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Robin in "Letters to Santa"

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by xoch156, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. xoch156 New Member

    What was up with Robins voice in "Letters to Santa?" Did I miss something or does Jerry Nelson not do his voice anymore?
  2. ryhoyarbie Active Member

    Jerry has retired from doing the muppets, although I think he still does Count on Sesame Street.

    Robin was performed by someone else, perhaps David Rudman maybe?
  3. JJandJanice Active Member

    Jerry Nelson stop doing his "Muppet Show" Muppets quite some time ago, he didn't do Floyd (I believe it was John Kenndy, and I think he did great), not to mention he also didn't do Lew Zealand as that was Bill.

    Although that Robin voice did sound somewhat odd, I think it's awesome they even put him in there. Maybe there going a new way with Robin, maybe there going to make it so he's not five anymore, makes sense to me. Maybe their making out to be a pre-teen or maybe around eight or nine years old. I think it could work
  4. Redsonga Active Member

    I am a diehard Robin fan and I don't like his nice voice at all, like I posted before:

    Once you star aging characters it can really become a problem to, because not only does it age everything set before then, but then if the main characters age to and become too 'boring' or set in their ways you run the risk of having to retire the characters because new fans might not 'get' them, and old fans might feel a bit left out that you are changing their beloved characters...
    Or, aging might end in the series having to restart (with the characters they old ages) to be 'fresh', which leads to a whole other set of troubles :(.
    I say the muppets are timeless so time should not effect Robin ether :3!
  5. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I was okay with Robin's voice. Jerry Nelson has such a distinct sharp quality to his vocal performances that kind of grips words in a way that can't be duplicated. The fantastic Mr. Nelson is an original.

    I do believe that we just have to let the performers work it out and permit their vocal talents to grow into the character. I don't believe in losing Muppets because their primary performer has moved on for one reason or another. Let's face it; there will come a time when even Dave and Steve hand their characters over to other puppeteers.

    The Muppets have had their golden time under Jim. I am hoping for a new renaissance that will include some recasts, some new Muppeteers and hopefully several new Muppets!

    Scooter is one of my favorite characters. There's a reason the over-eager and somewhat mischievous gofer with aspirations and a can-do spirit is used in my MC Staff bio picture. Even though this is the strangest he's sounded of all the recast attempts, I have confidence in a Steve Whitmire-like growth. There's more to a Muppet than the voice. Much more. I have faith in the Muppeteers' internal judgments.
  6. Redsonga Active Member

    There's more than voices to the muppets but to me a lot of Robin's soul is his voice and when it is still off like it is it just doesn't seem like Robin to me :(
  7. JJandJanice Active Member

    I'm not saying they should make Robin into an 16 yeah teen who wants to drive, or a 18 year just got out of High school or a 21 year old looking for a job. I'm just saying what would be the harm to have him age two or three years, after thrity plus years. I don't see how that would be a problem.
  8. Redsonga Active Member

    I'm just a stubborn Robin fan that doesn't like the idea, don't mind me :). It's not reasonable or mature, but I just like him staying five or six :excited:
  9. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree with you. Robin is very much Jerry's character in many ways. There's just no replacing his vocal talent, hence there is no remedy. I feel Robin's performance was okay. It's better than losing the character or having him remain silent like Rowlf was all those years. This sort of thing is going to happen as the performers age. I suppose we'll have to find peace with it now in one way or another. Scooter is to me what Robin seems like to you and both performances need a bit of work. I'm sure the performers would be the first to admit that and it's what they want too. I think they deserved a pat on the back for the job they've done so far. :super:

    I can go with 6 or 7 as long as the puppet remains the same, but I really don't see a point. I've looked at Robin as about 7 since MCC anyway. Maybe he should be an age ambiguous amphibian! ;)
  10. xoch156 New Member

    Aww, I'm soo bummed! Jerry was such an asset to the Muppet Family. He brougt life into his characters, especially Robin. He's a little froggy but with such a strong voice and heart. It just wasn't the same. I know there have been other Muppet Christmas specials but this one was most publicized and I couldn't help but compare it with the Muppet Family Christmas! Redsonga, you took the word right out of my mouth! I completely agree!
  11. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    On all counts, I agree with everyone here... Jerry really in't with the Muppets much anymore, even the Sesame Street stuff (The Count didn't appear that much this season, and half the time it seemed like he was pre-recorded). I wonder if he's going to do anything with the Fraggle Movie, because they're going to have a real pain in the neck trying to get Gobo to sound right (as his voice is pretty close to Robin's, maybe a little lower pitched with a Canadian accent).

    Jerry has a unique voice that has an impossible, unimpersonatable quality to them. Look at the cartoon version of Fraggle Rock. Gobo sounds like Townsend Coleman trying to impersonate Jerry, not like Jerry.

    The Floyd is pretty close enough, Harry and Lew Zeland have their own new qaulities, but Robin is pretty off. I really don't understand why Jerry just didn't over dub his voice...

    But that's the quandery. Either we say "Their voice is wrong" or "Wheres X character? I miss X." Check out the new Guy Smiely segments they made (one was a PBS PSZ)... the guy sounded a lot more like Frank Oz than Jim Henson... but he had the character's quality and speach patterns down. Not to mention it was over 15 years since Guy had a performer.

    When it comes down to it, you need the personality first, voice second. And remember, some of the recasts bounce around from performer to performer before they finally get the right performer.

    And let's not forget, the Looney Tunes. They have so many different people to take on what Mel Blanc (and Arthur Q Bryan) did. They don't even have them performed by regular voice actors. It's not too uncommon to see Bob Bergen play Porky Pig in one cartoon, and then Billy West the next. And while they all come close, none of them sound like Mel.
  12. MrsPepper Active Member

    When it comes to stuff like Robin and Scooter being recast, I'm past the point where I care if the voices are right. What I'd rather hear is the voice sounding natural. Maybe the pitch or tone is a little off, but it should sound as if the character is actually thinking and saying this themselves, not that a puppeteer is desperately trying to change his voice to please some dieheard fans like ourselves. As long as the idea of the character is there, it's okay if the voice is a bit off for me.
  13. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    While we're at it, though... this is the first time we've heard them, and the first time we saw Scooter under Rudman say more than one line. It doesn't sound natural yet, I agree, only because the puppeteers didn't grow into their comfort zones yet. Look at Eric Jacobson, when he first performed characters like Grover, Bert, Fozzie, and especially Piggy he seemed too stiff and too gruff, and didn't sound a lot like Frank Oz. But as he grew into the roles, they come across very natural. So, in time, unless someone else gets recast as Robin, they'll really get it down and make it natural.
  14. Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    you know maybe this was just me but when VMXM came out i felt robin was a little older in that, he seemed taller too, but like i said couldve just been me or the way the camera was angled
  15. xoch156 New Member

    You do have a good point, although, I thought Scooter's voice was fine. He has similar tones, and with practice he could bring and give life back to his character. But with Robin it was completly off. There wasn't even a ounce of similarity in the two voices.
  16. Ilikemuppets New Member

    You know? I don't know what some people are going go abut here. I didn't even really notice anything wrong with Robin's voice. I kept watching the special waiting to see what all the hoopla was abut and I just don't get it. I didn't notice anything? *is confused* :confused:
  17. Vic Romano Active Member

    This is what I'm really concerned about too.

    When Jim died, my problem was never that Steve didn't sound like Kermit, it was that he had to act like Kermit. These characters are destined to go through multiple performers, and compared to other characters like the Looney Toons like Dr. Tooth said, we're lucky the principle Muppets have had only two performers, three at the most. It's the personality that's important. Yeah, the voice has to be close, but look at Gonzo. Dave has said the character has matured a lot, and he has, maybe to a fault, I miss the crazy wild and weird Gonzo and am still not used to the vastly more conservative and caring, almost sage like Gonzo we have now... and that's with the same performer from the very beginning!

    As far as Robin; yeah, it didn't sound like him. However, he barely spoke. Not enough performance to judge for me just yet. I understand he needs to be recast, but I'm just sad Jerry's not there anymore. Like, ****... we lost another one.

    I personally really like Rudman's Scooter. I'd be curious how Jane and Adam Hunt feel about it. Hey Mr. Swanson, you want to get on that for us? ;)
  18. Redsonga Active Member

    Maybe you just haven't heard Robin's lately? Because his old voice and the new one are nothing alike :sympathy:. As far as Kermit's voice and the others I am very forgiving, but when it comes to Robin or Gobo I just can't 'get' any voice that isn't at least somehow the same. It is the sort of voice that even if the character was to get older he would not have lost that extra...upturn at the end of his voice, you know? It's really hard to put into words:o
  19. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    All I'm saying... Robin Schmobin... I'm more worried about Gobo and Madam Trash Heap.
  20. RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    The only problem, with all due respect, that I see with saying they NEVER age is that it makes Muppet Babies the stupidest idea ever, and also makes KSY (which I admit I never got a chance to see) pointless.

    The thing that's always bothered me about Robin is that he's NOT an SS child. He doesn't HAVE to be five to appeal to the pre-K segment. Almost every time he sings, especially in something "heartwarming", the music is nearly muted and everyone almost whispers, like he's so fragile he'll break if you sing at normal volume. It's cute the first couple of times but then it just gets on my nerves -- like it did Robin, I might add. Robin's character has always seemed to protest being treated like a child, and so I think that should be respected. He shouldn't be forced into permanent childhood, though he doesn't have to be suddenly an adult. To me, Muppets, whether TMS ones or Gorgs or Fraggles or whatevers, have a period of maturation (however long that takes) and then "freeze" at adulthood (Statler, Waldorf, etc notwithstanding), possibly at the age they feel more "comfortable." Robin has clearly not been comfortable being five, from the very beginning of TMS (as Frog Prince didn't really get into it because he was an enchanted adult).

    I'm concerned about Marjory. It's a shame Florence Stanley is gone. I liked her Ethyl Phillips and she was sort of the Marjory of the family, though without powers.

    Gobo: I will be satisfied as long as it's a teen-sounding voice that sounds like a laid-back adventurer. For me, as long as the new guy can pull that off, I'll be fine. He doesn't have to sound like Teen Robin (Jerry's words, paraphrased) to me in order for it to work. I wonder if Jason Willinger (Robbie Sinclair) is available. He'd be a good choice if it was really hard to find someone else. I wouldn't want him to sound TOO much like Robbie, but aside from being more into rock than folk and being somewhat more hormonal, Robbie and Gobo can be quite similar. Gobo just has to be laid back until exploring or dealing with Red. :)

    I wonder if any of the ones who played Gunge on Dinosaurs (can you tell what kick I'm on? :D ) would come back?

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