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

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


Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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