Muppet Babies (2018 TV series)

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Muppet Babies
Muppet Babies Logo.png
Also known asDisney Junior's Muppet Babies
Genre
Based on
Developed byMr. Warburton
Chris Hamilton
Directed by
Voices of
Opening theme"Muppet Babies" Main Title Theme
by Renée Elise Goldsberry
Ending theme"Muppet Babies" Main Title Theme (instrumental)
ComposersAndy Bean
Keith Horn
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes62 (96 segments) + (24 shorts) + special (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerMr. Warburton
ProducersSupervising Producer:
Chris Hamilton
Line Producers:
Sunisa Petchpoo
Kurt Weldon (S1)
Co-Producers:
Eric Shaw (S1)
Matt Danner
Chris Moreno
Robyn Brown
AnimatorSnowball Studios
Running time23 minutes
Production companiesThe Muppets Studio
Odd Bot Animation
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original networkDisney Junior
Original releaseMarch 23, 2018 (2018-03-23) –
present
Chronology
Preceded byThe Muppets (2015–2016)
Followed byMuppets Now (2020)
Related showsMuppet Babies (original series)
External links
Website

Muppet Babies is an American computer-animated television series featuring toddler versions of the Muppets characters that began airing on Disney Junior and Disney Channel on March 23, 2018[1] and is aimed at a target audience of children from ages 3 to 8.[2] It is a reboot of the original 1984–1991 animated series of the same name.

The show retains several of the younger incarnations of the classic Muppet characters seen in the previous series, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, and Animal. The series also sees the second appearance of Nanny (now known as "Miss Nanny", short for "Nancette"), and the first appearance of a new Muppet Babies member named Summer Penguin.[1]

Plot[edit]

The show details Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Summer Penguin, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and The Great Gonzo and a cast of characters using their imaginations.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
120March 23, 2018 (2018-03-23)May 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
SpecialAugust 3, 2018 (2018-08-03)
221August 9, 2019 (2019-08-09)August 21, 2020 (2020-08-21)
329January 4, 2021 (2021-01-04)January 14, 2022 (2022-01-14)

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Kermit (voiced by Matt Danner) – A level-headed and good-hearted frog who enjoys acting out adventure and making music with his banjo. However, he can get flustered rather easily, usually by the antics of those around him. He is also the leader of the Muppet Babies.
  • Piggy (voiced by Melanie Harrison[3]) – A temperamental and self-centered pig who considers herself a star and harbors a crush on Kermit. She mostly speaks in a high-pitched voice but would at times greatly deepen when she gets passionate or angry. She is best friends with Skeeter and Summer.
  • Fozzie (voiced by Eric Bauza[3]) – A fun-loving and goofy bear who aspires to be a comedian. He is also best friends with Kermit.
  • Gonzo (voiced by Ben Diskin[3]) – A highly eccentric and unpredictable “whatever” who loves to do stunts and anything that can be considered weird.
  • Animal (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker[3]) – A frenzied monster who likes playing the drums.
  • Summer (voiced by Jessica DiCicco) – A good-hearted and sweet-natured penguin from the South Pole who loves to make art. She is best friends with Piggy.[1]
  • Miss Nanny (voiced by Jenny Slate[3][4]) – The caretaker of the Muppet Babies and proprietor of her daycare who is only seen from the shoulders down. The pattern on her stockings changes to reflect relevant elements in the episode plot. Miss Nanny won a gold medal in a gymnastics discipline at the Sport-A-Thon.

Other Muppets[edit]

  • Camilla (vocal effects provided by Melanie Harrison) – A white chick and Gonzo's best friend who is involved with the Muppet Babies' activities.
  • Mr. Statler and Mr. Waldorf (voiced by Eric Bauza and Matt Danner respectively) – The neighbors of Miss Nanny who often comment about the Muppet Babies' activities from the balcony of their home.
  • Rizzo (voiced by Benjamin Diskin) – A self-centered and scheming rat who lives in the mouse hole in the Muppet Babies' playroom.
  • Bunsen Honeydew (voiced by Eric Bauza) – A young aspiring scientist.
  • Beaker (voiced by Matt Danner) – Bunsen’s assistant.
  • Dr. Teeth (performed by Bill Barretta) – The band leader of the Electric Mayhem. He appeared in a live-action transmission in "Muppet Rock" where he saw Animal perform backstage and is interested in having him join the Electric Mayhem. Animal turns him down for now as he needs to continue practicing.
  • Rowlf (voiced by Matt Danner) – A fun-loving and easygoing dog who loves to sing and make music, usually with his piano.
  • Sweetums (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) – An ogre who lives next door to the babies' daycare.
  • Chef (voiced by Matt Danner) – A mock Swedish-speaking cooking prodigy.
  • Robin (voiced by Eric Bauza) – A small polliwog who is Kermit's nephew. He has a tail due to being in his tadpole state.
  • Scooter (voiced by Ogie Banks) – A young boy who wears a green and yellow track jacket.
  • Skeeter (voiced by Cree Summer) – Scooter's athletic twin sister who wears a sports-inspired purple jacket, a baseball-shaped watch, and pig tails.
  • Sam (voiced by Eric Bauza) – An eagle. In this show, Sam is shown to fly.
  • Jill (voiced by Ashley Spillers) - A frog who lives across the street from the babies' daycare.
  • Pepe (voiced by Benjamin Diskin) - A prawn that appeared in Scooter's video game.

Other characters[edit]

  • Priscilla (vocal effects provided by Dee Bradley Baker) – One of Camilla's fellow chicks who is yellow.
  • Beep – One of Camilla's fellow chicks who is brown and makes the sound of a car horn instead of clucking.
  • Carlos (voiced by Todrick Hall) - A blue frog that appears in "Frogs of a Feather". In "Frog Scouts", Carlos becomes part of the Frog Scouts alongside Kermit and Robin.
  • Mr. Manny (voiced by Dulé Hill) - A friend of Miss Nanny. Like Miss Nanny, his head is never shown. Mr. Manny is known for his catchphrase where he states that a certain thing "is groovy" which is always accompanied by Mr. Manny doing horizontal gestures with his hands, bending his knees, and doing a motion that has him wiggle his hips. He is also shown to be a volunteer at the local library and the scout troop leader of the Frog Scouts.
  • Rozzie (voiced by Charlie Townsend) - A young koala who is Fozzie's adopted younger sister.

Production[edit]

Unlike the previous series, the update is produced using computer-generated animation and features two 11-minute stories per episode. The series is aimed at children between the ages of four and seven.[5]

Tom Warburton, best known for creating Cartoon Network's Codename: Kids Next Door, is the executive producer and Eric Shaw, former writer on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, is the story editor and co-producer.[6] The show is a co-production between Disney Junior, Odd Bot Animation, Snowball Studios and The Muppets Studio.

Production lawsuit[edit]

On October 23, 2020, it was reported that original Muppet Babies writer Jeffrey Scott would sue The Walt Disney Company for using ideas that originated in the 1984 series without permission or credit.[7] Scott also stated that he presented ideas and concepts to Disney in 2016 that were used without his permission.[8] On January 27, 2021, Disney filed a motion to dismiss it.[9] Disney argue that Scott had nothing to back up his claims and that he did not claim ownership to the copyright of Muppet Babies as an intellectual property when he filed for bankruptcy in 2003. The case was dismissed on March 31, 2021.[10]

Broadcast[edit]

The series premiered on Disney Junior on March 23, 2018 in the United States, the following day in Canada, and in Mexico on June 10.[2]

On September 7, 2018, it was renewed for a second season which premiered 11 months later on August 9, 2019.[11] On July 25, 2019, it was renewed for a third season, which premiered on January 4, 2021.[12]

Ratings[edit]

Viewership and ratings per season of Muppet Babies
Season Episodes First aired Last aired Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49
rank
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 19 March 23, 2018 (2018-03-23) 0.89[13] May 3, 2019 (2019-05-03) 0.45 0.74 TBD

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2018 TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Muppet Babies Nominated
2019 TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming Muppet Babies Nominated
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Preschool Animated Children's Series Tom Warburton
Eric Shaw
Joe Sichta
Chris Hamilton
Sarah Finn
Kurt Weldon
Nominated
Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special Jennifer Trujillo Nominated
Outstanding Performer in a Preschool Animated Program Eric Bauza Nominated
Ben Diskin Won
2020
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short Format Children’s Program: Muppet Babies: Play Date Tom Warburton
Matt Danner
Andy Bean
Nominated
Outstanding Performer in a Preschool Animated Program Eric Bauza Nominated
Matt Danner Won
Outstanding Directing for a Preschool Animated Program Matt Danner
Guy Moore
Collette Sunderman
Nominated
2021 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in a Preschool Animated Program Eric Bauza Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Schwartz, Dana (January 25, 2018). "Meet the new Muppet Baby! A first look at Summer the penguin". Entertainment Weekly.
  2. ^ a b Flaherty, Keely (January 25, 2018). "The Muppet Babies Are Returning To TV With A Brand New Muppet". Buzzfeed.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jenny Slate To Voice Iconic Role Of Miss Nanny In Disney's 'Muppet Babies' Revival". Deadline.com. February 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Swift, Andy (6 February 2018). "Muppet Babies Reboot: Jenny Slate to Voice the Iconic, Faceless 'Miss Nanny'".
  5. ^ "A Brand New Muppet Babies is On the Way". OhMyDisney.com. October 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Holloway, Daniel (October 26, 2016). "'Muppet Babies' Reboot Begins Production at Disney Junior". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "'Muppet Babies' Writer Sues Disney in LA Over Reboot". KNBC. October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  8. ^ Patten, Dominic (October 23, 2020). "Disney Accused Of Ripping Off 'Muppet Babies' Reboot; 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Scribe Sues". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  9. ^ Cullins, Ashley (January 28, 2021). "Disney Tells Court to Shush 'Muppet Babies' Reboot Suit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  10. ^ Gardner, Eriq (April 1, 2021). "Writer Loses 'Muppet Babies' Lawsuit Because of Old Bankruptcy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  11. ^ Kimberly Nordyke (September 7, 2018). "'Muppet Babies,' 'Vampirina,' 'Puppy Dog Pals' Renewed at Disney Junior (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  12. ^ "Disney Junior Orders Third Season of Hit Emmy Award-Nominated Series "Muppet Babies"". The Futon Critic. July 25, 2019.
  13. ^ "Top 150 Friday Cable Originals and Network Finals: 3.23.2018". Showbuzz Daily. March 26, 2018. Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.

External links[edit]