Kermit's Swamp Years
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
|Kermit's Swamp Years|
|Directed by||David Gumpel|
|Produced by||Ritamarie Peruggi|
|Written by||Jim Lewis (teleplay and story)
Joey Mazzarino (teleplay)
Kelly Collins Lintz
|Music by||Joe Carroll
|Editing by||Katina Zinner|
|Studio||Jim Henson Home Entertainment|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
|Release dates||September 3, 2002|
|Running time||82 minutes|
Kermit's Swamp Years is a 2002 direct-to-video film, directed by David Gumpel, featuring Jim Henson's Muppets, including a 12-year-old Kermit and best friends Goggles and Croaker, who travel outside their homes in the swamps of the Deep South to do something extraordinary with their lives. The film, which tells the story of Kermit the Frog's early life, is a prequel to The Muppet Movie. As of 2002, this is the last Muppet film to receive a G rating from the MPAA, as a few later Muppet films, starting with the TV Christmas film It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, which aired in the same year, have received a PG rating from the MPAA.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2013)|
The movie opens in the swamplands that Kermit the Frog calls home. He recaps an adventure about his childhood where he enjoyed a serene amphibian's life with his buddies Croaker the Frog and Goggles the Toad, enduring the occasional unpleasant altercation with an aggressive bullfrog named Blotch. Despite his tranquil existence, Kermit can't help but wonder what else the world has to offer and what lies beyond the swamp, but the sentiment is not shared by his companions, and a swamp alligator named Arnie warns Kermit that to venture into the human world is to court disaster. After a pet store owner named Wilson (William Bookston) spots Goggles and Blotch and snatches them up so he can sell them however, Kermit and Croaker have no choice but to venture forth in order to save their friends.
Along the way, Kermit and Croaker meet a stray dog named Pilgrim (voiced by Cree Summer), whose knowledge of the outside world proves vital in helping them reach the pet shop. Along the way, Kermit discovers the excitement of the movies, the power of a wishing star, and even what it's like to fly. Meanwhile, the other animals at the store manage to convince Goggles in a lively musical number that being sold to someone as a pet isn't such a bad idea. What they don't realize however, is a high school teacher named Hugo Krassman (John Hostetter) and his cheerfully inept assistant Mary (Kelly Collins Lintz) will be collecting all the frogs for use as dissection fodder in Krassman's biology class.
In a daring rescue, Kermit manages to free Goggles from the dissection table and fend off Dr. Krassman using some swashbuckling techniques he picked up at the movie theater. Despite the warnings that Kermit should never talk to humans, Kermit addresses Krassman directly asking him to please release the frogs. This fortuitous decision reveals that Krassman had encountered another frog who spoke to him as a child, only to be humiliated by his entire science class. With the truth at long last revealed that frogs can indeed talk, Krassman frees all the frogs and enables Kermit and his friends to return home.
Back in the present, Kermit enters the swamp to meet up with his old friends.
- William Bookston - Wilson
- John Hostetter - Hugo Krassman
- Christian Kebble - Young Jim Henson
- Kelly Collins Lintz - Mary
- Cree Summer - Pilgrim the Dog, Kermit the Frog's Mom (voice)
- Ringo the Dog - Pilgrim the Dog (wide shots)
- Steve Whitmire - Kermit the Frog, Young Kermit the Frog, Jack the Rabbit, Chico the Frog
- Joey Mazzarino - Goggles the Toad, Joe the Armadillo, Turtle #1
- Bill Barretta - Croaker the Frog, Horace D'Fly, Roy the Frog, Turtle #2
- Alice Dinnean - Vicki the Snake, Performer of Kermit the Frog's Mom, Performer of Pilgrim the Dog
- John Kennedy - Arnie the Alligator, Blotch the Bullfrog, Monkey
- Dave Goelz - Young Waldorf
- Jerry Nelson - Young Statler
- Ginny McSwain - Voice Casting
Although the supporting characters were created specifically for this movie, the performers behind them are no strangers to the world of the Muppets. Croaker was performed by Bill Barretta, who also performs Pepe the King Prawn. Goggles was performed by Joey Mazzarino, a writer, lyricist, and puppeteer for Sesame Street who also co-wrote the teleplay for Kermit's Swamp Years and Muppets from Space. Blotch was performed by John Kennedy, who has been a supporting Muppet performer for years.
Originally, Bill Barretta was supposed to play Goggles and Joey Mazzarino was supposed to play Croaker, but they traded roles after they tried the characters out, due to their voices not sounding good enough for the characters.
The opening and closing sequence also introduces Horace D'Fly (voiced by Bill Barretta), one of the few computer-animated Muppets (In the outtakes reel that rolls during the end credits, Horace complains about having to be swallowed up by Kermit and asks, "Can't we use CG in this scene?").
The character Pilgrim was realized in some scenes as a trained dog, and other scenes as a Muppet that was identical to the live dog.
Some of the puppets that appeared in Jim Henson's Animal Show appear in the pet shop scene singing "Life as a Pet." The puppets included Chauncey the Sea Turtle, Billy Bob the Lemur, Rhonda the Raccoon, Hector the Spider Monkey, Galahad the Grasshopper Mouse, Pearl the Pika, Penelope the Yellow-Footed Tortoise, and Ernie the Mongoose. Also, the Farmer's Dog from The Tale of the Bunny Picnic makes an appearance in this scene as well.
The behind-the-scenes featurette involves a Muppet named Joe the Armadillo (who is a recycled version of Dooley the Armadillo from Jim Henson's Animal Show) interviewing various members of the production staff and crew (Watch for his "big scene" in which he is inserted into the pet store sequence with some clever post-production editing).
- Official website
- Kermit's Swamp Years at Internet Movie Database
- Kermit's Swamp Years on Muppet Wiki, an external wiki