Kermit's Swamp Years
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Kermit's Swamp Years is a 2002 American direct-to-video buddy comedy-drama road adventure prequel film, directed by David Gumpel, featuring Jim Henson's Muppets, including a young Kermit and his best friends Goggles and Croaker, who travel outside their homes in the swamps of the Deep South to do something extraordinary with their lives.
|Kermit's Swamp Years|
|Directed by||David Gumpel|
|Produced by||Ritamarie Peruggi|
|Screenplay by||Jim Lewis|
|Story by||Jim Lewis|
Kelly Collins Lintz
|Narrated by||Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire)|
|Music by||Joe Carroll|
|Edited by||Katina Zinner|
|Distributed by||Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment|
The film, which tells the story of Kermit the Frog's early life, is a prequel to The Muppet Movie (1979). Kermit's Swamp Years was released on VHS and DVD and on the Starz network on August 18, 2002.
Although the film rights are still owned by Sony Pictures rather than The Walt Disney Company, Kermit's Swamp Years was filmed at the Disney-MGM Studios, which is now known as Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The movie opens in the swamp lands that Kermit the Frog calls home. After meeting his old friend Horace D'Fly again, he recaps an adventure from his childhood where he enjoyed a serene amphibian's life with his smooth and confident best friend, Croaker the Frog, and a nervous and cowardly friend of his, Goggles the Toad. Young Kermit wonders what lies beyond the swamp, but his companions do not think the same. The friends run into Dr. Hugo Krassman (John Hostetter) and his assistant Mary (Kelly Collins Lintz), intent on capturing frogs. Arnie the alligator saves them and warns them about the dangers lurking outside the swamp. The next day, they run into the bully Blotch, a huge bullfrog, who attacks Goggles. The fight spills onto a road, where the pair are taken by a pet store owner named Wilson (William Bookston), and Kermit and Croaker venture forth on a quest to save their friends.
When Goggles and Blotch are taken into a pet store, Blotch's anger causes the pair to be put in a cage with Vicki the snake, who intends to eat Blotch. Goggles saves him by goading Vicki to attack him and then using his poison gland. Meanwhile, the other animals at the store manage to convince Goggles and Blotch in a lively musical number that being sold to someone as a pet isn't such a bad idea.
After getting run over by Wilson's truck and having tire tracks on his chest, Croaker is no longer able to hop and starts to lose his bravery. Kermit and Croaker meet a stray dog named Pilgrim (voiced by Cree Summer), who saves them from Krassman and Mary, then decides to help them find their friends. Kermit is able to find Wilson's truck by using helium balloons, but discovers they are no longer in the vehicle. Kermit reconnects with Pilgrim and Croaker again, and together they find Wilson's Pet Store. After Kermit gives him a short pep talk, Croaker finally manages to hop again by hopping through the window and helps Kermit up the window, but they find out from Vicki that their friends have gone to George Washington High School.
The next day, Kermit and Croaker intentionally get discovered by Wilson to get taken to the high school and escape upon arrival. They meet Pilgrim again, who followed them. While trying to find Goggles and Blotch, Pilgrim and Croaker get captured by Wilson. Kermit overhears Wilson heading to biology class, so he hitches a ride on a student's backpack. Krassman decides to dissect Goggles, but Blotch takes his place to return the favor for rescuing them from Vicki. Krassman discides to dissect Croaker instead, when Wilson brings him into the class. Mary refuses to show the class how the dissection is done, so she leaves the classroom. In a daring rescue, Kermit manages to free Croaker from the dissection table and fend off Dr. Krassman using some swashbuckling techniques he picked up earlier at a movie theater, but Krassman is able to defeat Kermit, Croaker, and Blotch. Goggles finds the knife that Kermit dropped, but after he picks it up, Krassman spots him.
Despite the warnings that Kermit should never talk to humans, Kermit stops Krassman from dissecting Goggles by talking and asks him to please release the frogs. This action leads Krassman to reveal that as a child, he was about to dissect his first frog when the frog begged him to stop, but the frog refused to say anything to everyone else in Krassman's classroom, which caused him to be humiliated. With the truth revealed that frogs can talk, Krassman frees all the frogs, dismisses the class and enables Kermit and his friends to return home. After a ride back to the swamp's border in Wilson's truck, Wilson adopts Pilgrim and the four friends head back home.
Back in the present, Kermit says that they are all still friends. He then enters the swamp to meet up with his three old friends, and Horace D'Fly is seen singing.
- William Bookston - Wilson
- John Hostetter - Hugo Krassman
- Christian Kebbel - Young Jim Henson
- Kelly Collins Lintz - Mary
- Cree Summer - Pilgrim the Dog (voice), Kermit the Frog's Mom (voice)
- Steve Whitmire - Kermit the Frog, Jack the Rabbit, Chico the Frog
- Joey Mazzarino - Goggles the Toad, Turtle #1
- Bill Barretta - Croaker the Frog, Horace D'Fly, Roy the Frog, Turtle #2
- Alice Dinnean - Vicki the Snake, Kermit the Frog's Mom (puppeteer), Pilgrim the Dog (puppeteer)
- John Kennedy - Arnie the Alligator, Blotch the Bullfrog, Monkey
- Dave Goelz - Young Waldorf
- Jerry Nelson - Young Statler
Goggles and Croaker were performed by Joey Mazzarino and Bill Barretta, respectively. Mazzarino was a writer, lyricist, and puppeteer for Sesame Street at the time of the film's production. Mazzarino also co-wrote the teleplay for the film. Blotch was performed by John Kennedy.
Originally, Barretta was going to play Goggles and Mazzarino was going to play Croaker, but they traded roles after they tried out the characters.
The opening and closing sequence also introduces Horace D'Fly (voiced by Barretta), one of the few computer-animated Muppets (In the outtakes reel at the end of the film, Horace complains about having to be inside Kermit's mouth and asks, "Can't we use CG or something?").
The character Pilgrim was depicted in some scenes using a real dog, and other scenes as a puppet that was identical to the live dog.
The behind-the-scenes featurette on the DVD is hosted by a Muppet named Joe the Armadillo (performed by Mazzarino) interviewing various members of the production staff and crew.
- "Kermit the Frog stars in his own movie prequel". old.post-gazette.com. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
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