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The TV Specials

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Mo Frackle, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    What can be said about the various Muppet TV specials? To me, they're just as important as TMS and the Muppet movies. Unfortunately, they seem to be overlooked by anyone who isn't a giant fan. This is probably due to lack of exposure. We've said this several times, but it would be nice if Disney could re-release some of these. Thankfully, it appears that most, if not all of these specials are on youtube.

    Long story short, this is a discussion about the Muppet TV specials. Feel free to talk about any of them.

    Hey, Cinderella (1969) - Saw this one for the first time recently. Pretty enjoyable, though a bit slow in some parts. Kermit gets a lot of fun lines, and Splurge, Rufus, and the other new characters are great.

    The Muppets on Puppets (1970) - A really nice behind the scenes look at the Muppets in their earlier days. And hey, who doesn't get a kick out of Jim Henson talking to Rowlf the Dog?

    The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970) - Have yet to watch this one.

    The Frog Prince (1971) - Saw it recently. Like HC, I thought it was a bit slow in parts. But it was still enjoyable.

    The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972) - Have yet to watch this one.

    The Muppets Valentine Show (1974) - Technically a special. It's interesting to watch, particulary since it gives us a rare look at characters that were dropped from the Muppet family pretty quickly. Though I have to admit that I felt it was a bit slow in parts. But it still had enough Muppet fun in it.

    The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence (1975) - Stronger than TMVS, in my opinion. Definitely feels closer to TMS. Though there are obviously some things that still needed to be tweaked. I have to say that I thought Nigel was kind of a weak lead. But Sam and Floyd help boost his scenes.

    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977) - Haven't seen this one (dodges bricks)

    The Muppets Go Hollywod (1979) - Decent, but definitely not one of the strongest, in my opinion. While there are a good deal of fun Muppet bits, there's still a tad too much attention given to the guest stars. Yes, the guest stars are all very talented, but it really feels like the special takes itself a bit too seriously at times. You really do get the feel that this is some kind of big awards ceremony. And some of the interviews (like Peter Falk's) don't look scripted.

    John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979) - Finally saw this one. Lots of singing in this special, I can tell you that. But that's to be expected when you put Denver and the Muppets together. The soundtrack in this special is awesome! And there are plenty of moments that are both fun and heartwarming. Though I will admit that I felt it got a little slow in some parts.

    The Muppets Go to the Movies (1981) - Essentially an episode of TMS expanded to an hour with two guest stars instead of one (or a set of 2+). Fun all the way through, and defintely one of my favorites.

    Of Muppets and Men (1981) - Behind the scenes of TMS? How cool is that? Very cool. It's just a cool special/documentary. That's really all I can say about it.

    The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show (1982) - Very funny special! And it digs a little deeper into the Kermit/Piggy relationship. Unfortunately, Jerry Nelson's characters are absent (as Jerry was most likely dealing with the passing of his daughter).

    Rocky Mountain Holiday (1983) - Like the other John Denver special, this one has a lot of singing. Yet another special with a nice soundtrack, and plently of fun Muppet moments.

    The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986) - A cross-over between characters from TMS, SS, FR, Little Muppet Monsters, AND Sam and Friends? With (then) rare clips? Just briefly describing it would make anyone want to watch this special. And why not? It's one of the best, in my opinion.

    The Christmas Toy (1986) - Haven't seen it (dodges more bricks).

    The Tale of the Bunny Picnic (1986) - Ditto (ditto).

    A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) - Another cross-over? And it's a Christmas special? Sweet! And it really is a favorite of mine. Though I'd strongly recommend the uncut version (if you can find it).

    The Song of the Cloud Forest (1989) - A very well made, heartwarming special, with a huge message in it.

    The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990) - What could be more fun then the Muppets running around Disney World? Another favorite of mine. Though it's interesting that only Clifford and Bean survived the then recently cancelled JHH. I was kind of hoping Digit, Leon, and a few others would show up. But it's still one of the best Muppet specials.

    The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990) - Funny, heartwarming, and filled with interesting bits about Jim. It's more or less a cross between a documentary and an unaired episode of TMS, but it definitely works. Truly one of the best Muppet specials. And of course, Steve Whitmire's first public performance as Kermit.

    Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree (1995) - Haven't seen it.

    Studio DC: Almost Live (2008, both specials) - Uhh... How can I describe these two specials? I honestly don't know. So here's young Macauly Culkin to express my thoughts on them.
    A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008) - I like to think of LTS as a step back into the right direction for the Muppets. Is it a great special? Not really. Is it better than most of what the Muppets had been doing in the last few years prior to its airing? You bet! I think the main problem with LTS is that it was most likely under a rushed schedule. It definitely shows. But there's still some fun and heartwarming moments throughout. And you got nice songs by Paul Williams.

    :o: That took a lot out of me.
  2. MissMusical12

    MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    My favorites TV Specials.......
    *Sex and Violence: This one has that early Muppet Show edge (closer to TMS). Although Nigel seems to be a very mediocre host, Sam and Floyd always made the scenes with him move right along. (Still thinking about doing a fanfiction involving Nigel)
    :attitude:: Nigel. Where exactly is "Freak City?"

    *The Muppets Go Hollywood: Remember, guys. This was the promotional special for "The Muppet Movie." Although, it did focus a little too much on the celebrity guest stars, it did have its fun moments where it did. (Floyd flirting with Rita Moreno, being one of my favorite moments.)

    *The Muppets Go To The Movies: Probably my favorite of The Muppet TV Specials. And many reasons too! Dudley Moore and Lily Tomlin were two perfect guest stars for this; The sketches were fun and hilarious ("Silent Strawberries" and "Three Musketeers" being my two favorites); and it was much much stronger promotional special (as this was the promotional special for The Great Muppet Caper) than TMGH. (Oh...and let's not forget Floyd and Janice's "Act Naturally," (Or, as I like to joke in my fanfictions, the moment where Floyd revealed on national TV that him and Janice are dating if people were still unaware of this. :flirt: :sing: )

    *Both John Denver specials: However, I did find Rocky Mountain Holiday a tad more enjoyable. Although, both specials really didn't have too much of a plot (Other than the thing about the giant, man eating chicken, the whole second half of Rocky Mountain Holiday was pretty much a campfire sing along.). Now, I'm usually plot picky but these two specials I have an exception for. The songs are really enjoyable, and they make up for the lack of plot. ("Gone Fishing" in Rocky Mountain Holiday has officially become a dream duet of mine.....Thank you John Denver and Jerry Nelson.....R.I.P to both)

    * A Muppet Family Christmas: The ULTIMATE Muppet Crossover special. The BEST Christmas Related Muppet thing (Sorry "Muppet Christmas Carol" fans). And my SECOND favorite Christmas special/movie. Enough said.

    *The Muppets Go To Walt Disney World: This was such a fun special in so many ways. And it was great to see the likes of Bean Bunny and Clifford in this special. And plus, the songs were fun too (The two best being "Rockin' Around The World" and the finale, "We're Not Gonna Stop.")

    *Studio DC: Almost Live (The second one): The only reason I say that is because of Floyd in the second one with David Henrie (Even though I really really did not think David's song was funny at all (more of a forced funny) it was just good to see Floyd interacting outside of the band again.) Other than that, I really really really did not like the Studio DC specials at all. (Question: It seemed to me that Floyd changed his outfit in the second one before doing back up with the band to Demi (and, spoiler alert, Beaker's) "This Is Me." Doesn't his outfit have a tad resemblance to the jacket he wore in later episodes of TMS and GMC?)

    *A Muppet Christmas: Letters To Santa: VERY big improvement from Studio DC, but I feel it was really rushed. I would've enjoyed this a little bit better if it wasn't rushed as much. The songs were good, the cameos were good, but I felt it was good to see The Muppets doing another special again.

    My Opinion Questions now:
    Do you think they should've done a special to help promote The Muppets?

    Do you think there will be a promotional special to promote The Muppets....Again?
  3. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    That's actually Dudley Moore.
  4. MissMusical12

    MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    Whoops. Sorry. :oops:
  5. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    One I forgot to mention, "Miss Piggy's Hollywood" (1989)

    That was a really funny one, and works well as a half hour special (it originally aired as the second half of a JHH episode). It's so like Piggy to try to convince everybody that she's a huge celebrity. Gonzo gives us some nice comic relief, and we even get some new Fozzie stand-up bits (complete with Statler and Waldorf heckling). And you got celebrity cameos (I love Bob Hope's line after Piggy and Gonzo leave his house). Even Dave Goelz makes a cameo (as the stand-up comic on before Fozzie). And I love how Dudley Moore collected pretty much every Miss Piggy item ever made (by 1989, anyway). People think we're obsessed fans? Look at Dudley Moore!
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  6. Sgt Floyd

    Sgt Floyd Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing about Studio DC. It was NOT made for muppet fans. You can just tell from watching it that it was an experiment to see how receptive the target age group would be to see their favorite stars interacting with the Muppets.

    I really don't get the hate they receive. No, neither of them were masterpieces, but they still introduced the muppets to an age group that probably would not have given them a second thought if it weren't for the specials. If just one kid who watched it decided to check out the muppets and liked them, isn't that what matters?
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Miss Piggy made the same mistake in Miss Piggy's Hollywood.

    Most Muppet specials (with the exception of the fairy tale-based ones and Letters to Santa) don't have much of a plot focus.

    Yes to both.
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    My thoughts on the specials that I've seen:

    The Muppets on Puppets - interesting to see that Jim Henson and the Muppets were big enough to host a puppetry special in 1968. The scenes with the Muppets are the best, especially when Rowlf talks about Kermit and reads a fairy tale, but many of the scenes with non-Muppet puppets are a bit boring, though I do like the puppet story at the end.

    Hey Cinderella - I really like this special. I like the late-1960s Kermit puppet used here, and how raw the special seems in comparison to later specials. Lots of humor here, making it like a live-action Fractured Fairy Tale (though not as fractured).

    The Frog Prince - This is a good special. I watched this on YouTube last week and enjoyed it. I must say, pretty much all of the scenes with Sweetums are quite scary (when I was a kid I was even scared of the brief shot at the end when Sweetums is seen singing in the crowd, even though it implies that he's now good). The scenes with Kermit swimming in the pond are amazing. I must wonder why it seems King Rupert the Second has power over Taminella. She has to trick him and doesn't want him to know she cast the spell on Melora, but she's a witch, couldn't she just user her magical powers against him? Also, did Taminella only have her power when the ball wasn't broke, because it doesn't break Robin's spell? I was also confused when I first saw the special and saw Robin turn back into a prince.

    The Muppet Musicians of Bremen - This is a good special. The first time I saw it, I thought it was too long (or maybe I thought it wen too long without Kermit), but then I rented it again a few years later and saw that it wasn't too long after all.

    The Muppets Valentine Show - Wow, a pre-2008 instance where "Muppets" is used in the title when it should be "Muppet". This is a great special. I like all the scenes. There's lots of humor that seems odd (like why Crazy Harry would set off explosions when people use expressions for explosions... Makes more sense on The Muppet Show where it seems his job is to provide explosion effects, but that job's not established here) and the crumpet thing (yeah, in the Muppet world food is alive).

    Sex and Violence - A very funny pilot. I don't get what's so wimpy about Nigel here. This one introduces more characters who would last than the previous pilot, and is more like The Muppet Show, except it doesn't have any guest stars (like the previous special). I like the Laugh-In style of this.

    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas - Good. The marionette work is impressive, and the songs are good.

    The Muppets Go Hollywood - I saw this on YouTube once, and didn't think it was that great. Too many celebrity cameos (particularly celebrities who don't appear in the movie), not Muppety enough. Though there are some good scenes.

    The Muppets Go to the Movies - A very great special. I like most of the acts and numbers. It's all great. The only thing that would make this special better would be if it had appearances by Bunsen and Lips.

    Rocky Mountain Holiday - The first fifteen or so minutes are great, but afterwards the special kind of drags. Some of John Denver's numbers are hard to sit through, especially if he sings over wildlife footage (which omits the Muppet presence), but it wouldn't surprise me if there are John Denver fans who aren't as big Muppet fans who dislike the Muppet-only numbers. And not enough characters went on this trip. It would have been great if Dr. Teeth, Lips, Bunsen, Beaker, Beauregard, Lew Zeland, Sweetums, and The Swedish Chef went on the trip (and if Zoot was on the trip as opposed to just a cameo).

    The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show - The controll room scenes are the best, while the on-stage stuff is not as good. I wish more Muppets would have joined Miss Piggy on-stage, as opposed to many human extras.

    The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years - This is a very great special, a good representation of the Muppets up until 1985. I like all the scenes with the many characters. Though I do wish this special would have had some clips from Follow That Bird, especially since that movie was so recent.

    Tale of the Bunny Picnic - A good special, but not the best.

    The Christmas Toy - I like this special a lot more than Emmet Otter. "Meteora" and "Together at Christmas" are great songs.

    A Muppet Family Christmas - This special is perfect. The whole special is.

    Dog City - A very funny special. I like the many dog puns. Rowlf does a good job as host.

    Miss Piggy's Hollywood - This special is a lot better than The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show. It's interesting when Miss Piggy admits she's not perfect near the end, that's a side of her we don't normally see. Gonzo and Fozzie are both funny as always in this. If Disney ever releases this on DVD, I wonder if the Universal Studios scene would be cut. For years because of this special I thought all "Walk of Fame" stars were portable like Piggy's, not realizing the joke.

    Song of the Cloud Forrest - A very good environmental special. I like both of the songs in this, and the ending is such a powerful ending.

    Secrets of the Muppets - This special was the first time I learned that the Muppets were just puppets, but wasn't upset over it. It's such an amazing special.

    Not sure if I should count Monster Maker, Lighthouse Island, or Living with Dinosaurs, though I have trouble paying attention to MM or LWD, but Lighthouse Island is great.

    The Muppets at Walt Disney World - Another great special, so many highlights: Beaker with a bucket on his head (too bad this gag didn't have a happy ending), the Muppets meeting Mickey Mouse, Clifford with The Electric Mayhem, and other goodness.

    The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson - A great tribute to Jim Henson. The studio seems like a cross between The Muppet Show's backstage and The Jim Henson Hour's control room (and sort of a precursor to Muppets Tonight's backstage), with all the television monitors plus the fact that the guest stars only appear on the monitor and interact with the Muppets via monitor image. I wish more characters would have appeared in the finale (Steve Whitmire has said that this scene had 50 performers, but I've only counted 30 characters in the scene). I kinda wonder what the deal is with Steven Spielberg being in this, since he hadn't worked with Henson (George Lucas would have been more approppriate).

    The World of Jim Henson - The best Jim Henson documentary ever. The only thing I would really change would be the inclusion of more Muppet performers. Not counting Jane, Brian, or Jerry Juhl (who all seem to be there for different reasons) Frank Oz is the only performer in this. Caroll Spinney isn't even mentioned in the section on Big Bird. It's interesting how a number of known people (Leonard Maltin, Francis Ford Coppola) who seemingly didn't work with Jim are there, plus the fact that Harry Belafonte is interviewed despite the fact that none of his clips from TMS or SST are included. It's interesting how a lot of clips one would expect (Mahna Mahna, Rubber Duckie, Turn the World Around, Kermit and Joey say the alphabet) are not included at all.

    Mr. Willoby's Christmas Tree - Only saw this one once, remembered liking it then, not too sure how I'd feel about it now.

    People Profiles: Jim Henson - This documentary feels rushed. It's great that it has a lot of focus on Sesame Street, and The Muppet Show gets plenty of coverage, but afterwards it rushes through, only including the bicycle scenes from TMM and GMC, only a little of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and no clips from Fraggle Rock (I think... Can't remember if it's included, and when I saw it on YouTube it wasn't there but I wouldn't be surprised if the person who uploaded it left it out so Lionsgate wouldn't remove it, but I'm not sure), Muppet Babies, or The Jim Henson Hour. To be fair, this one had commercial breaks while Henson's Place and The World of Jim Henson did not.

    Studio DC - I thought these were decent but not the best. I think I would buy DVDs if they came out, but I'm in no hurry to have them. Some of the best stuff in these include the use of The Electric Mayhem and Beaker singing a duet, and the "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" fantasy is even good (more or less), and I feel the second one is the better special. But it's good we didn't get more than two of these.

    Letters to Santa - This is good. It's the only Muppet special (not counting the story specials) to focus on a plot. It could have been better, but a lot of it is good. The officer meany stuff is a bit awkward.
  9. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen all of these, but here's my opinions on those that I have:
    • The Muppets on Puppets: I like this one, it's a great special, especially if you're a puppeteer, to see how Jim and his team were already on the road to becoming the biggest sensations in the world of puppetry as we know it. It's a great little candid look at Jim, Frank, Jerry (Juhl), and Don at work, them showing us the history of puppets, different kinds of puppets, giving us glimpses at what they do to bring the Muppets to life, etc.
    • The Muppet Musicians of Bremen: This is, without a doubt, a Henson Classic. It's a very enjoyable Muppety twist on a classic story, and I really like how even the human characters were puppets in this special, it's really great how they went back and forth between showing the villains from the chest up as life-sized glove puppets, and showing them as full-bodied costume characters. Really clever. The special as a whole seems primitive and simplistic by today's standards, but I think it was a little advanced for its time.
    • The Muppets' Valentine Show: Is a piece of my childhood, I always enjoyed it, it was fun, it was outrageous, it was silly, it was very much a well and good precursor to the future TMS. I love it.
    • The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence: This is really interesting to watch, because it shows you what Jim was really wanting to achieve with TMS, and what kind of a show it would eventually be, but at the same time, it also showed you the mistakes he made and improved on before TMS went into the works (ala lack of Kermit, lack of structure, lack of backstage mayhem and dynamics, etc).
    • Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas: I actually didn't like this special when I first saw it, because I thought it was a really sad and depressing story, and lacked a lot of that Muppet edge and mayhem that I grew to know and love... however, I think if I were to see it again, I could probably appreciate it better simply because it was a bit of a departure from the typical Muppet hijinx. I will say this though, this special had some really great puppetry overall.
    • The Christmas Toy: Again, this is a piece of my childhood, so there's always a special place for it for me. It too was a fun special, I really enjoyed the characters and each of their schticks, and I also like how the overall story juggled humor, heart, angst, and thrills. This special also has some of my favorite Muppet songs ever.
    • The Tale of the Bunny Picnic: Likewise, this is a piece of my childhood. It's got the three things that make a special great - bunnies, puppetry, and bunnies. Each of the performers really shined with their respective characters in this one: Steve was great as Bean, Richard was perfect as Lugsy, Jim was hilarious as the Dog, and it was a treat to have Marty step outside of SST as the Farmer.
    • The Muppets at Walt Disney World: It has been a loooong time since I saw this one, and I don't remember much about it, but I liked the overall concept of Kermit wanting to have his friends meet and spend some time with his family in the swamp, whereas they would have rather sneak into Disney World. It was interesting to see Charles Grodin return as the villain (well, antagonist is more like it), and I also liked Mickey and Kermit's little moment in comparing their respective philosophies. Oh yeah, and Piggy in all her divaish glory throughout was priceless, especially her being stuck in the cement during the end titles.
    • The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson: They honestly could not have done a better special to honor Jim. It was executed perfectly.
    • Studio DC: Almost Live: AAAUGH!!!
    • Letters to Santa: All I could do was breathe a sigh of relief when this came out, because Disney giving us something new with the Muppets was long overdue at that point. It's a good special, but it's not spectacular, as there's already been dozens of Muppet Christmas specials, and again, this had more of a feeling of it's about time we got SOMETHING.
    Mo Frackle and minor muppetz like this.
  10. vettech28

    vettech28 Well-Known Member

    Here is my opinion on those that I like:
    The Muppets on Puppets: One of the first behind the scenes look at the Muppets and how they work. It's great seeing Jim, Frank and Don Sahlin work together during those years.

    The Frog Prince: I've heard the music, but I don't think I saw the special all the way through.

    The Muppet Musicians of Bremen: I've seen part of it, but it hasn't grown on me as much as others.

    Muppet Valentine Special: I like it, but not the best. I do like that Kermit and Miss Mousey were seen together, I sure hope Miss Piggy didn't see that.

    Sex and Violence: A nice precursor to The Muppet Show and a great introductions to some sketches like the Swedish Chef skits and the Electric Mayhem number.

    Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas: Without a doubt, one of the best Muppet specials ever, in fact, my favorite Christmas specials of all time. All the main characters are so lovable and the story line is wonderful and the natural setting is beautiful. Jim and his team pulled off a masterpiece of a special.

    John Denver specials: I like both, but I definitely like the Christmas special better. I love the music and the holiday feeling it brings. I don't think you'll see the Muppets doing a re-telling of the Nativity story anytime soon. I like the Rocky Mountain Holiday special, after all, it's where John felt at home. But I kind of wish that Miss Piggy was more involved in this one.

    The Muppets go to Hollywood: A great way to promote The Muppet Movie, although not the best special there is.

    The Muppets go to the Movies: a great promotion of The Great Muppet Caper and I like all the interpretations of classic film genres. My favorites are the opening song sung by The Muppets, The Three Musketeers, The Wizard of Oz and A Frog Too Far.

    The Tale of the Bunny Picnic: This special shows Bean Bunny at his best, this special proves that Bean's personality is better in this special because he's better off not focusing on being cue all the time. The story line is really cute and all the characters are so lovable. One of the best specials Jim and his team ever did.

    The Christmas Toy: I like this one, but not as much as the others. I'm a little tired of others comparing this special to Toy Story. I like both equally.

    A Muppet Family Christmas: Another wonderful Christmas special. You'll never see characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock interact the same way again.

    Dog City: I'm a dog lover and the character designs in this special are fantastic. My dad is a fan of the old-time crime movies, so I like it because of that as well and I like the humor in it, too. Kevin Clash as Ace Yu is one of the best Kevin performances in his career.

    The Muppets Celebrate 30 Years: Another place where characters from all over the Muppet universe come together to remember their best moments and the finale with "Rainbow Connection" with all the characters singing, the best finale of all!

    The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson: It was nice to see all the Muppets come together to celebrate their creator and read all those fan letters talking about how Jim made a difference In people's lives and in entertainment.

    Studio DC Almost Live: Don't get me started. One of the worst muppets specials ever made. Bad idea putting people like Miley Cyrus or The Jonas Brothers with the Muppets. The only part I liked in either one was Kermit singing and dancing with Ashley Tisdale and Miss Piggy trying to outshine the "competition". And they're planning on bringing it back, has Disney not learns anything from the first time, it turned out to be a total flop!
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  11. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Sarge made a good point. Those specials simply weren't made for us. They were made for the next generation that weren't familiar with the Muppets. And it seemed to go over pretty well with them. I wouldn't be surprised if that at least got the Muppets a few more fans (though now I'm sure it's grown a lot, especially with the last movie).
  12. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Hey, Cinderella (1969) - I grew up this one; probably one of the first Muppet related projects I ever saw. Looking back now I love how it tries to be a parody of your typical fairy tales, especially with the inept Fairy Godmother, lol. And long suffering Kermit having to deal with prejudice against frogs ("Testimony from a frog isn't admissible either.") Lol

    The Muppets on Puppets (1970) - Really special piece of history; should be put in a time capsule. Thankfully The Paley Center for Media took up the task. :)

    The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970) - Hmm, three words: Rough but sweet. :)

    The Frog Prince (1971) - Again, a huge part of my childhood. I used to sing the Brave Sir Robin song while playing on my swing set. I used to combine the words "nobleofbearing" into one phrase because I had no idea what I was saying, lol.

    And amazingly enough, this special has never left me. For my entire life and even to this day I have the song Melora and Robin sing together memorized and think of it often.

    The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972) - Again, grew up on this as well. I remember the human characters terrifying me a bit, lol. And looking back now I'm surprised at how low paced it seems compared to the others. Back then I never noticed.

    The Muppets Valentine Show (1974) - Honestly, I saw it once and didn't feel compelled to see it again, lol. It just didn't have that Muppety edge.

    The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence (1975) - Much better attempt at a Muppet Show pilot. I know you're supposed to hate Nigel, but I like his subtle, dry humor. Still it probably was a little too subtle for a weekly TV show.

    Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977) - CLASSIC. Everyone else can go home! The effort put into this special can never be bested, from the gorgeous Paul Williams soundtrack to the exquisite puppet building and performing. We are not liking to see this level of quality again.

    The Muppets Go Hollywod (1979) - Hard to sit through the whole thing. Like others have said, too much time on the guest stars. Still, there are a few highlights such as Johnny Mathis singing "Never Before," really gorgeous. :)

    John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979) - Welllll, heh, this is a much better CD than it is a TV special, lol. Still, it does help me get in the mood around Christmastime. I like that it included the Nativity story. And nothing beats Kermit and John Denver's conversation ("He croaked." "He died?" "No he croaked. Help, Help he croaked!") Lol

    The Muppets Go to the Movies (1981) - Grew up with this one as well, thanks to Nickelodeon's Muppet Matinee! I love it so much I actually typed out the script for my Dad and I to perform for my Mom. And I can't believe I just admitted that, lol. :oops:

    Of Muppets and Men (1981) - This needs to be on DVD. Period.

    The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show (1982) - Again, thank you Muppet Matinee! I also saw this special again a couple years ago at The Paley Center. At one point someone commented "It's so dated!" Lol, and I can't argue the point. But that's OK, the great thing about the Muppets was how in tune with pop culture they were (as they proceeded to tear it down, lol).

    Rocky Mountain Holiday (1983) - You know I miss the days when a plot wasn't required for a special, lol. But anyway, lovely soundtrack too; I still have the original album.

    The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986) - Another Muppet Matinee find! This and Henson's Place helped foster my love of documentaries.

    The Christmas Toy (1986) - Grew up with this, watched it all year round. But though I loved it, it also terrified me with all the dark hallway shots and toys freezing, lol.

    The Tale of the Bunny Picnic (1986) - This special was of great comfort to me during a difficult time in my life. "We've been living for Spring" indeed. :fanatic:

    A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) - Remember seeing the original TV broadcast with my parents. Truly epic.

    The Song of the Cloud Forest (1989) - Very atmospheric and creative; touching songs.

    The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990) - Honestly, I don't hate it, but I didn't like how inconsiderate the gang was to Kermit somehow.

    The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990) - Remember watching the original TV broadcast with my parents. I'm glad they weren't afraid to address the issue of death with children.

    Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree (1995) - Have not seen it, but I did read the Tough Pigs review!

    Studio DC: Almost Live (2008, both specials) - Didn't see them, probably never will.

    A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008) - Honestly, a little bland. Nice attempt, but probably won't see again.
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Words of wisdom. I have no desire to see them, nor do I care about them. They seem the most dated relics of all the Muppet specials, but they were first and foremost made to see if tweeny boppers would like the characters enough to drag their parents to the movie. In fact, it was a noble effort as lame as the Disney Tweenybopper shows were. They came out at a time when Disney only cared about marketing that stuff, and that phase thankfully passed.

    But there are a lot of positives to that special. Among others, that was the first appearance of David Rudman's Scooter. The fact they even used Scooter for that thing makes me happy. And look how much he was featured in LTS and the film. That comes quite a ways from Adam Hunt's Scooter Cameo in MFS. And we all remember how big a deal that was.
  14. vettech28

    vettech28 Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention some other specials before:

    The fantastic Miss Piggy show: I saw this special not too long ago, I like it, but I wish the other Muppets were a little more involved here.

    The Muppets at Walt Disney World: It's funny how all the characters go to all the areas in the park, even interact with the Disney characters in the park including Mickey Mouse, that's my favorite part of the special!

    Letters to Santa: Not the best, but they were finally taking a step in the right direction after going downhill for some years, but they can only get better after the latest movie.
  15. GonzoWaltsfan

    GonzoWaltsfan Active Member

    Some of these I don't remember seeing, the ones I did see I loved. I think A Muppet Family Christmas and Letters to Santa were my favorites yet. The first one had every thing in it, even a clip from Muppet Babies and the songs and Gonzo/Animal interactions was fun too, very rare to see.
  16. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Well-Known Member

    I've seen most of the specials listed, but I flat-out refuse to watch Studio DC: Almost Live, seeing how I can't stand the teen stars Disney cranks out of their factory. I probably like Frog Prince best, since it introduces Sweetums, one of my favorite Muppets. Taminella Grinderfall scared me silly when I was a kid:eek:. Muppets At WDW comes in a close second; the musical numbers were great, particularly Rockin' Around the World, and seeing Charles Grodin play another Muppet villain was cool. The Indiana Jones Stunt Show finale was awesome too. I got to see The Muppets Go To the Movies on the big screen about a year ago when we went to The Museum of the Moving Image to see the Jim Henson exhibit. It was a real treat. One complaint; they seemed to focus exclusively on films from the 30's-50's, which seemed ridiculous given the classic films that had come out since (Godfather and Jaws, to name a few). Maybe we'll get a Muppets Go To the Movies part 2 that spoofs the classic films they missed in the first one.
  17. cjd874

    cjd874 Well-Known Member

    I've seen "Muppets on Puppets", "Valentine Show", "Sex & Violence", "The Muppets Go Hollywood," "The Muppets Go to the Movies," "A Muppet Family Christmas," and the Studio DC specials. I love them all, well most of them, for different reasons.

    MOP: A fun behind-the-scenes look at the early work of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl, & Don Sahlin. A bit slow in some parts, but it's good overall.

    MVS: THIS is where the original Koozebane sketch came from, folks! Thog's duet with Mia Farrow is adorable, too. The "Froggy Went a Courting" song is hilarious, too.

    S&V: I'm still sad about the lack of scenes with Kermit. But everything else was great. My favorite parts were the pencil skit, the birds in the trees, Dr. Teeth's song "Love Ya to Death," and the Mount Rushmore jokes. And that Gene Shalit Muppet. Dead on.

    MGH: A bit slow, I agree with some people saying that there's too much focus on the movie stars. But whenever the Muppets appear, they end up stealing each scene they're in. Miss Piggy singing "Babyface," Zoot in the orchestra pit, Floyd & Rita dancing, the Swedish Chef's meatballs, etc.

    MGTTM: "If you do not wish death, how about a rubber chicken?" XD
    I also loved the 3 Musketeers, the Roman chariot race, & the Tarzan scene. Plus "Act Naturally," one of the greatest Muppets covers EVER.

    MFC: Everyone's here. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Robin, the Count, Big Bird, Gobo, Red, Mokey, and even Doc. Not to mention the Two Headed Monster as Santa Claus. Need I say more?

    Studio DC: ........... :(
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Maybe I was in a bad mood when I first watched it, but I really think the Valentine's Day special was just completely inferior to Sex and Violence. Then again, S&V is so much undiluted Muppet Madness that it's a roller coaster of freaking insanity. I really wish there was some way we could have got that as a series. The V-Day one can't help look like Full House in comparison... with all of it's dreaded (ulp) coherence!
    CensoredAlso likes this.
  19. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    Here's my list of specials i enjoy.

    Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas: Kermit riding his bike. Love the songs.

    The Muppets Valentine Special: Can't get enough of Kermit riding a bike, muppet characters and the songs.

    Muppets Family Christmas: ENJOY! Plus Sesame Street and Fraggles what else don't you like.

    The Christmas Toy: Love see toys come to life. I used to play with my toys hours on hours acting out my own stories with my own characters.

    The Muppets Musicians of Bremen: Love the use of how they moved the characters, songs and couldn't stop from laughing at the fat farmer dude.

    The Frog Prince: Another one of those specials was seeing how they would make Robin, Kermit and the other frogs jump. And seeing Sweetums for the first time as a bad guy character. Funny stuff.

    The Muppets 30th Anniver. Special: Seeing lots of Muppet characters and looking back at old footage of shows like Sesame Street and also hearing about new stuff coming from Jim Henson too.
  20. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    Add two more.

    The Tale of the Picnic Bunny: Every year seeing this just made my easter. Love the story and the characters. Everytime i watched it i wanted the dog to bite his master everytime he was mean to him. So when he did i would whoop and hollar saying "You Get Him Dog!"

    The Muppets at Walt Disney World: After seeing this ever since then i wanted to go to Disney World so when i went i just couldn't keep from thinking that Kermit and kin are out there somewhere watching or even having fun after hours.
    Yorick likes this.

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