I’m quite surprised that the Muppets have never really been about Halloween in all their time on screen. They’ve mostly been about Christmas and Thanksgiving which is a shame, because they’re fitted well for the holiday. I’d love it if the Henson company allowed for yearly Halloween specials, but at this point it’s probably wishful thinking. Nonetheless, “Muppets Haunted Mansion” does a good job mixing the Disney attraction with the Muppets.
After learning recently that “Fast and the Furious” actually had an animated series on Netflix for kids, I was stunned, but not entirely shocked. There’s still some cash to be mined from the series, and there’s room to appeal to kids. In either case, with that and with “Gremlins” also being turned in to animated series, I couldn’t help but think back to five great animated series I watched as a kid that were based on feature films. What are some of your favorites?
BOOTLEG FILES 619: “The Wizard of Id” (1970 animated short based on the long-running comic strip).
LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube and the Internet Archive.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Nope.
For every “Peanuts” or “Garfield” that made the successful transition from newspaper comic strip to film and television productions, there are plenty of other comic strips that failed in their efforts to get off the printed page. This is not difficult to understand: what can be charming and droll in a three-panel strip is often labored and contrived when voices are added and stories are stretched out to greater lengths.
Director Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” is one of the many epic fantasy films of the eighties indirectly influenced by George Lucas’ “Star Wars,” and while it never aspires to be anything more than a standalone tale, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t possess epic potential from beginning to end. Director Henson unfolds a very unique and entertaining tale of a young girl who learns how to grow as a person through a menacing adventure through a massive labyrinth. Much in the realm of “Alice in Wonderland,” or “Wizard of Oz,” young Sarah finds herself confronting many monsters and menaces, and becomes a hero in the end.
When I was a kid, Jim Henson was my absolute hero. He invented so many of my childhood characters, he pioneered some of my favorite television shows of all time, did so many great voices for various incredible characters, and voiced my favorite character all time, Kermit the Frog. So when he passed away it was a somber and heartbreaking occasion for me. I remember sitting through the memorial song played on television where the muppets are contemplating Henson’s death and I couldn’t even sit through it. Mid-way I literally got up and left putting the television on mute, barely able to come to terms with Henson’s passing. It felt like my grandfather, who spent so many years telling me great stories and inventing this magical world was gone. It was yet another artist going away forever.
The muppets and Sesame Street were never the same again. Sure they can pretend they rebounded, but when Jim died, everything else did, and universe for these characters was just completely pointless and oozing consumerism. Characters were no longer there to tell stories, they were just there to sell merchandise. One of the many reasons why i utterly despised and continue to despise Elmo. Seriously, I loathe that character more than Mickey an the entire cast of “Family Guy” combined. Since his death and my introduction to his work, Henson has been one of the major influences on my life inspiring my love for impressions and voices, and for creating my own characters, and I had to pay homage to the man, the legend, Jim Henson.