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The Transitions Thread!

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by minor muppetz, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I thought I'd start a threa dabout the various scene transitions on various Muppet productions, particularly The Muppet Show. They seem to fascinate me a bit.

    It seems like transitions were more common during the first two seasons of The Muppet Show, but afterwards were a bit scarcer, where for the most part the only transitions were fading (which I didn't really consider a transition when I was a kid), though it seems they still did transitions on the Muppet News segments most of the time. But the show did have other kinds of transitions afterwards from time-to-time, such as the screen sliding after Cheryl Ladd's "I Enjoy Being a Girl".

    During the first two seasons, it was common for there to be transitions after a curtain introduction. I thought this was a little weird... But I guess it helped things like if Kermit needed to introduce another Jim Henson character, they wouldn't need Jim to dub a voice. After the second season it seems every instance of an on-stage introduction actually showed the curtaisn raising, but even then it seems most cases of the curtains raising the act behind the curtains were recorded seperately and the curtains matted. This is obvious in cases where the curtaisn lower after an act, an introduction is made, and then the curtains raise again (like John Cleese's closing number, or in the case of Danny Kaye's episode where the curtains lower following the UK spot, then raise for The Swedish Chef, lower, and then raise for the Zuccinni Bros.). It would have been impossible for them to change the sets in such short periods of time. I've also noticed in some of Kermit's introductions (like his intros to John Cleese's closing number and the intro to Dom DeLuise's closing number) there's a black spot on the screen, only visible when Kermit makes his introduction. But it seems there are also isntances where the curtains really do raise.

    It seems they also went a bit transition-crazy in the Playhouse Video compilations. Those seem to feature transitions not done on The Muppet Show (perhaps due to technology improving?). The Muppet Revue and Muppet Moments both have a certain zig-zag transition that opens Muppet Labs clips which wasn't on the show. I also recall Muppet Moments having a special checker-pattern transition for some clips (Inchworm and one of the first two clips) which wasn't used on the show (the only time I know of where they used a checker-pattern transition was in the Avery Scrieber episode, both before and after Muppet Labs, though that transition is still different from the one in Muppet Moments).

    While probably not that impressive, I do like the page-turning transitions in Children's Songs and Stories, where a clip starts as a "page" in Scooter's scrapbook before growing and heading towards the screen (was this same transition used in Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook?). And I like the main transition in Muppet Weird Stuff, where most of the clips begin on Gonzo's TV screen before zooming towards the audience. The transition for Jabborwocky is also quite cool: Gonzo polishes his lava lamp, a purple glowing thing starts to emerge, and then it zooms to the screen, before the clip appears.

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