As Halloween approaches, little kids need to learn the lesson about what’s the proper way to spook a pal. There’s the simple boo! Or the elaborate flaming skulls in a basement. How far can a haunted prank go without paying a price? Where can a kid go to get a lesson in practical joke limitations in time for the end of October? While Fraggle Rock never made a proper Halloween episode, they did produce three episodes that deal with spooky situations. Fraggle Rock was Jim Henson’s big muppet series after Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.The audience for his new show seemed to fit between those two shows. No matter how frightening things appear, it’s nothing that will send small children running out of the room screaming for an exorcism. Fraggle Rock: Scared Silly should make bring about more laughter than abject horror.
“Scared Silly” has Boober secretly testing to see how various Fraggles’ belouviouses react. The end part of a Fraggle’s tail should flair up in a scary situation. His shocking check up on Wembley makes the patient want revenge. He’s warned by a couple rats that if you over scare someone, they blow up. Wembley attempts to come up with a fright that will work without exploding Boober. While this is rather extreme, it does a fine job illustrating the consequences of a practical joke. “The Terrible Tunnel” brings about the fear of structural collapse. Boober tells Wembley about how bad luck befalls those that find themselves in the terrible tunnel. While this is an urban underground myth, Wembley swears he found the tunnel and is doomed. This is a good example of people buying into old wives’ tales.
“The Dark and Stormy Night” lets the giant-size Gorgs go on vacation leaving their son behind to watch the castle. The fraggle Gobo has snuck into the castle so he can map out the various room. The hope being more mischief in the future. Gobo isn’t too nice to Junior as he sneaks around. Eventually they and other Fraggles must come together when they fear a real jewel thief is active in the castle.
While the frights aren’t too intense, they do reflect things that can spook a small child. They learn the sad proof that most practical jokes backfire so they make you the brunt of the humor. How superstitious sayings will make you look like an idiot. How when you’re scared of something outside, it’s fine to band together with others to confront it. The three full episodes on Fraggle Rock: Scared Sillyshould lessen fears after they initially cause a minor jolt.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The series was shot on video so the image isn’t extra detailed. The transfers is good so there’s little muck on the cheerful Muppets. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The levels are fine when the Fraggles break out in song, you don’t have to alter the volume. The episodes are Closed Captioned.
“Wembley and the Bemble” (12:14) is an episode from the animated Fraggle Rock series. The Fraggles get spooked by shadow puppets.
Sing-Along for “The Ballad of Sir Blunderbrain” (2:44) gives you a follow the bouncing diamond version of the song from “The Terrible Tunnel.”
Jim Henson’s The Animal Show with Stinky & Jake (24:52) is the “Tarantula & Mole” episode. This is a nature show that mixes real animals with Muppet versions. Little kids will be sacred by furry spiders.
While the Fraggles sang about dancing your cares away, the little fuzzy creatures could still be frightened. Fraggle Rock: Scared Silly gives three tales that make their muppet fur stand up. There is a calming resolution to each story so the little ones won’t be petrified during the end credits.
Lionsgate Entertainment presents Fraggle Rock: Scared Silly. Starring: Gobo, Mokey, Red, Wembley and Boober. Running time: 74 minutes. Rating: G. Released on DVD: September 14, 2010.
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.