All this talk of animation (this month’s theme) brought me further down memory lane (although not as far as my 3-year old trip to the movies to see Snow White) to when I would spend some of my childhood afternoons watching the Muppet Babies on TV.
Did you guys watch it too?
You may remember the following scene from The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) when Piggy has an elaborate fantasy with the gang as babies all hanging out and singing “I’m Gonna Always Love You”. (How cute is Rowlf in this scene?) This was the birth of Muppet Babies cartoon (also in 1984).
Nanny with her green-striped stockings (how you never see her face — it’s from a real kid’s perspective), the window seat, those glass blocks that are walls (who designed this thing?) – these are a few of my most familiar MB memories. Oh, and the show’s logo. It’s permanently embedded in my brain.
Muppet Babies ran for 7 seasons, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Series for four years in a row. The opening credits with its catch theme song (one that has the tendency to get stuck in your head) pretty much sums up the cartoon. The Muppets dive into imagination in every episode, get into a little trouble (“Sorry, Nanny”), encounter some live-action action (Star Wars… I didn’t even know what that was as a kid) and there’s the show.
While most of your favorite Muppet friends have been shrunken down to kid-size, there was one new addition: Skeeter – Scooter’s twin sister. I know for awhile I was wondering why I didn’t see her around; she was created just for the cartoon series to act as a foil to the extra-girlie Miss Piggy. (Evidence in the theme song: Skeeter says “I swing through the air” while Miss Piggy says “I like romance.”) Skeeter was more of a tomboy, plus it fulfilled a whole sibling storyline when Scooter and Skeeter would sometimes not get along. (I’m sure kids related to that.)
What’s most fun to me are the people who supplied the voices for a few of the Muppets.
This guy voiced Animal, Bunsen, and a few others.
Yes, Uncle Joey!
Talk show and “talent show” host Howie Mandel voiced Skeeter, Animal and Bunsen (before Uncle Joey).
You’ll recognize this one – the voice of Gonzo and Robin.
Well, not exactly Minnie Mouse per se but Russi Taylor, who is currently the voice of Minnie!
If you feel like refreshing your memory, Muppet Babies aren’t on DVD but you can find quite a few episodes on YouTube. My biggest revelation: Miss Piggy wasn’t as snotty when she was a little kid but she did like a donut. (Who doesn’t?)
Here’s a quick clip from the beginning of an episode (with a different set of opening credits):
You know what I also remembered? These guys were in my toy collection!