Twenty-five years ago, for about a year or so I worked as a nanny to three little girls. They had a VHS collection which they watched over and over, and one of the movies in their collection was this:
Jim Henson Presents: The Frog Prince (1971)
I watched that movie with the kids lots of times, and I can still recite quite a lot of the dialogue, and definitely sing most of the songs. It’s a Muppet version of The Frog Prince – what’s not to like? No, Kermit isn’t the prince, he’s the narrator. It’s his nephew Robin who plays the Prince, Sir Robin the Brave (cue song: “They call me Sir Robin the Brave / And history one day will rave / I’m valiant and daring / And noble of bearing / Courageous and gallant / A mountain of talent; / No wonder folks curtsy and wave! / I’m Robin – Sir Robin! – the Brave.”). Apparently that was Robin’s first appearance on the Muppet scene. Another first appearance was Sweetums; he’s the witch’s ogre. I guess they got signed on permanently as actors after they did such a great job on this.
Anyway, it’s a cute movie. In this one, the princess has a curse as well as the prince: she speaks Pig Latin, pretty much (reverses her words, or weverses her rords), and only the Frog can understand her. The princess is also much nicer than her counterpart in the Grimms’ version; she doesn’t break her word, but immediately agrees to be Robin’s friend, and is even ready to kiss him (yes, of course they’re doing the variant with the kiss), except the witch keeps interfering. Well, I won’t give away too much, have to keep up the suspense, dontcha know. Because, of course, you have no idea what might happen in this story, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. Be assured, it ends happily. And the princess has amazing 70s hairdos. And Kermit is as green as it gets.
You know, I was watching Muppets Most Wanted the other day, and Kermit hasn’t aged a bit in the 43 years since The Frog Prince. You gotta hand it to him, he’s one actor who’s kept fit.