Muppet Retro Reviews – Peek-A-Boo: A Big Surprise for Little People

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Video.peekabooMichael Wermuth – Peek-A-Boo: A Big Surprise for Little People is one of six videos from the Jim Henson’s Play-Along Video series. Not only is it the best of the series, it’s also the greatest Henson THING ever! If you think Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, and Gobo Fraggle are the greatest lead characters ever, then you’ve never seen the stars of this video – a bunny and a bear! This video follows their exciting misadventures in which they play games with little kids, and constantly repeat their catch phrase, “Peek-A-Boo”, though at times they shorten it to the much more dignified and sophisticated “peek”. It certainly beats “wocka wocka” and “I’m the baby” as awesome catch phrases. It’s no wonder that this is the only one of the Play-Along Videos that is still available for purchase (as a download on iTunes and Amazon, as well as being available for purchase on YouTube and The Jim Henson Company’s Hulu channel).

Okay, so I was just kidding about most of that (namely the opinion parts). This video mainly focuses on real-life little kids doing little kid activities. The bunny and the bear are the only Muppets to be heavily featured in this (though the Muppet penguins do make a cameo, and some of the toys from The Christmas Toy also show up, in toy form). This particular video is aimed at really young children (the packaging says “Age 3 years”). There’s not really much talking in the video. Even though it was aimed at the really young kids, is that a good reason to leave out Kermit or other established characters?

Peek_a_boo_itunsSo is there anything good about this video? I mean, anything good for those past the target age, aside from nostalgia value (if you watched this constantly as a kid) or for those who must see everything The Jim Henson Company was involved with? Well, the background music is fun to listen to. I can see this as being a good thing to have playing on TV or a computer if you’re busy with something but need some kind of program on. In fact, while there’s not much dialogue beyond “peek-a-boo” or “peek”, the video does open and close with some great songs sung over the footage. That’s nice to listen to. Hmm, maybe this is one of those few Jim Henson Productions that’s better for its music than its visuals.

So in conclusion, I suppose you’ll like it if your 3 or under, but if you’re older, I don’t expect you to want to watch this one very often. Out of all Henson Company projects made during Jim Henson’s lifetime, this one is probably the one made for the youngest target audience.

 

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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