Muppet Babies

"Muppet Babies"

First and second season title card
Also known as 'Jim Henson's Muppet Babies'
Genre Animated series
Created by Jim Henson
Developed by Jeffrey Scott
Written by
  • Jeffrey Scott
  • Sindy McKay
  • Larry Swerdlove
  • Hank Saroyan
  • J.R. Young
Voices of
Theme music composer Hank Saroyan
Rob Walsh
Opening theme "Muppet Babies"
Ending theme "Muppet Babies" (Instrumental)
  • Rob Walsh (Season 1–6)
  • Robert Irving (Season 7–8)
  • Hank Saroyan (Season 7–8)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 107 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Claster Television
Disney-ABC Domestic Television
Original network CBS, Nick Jr
Audio format
  • Mono (1984–86)
  • CBS Stereosound (1987–91)
Original release September 15, 1984 (1984-09-15) – November 22, 1991 (1991-11-22)
Preceded by The Muppets Take Manhattan

Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, commonly known by the shortened title Muppet Babies, is an American animated television series that aired from September 15, 1984 to November 2, 1991 on CBS. The show portrays childhood versions of the Muppets living together in a nursery under the care of a human woman called Nanny. Nanny appears in almost every episode, but her face is never shown, only the babies' view of her pink skirt and purple sweater as well as her distinctive green and white striped socks. The idea of presenting the Muppets as children first appeared in a dream sequence in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), released two months before Muppet Babies debuted, in which Miss Piggy imagined what it would be like if she and Kermit the Frog had grown up together.

Muppet Babies was produced by The Jim Henson Company and Marvel Productions. The rights are now held by The Walt Disney Company, which separately acquired both the Muppets characters and Marvel. Although the episodes were 30 minutes (including commercials), it was typically shown in 60 and even 90 minute blocks during the peak of its popularity. Outside of the United States, the show was distributed by Walt Disney Television.


The "muppet babies" live in a large nursery watched over by Nanny, who is seen only from the shoulders down. The babies' imaginary games transition from the nursery into scenes that become "real" to the babies, such as finding themselves aboard a pirate ship or in the land of Oz. Often these fantasies are filled with stock footage scenes or live-action clips from popular movies such as Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and Indiana Jones. Each episode contains a related musical number. When the pretend game becomes too perilous, or when an interruption occurs (often in the form of Nanny checking in or the imaginary game straying too far from its original premise), the scene dissolves and they find themselves in the nursery once more.

The central idea of each episode is the power of imagination. Sometimes the babies use their imagination to solve a problem (when Nanny's newspaper is accidentally ruined, the babies write their own newspaper to replace it), but occasionally their imaginations run away with them (overhearing Nanny's phone call to the garbage collector (to help her decide which armchair to donate to charity) leads the babies to fear that Fozzie is going to be thrown away). Other frequent themes involve the babies coming up with new ways to play with old toys, imagining what life will be like when they are adults, or facing common childhood firsts such as a visit to the dentist or a new addition to the family. Nanny is the voice of reason, congratulating them on their creativity or soothing their fears.


The series stars Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Scooter, Skeeter, Rowlf the Dog, and Gonzo as the main muppets. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker made regular appearances as did Camilla in the form of Gonzo's stuffed baby chick. In the final two seasons, Bean Bunny and Statler and Waldorf began making regular appearances.

Several Muppets made guest appearances including Janice as an older preteen, and Kermit's nephew, Robin, a young tadpole.

The Muppet Baby character Skeeter, Scooter's twin sister, only appeared in this series, and was never a live-action Muppet. This was done because the producers wanted another female character added to the cast. Despite this, Skeeter was always voiced by a male actor (first Howie Mandel, and later Frank Welker).



Additional voices


Production history

In 1984, The Muppets Take Manhattan, the third full-length Muppet film, debuted. The film included a fantasy sequence in which Miss Piggy imagined what growing up with Kermit would have been like. While Piggy sang, baby versions of Rowlf, Fozzie, Scooter, and Gonzo acted as backup singers. The live-action sequence was so popular that The Jim Henson Company turned the idea into a half-hour cartoon program. In order for 107 episodes to be produced, Henson and Marvel hired two companies: the Japanese-based Toei Animation for Seasons 1–3 and five episodes of Season 4, and the Korean-based AKOM Productions for Episode six of Season 4 through Season 7, both of which also animated G.I. Joe and The Transformers for Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions.

Muppet Babies proved highly popular and ran on CBS from 1984 to 1991, a total of seven seasons. At the height of its popularity it ran in two or three episode blocks. Even after the conclusion of the series, it had remained so popular that CBS continued to air reruns of the series until the fall of 1992.

For a brief run in the second season, the program became Muppets, Babies & Monsters, and a second half-hour was dedicated to a new show called Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters. This show featured live action puppets and cartoons starring the adult Muppet characters. The program lasted three weeks before Jim Henson pulled the plug, despite 18 episodes having been made. The show then reverted to an hour of Muppet Babies; however, a portion of the Little Muppet Monsters theme could still be heard in the show's end credits for the remainder of its run. Muppet Babies later expanded to 90 minutes after CBS pulled The Garbage Pail Kids before it even aired due to controversy.

It is noted for starting a trend of relaunching popular cartoon characters as younger versions of themselves. This trend can be seen in numerous TV series such as A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, The Flintstone Kids, Baby Felix, Tiny Toon Adventures (the main characters actually are parodies of the Looney Tunes. The Looney Tunes themselves are their instructors), Tom and Jerry Kids and Jungle Cubs (based on characters from Walt Disney's animated film The Jungle Book) as well as merchandise items such as Baby Snoopy, Baby (Betty) Boop, Disney Babies, Baby Hello Kitty, Care Bear Cubs, and Baby Garfield. In recent years, Baby Looney Tunes, Sesame Beginnings and Baby Mario continued the concept. The show was a critical success during its time on the air: the show won four consecutive Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Animated Program, 1985–88, and won a Humanitas Prize for Children's Animation in 1985.[2]

Muppet Babies was voted "Top Cartoon of the Childhood Days" by the Irvin Hall newspaper's weekly review of the Pennsylvania State University in 2007.


The series entered local syndication in 1989, and ran until 1992. Syndication rights were sold to Nickelodeon (1992–1999) and Odyssey Network (1999–2000).


Approximately 100 of the songs were co-written by Alan O'Day and Janis Liebhart, with the exception of the theme song and "Rocket To The Stars" which were written by Hank Saroyan and Rob Walsh, and Dream for Your Inspiration, written by Scott Brownlee. The song that played during the end credits was laughingly titled "Hank in the Box" in deference to Hank Saroyan.


In the mid-1980s PVC Muppet Babies toys were available as prizes in McDonald's' Happy Meals. Each non-articulated character came with a wheeled vehicle. Some time later, special Christmas stuffed versions of the Muppet Babies were available in Happy Meals, too.

In 1992, after the last aired Muppet Babies episode in 1991, an episode book collection of Muppet Babies was produced from the book company Grolier. It was called The Muppet Babies Press Books. The book talked mostly about character traits and learning for young children. It was produced and ended in 1992.

There were two Muppet Babies LP records produced and released on Parker Bros./Columbia records. Both albums were produced by Hank Saroyan and Rob Walsh and featured extended versions of songs from certain Muppet Babies episodes. The first album, "Rocket To The Stars" was also a fully produced stereo story-adventure starring the Muppet Babies characters in which the songs were woven into the all new story written by Saroyan. The second album was strictly more fully produced longer versions of songs from the show.

BMG released a CD version of the first album when it bought Henson. The CD was renamed "Rock It To The Stars", likely due to Parker Bros./Columbia records owning the name "Rocket to the Stars".

Songs—Rocket To The Stars: Muppet Babies theme, Merry-G0-Round, Sleep Rockin', Dream For Your Inspiration, Good Things Happen in the Dark, Camilla, Rocket To The Stars, Practice Makes Perfect, Be What You Wanna Be, I Can't Help Being a Star, Closing Theme.

A second, music only Muppet Babies LP, "Music Is Everywhere" was also produced.

Songs: (side one) Music Is Everywhere, Table For One, Wocka Wocka Wocka, Snow White Blues, Wishes Have A Way, Best Friends, Runnin' Out Of Time (side two) We Love Cartoons, Show Us The Real You. Amadogus, Semi-Weirdo, Art Is For Your Heart, Playin' In The City, TV Maniacs.


From 1985 until 1989, Marvel Comics produced a monthly comic book of the Muppet Babies with their Star Comics imprint, drawn by Marie Severin. The series lasted for twenty-six issues. The back-up stories on the last two issues, #25 (May 1989) and #26 (July 1989), were drawn by Nate Butler. In 1992, Harvey Comics acquired the rights to produce Muppet Babies comics and produced a further 3 issues (restarting at issue #1).

The Muppet Babies also appeared in Star Comics Digest (also known as Star Comics Magazine). This comic was printed in digest size format, and features a number of reprinted short stories in each issue. The series itself lasted for thirteen issues from 1986 until 1988. It should be noted that the Muppet Babies appeared in some, but not all the issues. Other short stories contained in Star Comics Digest included Madballs, Heathcliff, the Care Bears, and Top Dog.

Home media releases

Although not every Muppet Babies episode was released on VHS, a number of them were released between 1993 and 1995. One series released on VHS called "Yes I Can" included three videos, which featured two Muppet Babies episodes inside. The series focused on Robin the Frog, who asks his uncle Kermit for assistance in different chores he was struggling with such as cleaning his room or doing homework. Kermit would lead off into a Muppet Babies episode which told of a similar situation. Sometimes, he would give examples about achieving Robin's trouble. For example, in one Yes I Can video, Robin is worried about making new friends, and Kermit tells him that sharing is an example of having a good friendship, which leads directly to a Muppet Babies episode.

There have been no plans announced of any DVD releases of Muppet Babies. One possible reason is that clips from other TV shows and movies (such as Star Trek, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, "The $25,000 Pyramid", Raiders of the Lost Ark and *batteries not included) were used extensively in imagination sequences, closet opening scenes, and scenes on the TV in the nursery and thus could pose difficulties in terms of resolving possible copyright issues. Recently, a few episodes were made available, in uncut form, as bonus DVDs with Muppet Babies plush toys.


VHS release

There are 18 VHS releases in all

U.S. 1st Releases (4):

'U.S. 2nd releases 'Yes I Can' Release (3):

McDonalds Releases (4):

Video Buddy Interactive Releases (3)

UK Releases (2) (works on any VCR):

Episode 109: Close Encounters of the Frog Kind Episode 102: Dental Hyjinks

Episode 110: Gonzo's Video Show Episode 101: Noisy Neighbors

Australia Releases (2) (works on any VCR):

Episode 207: I Want My Muppet TV! Episode 206: Snow White and the Seven Muppets Episode 201: Once Upon an Egg Timer

Episode 104: Raiders of the Lost Muppet Episode 102: Dental Hyjinks

Total 25 VHS Release Episodes in order:

Other appearances

Baby Kermit, Piggy, and Gonzo made small appearances in the drug prevention TV special (later released on home video) Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. When the rest of the characters met the cats, Murray Hare, and the rest of the characters that they sang from Jefferson Starship and more of the songs from Muppet Babies - Out of this Rockin' Town World.

A live-action version of all the characters except Skeeter also appeared in A Muppet Family Christmas in the form of a home movie, which the adult Muppets watched during the Christmas Party. The segment was cut out of the home video releases because the rights to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" could not be obtained.

Skeeter in her adult form was featured in the "Family Reunions" issues of The Muppet Show comics.


In January 2009, IGN named Jim Henson's Muppet Babies as the 31st best in the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows.[3]

Awards and nominations

Daytime Emmy Awards


A reboot of the series is currently in development and is scheduled to premiere on Disney Junior in 2018. As opposed to the traditional animation of the original show the reboot will instead use CGI. Tom Warburton will serve as the executive producer while former SpongeBob SquarePants writer, Eric Shaw will serve as the story editor.[5]

See also


  1. "Animation Industry Finding Cost Of Laughter Is In Serious Trouble". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  2. Awards
  3. "Top 100 animated series". IGN. Archived from the original on 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  4. "Santa Barbara Takes Drama Emmy". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  5. Holloway, Daniel (October 26, 2016). "'Muppet Babies' Reboot Begins Production at Disney Junior". Variety.

External links

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