After failing to take advantage of their big second chance on ABC, the Muppets have decided to take a page from their cousins over at Sesame Street and stop trying to prove how edgy they are, and instead be more “child-friendly.” The Muppet Babies are coming to Disney Junior with an all-new CGI series, premiering sometime in 2018, with Tom Warburton of Pepper Ann fame and Eric Shaw of SpongeBob SquarePants fame attached.
The Muppet Babies have their origin in a dream sequence in The Muppets Take Manhattan, in which Miss Piggy imagines sexually harassing Kermit back when they were babies (shocker). The sequence proved popular enough that it launched a cartoon spin-off, with the Muppets now babies living in a nursery with a headless woman. Kermit’s nephew Robin was originally written out due to obvious reasons, but turned out to be a tadpole in one episode.
Enslaving the children of the Eighties with its popularity, it spawned knock-off after knock-off of every vaguely child-friendly franchise having a spin-off that re-imagined their characters as being younger. Also, Tiny Fuppets. We’re not entirely sure where it came from, but anything involving Gumby seducing Miss Piggy with some George Michael clearly merits its own existence.
According to a press release, the show will be aimed at kids aged four to seven and explore “the power and potential of imaginative play.” As with the original show, the Muppet Babies will go on adventures in their imagination with things like time travel and space exploration.
Disney Junior Worldwide executive VP, original programming and general manager Nancy Kanter released a statement saying that, “Parents will delight in seeing their favorite Muppets in the mixed animation style they remember from the original series, and kids will be introduced to this warm and zany world made just right for the Disney Junior audience.”
According to Muppets Studio VP Debbie McClellan, “Bringing Muppet Babies to Disney Junior is a wonderful opportunity to reach a new generation of viewers and to creatively build on the innovative original series. We hope to engage and delight the nostalgic fans while also entertaining new kids, parents, and diverse audiences through heart and humor as only the Muppets can deliver.”
It is currently unknown if actors are have been cast, let alone who they will be. The original series actually used regular voice actors rather than the original Muppet performers. In fact, the original cartoon is currently the only Muppet incarnation where Miss Piggy has been voiced by a woman in the original production. The new series will likely follow suit.
And no, we have no idea if the headless woman or Scooter’s dead twin sister will appear in the reboot. Nanny’s actress, Barbara Billingsley, died in 2010, so they might retire the character out of respect. She-who-must-not-be-named was played by a young Howie Mandel…so yeah.