13 years ago, in 2008, a book called Down at Fraggle Rock: Lost Treasures from the Jim Henson archives was supposed to come out. What followed were several delays and in 2016 it was confirmed the book had been cancelled.
When I discovered last year that there was a book called Fraggle Rock – The Ultimate Visual History coming out in 2021 I was pleasantly surprised. I have to admit I never expected plans to publish a Fraggle Rock behind the scenes book would be picked up again after so many years of delays.
Was it worth waiting for? Well, I kind of already spoiled the answer to that question did I?
Like so many other people Sesame Street was my introduction to the wonderful creations of Jim Henson and at age 7 I saw The Dark Crystal on VHS. In that same year a show called Fraggle Rock was released. The first was a pretty dark fairytale and the other the exact opposite: colorful and cheerful. I loved both and I’ve been a Henson fan ever since.
While there have been several books about the works of Henson there was (besides some children’s books) nothing available about Fraggle Rock. That fact alone makes this alone special. Still, they could have ‘phoned it in’ but luckily the authors didn’t.
Like other ‘Ultimate Visual History’ books (I can recommend The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth) it’s large, heavy (hardcover plus over 200 pages) and loaded with never-before-seen photo’s. Also included are several special inserts of notes and even a little concept book.
Although photos, sketches and drawings are dominant, there’s a great amount of text that will take the reader on a trip that starts in 1980 when Jim Henson started to think of a new series since the Muppet Show was filming its final episodes. One of the inserts is format from 1981 about The Woozles; a new international children’s TV show. What follows is a fantastic 220+ pages long journey ‘down at Fraggle Rock’.
The book itself is a nice hardcover, good binding and measures 9.25 x 1 x 11 inches; it goes perfectly with the other Henson Visual History books about Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
So yes, it was worth the wait. For Henson devotees and hardcore fans of puppeteering it’s a real treat and 80’s nostalgia fans will love going back in time by looking at the photos. I hope that some day there will be one about Jim Henson’s The Storyteller. Are you listening Insight Editions?
Special thanks to Insight Editions for providing a review copy!