ice cream making and ranting

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Down at Fraggle Rock

It’s a rather gloomy, if blogging about fraggles doesn’t cheer me up, then the day will probably be a complete loss.

Disc 4

I made it through all 4 episode discs, and halfway through the bonus features. What I didn’t realize about muppets is that the puppeteering and voices are done at the same time by the same person (although often a 2nd person is called in to help with an extra hand or tail or something). This adds another layer to the performance, and explains why once you work for the muppet shop you keep doing it.

#13 We Love You, Wembley: This is one of the best episodes, and has one of the best songs. Everyone wants Wembly’s help with something, and they want it all at once. And at first he tries to be all things to all people fraggles, But that leads to him taking a small spill. And while he’s a bit unconscious, a new fraggle, a girl named Lou, comes across him, and helps him out. And they become friends. The conversation between Wembly and his old friends goes something like this:

Wembly: I met this cool new fraggle
Gobo: What’s his name?
Wembly: HER name is Lou
Gobo: Yeah, I know her. She’s a stand up fraggle
Mokey: HER! OH WEMBLY! Do you know what this mean? You’re in loooooove. What are we going to do about it.
Wembly: Do about it? Love?

Wembly sings his Wimp Song

And Mokey, the stupid hippy, drags him to the Trash Heap for advice. And she gives him love potion #9. And then they get caught by a Gorg, so of course they use the love potion, and then it accidently gets spilled into the well that flows into the Fraggle ponds, and for like a minute all the fraggles are in love with Wembly. Then it wears off. And Mokey drags Lou over to Wembley, who has grown a bit of backbone. Wembly’s not in love with Lou, he just met her, and likes her and wants to spend more time with her, because she cares, and asks what he wants to do… And so they spend more time together doing fraggle things, and not all that mushy stuff that Mokey wants. And Wembly reprises his wimp song, with much better lyrics. Learn to Love a wimp “And how could anyone/ Ever have any fun/ If she never learned to love a wimp” And the nerd gets the girl, and my heart sings. In addition to that, we learn a valuable lesson about taking your friends for granted. (thanks friends, I don’t take you for granted)

#14 The Challenge: This episode kinda sucked. Attention whore, Red, is grumpy because Gobo is the leader. And as the friends go to the trash heap for help, they get captured under a wooden bucket by a Gorg. And only through working together can they free themselves. It would have been a total loss of an episode if doc didn’t get his very first computer, possibly and Apple II? And for some reason he plays a game that involves the dying pac-man sound. I had no idea it was such a unique sound, until I sat there for a few seconds, trying to figure out why it sounded familiar.

#15 I Don't Care: Boober shows some backbone and throws a hissyfit because the fraggles are so used to ignoring his crazy conspiracy theories that they pretty much ignore all his feelings. And we learn a valuable lesson about respecting everyone’s feelings, and not taking your friends for granted, no matter how crazy they are.#16 Capture the Moon: The fraggles, you see, don’ t understand quite how things work. And once a month, when the Gorg moon is full, is they only time they can see the reflection in their pond. But they think it’s their own special moon. And on moon day, Jr Gorg accidently gets stuck in the well, and blocks the reflection, so they think he stole it. So the fraggles decide to steal it back. But they realize something like the moon can’t be captured and held by the very few, it needs to stay wild for all to enjoy. And there are some really good hippy moon songs.

#17 Marooned: Seriously, episodes like this really illustrate that they weren’t trying to build a show only for children. Red and Boober, who never really had much to say to each other, get stuck in a cave in on his birthday. Red who’s usually a type A personality doesn’t really know what to do when she’s actually threatened. And Boober has been preparing for his demise for ever, and has resigned to death long ago. And as the air is running out, and the fraggles actually say something like “I’m feeling tired, and giddy—that means the air is running out and we don’t have long to live” Red actually admits she’s scared, and Boober comforts her. Boober also admits that he’s not really as grim on the inside as he is on the outside. And they sing a song, which if I was a crying person, would make me cry. The Friendship Song

Of course their friends save them, and they reprise the song, a bit happier, but still mushy enough to make a crying person cry.

#18 The Minstrels: This episode features Jim Henson as Cantus the leader of the wandering Minstrels, supposedly his last new role before his 1990 death. And he’s really good. The Minstrels record the song of every fraggle, and travel on to the next clan. And Attention whore, Red, pipes up and becomes the song leader. She has to find her song, within herself and will sing it first. But of course, she’s the least in tune with herself of all fraggles. And most of the fraggles find their songs quickly, they’re a musical species, you see, it’s in their blood.

Cantus has a magical pipe and when you blow into it, it plays your song. But only if you already know it yourself. And in the middle of the night Red steals it, so she doesn’t embarrass herself the next morning. And then it gets stolen by a gorg. Blah, blah, blah. They get it back. Red finally finds her song.

Jim Henson as Cantus, and the music really make this a much more powerful episode than anyone can describe in words. They do a whole interview segment on in, on the bonus disc, and you can see how the people, still today, are in awe of Jim.

Up next: knitting doozers


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