By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Fraggle Rock: Complete Series Collection
The Fraggle Rock complete series collection comes in a beautiful package that looks like Fraggle Rock itself. Inside is a binder with two discs on each page. My kittens love the box, but of course as soon as I got out my camera, they jumped out.
On DVD: Fraggle Rock Complete Series Collection
While I hang onto the episodes to show my future kids, the grown-up me explored all the bonus features to learn about the show I watched growing up. Fortunately, they include grown-up extras. I get annoyed when they cutesy it up for kids. Even kids don’t need condescending extras.
The extras from the individual seasonal collections are here. These include a variety of formats. One is a collection of straight interviews, even more raw than EPKs because they just seem to let a camera roll with panel discussions. They get a bunch of varied groups together and address specific episodes and broader development of the series. Pre-existing materials from the show’s era provide more jewels in the bonus features. Behind-the-scenes docs show the puppeteers at work on the set. There are more EPK style talking head/clips features but they’re not puff pieces. They go deep and talk straight to the viewer, and sometimes include old video footage of recording sessions so that’s more of those archive jewels.
The last disc has new features. There seems to be even more old, blurry VHS footage than ever and that’s my favorite stuff. It makes me feel like I’ve discovered a time capsule. Watching puppeteers do their job from below, flub their lines, and reminisce at the end, it all gives you a sense of how adults create magic for kids without dumbing it down or getting cynical.
In another side of Henson magic, some spots feature the Gorgs, full body costumes. It’s another panel interview with the trio and it is straight talk, reminiscing. There’s just a little bit of B role of the heads detached so you understand the combination of machinery and human performance.
As technical stuff goes, this relates to old school magic, not that newfangled motion capture or CGI animation. The puppeteers show how the Fraggles were constructed. Somehow seeing a puppeteer hold a piece of foam means more to me than an animator running a program on a screen. It just seems more real, more tactile.
It really feels like Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series contains all the Fraggle history there is. I’m sure even it is edited down (the VHS stuff is labeled as “excerpts”). Even I wouldn’t sit through the entire video of the wrap party, so I consider this the ideal collection of Fraggle episodes and extras.