Muppet Babies is one of the rare 1980s animated shows that are not available to stream, and Jim Henson cartoonist Guy Gilchrist is revealing why.

During a recent appearance at L.A. Comic Con, Gilchrist gave some answers as to why the Muppet Babies was not available to stream on any of the digital platforms.

Gilchrist said it comes down to “copyrights and trademarks” as the reason why the show has not been able to get into a streaming service. The cartoonist said in an interview with Dennis Does LA that back in the 80s, there was “camaraderie” between the studios, something that doesn’t exist today amid the big corporate takeovers.

“Besides using the stuff that was in the public domain, like the silent stuff that we used in the dream sequences… Remember, the editing on that was incredibly wonderful. We used a lot of film clips from a lot of different things, including Raiders [of the Lost Ark], Star Wars, and all of that,” Gilchrist said of the collaboration the studios had with each other.

“Jim was very good with George Lucas. George came in and worked on Labyrinth with Jim and that was not their first collaboration,” he continued. “Their first collaboration was… they were across the street from each other. Jim was filming The Muppets and George was doing Star Wars across the street. Yoda didn’t work, so Jim, Frank and Kathy Mullen fixed Yoda. Then, Steven Spielberg was also a very dear friend of Jim’s, and Jim fixed E.T. because E.T. didn’t work.”

With Gilchrist establishing how the studios worked with one another, he went on to explain how the clips used in Muppet Babies made it onto the show and how different it is now.

“Back in those days, everyone loved us,” he explained. “They loved Jim — would do anything for us. We didn’t fill out forms, requests, this or that. We basically did whatever we wanted to do with the blessing of all of the studios. These days, things are owned by Disney, Universal… and there’s not the camaraderie at the creative level that we had in the eighties.”

He continued, “That’s why, I’m sorry to say, you will not see the original Muppet Babies. And it’s the question I get asked the most. I had a lot to do with the Babies. I know how much you guys love the Babies and would love to have them back. But I don’t really know a way that that will ever happen. It’s copyrights and trademarks and that sort of thing, unfortunately.”

Muppet Babies aired between 1984 and 1991 on CBS for eight seasons and a total of 107 episodes. The show portrayed toddler versions of the Muppets living in a nursery.

Another incognito of the Muppet Babies is the face of Nanny, the caretaker of the babies. The show was viewed from the perspective of the babies, and viewers only got to see Nanny’s legs. Now Gilchrist is revealing what she actually looked like.

“Barbara Billingsley, Mrs. Cleaver [from Leave it to Beaver], she was Nanny,” Gilchrist said. “Now you know what Nanny looks like.”

As for Nanny’s stripes socks, Gilchrist said it was “an ode to The Wizard of Oz.”

Muppet Babies had a remake in 2018 that aired on Disney Junior between 2018 and 2022 for a total of three seasons and 71 episodes. The reboot retained some of the original characters but the style of animation was different, opting for computer-animated 3D graphics.

Check out the interview in the video posted below.

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Source: DLine

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