• poison cackler fraggle rock

    My Kindertrauma: The Poison Cackler

    The first thing I remember being scared of was the Poison Cackler from Fraggle Rock. Early in life, we all learn what death is. The raccoon laying on the road shoulder. The crushed ant doesn’t move anymore. The grandfather laying in the casket and he looks so strange, unnaturally still, kinda plasticky. And as a child, you know of only a few things that cause death–being old, an unfortunate disease, extreme bodily trauma, and poison. Poison is the scariest of these because it’s the least predictable. It works fast, and it could come from anywhere–an apple, a sword, a battle of wits with a Sicilian. But most of all, all…

  • the muppets

    Disney, Please, Do the Muppets Justice

    Disney, let’s talk. You’ve had one of the greatest, most nostalgic franchise in your hands for twenty years now. And you’ve done very little with them. What have we got? Rehashes of “what worked thirty years ago” like Muppets Tonight and The Muppets. Crappy made-for-TV specials based on existing material like The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz. And the worst offender yet — “The Office with Muppets Muppets”. People said “hey, this has Bill Prady and Steve Whitmire and Bill Barretta, all veterans of Muppet stuff. It’ll be all right.” No. As we’ve seen, it’s not all right. Did you test this with focus groups? Did audiences laugh uproariously at this…

  • karen prell red fraggle

    Fraggle Gender

    I was going to write an article about Red Fraggle: Early Feminist Icon. I got inspired after learning that the animator for Wheatley from Portal 2 is Red Fraggle’s puppeteer, which blew my mind. I grew up watching this person as a five-year-old as a muppeteer then 30 years later I’m playing a video game using this superbly designed character, and its the SAME PERSON. It’s like Kristin Prell’s been there all my life. It’s especially impressive when you learn how much she could do with just an eyeball. You know how everyone thinks Rainbow Dash is best pony? Red Fraggle was there first. She was performing the stunts, showing off,…

  • dustin hoffman exasperated

    The Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

    The other day, my wife was talking about the worst movies that her parents had ever seen (the winner was something called Zardoz). But then she said their worst movie probably wouldn’t hold a candle to what I’ve seen. She tells the truth — The Evil Dead, Night of the Creeps, and Dragon Half are just some of the staples in my DVD library. And those are the ones I like. Even though it’s easy to make a bad movie, no one’s really sure how. Some involved people whose head was up their own ass, making “films” with a “message”. Some knew they were making trash and didn’t care. Some…