Remember Fraggle Rock – the iconic 1980’s live action puppet show? If so, you might also recall the little green creatures known as Doozers who were constantly engaged in constuction using a candy-like substance much enjoyed as food by the Fraggles, thus creating a never ending stream of work for themselves in rebuilding. Premiering on Hulu this weekend, The Doozers is the site’s first original kids show, which is aimed at children of preschool age.
The animation for the 52 episodes is made by the original Fraggle creator, The Jim Henson Company, which started off in 1955 with The Muppets and moved into special effects in the 1980’s with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop constructing puppets and other creature related effects. They’ve worked on numerous films, among more recent ones are Harry Potter, Batman and The Hangover, for which they made the animatronic tiger.
The Doozer puppets were initially mechanical which meant that they had limited mobility and were difficult to hold stable. From there the next solution was to build remote controlled puppets, a system which allowed for both vehicles and creatures to be moved about simultaneously.
Although the original Doozers puppets were considered lifelike at the time, the decision was made to recreate them as 100% CG for the show, in order to bring the neccessary amount of expression to them for the modern audience. The budget was set to US$300 000 per half an hour of 3D animation.
In this round the Fraggles themselves won’t be turning up for any cameos, however a Fraggle feature film is in the works with the screenplay being written by Jim Byrkit and Alex Manugian who also storyboarded and wrote on the script for ILM’s award-winning animated film Rango.