The Muppet Babies puppets have arrived on Disney Junior’s YouTube channel and will be hanging out all summer long. After the successful debut of the animated show’s 2018 reboot, executive producer Tom Warburton began looking for new ways to have fun with the characters and the result was a series of shorts starring the preschool pals.
- Disney Junior has welcomed back the Muppet Babies, but this time as actual puppets.
- The fuzzy friends—Animal, Fozzie, Gonzo, Kermit, Piggy, and Summer—will star in a series of shorts on YouTube where they’ll interact, sing, dance, and play with children.
- In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Muppet Babies executive producer, Tom Warburton talks about creating the puppets, how the shorts can to be, and looking forward to season two.
- New shorts will debut on Fridays from May 17 through August 1 on Disney Junior’s YouTube page.
What he’s saying:
Muppet Babies executive producer, Tom Warburton spoke with EW on how the new puppet versions of the baby Muppets came to be and the future holds for the lovable gang.
- Tom Warburton on looking for new ideas: “Well, there’s always a little gap in between seasons and I thought, ‘How can we do something fun with the Muppets, with the Muppet Babies in between seasons while kids are waiting for the new episodes?’ Of course, I’ve always wanted have real Muppets with these characters, so I came up with this idea of them interacting with real kids and I talked to Matt Danner, my co-producer and supervising director, and he’s also the voice of Kermit. I said, ‘What if we did this?’”
- Warburton on the development of the puppets: “[Matt] has an adult Kermit puppet sitting on his shelf. So we got the five-year-old niece of one of the production assistant and we went to the park and just shot on my iPhone a little skit of going like, ‘Hey, I saw you go down the slide. I really looks fun, but I’m scared. Can you show me how?’ And the girl goes down the slide and then Kermit goes down the slide…then I went to Disney and showed it to them and they were like, ‘This is great. We have to do this.’”
- Warburton on making the shorts: “It was a 3-day shoot and every day my heart was just exploding with how cool it was to see the Muppeteers work with our characters. This has been a dream come true.”
- Warburton on the look of the animated characters: “From the beginning [of the new animated series,] we worked hard to make the characters look like real Muppets. You feel like you can reach in and touch the little tennis ball texture that Kermit has. Animal, you can almost feel how fluffy he is and you just want to, like, rub his ears. There’s something really tactile about that and I think for viewers it really draws you into the show.”
- Warburton on season 2: “We’ve got lots more episodes coming out with lots of new imagination sequences that take us to new places.”