If you’re like me then you probably have a special place in your heart for the animated cartoon Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, which aired for eight seasons beginning in 1984. However, if you’re not currently a parent of a preschooler or younger child, then you may not even be aware that like nearly every other beloved ’80s property, Muppet Babies has been rebooted in the form of a new (and wonderfully reimagined) Disney Junior cartoon. August 14th marks the release of the new Muppet Babies: Time to Play! DVD, which features ten shorts, six music videos, and six episodes to delight both you and your children.
Following the basic premise of the original series and a familiar theme song, the new Disney version of Muppet Babies features kid versions of five familiar muppets (Kermit, Piggy, Animal, Gonzo, and Fozzie) along with a new addition (Summer, a penguin) as they interact with their daytime caretaker “Ms. Nanny” and swap between the “real” world and make-believe. Episodes are fun and inventive, and always try to contain a positive message such as facing your fears, sportsmanship, and dealing with loss through fun imaginative adventures like searching for a dragon or Olympic-style sports competition. Each episode is actually comprised of two storylines/mini-episodes. This DVD set brings you:
- Sir Kermit the Brave/Animal Fly Airplane
- Hatastrophe/Fly South
- The Great Muppet Sport-A-Thon/You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend
- Super Fabulous vs. Captain Icecube/Piggy’s Time Machine
- How Kermit Got His Groove/One Small Problem
- Playground Pirates/The Blanket Fort
Having not watched the original hand-drawn Muppet Babies in countless years, seeing the familiar faces stunningly computer animated was quite refreshing. I will admit that the voice actors are not as close to the original sources for my taste (save Fozzie Bear, voiced by Eric Bauza, who is spot on), but once you watch an episode or two, you’re easily lost in enjoyment. There’s a song each episode, which made me immediately think of Nickelodeon’s The Backyardigans, which I loved. The Muppet Babies songs aren’t quite as catchy as The Backyardigans, but in their absence, I’m sure your kids will still enjoy them. Plus, Muppet fans will enjoy a few surprises here and there such as nosy neighbors Waldorf and Statler. Overall, I’ll let my 9-year old daughter’s review stand in for my own: “Miss Piggy is really sassy, but it’s really cute and way better than Sesame Street.”
The DVD is available beginning August 14, 2018. If you haven’t yet checked it out, Disney has released the full Sir Kermit the Brave/Animal Fly Airplane episode that you can watch legally on YouTube. Check it out below, and if you like what you see pick up the DVD today!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes. All opinions are my own.