The day to day life of the muppet-like inhabitants of a wind-up music box castle. This Castle is named Eureeka's Castle and it's owned by a giant. Of the inhabitants there's Eureeka, a ... See full summary »
Bean Bunny is too small to be useful (says his brother) to help prepare for the Bunny Picnic, so he wanders off and sees a legendary persecutor of all rabbits: the farmer's dog. But nobody ... See full summary »
David G. Hillier
Doc and his dog Sprocket have a hole in their wall, behind which live little furry creatures known as Fraggles in a place called Fraggle Rock. The Rock is also home to the Doozers (who are knee-high to a Fraggle) and the Gorgs (who are giants that think they rule the Rock). One gang of Fraggles (Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and Red), under the guidance of the all-knowing Trash Heap (Marjorie), learn about each other and their neighbors and eventually befriend the Doozers, the Gorgs--and even Doc and Sprocket. Meanwhile, Gobo's Uncle Matt explores Outer Space (our world) and sends postcards to his nephew about the Silly Creatures (that's us). Written by
Jim Henson spent many hours at the Robotorium, INC with Debbie the Roboteer learning to use the new Apple IIE desktop computer (her cousin programmed with the first RS232 interface ports) and interfaced with a Rhino XRII bored out airplane aluminum 6 to 8 axis robotic arm. Through experimentation they came up with a way to have one puppeteer use an actuated mitt controller arm to animate miniature puppets (the worm-like critters) or even choruses of different puppets through the use of the same robotic applications and programming. The mitt ran the motors on each axis of each of the puppets. The puppeteer put their arm into the mitt controller and went through the motions. See more »
wonderful many years down the line; kids of today might want to take a look
Shows like Fraggle Rock don't get the chance to grace the TV screens anymore. Indeed, back in the 80's and early 90's when the show was most popular among kids and (some) of their parents, there was almost nothing else like it on TV. While it shared its connection to the other Jim Henson driven show, Sesame Street, it wasn't restricted to all of the same conventions. I remember the show as a kid bringing some memorable songs, lovable characters, and some morals that rivaled most of the animated cartoons. It was also at times, along with the tradition of the muppets, very funny. The dynamics of the world of the Fraggles, of their middle-world between the world of humans and the flip-side to the Gorgs, is something of fantasy fascination even as I'm now an adult.
Once the basic premise is set-up from episode 1- Uncle "Travelly" Matt goes off into the real world to explore leaving his nephew Gobo and his pals (Mokey, Boober, Red, and Wembly) to have to retrieve a postcard each episode. In each episode, however, the Fraggles- along with their little friends the dozers, and the ominous Gorgs who think of themselves as the "rulers of the universe"- learn some new lessons, and sing some catchy songs. The whole concept of the show is practically never cynical, and like the best animated kids shows they give a variety of characters for kids to identify with and simple adventures for them to go through. There's also the wonderful touch of Doc and his dog Sprocket, who sort of keep a parallel to what the Fraggles learn.
Was this as groundbreaking as the Muppet Show or Sesame Street? Yes and no; the humor and general storytelling is definitely at times more geared to kids, and for some adults it could be a little boring. But on a technical level it's still a marvel- the little dozers especially seem hard to control, which goes to show how much ahead of the game Henson was with his creations (and the mechanics of them). The sad thing is, those who are kids right now have an idea and have seen many of the Muppet stuff- the movies, the show maybe, the cartoons- as Fraggle Rock lays dormant. Luckily there is the new DVD of the first season out, which can provide a glimpse into what made it such a cult favorite in the 80's. I still like watching an episode every so often, and like with the other Muppet films and such, it brings a smile to my face, and not very cheaply either.
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