Twenty years after the last original episode of Fraggle Rock aired on cable television, it looks like The Jim Henson Company’s furry creations are coming back.
Fraggle Rock is a children’s show that ran for five seasons on the then-fledgling HBO cable station. The series centers around a cute, furry, and colorful bunch of creatures called Fraggles that live underground. Fraggles are carefree creatures who love to spend their days singing, playing, and laughing. They live alongside small and green ant-like creatures called the Doozers who in contrast, love to work as much as possible. Just outside the community of Fraggle Rock, live a family of giant Gorgs who would like to rid themselves of their cute neighbors. The show was created by Jim Henson as an international co-production and was adapted for different countries to meet the needs of its audience.
Fraggle Rock ran from 1983 until 1987 and 96 episodes. It was also very popular across the globe, was translated into many languages and ran in syndication for years later. An animated version (aptly named Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series) ran for one season on Saturday mornings on NBC in 1987.
When the Disney Company bought the Muppets from the Henson Company a few years back, they didn’t buy the Fraggle characters and shows. Two seasons of Fraggle Rock have recently been released on DVD and have sold very well. This has led fans to speculate that there may be a new Fraggle Rock production in the works.
Now, the Henson Company has put that speculation to rest and has officially announced that they will be producing a feature film of Fraggle Rock for a 2007 or 2008 release.
The film’s script treatment is being written by author Ahmet Zappa (Frank Zappa’s son and author of The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless books), who will also executive produce the project with Brian Henson and Jason Lust. Lisa Henson will produce the film. As you probably know, the Henson siblings are two of the five children of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson and are co-CEOs of The Jim Henson Company.
The as-yet-untitled film will follow Fraggles Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red on an adventure outside of Fraggle Rock where they will interact with strange beings (humans) in “outer space” for the first time. Lisa Henson said “The Fraggles didn’t really get into the human world on the series, so we plan to make the movie more about the intersection between the Fraggles and the humans.”
Henson continued, “Fraggle Rock has remained a favorite project at our company and has certainly continued to be loved by its many devoted fans, so we are thrilled to begin work on this project. With its message of celebrating diversity and its ambitious goal of promoting world peace, now is the perfect time to embark on a new Fraggle adventure. ”
Ahmet Zappa added “I’m very excited to be working with The Jim Henson Company on this project. So much of my childhood was spent watching Fraggle Rock. I never missed an episode! I’m also really looking forward to using music to tell the story; it played such a central role in the original series and truly helped create the Fraggle Rock that we know and love today.”
No word on the cast as yet but many of the Muppeteers that worked on Fraggle Rock are still with us and have expressed their love of the characters and their time on the original show.