Muppet Babies

From Academic Kids

Jim Henson's Muppet Babies is an animated television series that aired from 1984 to 1991 on the CBS Television Network. Loosely based on a sequence in the Muppet movie The Muppets Take Manhattan, the show depicted the Muppets as young children living together in a large nursery. The nursery was presided over by a human named Nanny, whose face was never seen and whose trademark was green-striped knee socks.

The babies had active imaginations, and often embarked on adventures into imaginary worlds, which would often run away with them, leading them into perilous situations from which they were eventually saved when some external event — often Nanny coming to see what the noise was—brought them back to reality, revealing that, for instance, the giant squid that had them in its tentacles was really just the tail end of a curtain.

The show often parodied elements of pop culture, from Star Wars to Batman to Beetlejuice; many of the babies' imaginary adventures incorporated actual clips from famous movies.

A recurring "set up" gag was to have one of the kids, usually Gonzo, open the closet door in search of something and find something totally bizarre or scary inside (especially old movie clips incorporated into the animation).

Although it technically contradicts what is usually considered Muppet canon, a reference to the "real" Muppets is given in one episode where Kermit wishes his friends would stay together and enter show business—which they did in The Muppet Movie

A notable Muppet Babies character was Skeeter, Scooter's look-alike sister, who appeared only in this series and was never a real-life Muppet.

In this series, characters referred to Gonzo as being a "weirdo," as if it was a sort of creature as much as it referred to his behavior. (The movie Muppets From Space delves more deeply into the matter.)

Baby Kermit, Baby Piggy, and Baby Gonzo also made small appearances in the drug prevention video Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.

The most notable feature of this show is that it started a trend for relaunching popular character franchises as younger versions of themselves. This trend can be seen in A Pup Named Scooby Doo, Baby Looney Tunes, Flintstones Kids, and numerous others.

Muppet Babies was produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marvel Productions. After originally airing on CBS, it was later re-run on Nickelodeon. Jim Henson Home Video has announced that the first season will be released on DVD in 2005.

Voice cast

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