Daughter of Jim Henson and producer of "Fraggle Rock," Lisa Henson — who says that while she was growing up, the Henson household was "pretty normal," because they "didn't treat the puppets as if they were alive" — is very excited about some videos she found while rummaging through the archives on the Henson lot. And you can see her findings on the "Fraggle Rock: 30th Anniversary Collection" available on DVD now.
"There are interviews with puppeteers that haven't been seen until now," Lisa says. "We haven't ever packaged any of our shows exactly this way, and we feel like it's a really nice collection for fans. It's fun to have the interviews be from the period instead of people reminiscing. It's more immediate."
The DVD extras are mostly meant to be a surprise, but Lisa tells us that one of her favorites features writer Jocelyn Stevenson being interviewed alongside Mokey and Red. Now, you won't see all the Fraggle footage that Lisa unearthed, because some of it's a little too racy. "Whenever puppeteers are shooting, they have tendency to stay in character after the camera stops rolling," says Lisa. "We have bloopers from every production we don't release, because when puppeteers stay in character they tend to behave inappropriately."
We can imagine. The cult hit show has a very strong following in Hollywood, and Lisa thinks there's a special connection between artists and Fraggles. She also thinks it's about the music: "The music that was in the show was so heartfelt and authentic, but it was also quite hip. It was all original. Music today is a little lazier, a lot of cover songs. They don't go through the trouble of creating an original body of music."
The DVD is just the beginning of the celebration. A coffee table book is in the works for the holiday season. And, Lisa says the Fraggles loved their rockfest with Ben Folds Five and are planning on some future collaborations. "We have spoken to a long list of performers interested in recording with Fraggles or having the Fraggles join them on tour or onscreen," says Lisa. "Our heads have been turned by the level of bands."
Watch the official music video of Ben Folds Five featuring the Fraggles:
Fun "Fraggle" fact for the finish: The word "Fraggle" was derived from an earlier Henson creation called "Frackles." Henson changed the name to "Fraggle" because he thought the word was both funny and fun to say out loud.