was scared to death.

    Tonight Sesame Street Runs Red
    Not really a lot of fighting, but the “Zero Survivors” written in what looks like blood definitely gets the point (ahem) across.

    Count Me Out
    Count takes out Ernie YET AGAIN, with bloody messages scrawled over the walls of the room.

    So, there you have it … a brief look at some phenomenal renderings of the Count. More? Count on it! :p

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