Growing up, there were a bunch of amazing shows that we enjoyed, but a few really stood out. We obviously all loved Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and of course Fraggle Rock. Basically any time we saw a Muppet, we were immediately sold on the premise of the show, no matter what it was.
Fraggle Rock was probably the most underrated of the Jim Hensen projects. Sure, we all were completely obsessed with it, but it only lasted five seasons. Sesame Street is still on the air, but where are our Fraggles? There was a lot that went on behind the scenes to make the show as great as it was, but how much do you really know about these adorable Muppets?
1. 'Fraggle Rock' was the first original series on HBO
You have the Fraggles to thank for your favorite HBO shows, because without Wembley, Boober, and Trash Heap, they may not have ever been made. HBO's very first attempt at original programming was this amazing children's show and thanks to their success they were able to make shows like The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Game of Thrones.
2. The Fraggles almost had a different name
While it seems like an iconic name, it wasn't their first choice. Their original name was actually the Woozles. Henson changed his mind when they discovered The Great Santa Claus Switch, and liked the bad guys' name. “It’s a variation on a character group that dated back to the early ’70s called Frackles. I think it was probably just that they were looking for a word they liked as much as that one," Dave Doelz, former puppeteer of Boober, said.
3. Each Fraggle was made for specific puppeteers
Henson had each of the puppeteers come in to meet their Fraggles, but they realized that the characters were tailored to the people portraying them.
4. Audiences around the world saw different versions of the show
According to the Fraggles, humans (or the silly creatures) lived in Outer Space. There were however, changes that would take place in Outer Space depending on which country you were watching the show in. For example, Doc had a different job depending on where he was. In Canada and Germany, Doc is an inventor, but in England he is a lighthouse keeper, and in France he is a baker.
There's more to learn about the Fraggles, including why Jim Hensen made the show...
5. There are plans to make a movie
In 2005 the Jim Henson Company revealed there are plans for a movie based on the TV show. It has been a long wait, but apparently Joseph Gordon-Levitt is supposed to star in the movie.
“The first screen personas I ever loved were Henson creations, first on ‘Sesame Street,’ and then on ‘Fraggle Rock,'” Gordon-Levitt said. “Jim Henson’s characters make you laugh and sing, but they’re also layered, surprising, and wise. From Oscar the Grouch, to Yoda, to the Fraggles. I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man, and on into adulthood. Collaborating with Lisa Henson makes me confident we can do something that Jim would have loved. I’m grateful and excited to be working with New Regency on this project.”
6. The show was targeted to an often neglected demographic
They were attempting to target the "mid-kid". Producer, Michael Frith, said that “The audience we were reaching for was one that we felt was, at least where television was concerned, massively underserved—the ‘mid-kid,’ beyond Sesame Street but not yet, as we so succinctly put it back then, ‘reading Playboy’; still able to become lost in the magic of fantasy and music and storytelling … all in an impossible world brought to life by brilliant puppetry.”
7. The show was made to stop war
Jim Hensen's goal for Fraggle Rock was "to create a show that will stop war." They tried to do so without getting political and just focusing on the characters environments impacting the others.
“For decades, those involved with Fraggle Rock have chuckled self-indulgently about its purported mission, which was, supposedly, ‘to save the world'," producer Michael Frith said. "But perhaps that’s not as ridiculous as it might at first blush sound … Fraggle Rock‘s simple ambition [was] to open kids’ eyes to the interconnectedness of all things and the unassailable fact that their own actions would have consequences.”