The Secret Life Of Toys

Louise Gold featured puppeteering Raisin, Hortense, Dafodil and other assorted characters, filmed at Monheim Studios in Germany, first broadcast 5 March to 28 May 1994 (Muppet Central timeline says it was taped in 1993)

 

Cast

Dave Goelz – as Rugby Tiger, Ditz The Clown, and other assorted charaters

Louise Gold – as Raisin the Ragdoll, Hortense the Rocking Horse, Dafodil, and other assorted characters

Jerry Nelson – as Balthazer the old bear, and other assorted characters

Nigel Plaskitt – as Mew the cat-toy/mouse and other assorted characters

Mike Quinn – as Humble Gary and other assorted characters

 

Assistants – Marcus Hubner, Axel Ratherberger, and, Jurgen Tombers

 

Production Team

Puppets built by – Jim Henson’s Muppet workshop, New York

Workshop Supervisor – Paul Hartis

Puppet Builders – Rob Gardner, Ross Franks, and, Vedina Bajrektarevic

Script – ? Jocelyn Stevenson

 Music – Pee-A-Boo

Lyrics – Jocelyn Stevenson, and, Jerry Nelson

Set Design – Val Strazovec, and, Alan Cassie

Creative Consultant – Dave Goelz

Co-Producer – Jocelyn Stevenson

Producer – Peter Coogan

Executive Producer – Brian Henson

 

Episode List

1.a     Ooops

1.b     Don’t Tell Me

2.a     Follow The Leader

2.b     Disappearing Ditz

3.a     I’m Going To Tell

3.b     The Cat Toy That Roared

4.a     Rock-A-Bye Worries

4.b     The Magic Fish

5.a.    Climbers

5.b.    Be Plush

6.a.    Queen Raisin

6.b.    Balthazar In Beam Land

7.a.    Ditz And Datz

7.b.    Mummies

8.a.    All Washed Up

8.b.    Bunnochio

9.a.    More Than A Mouse

9.b     Happy Hortense To You

10.a   Down With Dinkeybeard

10.b   The Sky Is Falling In

11.a.  Baby Balthazar

11.b.  True Mew

12.a.  Mr And Mrs Rugby

12.b   I Spy

13.a   Who Shares Wins

13.b.  It’s A Giveaway

 

Apparently the programme has sometimes been titled Jim Henson’s Secret Life Of Toys.

Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, and, Louise Gold had previously been among the eight main puppeteers on The Muppet Show. As Muppeteers they have also appeared together in: The Royal Variety Performance (1977), and on Sesame Street (in the early 1990s); and their recording credits include: The Muppet Show Music Hall, The Muppet Show 2, For What It’s Worth, The Muppet Show Music Album, The Great Muppet Caper (Soundtrack album), John Denver And The Muppets A Christmas Together, John Denver & The Muppets Merry Christmas 45RPM, Jim Henson Presents Silly Songs, Favorite Songs From Jim Henson’s Muppets, Put Some Zing In Your Spring, Muppet Music Sampler, Muppets Hits 1, Muppet Hits 2, Muppet Music Mix, Christmas For Kids, John Denver Christmas, and, Music Mayhem And More. They also all featured on the documentaries Of Muppets And Men, and, I Love The Muppets.

Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, and, Mike Quinn had previously puppeteered together on The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Go To The Movies, and at Jim Henson’s Memorial Service. Their recording credits include The Muppet Christmas Carol (Soundtrack album), and, A Green And Red Christmas.

Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, and, Mike Quinn had previously been Skeksis principal puppeteers on The Dark Crystal, for which Jerry Nelson did voice-work.

Louise Gold and Mike Quinn represented the puppeteers in an item about The Dark Crystal on Blue Peter.

Louise Gold, and, Mike Quinn had also puppeteered on The Ghost Of Faffner Hall, which Jocelyn Stevenson was also involved with.

Louise Gold and Mike Quinn had previously puppeteered together on UK Outerspace segments on the International Fraggle Rock, for which Jerry Nelson, and, Dave Goelz did voice-work.

Dave Goelz, Nigel Plaskitt, and, Mike Quinn had previously puppeteered on Labyrinth.

Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, and, Mike Quinn had previously puppeteered on The Muppet Christmas Carol for which Paul Hartis also built puppets, Alan Cassie, and, Val Strazovec worked on as Art Directors, and Peter Coogan was also involved with.

Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, Mike Quinn, and, Jurgen Tombers went on to puppeteer on Muppet Treasure Island, for which Paul Hartis also built puppets, Alan Cassie, and, Val Strazovec worked on as Art Directors, and Peter Coogan was also involved with.

Dave Goelz, and, Louise Gold went on to puppeteer on The Animal Show, for which Nigel Plaskitt puppeteered on the opening titles.

Alan Cassie had previously worked on The Pirates Of Penzance (film), which puppeteer Louise Gold appeared in.

Louise Gold, and, Nigel Plaskitt also puppeteered together on Mopatop’s Shop which Peter Coogan, and Jocelyn Stevenson were also involved with.

Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold (a great Muppet singing double act) have performed together many times. They appeared in The All Time Get Around Sometimes Play Together Every Other Friday Night Vaudeville Show; and their recording credits include: Jerome Kern The First 100 Years, Born To Add, and,  Elmo’s Lowdown Hoedown. Their  recording credits also include The Count’s Countdown, however there has been some debate as to whether Louise Gold actually sang on that.

Louise Gold, and, Nigel Plaskitt are two of Britain’s major television puppeteers. They led the puppeteering team on Spitting Image, and both appeared on the documentary Best Ever Spitting Image. They have also worked together on The Spooks Of Bottle Bay, Alice In Wonderland, Space Sprogs, and, That Puppet Game Show; while Nigel has also gone on to direct Louise in her cabaret act LOUISE GOLD...By Appointment.

Louise Gold, Nigel Plaskitt, and, Mike Quinn had previously puppeteered on the Tale Of The Bunny Picnic, which was also written by Jocelyn Stevenson.

Nigel Plaskitt also puppeteered on the video to go with the album Spit In Your Ear.

Nigel Plaskitt and Louise Gold went on to do voices for Five Minutes More (which had a few thematic similarities) and was also produced by Peter Coogan. Nigel Plaskitt also puppeteered on the programme (though Louise Gold did not).

 

 

Critics Comments

 

 

Links about The Secret Life Of Toys

Muppet Wiki section for the programme: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/The_Secret_Life_of_Toys

IMDB entry for the programme: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108920/

TV.Com’s page for the programme: http://www.tv.com/the-secret-life-of-toys/show/18082/summary.html

Toonarific’s page for the programme: http://www.toonarific.com/show.php?show_id=1859

MuppetCentral Thread about the programme: http://forum.muppetcentral.com/archive/index.php/t-4616.html

Punch and Jewlry’s Henson programmes guide: http://www.punchandjewelry.com/legacy/sueguide.txt

Funinfo.com’s page for the programme: http://funinfo.com/item/id_76225/

Amazon/com’s page for the programme: http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Hensons-Secret-Life-Toys/dp/B0002L0FLQ

Yahoo TV’s page for the programme: http://tv.yahoo.com/jim-hensons-the-secret-life-of-toys/show/31401/castcrew

ABC Kid’s page for the programme: http://www.abc.net.au/abckids/shows/prog86.htm

Stanley Brown’s account of recording a French version of the programme: http://www.playbackmag.com/articles/magazine/19941121/3956.html

Tibby’s Bowl/Muppet Central interview with Louise Gold (The Secret Life Of Toys is mentioned in one of the questions): http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/interviews/gold.shtml

Muppet Central Timeline 1990s (says programme taped in 1993): http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/timeline/timeline_90s.shtml

  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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