Our 2019 Road Trip, Part 30: Puppet Outtake Island

Fraggle Rock cast!

I grew up in a family unable to afford HBO, so I’ve never seen a single episode of Fraggle Rock. Here’s some cast members you might recognize that I don’t!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our eight-day trip to Atlanta in general and Dragon Con in particular — August 25th through September 1, 2019. Here in our penultimate chapter we present a selection of additional exhibits from the coolest stop of the year as voted upon by me, the guy in charge of typing.

To wit: the Center for Puppetry Arts, which was one-half loving tribute to the many dimensions of Jim Henson, one-half history of puppets around the world, and one temporary exhibit returning guests to the world of The Dark Crystal. I tried to be choosy when curating the previous chapters to a manageable length apiece, so the following gallery represents highly honorable mentions, some of which were perhaps unfairly cut. Enjoy!

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Our 2019 Road Trip, Part 11: Master of Muppets

Oscar and Grover!

Oscar the Grouch and Grover in all their innocent glory.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.

DAY THREE: Tuesday, August 27th.

When we first began vacation brainstorming months ago, the Center for Puppetry Arts was among the top choices on my half of our list for a number of reasons. It’s a modest museum packed with puppets from around the world and across centuries, many of which you’d recognize from beloved movies and TV shows of your youth and mine. Of all the creators and craftsmen celebrated within their halls, none is represented in greater depth than the one and only Jim Henson.

If you were a fan of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, or such films as The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth, chances are I don’t have to explain who Jim Henson was or his impact on the advancement of puppetry as a storytelling and entertainment medium. To the rest of you, there’s your explanation. Henson’s significance is so integral to the museum and to puppetry itself that he had the honor of cutting the ribbon when the Center opened in 1978.

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Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Muppets Most Wanted” End Credits

Muppets Most Wanted

Once again Ricky Gervais works at upsetting a crowd of stars more beloved than he is.

Muppets Most Wanted knows it’s a sequel and its chances are impaired. The first of its many musical numbers is all about what it means to be a sequel and whether or not that has to be a fate worse than death. Instead of succumbing to the easy temptation of making a “normal” Muppets film, director James Bobin returns us to the exact moment and state of mind where the reboot left off, with America’s favorite variety-show veterans reunited, recharged, ready to put on the big show…but left asking each other: now what do we do?

(Courtesy mild spoiler alert: This entry covers both the contents of the end credits and all the cameos I could catch. If you like to be surprised by the cameos, an integral part of every Muppets film, you might want to slide right past that section without skimming.)

It’s time to get things started! Again!

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