Loading articles...

'Fraggle Rock' children's puppet series reboot starts production in Calgary

Last Updated Jan 25, 2021 at 1:54 pm EST

TORONTO — Dance your cares away, “Fraggle Rock” fans — the fluffy-haired creatures are back in Canada for a new show.

The Jim Henson Company says production has officially started in Calgary on a reboot of the original 1980s children’s puppet series, which was filmed in Toronto.

Last April a new U.S.-shot limited series of shorts called “Fraggle Rock: Rock On!” debuted on Apple TV Plus, with guests including Canadian singer Alanis Morissette.

The creators made a finite amount of six-minute episodes remotely from their U.S. homes during COVID-19 quarantine.

But the Jim Henson Company says that summer, with the pandemic in full swing, they wanted to find a new home where they could produce an entire series of full-length episodes. 

A spokesperson says the new series will also stream on Apple TV plus and is shooting at the Calgary Film Centre.

Chris Lytton, chief operating officer of The Jim Henson Company, says Calgary was “the obvious choice” because of Alberta’s production rebate structure.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city also has a talented film sector and a “reputation as a world leader in the art of puppetry.” 

“How exciting that Jim Henson’s vision is being continued right here,” Nenshi said in a statement Monday. “I can’t wait to see the further adventures of the Fraggles and the Doozers, with a Calgary touch!”

“Fraggle Rock” follows the adventures of anthropomorphic creatures known as Fraggles, who live in caves beneath a home along with small humanoid construction workers known as Doozers.

The cast of the reboot includes two puppeteers from the original series — Dave Goelz and Karen Prell.

Goelz performs the Fraggle characters of Boober and Uncle Travelling Matt, while Prell plays Red. They two are also attached as co-executive producers.

Other executive producers include longtime Henson collaborator John Tartaglia, who performs Gobo Fraggle.

Acclaimed songwriter Harvey Mason Jr. is the executive music producer for the series, which has the catchy theme song that begins: “Dance your cares away, worries for another day.”

The new “Fraggle Rock” series is produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with New Regency. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press