The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic

Louise Gold performed the Mother Bunny, in 1986

 

Cast

Camille Bonora – Twitch (Bean Bunny’s sister)

Kevin Clash – Be-Bop, and, Father Bunny

Louise Gold – Mother Bunny

Jim Henson – The Dog

Richard HuntLugsy (Bean Bunny’s brother)

Ron Mueck – The Bunny Storyteller

Karen Prell – Babble, Baby Bunny (younger sibling of Lugsy and Twitch), and, Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother Bunny

Mike Quinn- Mayor Bunnyparte, and, Bulbous

Marty P. Robinson – Farmer

David Rudman – Snort, and, The Snail

Steve Whitmire – Bean Bunny, Dragon Bunny (Bean in a dream)

Additional Puppeteers  - Simon Buckley (Marionettes and hand puppets), Richard Coombs, Geoff Felix (as a background Bunny), Nigel Plaskitt, and, David Showler

 

In fact all the puppeteers, including Jim Henson pitched in with performing the background bunnies. (There is a story, in Christopher Finch’s biography of Jim Henson, about Kevin Clash having to ask for Jim Henson himself to be told to tone down one of his background performances).

 

Production Team

 Directed by – Jim Henson, and, David G. Hillier

Written by – Jocelyn Stevenson

Co-Producer – Martin G. Baker

Executive producer – Diana Birkenfield

Producer – Jim Henson

Associate Producer – David Leonard

BBC Producer – Ben Rea

Original Music by – Philip Balsam

Lyrics by – Dennis Lee

Musical Director – Don Gillis

Cinematography by – John Wiggins

Film Editing by – David Hambelton

Production Design – John  Bristow, and, Diane Dawson-Hearn

Production Management – Duncan Kenworthy

Puppet Design – Edward G. Christie, Larry Difiori, Joann Geen, Jane A. Gootnick, Cheryl Henson, Ross Hill, Marian Keating, Rollin Krewson, Will Morrison, Connie Peterson, Jan Rosenthal, Polly Smith, Norman Tempia, and, Julie Zobel

Creative Advisor – Bonnie Erickson

Mechanical Design – Fred Buchholz, Leigh Donaldson, Thorn Flowers, Larry Jameson, and, Tom Newby

 

This programme marked the first appearance of the character Bean Bunny, performed by Steve Whitmire.

Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, and, Karen Prell were all veteran puppeteers of The Muppet Show; for which Ed Christie, Bonnie Erickson, Jane Gootnick, Cheryl Henson, Larry Jameson, Rollin Krewson, Jan Rosenthal, and, Polly Smith built puppets; and with which Martin Baker was also involved.

Camile Bonora, Kevin Clash, Richard Hunt, and. Marty Robinson’s recording credits include Born To Add.

Camile Bonora, Richard Hunt, and, Marty Robinson’s recording credits include The Count’s Countdown. Louise Gold was also credited on this album, however there has been some debate as to whether she at least actually sang on it.

Simon Buckley, Kevin Clash, Geoff Felix. Jim Henson, Ron Mueck, Nigel Plaskitt, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, David Rudman, David Showler, and, Steve Whitmire had previous puppeteered on Labyrinth; for which Cheryl Henson, and, Rollin Krewson also built puppets; and on which Martin G. Baker also worked.

Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and, Steve Whitmire’s recording credits include Muppet Music Sampler.

Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Karen Prell, and, Steve Whitmire’s recording credits include Muppet Music Mix.

Kevin Clash, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Marty Robinson, and, David Rudman’s recording credits include Elmo’s Lowdown Hoedown.

Simon Buckley, Kevin Clash, Geoff Felix, Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, Mike Quinn, David Showler, and, Steve Whitmire went on to puppeteer on Muppet Treasure Island, for which Fred Buchholz, Edward G. Christie, Jane A. Gootnick, Larry Jameson, Rollin Krewson, Tom Newby, Connie Peterson, and, Polly Smith also built puppets; and on which Martin G. Baker also worked.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and, Steve Whitmire were among the eight main puppeteers on The Muppet Show, on which Karen Prell also puppeteered. Their recording credits include Favorite Songs From Jim Henson’s Muppets, and, Put Some Zing In Your Spring.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, and, Richard Hunt had appeared on The Royal Variety Performance (1977). Their recording credits include: The Muppet Show Music Hall, The Muppet Show 2, For What It’s Worth, and. Jim Henson Presents Silly Songs.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and, Steve Whitmire had appeared in The All Time Get Around Sometimes Play Together Every Other Friday Night Vaudeville Show. Their recording credits include The Muppet Show Music Album, The Great Muppet Caper (Soundtrack album), Muppet Hits 1, Muppet Hits 2, and, Music, Mayhem And More.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Mike Quinn, and, Steve Whitmire had previously puppeteered on The Great Muppet Caper, for which Edward G. Christie, Jane A. Gootnick, Larry Jameson, Will Morrison, Tom Newby, and, Connie Peterson also built puppets; and on which Martin G Baker also worked.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Mike Quinn, and, Steve Whitmire, along with Rollin Krewson, had previously puppeteered on The Muppets Go To The Movies, for which puppet builders included: Ed Christie, Jane Gootnick, Will Morrison, and, Connie Peterson.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, and, Steve Whitmire’s recording credits include John Denver And The Muppets A Christmas Together, on which Martin G. Baker also worked. Some tracks from that album found their way onto John Denver & The Muppets Merry Christmas 45RPM, Christmas For Kids, and, John Denver Christmas.

Louise Gold, Jim Henson, Mike Quinn, and, Steve Whitmire had previously puppeteered on The Dark Crystal; for which Leigh Donaldson, Cheryl Henson, Roliin Krewson, and, Polly Smith also built puppets; and on which Martin G. Baker, and, Duncan Kenworthy also worked.

Louise Gold, and, Mike Quinn had previously puppeteered on the UK Co-Production of Fraggle Rock, and an item about The Dark Crystal on Blue Peter.

Martin Baker had previously worked on the German Co-Production of  Fraggle Rock, on which Louise Gold puppeteered.

Jim Henson had featured in the Inside The Labyrinth documentary. His recording credits include Jerome Kern The First 100 Years.

Louise Gold, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, David Rudman, and, Steve Whitmire’s recording credits include The Muppet Christmas Carol (Soundtrack album).

Simon Buckley, Geoff Felix, Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, David Rudman, David Showler, and, Steve Whitmire went on to puppeteer on The Muppet Christmas Carol, for which Fred Buchholz, Edward G. Christie, Larry Jameson, Rollin Krewson, Tom Newby, Connie Peterson, and, Polly Smith also built puppets; and on which Martin G. Baker also worked.

Simon Buckley, Richard Coombs, Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, and, Marty Robinson, puppeteered on Spitting Image.

Louise Gold, and, Steve Whitmire went on to puppeteer on The Animal Show, as did Nigel Plaskitt.

Richard Coombs, Louise Gold, and, Nigel Plaskitt went on to puppeteer on The Spooks Of Bottle Bay, and, Alice In Wonderland.

Nigel Plaskitt puppeteered on the video for the album Spit In Your Ear, and the Tv series Five Minutes More, and went on to work on Space Sprogs. He has also gone on to direct Louise Gold in her cabaret act LOUISE GOLD...By Appointment.

Louise Gold, and, Nigel Plaskitt went on to puppeteer on Mopatop’s Shop, for which Larry Jameson also built puppets, and which Jocelyn Stevenson went on to write for.

Louise Gold, and, Nigel Plaskitt also went on to puppeteer on That Puppet Game Show.

Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Duncan Kenworthy, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, Marty Robinson, David Rudman, Steve Whitmire, and, Cheryl Henson all went on to take part in Jim Henson’s Memorial Service.

Louise Gold, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, David Rudman, and, Steve Whitmire’s recording credits include A Green And Red Christmas.

Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, and, Richard Coombs went on to puppeteer on The Ghost Of Faffner Hall, which was also partly written by Jocelyn Stevenson.

Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, and, Mike Quinn went on to puppeteer on The Secret Life Of Toys, which was also written by Jocelyn Stevenson.

Camille Bonora, Kevin Clash, Louise Gold, Marty P. Robinson, David Rudman, and, Steve Whitmire went on to puppeteer together on Sesame Street.

Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire, and, Louise Gold, along with Martin Baker had featured on the documentary Of Muppets And Men, on which Karen Prell also appeared.

Steve Whitmire, Louise Gold, Kevin Clash, and, Rollin Krewson contributed to the documentary I Love The Muppets.

Simon Buckley, Louise Gold, and, Nigel Plaskitt contributed to the documentary Best Ever Spitting Image.

Steve Whitmire probably puppeteered on ITV’s 50 Greatest Shows.

Louise Gold, and, David Rudman have gone on to puppeteer on The Furchester Hotel, for which Edward G Christie was also a designer.

 

Critics Comments

 

 

Links about Tale Of The Bunny Picnic

IMDB Entry: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0092046/

Muppet Wiki Entry for the programme: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Bunny_Picnic

BFI Database Entry for the programme: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/365490

Richard Coombs’s website’s section mentioning the programme http://www.richardcoombs.co.uk/roundthebend.htm

Toonarific’s page for the programme: http://www.toonarific.com/show.php?show_id=7490

Amazon.com’s page for the video of this programme: (1994 release) http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Bunny-Picnic-Movie-Henson/dp/6302642507 , and, (1998 release) http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Bunny-Picnic-Jim-Henson/dp/076782900X 

Fourword Film Review’s page for the programme: http://www.fwfr.com/display.asp?ID=9685

Movietome’s page for the programme: http://www.movietome.com/movietome/servlet/MovieMain/movieid-78064//

Ampage’s page for the programme: http://www.firebottle.com/apf/apf_beta.cgi?Operation=ItemLookup&ItemId=6302642507

Everyone’s A Critic’s page for the programme: http://www.everyonesacritic.net/movie.asp?movieid=25549

Fininfo.com’s page for the programme: http://funinfo.com/item/id_46949/allcast/

Rogers Video’s page for the programme: http://www.rogersvideo.ca/movie.asp?mid=29232

 Agency Licensing Campaign (article in The Stage): http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/31022/theatre-stars-back-campaign-for-talent-agency, and Online Petition (which anyone who supports it can sign): http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41085.html , seeing as Nigel Plaskitt is among the performers supporting this worthy campaign.

 

 

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