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Why the Time is Right for a New Muppet Babies

Discussion in 'Muppet Babies' started by Drtooth, May 13, 2016.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Let's face it.

    ABC held the fandom down and repeatedly kicked it in its sensitive areas with the no tolerance cancellation to appease stock and share holders losing a petty amount of money on television shows. I don't think we'll see anything but some lousy special here and there and maybe some viral videos that I just can't whip excitement up for. There is however one option that would be absolutely perfect for Disney and The Muppets, and you know what it is by the thread title.

    Muppet Babies needs to return. Disney needs to make a new Muppet Babies series for Disney Jr. Reasons why?

    1. Disney Jr's line up has vastly improved in recent years. No more "let's do what Dora did," and we're getting some great high concept shows like "Miles from Tomorrowland" (which did infinitely better than the movie that was based on the same Disney ride), and The Lion Guard. High quality writing and animation. Two signs a Disney Jr. Muppet Babies series would be well done and well handled.
    2. Said Disney Jr shows are successful, money making, well known programs. Walk into a Disney Store and the show of the year has it's own large product endcap. I find the preschool TV market overall a license to print money with shows being cranked out with a series per month among all those channels. The Muppets would be used in the successful age group specific genre of Children's programming.
    3. There's nothing to lose. While prematurely launching that leg of the franchise would have skewed the audience Disney was trying to woo with their 2 movies and TV show, that's in the past. If they want to squeeze some more money out of the franchise before putting it in permanent mothballs, perhaps a line of baby themed products or a new TV series would be the shining beacon of hope for Muppets. I mean, what else would they do?
    4. the window of parents that grew up with Muppet Babies is rapidly closing. Best to cash in on that ASAP.

    fufumuppet and Blue Frackle like this.
  2. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I don't know. The Muppets have already been damaged because people associate the franchise with little kids, I don't think this would help.
    Muppy likes this.
  3. Blue Frackle

    Blue Frackle Well-Known Member

    I agree 110%. I've burned out my retinas trying to catch up on all the posts in the thread about the cancellation, but with the stigma of the Muppets being for kids being more real than ever in the world we live in today, this would be a total hit; CG reboot in an early morning Disney Channel time-slot (or Jr. like you said) screams "$" to me.

    I think the point is that this is the biggest and most obvious, maybe even only way the Muppets can survive on TV in this day in age, putting ego or what have you on the side.
  4. fufumuppet

    fufumuppet Active Member

    While this wouldn't be the ideal muppet show on television for me, I have to admit that this is a pretty good idea, and it would keep the Muppets in people's minds. Someone needs to pitch this to Disney.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Disney tried its darndest to keep the Muppet Babies out of the franchise to keep the original Muppets in the public eye. While it worked for the comic book and first movie, not so much the second movie or TV show. And they do have those Muppet Moments on Disney Jr without much damage to the franchise.

    Muppet Babies deserved a come back. And if Henson was still in charge back in 2005 or so, that would have been the ideal place to bring them back as a series. They did have baby needs in the early 00's (I remember having to buy Baby Oil as something to use with water colors or something like that for an art class, and getting a Muppet Babies bottle), and they did try merchandising back in 2004 or so (remember the bean bag plush and larger plush with single episode DVD's?). But when Disney bought the franchise, the worst possible thing would have been launching them simultaneously. They needed to build the brand back up. With the TV show not getting a second chance, what else could they do? I don't think Roger Langridge really wants to do more Muppet comics, and it took forever to relaunch the Darkwing Duck comic series as it is. And think about it this way.

    Much as I hate what they did with the characters, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse brought those characters back after years of Pooh and 101 Dalmatian merchandising dominance. Sure, it was mainly MMCH versions of the characters and preschool toys for a while. But there was that long period in the 90's to Early 00's where Mickey Mouse, the supposed most popular cartoon character in the world, wasn't even so much on a T-shirt frequently, to say the least of Donald and Goofy. And I tend to think that preschool show opened the doors to characters that shouldn't have really been that hard to find (outside the theme parks) in the first place.

    Add to that, the kids that grew up on Muppet Babies have grown up. We're in that crucial part where the youngest that grew up with the series are either just starting to have kids or have very small ones that will soon be watching television. Maybe the older ones have younger kids or plan on having more and would gladly take the nostalgic hint. If they wait too long, their kids will be too old for it, and they'll themselves be too old to care. That's the market Disney can take advantage of. If they can put the 1980's versions of the Ninja Turtles on Toddler clothing parents will buy because they loved the cartoon, certainly Baby Kermit and Baby Piggy could be a baby needs goldmine! But the window for that opportunity is slowly closing.
    Duke Remington and fufumuppet like this.
  6. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    I do have some ideas for this hypothetical new Muppet Babies, though some others have suggested them, as well.

    - Make the nursery setting look more like a daycare center. You can still keep the familiar nursery room, but update the place so it doesn't look like Nanny adopted the babies and sleep there all night. That was one of the things about the show that bugged me.

    - Take the plots outside of the new center from time to time. Just like Muppets Tonight and the Muppet Show comics, this new series would benefit from an expansion of scenery.

    - If Disney were ever to eliminate Skeeter, I think she should be replaced with Janice, Annie Sue, or even Denise. Skeeter was essentially made by execs to fill out a character archetype that so many 1980s gangs of cartoon kids had but the Muppets didn't already have to go on, so why stick to that trope here?

    - Add a rotating cast of secondary characters. The new daycare setting can allow for this to feel natural. Imagine seeing not just Bunsen & Beaker, but Swedish Chef, Sam the Eagle, Link, Strangepork, Dr. Teeth, Floyd, Johnny Fiama, and others show up from time to time.

    - And for the record, add one or two new characters to the core cast. I'm thinking Rizzo, Pepe, or even Chip (the latter possibly serving as a rival brainiac to Scooter).

    - Keep Statler & Waldorf as the cool older relatives that show the babies what life was like in the old days. They would be even more relevant now with the concerns over kids' addictions to those newfangled smart devices. They could still make fun of the action going on, though in a less mean-spirited way being a preschool show and all.

    Agree? Disagree? Let me know.
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  7. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    I think all your points are exactly what I would wanna see. I also would rather see them in CGI instead of cartoon like everyone else has said
  8. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    I'd much rather see something in traditional animation myself, or at least fluidly-animated Flash like The Lion Guard. We don't get enough preschool shows in that medium nowadays. If cost is the reason, then shouldn't the merchandising bucks more than cover it? Preschool shows are a very lucrative market, are they not?
    Muppy likes this.
  9. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    CGI Could work though. How do we all feel about Sid the Science Kid and Dino Train? Haven't they fared pretty well? Imagine Henson's Digital Puppetry studios getting involved and doing digital puppets of the Muppet Babies. That'd be awesome.
    Or..maybe I just want to see baby Waldo C. Graphic...I dunno.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Glad someone else said it. I'd also like to see Nanny a little more hands on and a little less "I'm going into the other room for plot reasons." But still keeping the ability for them to have the freedom to pretend things like they used to. There's a balance that can be struck there. As an adult watching a few episodes again here and there, I kinda get the feeling that sometimes this makes Nanny come off a little...eh...I don't want to say negligent, but even though they're toddlers that are way smarter than they should be, Nanny trusts them too much to govern themselves.

    I agree we should move away from CGI. Most of their shows are, giving Lion Guard a nice, different look to it. But if they went the CGI route, I'd hope it doesn't look like the overly bright and pastel looking Mickey Mouse Clubhouse type. Whatever I can say about that show, the lack of a real color contrast makes everything look faded and icky. That and Mickey Mouse (and by extension, Minnie Mouse) looked dreadful. If they can make a Muppet Babies CGI show look similar to Sid or Dinotrain or even Abby's Flying Fairy School and give them puppety attributes, that would be good, but I'd personally rather see something that looks like a cartoon for my hypotheticals here.
    fufumuppet and mr3urious like this.
  11. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    I think this show will need some recasts in the voice department if a new MB does go through. Frank Welker will probably get the axe considering the cost, and I don't know if Russi Taylor can still do the raspy tone of Baby Gonzo. But Nanny will obviously need one. I'm thinking Patricia Heaton (The Middle) or Julie Bowen (Modern Family) because corporate synergy, that's why. And also because June Cleaver originally voiced her, so they should maintain the pattern of a sitcom mom voicing her. :D

    I'm also curious as to how Dee Bradley Baker will pull off Baby Animal. He should be able to do it as it doesn't sound too different from some of the animal sounds he does in other shows.
    fufumuppet likes this.
  12. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Ooh yeah, I like the idea of Patricia Heaton as Nanny and Dee Bradley Baker as Animal.
    Baby Kermit and Baby Gonzo shouldn't be too hard to replace, they're voices seem pretty easy to imitate.
    fufumuppet likes this.
  13. Schfifty

    Schfifty Well-Known Member

    I would be in favor of traditional/flash as well. The characters and animation were very expressive in the old show (not to mention high quality as well), so if the show ever does get a new run in CGI, I hope they could retain the expressiveness of the old show.

    About the voice actors...I think Greg Berg and Katie Leigh might be able to reprise their characters. They've made various appearances the last ten years doing their characters (here's an appearance of them at SDCC in 2006), so it might be a possibility. I'm not sure about Laurie O'Brien - I just glanced at her IMDB page, and it looks like she hasn't done a voice role for a while. 2002 is the most recent year she's had a voice credit according to IMDB. I'd love to see Russi as Gonzo again, but if she can't get the same raspy voice like she did years ago, I wouldn't mind if somebody else can do it.
    fufumuppet likes this.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Considering this is all hypothetical, I would honestly rather see the one thing the original series never did. Just have the characters voiced by their respective puppeteers, or at least their understudies. I think that could very well be accomplished.
  15. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    I'd much rather there be professional VAs for the sake of keeping the Muppeteers from spreading themselves too thin. At least have Artie Esposito play Baby Kermit.
    scooterfan360 likes this.
  16. Whatnot1988

    Whatnot1988 Well-Known Member

    Since we're talking about who should voice the characters, here are some of my VA suggestions for any "new" Muppet Babies:

    Link Hogthrob--Jeff Bennett
    Denise--Jennifer Hale
    Beauregard--Phil LaMarr
    Rizzo--Ben Diskin
    Swedish Chef--Matt Hill?
    fufumuppet and MikaelaMuppet like this.

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