It used to be easy to figure out what kids had HBO in the ‘80s since they always talked about Fraggle Rock. They’d sing songs that were unknown to those who only knew the Jim Henson creations from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. The Fraggles were commonly know as the Pay Channel Muppets around the playground. The show dealt with the interaction between different creatures. An old man and his dog lived above a hole that led down to Fraggle Rock. The carefree Fraggles and industrious Doozers shared this land. The giant Gorgs lived on the other side of Fraggle Rock. They were rather dumb and course monsters. Even with all their differences, they various groups learn to live together with various lessons. Fraggle Rock: Wembley’s Egg Surprise contains three episodes: “Wembley’s Egg,” “The Great Radish Famine” and “The Finger of Light.”
“Wembley’s Egg” has the Fraggle know as Wembley in a crisis. He’s bored while all around him are in constant motion. A solution falls from the sky when a Gorg drops a bird’s egg down the hole into Fraggle Rock. Wembley pulls a Horton and sits on the egg till it hatches. Does he really have what it takes to raise a bird baby? The bird has major issues in the cramp subterranean kingdom. “The Great Radish Famine” marks the return of Majory the Trash Heap. She’s responsible for the radishes vanishing. Turns out radishes are the key to this entire socio-economic system. The Doozers use them to make their beams. The Fraggles eat those beams and the Gorgs also like radishes. Majory wants all three parties to know how much they depend on each other and the radishes. “The Finger of Light” has the Fraggles pick the Ruler of the Rock with a light shining down on Mokey. She has three commands that must be fulfilled. After accidentally burns her first two commands, she wants her last command to make things better in the Rock. She sings a sweet song about her problem. The episode centers around balancing pickles on noses. The theme is forcing your wishes on others.
Fraggle Rock: Wembley’s Egg Surprise contains enough weird muppet action and cute songs to keep a little kid occupied for over an hour. This is a nice sampler of the series that should work well in the back of a parent’s mini-van. The series did it’s best to inform little kids about the necessity to cooperate within a society. The only downside is having those kids singing the Fraggle Rock theme the entire drive.
The video is 1.33:1. The series was shot on video so the transfer is from the tape. It’s a clean image. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The sound is good enough for you to tell which muppeteer is on the microphone. Episodes are Closed Captioned.
Fraggle Rock Animated: The Great Radish Round-Up (12:23) is from the Saturday morning version. The animated version of the puppets get to use their legs and have major action scenes. The complete collection of the animated series is out on DVD.
Jim Henson’s Animal Show with Stinky and Jake (6:04) is a talk show hosted by a skunk and polar bear. These are a show-biz savvy duo that know their animals. This aired as part of Fox Kids.
Sing Alongs (3:58) include “Catch a Tail by the Tiger” and “Easy Is the Only Way to Go.” They have a bouncing egg following the lyrics on screen.
Fraggle Rock: Wembley’s Egg Surprise contains a trio of episodes that deal with cooperation, responsibility and command. It’s a rather sophisticated show about what makes a society click aimed for little kids. It’s the perfect gift for an elementary schooler to remind them what it was discussed on the playground in your day.
Lionsgate presents Fraggle Rock: Wembley’s Egg Surprise. Starring: Fraggles. Doozers and Gorgs. Running Time: 75 minutes. Released on DVD: February 9, 2010. Available at Amazon.com.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.