What Went Right? Fraggle Rock: Magic of the Macrocosm

Fraggle Rock was a very special show produced by very special people, but what about it teaches children without teaching? Welcome to osmosis education and the genius of worlds within worlds.

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38 comments

  1. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    You mame are very talented. You making me want to watch fraggle rock again(which is a good job). I used to have dvd’s of fraggle rock but now i’m afraid there all scratched.oh well,at least I can still watch episodes of the muppet show dvd’s that are not all scratched up.

  2. I love this series. I am old enough to remember these shows, (except the Chanukah one, never saw that), and I eagerly look forward to every episode. I do have one question, however, as the first episode listed on the site is counted as #2, and I was wondering what was the first episode, and how do I find it?

    • Farewell, Mr. Hooper was the pilot of the series, so that was Ep #1, Fraggle Rock was Ep #2, Pinwheel & Primitive Nickelodeon was #3, Picture Pages was #4, and the Holiday Special was a holiday special but technically #5. The holiday special was the first up because it was done specifically for the holidays, then I started posting them in order here in CA. Episode #6 is currently in production. 🙂

  3. This is such a brilliant video and really has renewed and expanded my appreciation of Fraggle Rock. I think that everyone who ever took interest in children’s TV should see this one.

  4. Another fantastic job from you. I really like this series.

    I was a fan of Fraggle Rock as a kid. It was like a weird offshoot of The Muppet Show.

  5. Really awesome video, you did a wonderful job on explaining everything. My only critique would be that the audio was really low. ^_^; Otherwise, great video!

    • I was having an issue with the mic I used at the time…it kinda sounds like I’m underwater and I had no idea why. My mic now is a lot better, and I’ve learned more audio noise-reduction tricks in Adobe.

  6. Fraggle Rock was the only Jim Henson production I never watched; I remember seeing one episode and thought the Fraggles were too mean to the “silly creature” and the doozers. so I never watched any more. And yet I watched worse stuff (like Sid & Marty Kroff productions.) I should have known that any Henson production would be better than it looked. Thanks for the examination of its ideals, Omega.

  7. I’m 31 & I’ll still watch Fraggle Rock if it’s on. Jim Henson shows don;t really talk down to children, so they’re timeless in that you can watch them at any age without feeling condescended. As for Dinosaurs…I’m pretty sure that was aimed at an older audience.

  8. I definitely didn’t see the whole show but I loved what I did manage to catch. I remember the flying episode best.

    Oooh that song at the end was lovely.

  9. Thank you thank you thank you for talking about Fraggle Rock. It is a series very important to me but probably because of its educational nature the internet hasn’t done much for it recently. Except for this and a nice youtube video about how Fraggle Rock deals with violence and death, I haven’t seen much done for it. I’ve done a video myself comparing it to My Little Pony in hopes more internet reviewers will see potential to talk about it.
    Your thoughts were insightful and clear. I look forward to seeing future episodes especially more about Fraggles and Jim Henson.

    • Jim Henson and Fred Rogers were my two heroes when I was a little kid. My dream was to one day make the kind of children’s television that would effect kids the way I myself had been effected, back in the early 80s.

  10. I really like your reviewing style. It’s not loud or gimmicky. It’s calming and heartfelt. It’s nice to see a series of reviews focused on the good.

    And I am glad to see this review on Fraggle Rock. This was a show I watched often when I was a kid, and after rewatching it a few years ago, I was impressed by the lessons it taught. For example, there were a few episodes that were about death or dying and I can’t recall ever seeing death discussed from those angles in a children’s show. One example is an episode from early in the show’s run that featured Red and Boober stuck inside a cave in. They (as well as their friends) thought they were going to die and it was not played for laughs or taken lightly. Boober’s analogy for life being like a soap bubble was truly touching. I can’t recall characters from a children’s show ever being so aware of their mortality.

  11. It’s nice to see how educational TV can be done right. Fraggle Rock was a great show although I did fall away in the later years due to other things going on at the time.

    Show of hands, who else sang along at the end? “Let Me Be Your Song” is one of my favorite Henson show songs.

  12. As soon as I saw Fraggle Rock in the opening, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a Fraggle related video! I loved Fraggle Rock as a child, and maybe even moreso as an adult. It’s just a wonderful show, not only for children, but for adults as well, as I think we could stand to be reminded that we all live together, and we need to be kinder to each other. And to think, it came about because Jim Henson wanted to make a show to stop war. I think one of my favorite episodes was Marooned from Season 1, where Red and Boober get caught in a cave-in on Boober’s birthday, and have to deal with the reality of possibly not making it out alive. It’s just a beautiful display of two characters, whom seem to have nothing in common, coming together in a dire situation. You see them at their most vulnerable, and comforting each other, deciding it’s better than dying alone. And the song they sing, “The Friendship Song”, it makes me tear up each time I watch it! I got my niece hooked on the show when I went to visit my sister out in Texas a few years ago. It’s just so wonderful! <3

    I eagerly await future Fraggle Rock videos, and Jim Henson related videos! Like you Omega, Jim Henson and Fred Rogers were childhood heroes of mine! I think that's why Cantus is one of my favorite Fraggles, because he IS Jim. Jim was zen, and he was Fraggle!

  13. I really love this series. I hope you do a more in-depth look at some other aspects of early Nickelodeon at some point. The original programming, “Nicktoons,” “SNICK,” Nick Jr, even Nick at Nite – that network was really impressive for a time, I thought, and they presented some quality material.

    Not gonna lie though, I’d be most interested in hearing you speak about the odd Canadian and Japanese imports they used to run in the mornings in the 80s. But not knowing your opinions on ANY of these things, of course, it goes without saying that any of these suggestions is prefaced with “if you’re a fan of these things.”

    Jim Henson was a great man and a true genius. I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing him.

    • I think you’re going to like the next episode then: Pinwheel and Primitive Nickelodeon. It’ll go up here in about 2 weeks, or you can cheat and watch it on my blip now (went up mid-spring of 2014). I have plans for eps on Today’s Special, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea, Belle & Sebastian, Danger Mouse, etc. 🙂

      • I hope David the Gnome is on that list. That show blew my mind then and now.

        • It totally will! I loved it, but then there’s also my sister’s childhood trauma of not quite being old enough for the last episode. She cried for HOURS and it took ice cream and her favorite VHS tapes on a loop for my mother to finally calm her down.

          • I have no memory of that episode from childhood, but I watched it as an adult in my early/mid-20s. I cried so hard my best friend (we were watching it together over the phone because we’re cool like that) was genuinely concerned for my well-being.

            Looking back it’s kind of awesome that they felt kids could handle that kind of ending, and how they showed the main characters having no fear of the inevitability of death (or in their case, transformation into trees, which…I guess isn’t technically death? But still, pretty intense.)

            But it was still incredibly sad. That show was my first-ever obsession – as much as I loved My Little Pony and Care Bears, I never had the devotion to them that I did to David and Swift. That show had my heart, and I always believed that it was all true. I still kind of do. I still want to, anyway.

      • I’ve already watched that one, actually! Most of what’s covered was before my time, but it was a really fascinating watch. But I’d love to know if you think Nick got anything else right, before Rugrats opened the door to their realizing that they could sell a ton of crap based on their shows…

      • And I’m very excited to hear that Today’s Special will be mentioned as well. I have a weird soft spot for that show, moreso now than I did as a kid, strangely. I think it’s because I’ve looked at it online as an adult and goddamn, those puppets were creepy and ugly as hell, but I totally bought them as living, breathing, loveable creatures.

  14. I just recently learned that the actor who played Doc (and was the bartender in Boondock Saints, among other roles) just recently passed away.

  15. is it just me or dose Wilson from home improvement remind you of Doc?

  16. Thank you for this series, Omega. It’s incredibly well-done.

    There’s a book called “Jim Henson: The Works” about his career and the many shows he created. Whenever anyone mentions Fraggle Rock, I always remember reading that in the first writers’ meeting for what would eventually become Fraggle Rock, he announced that the show was intended to avert the possibility of nuclear war.

    All the writers at the table laughed, but the laughter ceased as they realized that Jim was serious. He wanted to produce a show that could be shown in any language all around the world and present simple lessons and truths to children, so that they could learn to relate to one another without fear or predjudice. That was the kind of creative genius he was, and I miss him terribly.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye. *sniff*

  17. Does anyone else remember the war episode?

  18. *sings* Down in Fraggle Rock! *clap clap* Down in Fraggle Rock! 😀

  19. Ugly Ugly Fucking Ugly Muppety Creatures Fugly in a word, Jim Henson’s vomit.

  20. Maybe this “show” was heartfelt and thought-provoking to American kids to help them break the bonds of Racial prejudice or something but why do educational monster muppet puppets have to be so fugly and grotesque, such fucking ugly shit creatures.

  21. “Play me wide, play me long, let me be your song…” (jams to the outtro)

    Yeah, I can still sing most of these songs word for word…

    Fraggle Rock is one of my favorite shows ever produced. I introduced it to my child at about age 4, and she’s still a fan.

    The Doozers cartoon series on Hulu, though, doesn’t have the same charm as the original.

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