8:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Muppet Babies' Revived at Disney Junior
Disney Junior is reviving Muppet Babies.
The preschooler-targeted network has begun production on a "reimagined" version of the series, which chronicles the playroom antics of Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and Miss Nanny.
The series, aimed at kids aged four to seven, will follow the characters as they use their imaginations to go on adventures that range from building a time machine to flying through outer space. The stories are intended to "highlight creative and critical thinking skills by harnessing the power and potential of imaginative play."
The original series was animated but incorporated clips from live-action movies and TV series, like Star Wars and Labyrinth. It ran from 1984-91 on CBS and also aired in syndication for several years, while Marvel Comics' younger-skewing imprint Star Comics produced 26 comic books featuring the characters in the late '80s.
The new series will be CG-animated and is set to debut on Disney Junior — a programming block targeted at preschoolers that airs on Disney Channel, as well as a stand-alone 24-hour network — in early 2018.
"We are proud, and a little bit giddy, to begin production on our new version of the much-loved Muppet Babies," said Nancy Kanter, executive vp, original programming and general manager at Disney Junior Worldwide. "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."
Added The 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."
Since Disney acquired the Muppets properties from Jim Henson Co. in 2004, it's released two live-action films, The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted. On the TV side, Disney-owned ABC brought the characters to primetime last season with a highly anticipated reboot that was later retooled with a new showrunner but ultimately canceled.
Muppet Babies is a co-production of Disney Junior, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media's Content & Media group and The Muppets Studio. Tom Warburton (The 7D) will serve as executive producer and Eric Shaw (SpongeBob SquarePants) is story editor.
Watch the original intro below.