Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series TV Poster Image
Bland spin-off of Henson series has some positive messages.

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational value

Intended to entertain, not educate, though there are some generally positive social lessons.

Positive messages

Though the episodes always have positive messages like "be cheerful," they're lost in the cartoonish gags.

Positive role models & representations

Fraggles are often kind and polite to each other; characters fit certain stereotypes, but at least they're different from each other.

Violence & scariness

Lots of cartoonish falling into pits and running away from scary monsters.

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

The show is part of a larger network of Henson shows, movies, books, and gear.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this animated Saturday morning cartoon is inoffensive, but also uninspired, particularly when compared against its mother ship, Fraggle Rock. There are a few generally positive messages, but the gag-oriented plot overwhelms them. If kids want to watch it due to its live-action counterpart, it will do no harm, but they may get bored and wander off before the show's over.

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What's the story?

Based on the noted children's fantasy series FRAGGLE ROCK, which starred puppets, this animated version was made to run on Saturday morning television. Like the original Fraggle Rock, this series follows the adventures of a group of tiny creatures with fuzzy heads and tails, who live in a secret subterranean world with many other strange creatures. The Fraggles are always in danger of being captured by the giant, malevolent Gorgs, as well as battling and avoiding other assorted monsters, but Gobo (Townsend Coleman), Wembley (Bob Bergen), Red (Barbara Goodson) and the rest of the Fraggles muddle through together.

Is it any good?

Although produced by Jim Henson Productions, like the superior live-action/puppet series Fraggle Rock, the same care and attention was clearly not lavished on the animated counterpart, which has the look and feel of an also-ran made on the cheap.

However, if you're not comparing the animated series to the live-action one, you could do worse with kids' cartoons. If the characters aren't thrilling, neither are they offensive, and though the plots are standard-issue cartoon "message" stories, at least they're relatively innocent. In addition, there are several differentiated female characters on the show, a rarity in the Henson world where Miss Piggy is voiced by a man.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why the Gorgs are so interested in catching Fraggles. What do they want to do with the Fraggles when they catch them? Can big creatures and little creatures ever be friendly?

  • Have you watched the Fraggle Rock series with Muppets? Which show do you like better? Why? Which show do you think costs more money to make?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love magical or strange stories

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