We love the Fraggles. It’s just a pure unadulturated joy. So much so, that when we finally got around to buying a cellphone, I know I know we were a little late to the game, the second ringtone we bought was for the Fraggle Rock theme song. What was the first one you ask? We actually don’t remember.
Word comes down that Ahmet Zappa, the son of legendary musician Frank Zappa, will be directing the feature adaptation of Fraggle Rock. We’re not quite sure if Zappa is the man for the job, but we do know that if he’s anything like his father he might just bring a child-like whimsy to the affair. From the sounds of it, Zappa seems to have a fondness for the the HBO children’s show and really understand what made Jim Henson’s show work.
Part of that sweetness is in the nonjudgmental dependency between the different races and colors of Fraggles, and the creatures that surround them. “It’s a complete ecosystem,” Zappa said of Henson’s idea to show children how living creatures need each other. Zappa’s script will pick up with level-headed Gobo, artistic Mokey, athletic Red, nervous Wembley and chronically depressed Boober in the same underground tunnels where we left them 20 years ago, and follow the crew as they journey for the first time into “Outer Space” ? or as we like to call it, the real world.
So far so good.
“Traveling Matt is in the movie,” Zappa confirmed, referring to Gobo’s adventurous uncle whose naive reports from Outer Space are indicative of the fish-out-of-water humor Zappa will embrace. “The funny part about Traveling Matt and Outer Space is he’d see a fire hydrant and assume it was a person. He thought cars were animals, that they were living organisms, and he thought elevators were people changers, because the doors would close and then open, and there’d be new people in there all the time.”
It’s too early to tell how this will shake down. To me it sounds like it could go either way, like so many other Hollywood products wherein they turn beloved television shows into rote movies. And if the movie ends up sucking, there’s always the original show on DVD.
Behold the joy of Fraggle Rock!