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Thursday, March 01 2018 10:00

EXCLUSIVE Premiere: Disney Junior's Muppet Babies - Kermit's Show and Tell!

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After making their debut in one short sequence from 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan, the Muppet Babies made the jump to television for a long-running animated series that ran until 1991. It's been nearly three decades since the original series came to the end of its run, and now it's time for a long-overdue reboot for a whole new generation. Disney's MUPPET BABIES launches as an all-new original series premiering FRIDAY, MARCH 23 with two back-to-back episodes on Disney Channel (10:00 a.m. EDT) and in the DisneyNOW app. Today, The Rock Father™ and Disney Junior  have teamed-up to present the EXCLUSIVE premiere of Muppet Babies: Show & Tell - a new short-form series that young audiences can enjoy starting March 2nd. In these shorts, kids can get to know the Muppet Babies and their environment, starting with a first-look at the playroom and backyard through the eyes of Kermit the Frog. How connected is the new series to the classic Muppet tales that that kids like me grew up with in the 70s and 80s? There's a definite connection... you might even say that there's a "Rainbow Connection." Check out Kermit's Show & Tell...

It's certainly fun to see Kermit taking a shot at playing the Academy Award nominated Paul Williams/Kenneth Ascher penned song, but I love the little details like the construction of the banjo. It's exactly the type of instrument that a preschooler would have, right down to the curved edges and colored buttons along the fretboard. Muppet Babies is loaded with fun details, like the noticeable fibers on each character, emulating real-world puppets in the new CGI animation.

Muppet Babies 2018 - Kermit and Banjo

Set in the vibrant playroom of an urban brownstone with an expansive backyard, the Muppet Babies have everything they need at their fingertips to lead them on their fantastical adventures. The backyard alone is home to Kermit's bouncy "pond," Piggy's dressing room, Summer's art table, Gonzo's chicken coop, Fozzie's stage and a communal treehouse. In every episode, through a rainbow transition, the Muppet Babies use their imaginations to transport them into a fantasy sequence, each with a distinct style ranging from collage, comic book and classic cartoons to live-action footage. While spotlighting the zany comedy that the Muppet Babies are known for, each story is also designed to introduce young viewers to the unique problem-solving power of imagination.

The Muppet Babies voice cast includes Jenny Slate (Disney's Academy Award-winning "Zootopia") as Miss Nanny; Melanie Harrison ("Fish Hooks") as Piggy; Dee Bradley Baker ("Milo Murphy's Law") as Animal; Ben Diskin ("The Spectacular Spider-Man") as Gonzo; Eric Bauza ("The Adventures of Puss in Boots") as Fozzie; Jessica DiCicco ("Puppy Dog Pals") as Summer; and rounding out the cast as Kermit is Matt Danner ("Gravity Falls"), who also serves as supervising director on the series. Look for guest appearances by fan-favorite Muppets including Statler and Waldorf, Bunsen and Beaker, Rowlf the Dog, Rizzo and Dr. Teeth as the adventures continue!

rockfatherkermitBONUS: When I say that I grew up with the Muppets and the Muppet Babies, I'm not kidding. Pictured left, that's me with my old pal Kermit back in 1980. We were just in-between The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and from what I recall we had some fine adventures, Kermit and I.

Now my daughters are into the Muppets, and that's what I call another "parenting win."

While I'm not sure where my original Kermit went, a few years back my mom attempted to replace him, locating a newer version that we have here right now. I can still do a pretty solid impression of Kermit, and have been known to break it out on occasion.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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