In 1984, I saw the Muppets Take Manhattan in theaters. The film included a fantasy sequence in which Miss Piggy imagined what growing up with Kermit would have been like. While Piggy sang, baby versions of Rowlf, Fozzie, Scooter, and Gonzo acted as backup singers. For a young Muppet fan, this was mind-blowing. It was all new and I wanted more. Unsurprisingly, I was not alone. This live-action sequence was so popular that The Jim Henson Company turned the idea into a half-hour cartoon program, aptly called Muppet Babies.
While leaving the theater, I noticed they were selling Muppets Take Manhattan programs and begged my sister to buy me one. Much to my surprise she did! In the program was a recreation of the Muppet Babies scene from the film. The photograph was beautiful and it used what I assumed were the muppets from the film.
I have been looking all around my house for the program. Unfortunately it appears to be buried deep in some box. When I stumble upon it, I will share the photo. In the meantime I have something much better to share.
While visiting the Museum of Pop Culture here in Seattle, I decided to try their new Jim Henson exhibit. It is filled with all sorts of Muppet treasures. Two of those treasures are the production quality Muppet Baby Dolls that were used in the photo-shoot for that program. They were in amazing shape. It almost looked like they had never been touched.
While the exhibit has a lot of great items, these two really stuck with me. Only because I would have never expected to see these Muppet Baby Dolls that I stared at in a movie program from 1984 actually show up in front of me. Heck, I didn’t even realize they were dolls at the time. And doll or puppet, I would have expected they were lost to time, but no, here they were in amazing condition.