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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Labyrinth" comic to Reveal the Goblin King's Origins

From Entertainment Weekly

Jim Henson’s beloved 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth is getting the comic book treatment, EW exclusively revealled.

Boom! Studios imprint Archaia is publishing the first ongoing comic series inspired by the movie, from writer Simon Spurrier and artist Daniel Bayliss and concerns the origin of Jareth the Goblin King, the character played by David Bowie in the movie. In Henson’s film, the Jennifer Connelly-played teenager Sarah travels through the Labyrinth to save her baby brother Toby from the clutches of Jareth. In the comic series, the Goblin King recounts his beginnings to Toby, introducing readers to Jareth’s mother and father in 18th-century Venice. Issue #1 of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth will go on sale in February with a cover by Fiona Staples, a subscription cover by Rebekah Isaacs, and variant covers by Laurent Durieux, Jill Thompson, and Bill Sienkiewicz.

“It’s the backstory of how Jareth came to be in the Labyrinth himself,” says Lisa Henson, the daughter of Jim, and CEO and President of The Jim Henson Company. “The Goblin King, he’s not a goblin, he’s human. Many people have asked, ‘Well, how did he get there?’ So, that’s something that we thought we would explore.”

“We’re sort of having our cake and eating it,” says writer Spurrier. “The ‘Bowie form’ version of the character is very much present in our story. But there’s a huge amount of stuff about the people who loved him and he loved. What happened to them? How did this all shake out? How did he come to be who he is? I hope that by exercising both sides of that picture, as well as leaning into all the other amazing things that are fantastic about the Labyrinth as a concept, we should hopefully get our Bowie itch scratched while also enjoying the fantastical, surreal wonder of this world.”

The first issue of the comic goes on sale in February 2018. Fiona Staples will be doing the main cover, with a subscription cover by Rebekah Isaacs, and variant covers by Laurent Durieux, Jill Thompson, and Bill Sienkiewicz

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

IAmElemental Toy Line Being Developed into a New Animated Series Produced by The Jim Henson Company

The all-female IAmElemental toy line will hit screens in a new animated series produced by The Jim Henson Company. Founder Julie Kerwin launched IAmElemental as the first all-female superhero action figure line in 2014, following a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The toys aim to promote a positive image for young girls. The line now includes 14 superhero characters as 3.75-inch action figures with names like "Ingenuity," "Curiosity," "Honesty," and "Persistence." Persistence, for example, has super-strength and the ability to push through any obstacles, while Ingenuity can shapeshift and transform herself.

Since IAmElemental released its first line of toys, they've been showered with critical praise. Time magazine named them one of the best inventions of 2014. And IAmElemental has been a finalist in the Toy Industry Association's annual awards for the past two years in a row.

The leap to television represents a strategy shift of sorts for the privately owned toy company. The IAmElemental characters are intentionally light on backstory to encourage young minds to fill the blanks with their imagination. "We felt that there weren't enough examples in the media of females saving the day, and we wanted kids to be create their own stories with females at the center of the story," Kerwin says.

At the same time, there's still a glaring shortage — DC Super Hero Girls aside — of female superheroes on TV that are geared toward young children. Kerwin hopes to rectify that gap. "It is important for both girls and boys to see vibrant examples of strong, healthy female protagonists across all types of media," she says.

The Jim Henson Company, of course, is best known as the creators of the Muppets. The production studio is also currently working on a new Dark Crystal series for Netflix based on the 1982 movie, along with a feature-length Fraggle Rock movie. "We took our time to find a partner that loved and understood our mission as much as we do,” Kerwin says.

Details are scarce on the new IAmElemental animated series at this early stage. The series will be targeted to girls between the ages of 6 and 12 years, and it will be executive produced by Lisa Henson along with Jim Henson Company president of television Halle Stanford. It's not clear yet when the animated series will be released, or whether it will be avaiable for viewing on broadcast or streaming platforms.

“Partnering with IAmElemental is incredibly exciting because it will be our first foray into the superhero genre with a cast of powerful young women at its core," Stanford said in the release.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

"Fraggle Rock" Funko Pops! Coming Next Month

"Fraggle Rock" Funko Pops! are coming next month.

Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober and Red will be available and each comes with a bonus Doozer.

A flocked version of Red will also be available exclusively at Books-a-Million, Sprocket will be exclusive to Toys R Us and
Uncle Traveling Matt will be available only at specialty stores and comic shops.   

VIDEO: Matt Vogel's "Below the Frame" Season 2: Episode 3 – 'Characters Part 2'

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Disney’s New ‘Muppet Babies’ Set for Early 2018 Due Date

Production has commenced on Disney Junior’s new Muppet Babies series, announced first in 2016 and due to arrive on screens in early 2018. The CG-animated reboot will chronicle the imaginative playroom antics of Jim Henson’s beloved characters Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, and every ‘80s kid’s favorite pair of legs: Miss Nanny.

The series is a co-production of Disney Junior, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media’s Content & Media group, and The Muppets Studio.

“We are proud, and a little bit giddy, to begin production on our new version of the much-loved Muppet Babies,” said Nancy Kanter, EVP Original Programming and GM of Disney Junior Worldwide. “Parents will delight in seeing their favorite Muppets in the mixed animation style they remember from the original series, and kids will be introduced to this warm and zany world made just right for the Disney Junior audience.”

Aimed at kids 4-7, Muppet Babies will consist of 22-minute episodes (two 11 min. stories) which follow the lovably oddball tykes on adventures fueled by their imaginations, from building a time machine to traveling through space. The stories highlight creative and critical thinking skills. Tom Warburton (The 7D) will serve as exec producer, and Emmy-winner Eric Shaw (SpongeBob SquarePants) is story editor.

“Bringing Muppet Babies to Disney Junior is a wonderful opportunity to reach a new generation of viewers and to creatively build on the innovative original series,” said Debbie McClellan, VP, The Muppets Studio. “We hope to engage and delight the nostalgic fans while also entertaining new kids, parents and diverse audiences through heart and humor as only the Muppets can deliver.”

VIDEO: Matt Vogel's "Below the Frame" Season 2: Episode 2 – 'Characters'