Fraggle Rock


Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Work your cares away,
Dancing’s for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
We’re Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red.

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock, a cornerstone of adolescent life for us generation Xers.  Jim Henson was probably one of the greatest artists of our time.  What was special about Jim as an artist is that he forged his own path in a craft that had been toyed with but never taken to it’s full potential.  Jim created entire fantasy worlds based around “puppets”, but these weren’t just puppets- especially to us as kids.  These were actually people who had lives in their worlds and interacted with each other.

Jim was so far ahead of his time that still to this day, computer graphics don’t look as real as a muppet walking across the stage or playing drums.  Jim Henson’s death was a tragedy and for most of us still a sad memory in our lives. For me it all started with Sesame Street (don’t try and be too cool for Sesame Street, most of you watched this!) and doing research for this piece on Fraggle Rock I stumbled across some old footage of the opening of Sesame Street in the 70’s. I never knew that there was an opening to the show like this, if you’re an old school fan you have to check this out.

Sesame Street taught us our ABCs, how to make friends and treat other people with respect, and we all could choose our favorite character on the show. Mine was Oscar the Grouch. When I was little my Mom and I stopped by a garage sale and picked up an Oscar the Grouch puppet. I was SO stoked to have my own muppet! After we got home I played with it for a bit and then it disappeared. I searched and searched for Oscar but he was nowhere to be found. Guess where he turned up? No, not in the garbage can. He was in the WASHING MACHINE! My Mom had washed Oscar the Grouch because he looked dark green and his fur was matted! “Mom, Oscar is supposed to look like that!” I wasn’t mad at my Mom for long because I just happened to luck out and get the best Mom on the planet. 😉

Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers helped build the foundation of the person that I am today. I can say that proudly and I give thanks to Jim Henson and Mr. Rogers for always being there for me. Wherever you two are, THANK YOU.

As I grew up I started to develop a bit of a sense of humor (as most of us do) and started watching the Muppet Show! This was awesome! Like Sesame Street but at night for older kids and grown-ups! The characters were so cool, there were the two old men always complaining, kermit the frog, ms. piggy, and of course ANIMAL!!!!!!! (&)&#(&#(#%(&@$(!#&!)*&!)&!)&!%@(@%&(@&%(@%&(@&%)(@!&%()@%&

One of the best episodes was where Buddy Rich (the best drummer that ever was and ever will be) made a guest appearance. No wonder I grew up to be a drummer… Watch it here:

I’ll be honest with you, it was only after years of Sesame Street and the Muppets did I happen to actually sit down and pay attention to the show my friends had all been talking about- FRAGGLE ROCK. If you were a kid in the 80’s and you just watched Fraggle Rock for the first time you thought your head just exploded (in a good way!) What a killer show! The creators must have been drinking mushroom tea while creating this world because it was a place you could get lost in, and we did!  One of the biggest influences this show provided me was the great music.  I don’t remember ANY other kids shows of the day that played blues, rock, pop, almost every kind of music under the sun.  I swear there were even some punk influences in there.  Fraggle Rock was hands down one of the best kids shows that ever was.  “It is a high-energy, raucous musical romp. It’s a lot of silliness. It’s wonderful.” Jim Henson said of Fraggle Rock. The different colorful characters involved in the show really made the world come alive.

!!!Fraggles, humanoid creatures about 18 inches tall, come in a wide variety of colors and have tails that bear a tuft of fur on the end. They live in a system of caves called Fraggle Rock – caves filled with all manner of creatures and features, and which seem to connect to at least two different worlds that exist in different dimensions of time and space. Fraggles live a very carefree life, spending most of their time playing, exploring, and generally enjoying themselves. However, that does not make them by any means irresponsible or simple: they maintain a fairly complex culture and society, with each Fraggle having a particular responsibility to uphold. The series presents Fraggles as curious, clever, brave and quick to act in an emergency. They have basic skills with tools and with crude machinery, and even the concept of war is familiar enough to them (although wars between Fraggles are very rare). Fraggles live on a diet of vegetables, especially radishes and “doozer sticks”. Fraggles have the ability to “share dreams”; if they touch their heads together before falling asleep, one can enter the dream of the other Fraggle. More than one Fraggle at a time can enter a single Fraggle’s dream, provided all the participants’ heads are touching. The series focused on one group of Fraggles in particular: Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober and Red. They form a tight-knit group of friends, and each has a distinct personality.

The series started in January of 1983 and ran until March 1987. Nikelodeon repeated it in the UK starting in 1993, as did Boomerang and Cartoonito later on. In 2010 the show was again broadcast on the new children’s channel Hub.

An untitled Fraggle Rock movie has been in development by the Jim Henson Company since 2005. The proposed film will “take Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red on an adventure outside of Fraggle Rock where they will interact with the strange beings in ‘outer space’ (also known as humans).” The Weinstein Company has partnered with the Henson Company to distribute the film. Cory Edwards, the writer and director of the 2005 animated film Hoodwinked!, was announced as the writer and director for the Fraggle Rock film in May 2008. Edwards has been describing the ups and downs of the process on his blog, Cory’s Curiosities. In mid-2009, Edwards began writing about his frustrations with the project, particularly with the Weinstein Company. In June 2010, Edwards announced that the Weinstein Company is looking for a replacement screenwriter, claiming that he’s been told that his script is “not edgy enough.”

In a May 2006 interview, Brian Henson said, “Yes, we are writing a Fraggle Rock movie and trying to pull it together.” Henson said that fans should expect the movie “to do something that sort of stands next to the Fraggle Rock series rather than be a continuation of the show.” The Jim Henson Company confirmed in an October 2006 press release that the movie was “in the works”. The press release also stated that “the treatment is being written by author Ahmet Zappa (The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless).”

In the Henson Company press release, Edwards said: Jim Henson’s work has had a huge influence on my life, so to get the chance to bring ‘Fraggles’ to the big screen is fantastic. Both Lisa and Harvey [Weinstein] have been very enthusiastic and supportive of my vision of this film. It’s my goal to make Fraggle fans happy, as well as make a great stand-alone fantasy adventure film.

Screenwriter Cory Edwards has been writing about his progress on the film on his personal blog, “Cory’s Curiosities”.

In March 2009, Edwards discussed the plans for the movie’s soundtrack: “I have been having some really cool meetings with some of the largest talent agencies about the MUSIC of the movie. We are talking to some big people about being involved. MAJOR names. Everyone agrees that this music has to be more than “kids rock,” or sing-songy stuff that is merely tolerable for adults. The hope is to make the soundtrack the best POP album it can be, while giving the movie those magical moments.”

He also discussed Henson’s concerns about the script:

“The other update is that I had a substantial creative meeting over at Henson on some bigger issues with the script. As excited as everyone has been about the screenplay, there were some larger, lingering notes. Notes about certain themes, about the length of time we spend in certain locations or on a certain character’s story. It’s been my experience that larger notes are the better discussions to have. Nitpicky debates over a line of dialogue or single action in a scene are seldom productive. But when you can dig down to a big ROOT concern, and then shift a major aspect of the script to meet that concern, that’s worth doing.  So I have launched into another rewrite for a few weeks to re-work the front of the movie and a few big moments in the story. But I’m excited. Because these are big notes, not little notes. Sure, redoing your whole kitchen takes a lot more work than replacing the sink, but it’s for a better payoff.”

In April 2010, Edwards wrote about the production’s holdup and once again restated that the script is good and that the Henson Company is not the source of the delay:

“There are many crazy things going on behind the scenes to get the film funded and to get the Weinstein Company completely committed. I’m very, very frustrated with the lack of progress, to put it lightly.  The script is GOOD, guys. I’m excited about it and I stand by it. But we are still in a continual cycle of draft, notes, draft, notes, draft, notes… It makes me want to bite a hole through an armchair, frankly. I’m at a loss. I’m ready to go, but the big decision-makers are not.  I’ve become very personally invested in this thing, and I desperately want to give you all the Fraggle movie you’ve been dreaming of. I get goosebumps when I think about the movie that could be. I think it’s still possible. However, I’m sad to say that you may not hear any updates on Fraggle Rock for a long time. I wanted to at least set your expectations. We’ve got to work some stuff out so we can do this right. I’ll do my best to keep you updated — if and when the slow wheels of this machine start moving again.”

In May 2010, Cory Edwards was interviewed by the Muppet Mindset about the Fraggle Rock movie. Edwards mentioned that Karen Prell and Dave Goelz would be reprising their roles as Red Fraggle and Boober Fraggle. He added that most of the cast members were having health problems, which could mean recasting.

In June 2010, Edwards posted on his blog that the Weinstein Company “have begun the search for a new writer, presumably to rewrite my entire script from scratch.” Edwards expressed concern and frustration about the process: “This is happening behind my back, without consulting me or even asking my opinion… The only overall note coming from the studio is this: ‘Not edgy enough.'”

Rejecting the word “edgy”, Edwards declared: “I have said repeatedly that I will do my very best to make this Fraggle movie relevant and modern, to compete with everything else out there. But what I will NOT do is sabotage what made the property beloved in the first place… Perhaps this [blog post] will get the studio to pick up the phone and actually engage me again.”  Later that month, Edwards reported he had spoken to the company about the script, and was given some changes they had requested.!!!

In July 2010, Edwards was interviewed by YouBentMyWookie.com about the Fraggle Rock movie.*  Feel free to jump over and read his article! (LINK HERE!)

Now all those facts regarding the possible upcoming Fraggle Rock movie aside, wouldn’t that be Fraggin’ cool?  To take a journey down to Fraggle Rock in the movie theater would be an absolute treat and I’m sure there are a lot of fans out there waiting for this movie to shine on the big screen.  Let’s just hope that it does good old Jim Henson justice, he’ll probably be watching.

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Work your cares away,
Dancing’s for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
We’re Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red.

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.

[!!! Via Muppet Wiki/*YouBentMyWookie.com]

Check out Fraggle Rock DVDs, Plush Toys, and more by navigating to AMAZON.COM here!


Thanks for the video links Mike Antone!  Check out Mike Antone’s music at http://www.LeftCoastGypsies.com!

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.