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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hollywood gets down with "Fraggle Rock"

Wake up the Doozers and break out the radishes -- the Fraggles are getting their own movie.

In news sure to delight children and stoners everywhere, Variety is reporting that the Weinstein Co. is set to make a live-action musical out of "Fraggle Rock," that beloved Jim Henson show from the mid-80s about a group of fuzzy, multi-colored underground creatures. (Hippies, in other words.)

It's already got a writer/director attached, which is good news. It's the dude that made "Hoodwinked" for the Weinsteins a couple years ago, which is bad news. Ahmet Zappa, son of Frank, is acting as executive producer, which is baffling news. The plot, as reported by Variety, involves the Fraggles (including Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Red and Boober) leaving their caves and venturing into the world of the humans, who think they are aliens.

First of all, I don't remember the show all that well -- it originally aired on HBO, after all, and I didn't even have basic cable growing up -- but is that really the best plot those guys could come up with? The Fraggles leave home and are mistaken for extraterrestrials? I'm sorry, didn't they already make "Muppets From Space"? If the Weinsteins really want to go the puppet-alien route, why not make "ALF: The Movie"? (No problem!)

So much time has passed since the show first aired, and there's an entire generation of kids who couldn't tell a Fraggle from a Furby, that it makes no sense to re-tailor the show for its feature film. I say keep the show in the caves, keep the Gorgs and the Doozers and Marjory the Trash Heap and you got a movie I'd pay to see. The Fraggles' universal themes of acceptance, friendship and ecology are just as universal today as they were during the Reagan administration. Sales of the show's DVD sets have been brisk, showing that fans are still eager to dance their cares away with the Fraggles. So c'mon Hollywood, put your heads together, start dreamsharing, and give us the movie we deserve!

Side note: "Fraggle Rock" has a rather dubious place in my own personal history, since as a rather messy-haired adolescent, I was disparagingly called "Fraggle" almost every day my freshman year of high school. I don't blame Jim Henson for this. The man was a genius, and it's not his fault I couldn't maneuver a comb.

-- Adam Reinhard,

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