Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets

Retro Records: The Case Of The Missing Mother (1984)

Welcome back, friends, to a new Retro Records offering. This time since it’s Father’s Day…we are sharing The Case of the Missing Mother? While the timing certainly isn’t working out, this book and record features Jim Henson’s Muppets at least. Released back in 1984 it seems like this read along story is long out of print. Which is a shame as The Case of the Missing Mother most assuredly possesses that Muppets charm.
Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets - Fozzie - Tough Pigs

For what it might be worth, I believe The Case of the Missing Mother marks a first for Retro Records. What I mean is that it was originally released in 1983 as a book by Random House. Written by James Howe and masterfully illustrated by William Cleaver. But that was it. A book and record as well as tape version were produced a year later.

If James Howe’s name sounds familiar, that is indeed for a good reason. Not only did he write an additional Muppet story with The Muppet Guide to Magnificent Manners. He was also the writer for a very popular series of children’s books. Along with his late Wife Deborah Howe, they co-wrote 1979’s Bunnicula.
Case of the Missing Mother - Bunnicula - Deborah and James Howe

William Cleaver, whose art totally fits both The Muppets and the story. Would go on to do some illustrations for the Sesame Street Magazine in 1988.

Case of the Missing Mother - Sesame Street - William Cleaver

Image courtesy of the Muppet Wiki.

Yet another curious thing about The Case of the Missing Mother is with the book and record. It turns out there are some changes between the original book and the read-along book and records. This might be because of the cast of those recordings.

Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets - Tough Pigs

Book pages courtesy of Tough Pigs

Jim Henson provides the voice of Kermit the Frog. Frank Oz performs Fozzie, Miss Piggy, as well as Animal. With Jerry Nelson Floyd and Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo. In addition to Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice and LaVerne…Animal’s Mother!
Case of the Missing Mother - Animal's Mother - Tough Pigs

Which brings us to the plot for this book and record offering. The Muppet gang can’t help but notice that Animal is acting strangely. More manic than normal…for Animal that is. Then everyone’s favorite drummer up and disappears. It turns out he has lost his Mother’s address and with it approaching Mother’s Day he is frantic.
Case of the Missing Mother - The Muppets - Animal - Tough Pigs

Will The Muppets be able to solve The Case of the Missing Mother?

[Via] Maxwell Zinck

Skeksis Castle - Sideshow Collectibles - Chronicle Collectibles

Safeguard The Dark Crystal With The Skeksis Castle!

The other day I was perusing Facebook while covering my shift at the Retroist Vault. Eric LeFeber, one of our friends from Warpo toys posted something pretty awesome. The Skeksis Castle from 1982’s The Dark Crystal is being produced by Sideshow Collectibles.

Yes, that bastion of Evil that the Skeksis represented on Thra can now be pre-ordered. The very place that the Skeksis gathered daily to prolong their life in the Crystal’s chamber. Will indeed be available soon to sit on your desk.
Skeksis Castle - The Dark Crystal - Crystal Chamber

Now I will admit you don’t have to wear the finery of a Skeksis when you purchase the Skeksis Castle. I simply put forth the suggestion that if you do it will enhance this collectible. For my money one should attempt to pull off the style of SkekZok the Ritual-Master.
Skeksis Castle - The Dark Crystal - SkekZok

I have looked through the press release below from Sideshow Collectibles concerning the Skeksis Castle. I did not however find any information on if you will be able to release the crystal bats on owning the collectible.

All right now. With all my silliness aside. Sideshow Collectibles as well as Chronicle Collectibles is releasing something amazing. Read this press release to see why the castle collectible is so special:

“Sideshow and Chronicle Collectibles proudly present from The Dark Crystal: the Castle of the Skeksis Scaled Replica! The Castle of the Skeksis is an iconic piece instantly recognizable to anyone who is a fan of this classic film. Relive the epic journey of Jen and Kira as they travel to the Castle of the Skeksis by owning this magnificent prop replica.
Skeksis Castle - The Dark Crystal - Chronicle Collectibles - Sideshow Collectibles

To ensure fans are getting a high-end collectible made to exacting standards, The Jim Henson Company allowed Chronicle Collectibles to 3-D scan the original screen-used prop. Artists then painstakingly documented and photographed every twist and turn of the spires to guarantee a precise scaled replica that The Dark Crystal fans will be overjoyed to own.
Skeksis Castle - Detailed View - Sideshow Collectibles - Chronicle Collectibles

Measuring over 18” tall and approximately 8” wide and made out of polyresin, this museum-quality scaled replica will be the perfect centerpiece to show your love for The Dark Crystal. The next Great Conjunction is near!”

You can visit any of the links to Sideshow Collectibles to pre-order today. The expected delivery date is between January and March of 2019. Definitely a perfect gift for The Dark Crystal fan in your life, right?

Of course if the Skeksis Castle isn’t really your thing. How about pre-ordering the Emperoro’s Scepter instead?


Skeksis Castle - Emperor's Sceptre - Sideshow Collectibles

Muppet Guys Talking - Group Shot

Muppet Guys Talking Is Finally Getting Released!

Well, to be honest about it, Muppet Guys Talking has already been released. It actually was released on March 12, 2017 for the South by Southwest Film Festival. Now though it’s going to be released for all of us to see, by way of the Muppet Guys Talking site on March 16th!

[Via] MuppeGuysTalking

Just as a bit of trivia you might want to know of course, the original title for Muppet Guys Talking was in fact entitled Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched. That is certainly a mouthful, right?
Muppet Guys Talking - SXSW 2017

Over these many years that I have been fortunate enough to share my interests on The Retroist. I have continuously shared my love of the work and creations of Jim Henson. Now we have this amazing opportunity to listen to five of the Muppet performers share their memories. Not on just on how Henson led his team of performers but personal tales of how they helped to develop a legacy that is still relevant today.

In Muppet Guys Talking we will hear from Frank Oz, the creator of Miss Piggy, Grover, Animal, and Bert to name a few.

[Via] Norwegian Norway

Also in the documentary is Fran Brill, the talent behind characters such as Prairie Dawn, Betty Lou, and Polly Darton.
Muppet Guys Talking - Polly Darton

The late and great Jerry Nelson is featured in Muppet Guys Talking too. Gobo Fraggle, Count Von Count, as well as Emmett Otter were a few of his creations.

[Via] Jim Henson Foundation

Bill Barretta is part of the group in the documentary, getting his start with The Muppets backin 1991. He has helped to bring to life Bobo the Bear, Earl Sinclair, and of course Pepe the King Prawn.
Muppet Guys Talking - Pepe the King Prawn

Last but certainly not least in Muppet Guys Talking is Dave Goelz. The performer behind such characters as Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beauregard, as well as the one and only the Great Gonzo!

[Via] Squigiman

So make sure to take a moment out of your busy schedule, go visit Muppet Guys Talking. Let us all prepare to be informed and entertained by the legends in the interview. Furthermore I would be willing to bet we will frequently be moved by the discussions too.

To tide us over until the Muppet Guys Talking documentary goes live. How about we listen to Frank Oz and producer Victoria Labalme talk about how the idea got started.

Age of Resistance - The Dark Crystal

Teaser Released For Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance!

Why is there an Age of Resistance in the world of The Dark Crystal? We will find out the answer to that thanks to Netflix’s exclusive new series. In fact the company just announced The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance today with this teaser trailer.

[Via] Netflix

Age of Resistance - Skeksis construction
While the teaser indeed showed us some wonderful footage from the likes of Jim Henson. As well as some brief glimpses at the legendary Creature Shop at work. We however aren’t given a lot to go on in regards to the the Age of Resistance‘s story. Thanks to a press release from The Dark Crystal website – it turns out this will be a prequel to the classic 1982 film.

“A beloved classic from the 80s marks its return as Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment network, will bring The Jim Henson Company’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance exclusively to members around the world. The 10-episode fantasy adventure series is a prequel to the groundbreaking 1982 fan favorite The Dark Crystal, and takes place many years before the events of the film. The series will be shot in the U.K., and will star an ensemble of fantastical, state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ and Brian Froud, the original feature’s conceptual designer.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Thra with an all new adventure. When three Gelfling discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis’ power, they set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.

Feature film director Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, The Incredible Hulk) will executive produce the series and direct. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be a Netflix original series produced by The Jim Henson Company and executive produced by Letterier, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford. Longtime Henson collaborator Rita Peruggi will serve as producer and Henson’s Blanca Lista will serve as a co-executive producer. Leading the writing are co-executive producers Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews (Life in a Year), and Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The 100).

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will combine the art of puppetry perfected by The Jim Henson Company, with Louis’ vision, powerful storytelling and a mix of cutting-edge digital imagery and visual effects,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

“Louis Leterrier is passionate about the world of The Dark Crystal and has an incredible creative vision for the series. He brings this passion to every facet of the production as he leads the talented team of artists and writers that are bringing this entire universe to life,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “Netflix has a deep respect for my father’s original work and the many people it inspired. They are the perfect partners to create this next epic chapter in The Dark Crystal story for new fans and the loyal fans who have waited so long for more adventures from this world.”

Age of Resistance - Skeksis Illustration
So in addition to the awesome news that Leterrier will in fact be using practical visual effects alongside digital work. This prequel will most probably explain why the Skekis made it point to seek out all of the Gelflings. If you go by J. J. Llewellyn’s exceptional 1982 book The World of the Dark Crystal. A book I would also add is chock full of beautiful Brian Froud artwork. The Skekis in fact weren’t totally evil when the sundering first took place but soon however they changed. Taking the Gelflings as slaves and then of course destroying them almost entirely when the diminutive race devised the prophecy.

[Via] Antoneey

Of course I will be sure to pass along any new information that we get about this exciting new series. Not only that but if you would like more vintage fun concerning the Dark Crystal.

Read: After 31 Years It Was Time To Open Up That Pack Of Dark Crystal Cards!

Moreover to prepare yourself for The Dark Crystal: Age of Reckoning why not listen to episode 058 of the Retroist Podcast?


Retroist Dark Crystal Podcast