Saturday, June 30, 2012

Follow That Bird, Part 5: Bringing It Home

After Big Bird's dismal show, a couple of kids meet him backstage and he tells them to call Sesame Street for him.  They get in touch with Bob who relays the message to the traveling gang who are filling up at a nearby gas station.

Cookie Monster is filling up the most.

The team bands together to break Big Bird out of his cage.  Early in the morning, while the Sleazes are sleeping, Linda manages to swipe the keys to the cage.  Unfortunately, just as they manage to find the right key, the Sleazes wake up and drive off with Big Bird in tow.  Gordon and Olivia take off in hot pursuit, and Gordon decides that it's time for the movie's big action sequence.

Grab on to your seats!  It's going to get crazy.

Gordon decides that the best course of action is to have Olivia drive as close as possible to the cage(!), then he'll stand up in the hoodless trunk(!!), and Big Bird will have to jump from a moving vehicle onto another moving vehicle(!!!!!).  Big Bird and Gordon have a nice long discussion about how unsafe this is and how no child should ever do this and Big Bird shouldn't even be standing, but these are special circumstances and Gordon is giving his permission just this once.  The Nostalgia Critic summed up this moment quite nicely in his review:

Despite looking as if Big Bird is going to fall to his ghastly death, Big Bird manages to make it safely onto Gordon's car.

Seriously, kids, do NOT do this, EVER!

Big Bird finally gets to be reunited with his friends and Officer John Candy pulls over the Sleaze Brothers and sends them to jail for all the crimes they've racked up.  My personal favorite is "impersonating a nun."

It's an SCTV reunion!

We rejoin our friends back at Sesame Street where everyone turns out to see Big Bird's arrival.

Even Elmo showed up with barely any lines!  He'll get his revenge in the next movie...

Everyone is happy, but we still have Miss Finch to deal with.  She arrives to admit that while the Dodos may not have been a right fit for Big Bird, she has found an even better bird family for him.  But the citizens of Sesame Street protest, saying that Big Bird belongs with them.  They are his family.  Maria lists off the many types of creatures who live on Sesame Street in harmony.  Humans, cows, dogs, birds, monsters, grouches, even Bert and Ernie!

Why did she single us out, Bert?

Miss Finch finally relents and states that if Big Bird is truly happy here, she has no right to take him from the people who love him and take care of him.  It's a nice ending, though I which we had gotten a brief scene featuring the new family she had found, living in a bird mansion and being the most perfect family imaginable.

The new family has a swimming pool, but if you want to stay in your trash heap, fine by me.

After Miss Finch leaves, Big Bird goes to reunite with Snuffy who kept his nest warm this whole time. Aww, how nice!

Everything is back to the status quo.

And finally, Gordon and his posse arrives with a lot of 'splainin' to do to his wife.

Why did we even bring Cookie Monster in the first place?

The Count counts the credits for us and Follow That Bird draws to a close.

Follow That Bird is a movie that should and should not exist.  With so many episodes in the Sesame Street library, one grows used to a certain rhythm and flow.  The movie mostly abandons that and aims just to be it's own thing.  We spend very little time on Sesame Street itself, despite the effort that went into recreating the set so it looked nice for the camera.  It's still a good movie for kids, as it has a great message, catchy songs, and familiar characters.

But the movie is really divided into "Big Bird" and "everybody else," which creates a lopsided feeling. Big Bird spends a majority of the film in new locations and meeting new characters.  Like many of the "Big Bird travels" episodes of the show, it's fun to see this character under going new experiences.  Like Peewee's Big Adventure, we get to through this colorful character into the real world and see how he adapts.  Unfortunately, the people he meets are either too nice or cartoonishly evil.  It's as if Sesame Street has spilled out into the real world, rather than being a little haven unto itself.  As such, there is never a real sense of drama.

Big Bird longs to get home, yet the America he journeys through is quite pleasant.  Had there been more danger or unusual situations, then we as an audience would have felt Big Bird's pain.  The only negative moment he finds himself in is the "Bluebird" scene, and that's why the scene resonates so strongly with kids and adults alike.  Big Bird is finally in actual peril.

The rest of the cast as very little to do, both humans and puppets alike.  Each puppet does their main schtick, but none of it fits into the overall story.  Part of my issue is that I am confused about Big Bird's relationship with the people coming to rescue him.  On the show, Big Bird is closest with the humans, Snuffy, and, ironically, Oscar the Grouch.  Yet, the humans all behave a single unit of normalcy, and Snuffy stays home.  The reason I enjoy Oscar's scenes so much is because he's actually making the most of a bad situation and having fun.  I mean, it would have been nice if he showed he cared at least once (and he kind of does at the very end, when he takes a stroll around the block), but he still provides the funniest scenes and commentary on the whole situation.


On it's own the movie is very solid and it is a great addition to the Henson film canon.  Director Ken Kwapis (The Office, Freaks and Geeks, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) does a great job with the comedic aspects as well as the more tense moments towards the end of the film.  If I were to rank it with the original three Muppet movies, I would place it at #3, above The Muppets Take Manhattan.  I wish the movie had done a lot more with the premise and explored the drama a little more, but what we have is just fine.  It feels like a Sesame Street movie, even if it doesn't necessarily feel like a Sesame Street episode.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Follow That Bird, Part 4: Bluebird of Despair

We're almost at the best part of the movie, so I hope you don't mind if I fast-forward a bit.  Because, in all of Sesame Street history, there is nothing quite like the "Bluebird of Happiness" scene.

The rest of the movie can't compete with this image right here.

How does Big Bird get in this position?  Well...*takes a deep breath*...

Super Grover flies/crashes into Gordon's car thinking that it's Big Bird because it's big and yellow...

At least he's safe now.

...everyone ends up in the town of Toadstool where, since Bob, being the expert tracker he is, figured that's where Big Bird would end up and intersect with the paths of the cars (Don't ask me why they had to take separate cars if they were all going to the same place anyway, because I don't know.)...

All roads lead to Toadstool.

...Big Bird ends up in the middle of the Toadstool annual parade and everyone sees him but the parade prevents anyone from getting close enough to catch him (And even if they did, only Miss Finch brought a car that could fit Big Bird. Everyone else's car is full of tag-along puppets that should have stayed home.)...

Why is there always a parade in these kind of movies?

...and to escape Miss Finch, Big Bird hides in the "hiding cage" of a pair of helpful strangers.

Seems legit.

Now that the Sleaze Brothers have finally caught Big Bird, they realize that everyone will become suspicious when they showcase the giant yellow bird that everyone is looking for.  So, they do the only sensible thing and paint him blue. 

This is heartbreaking to watch.

They dub him the "Bluebird of Happiness" and present him to the giant crowd of children waiting to see the rare creature.  For the "show," he is supposed to sing for the kids.  So he sings "I'm So Blue," and it is the saddest song ever featured in a Muppet movie.

In every journey story, the hero has his "I want to go back" moment.  Big Bird sings his melancholy tune as he tries to remain optimistic.  But he knows that he is trapped and escape is utterly hopeless.  He  remains on the verge of tears with each line he sings, as the audience of kids stare in bewilderment.  And these aren't just actors.  These are all extra kids called in to see Big Bird in his brand new movie and he has hit rock bottom.  I have no idea what could possibly be going through their mind or how many had to be reassured after filming that everything is alright and make-believe.

Seriously, the song's ironic take on chasing your dreams is the last thing anyone would expect to see in a Muppet film.  The lyrics are basically the antithesis of "The Rainbow Connection."  Take a look:

I'll never lose my dreams
Even though this time it seems
Like I'm such a long way
From any rainbows that might keep my dreams from fading

In a different context, this could be uplifting.  It could be just what Big Bird needs to pull himself up and get ready to take on the world.  But the world has finally beaten him down.  He has given up.  He has been changed for good.

Tomorrow, we finish the movie on a lighter note as a rescue mission is under way!  So, cheer up!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Follow That Bird, Part 3: Down on the Farm

The kindly hitchhiker takes Big Bird as far as he can before dropping him off in the middle of nowhere, because that's what you do with a 6-year-old runaway.  Big Bird heads down a dirt road and before long, he comes across a farm filled with chickens.  Not Muppet chickens, just regular chickens, which usually wouldn't be an issue, except with this whole set up of "birds as a race of people," it's kind of weird to encounter the actual creatures.

Oh, and the farm is apparently run by children.

"Get offa my property, pwease!"

Okay, I know that these kids have parents, but we never see them.  The children, Ruthie and Floyd, recognize Big Bird from the TV and they decide to hide him in the barn.  The barn is off-limits to parents, I guess.

That night, Big Bird stares out at "One Little Star" from his hayloft and wonders how his friends are doing at that moment.  And, of course, they are looking at that same star, singing the same song.  It's sweet, but it's kind of weird that Big Bird only thinks about the two people who happen to be singing about him.

I miss Olivia and Snuffy and...the rest.

While everyone else is singing, the cool car decides to stop for dinner at the Grouch-run restaurant "Don't Drop Inn," because Oscar put up with Friendly's for lunch.  That's a good joke.

This was eventually renamed "Denny's."

This is basically a comic relief sketch thrown into the middle of the film where Maria has to suffer from the terrible service, horrible food, and obnoxious atmosphere one comes to expect from a Grouch dining establishment.  This is one of the few times we see human Grouches in the series.

Would you like some attitude with that?

Maria's theoretically safe order of a tossed salad ends with the inevitable food fight.  But at least the lettuce looks edible.

Back on the farm, Big Bird begins helping the children with their chores and becomes used to the country life of apple-pickin', cow-milkin', apple-milkin', cow-tippin', milk-pickin', apple-cowin', and goin' through barn doors.

Where are your parents, you children of the corn?!

And let's not forget the ADR'd song, even though we just had a song one scene ago.

But all good things must come to an end.  While Big Bird feels content in this new home, Miss Finch picks up his scent and soon, Big Bird must hightail it out of there.  As he's hiding, he narrowly avoids being caught by the Sleaze brothers, so that plot point will have to come later.

Instead, we find Big Bird stranded in a cornfield.  After having an imaginary talk with Snuffy, he gets spotted by Bert and Ernie flying their plane.  And that can only mean one thing: a North by Northwest parody!

"We're supposed to take him dead or alive, right?"

Ernie only succeeds in scaring Big Bird because he gets mistaken for Miss Finch (and also he flew straight at Big Bird with a plane!) and decides now is the time for some plane stunts and another song called "Upside Down World."

But we just had two songs!

Ernie sings of the joys of flying upside down as Bert loses his bottle cap collection.  The two then switch positions and Bert begins singing and flying while Ernie becomes the clearheaded one, telling them that they've misplaced Big Bird during all their tomfoolery.  Oh, Ernie, you scamp!  The duo flies on with out Big Bird, because we've still got two-fifths of the movie to go.

Tomorrow, Big Bird finds himself trapped and feeling blue.  Get out your tissues now!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Follow That Bird, Part 2: On the Run

After reading Big Bird's depressing letter, Snuffy decides now is the time to visit his friend and lift hist spirits.  He sends a massive postcard detailing his plans and Big Bird is overjoyed.  He shares the news with his family, but hits a roadblock when they inquire about the type of bird Snuffy is.  When Big Bird tells them the truth, they forbid Snuffy from visiting, because birds are only supposed to be friends with birds.

So, Big Bird does what anyone would do in this situation and runs away in the middle of the night.

I'm sure he'll be just fine.

Soon, the news of Big Bird's disappearance hits the airwaves and that means it's time for our first celebrity cameo! Chevy Chase appears as the anchorman and, like Steve Martin and John Cleese before him, he makes the most of his one scene.

Never before has saying the name "Sesame Street" been so funny.

As the Sesame Street inhabitants watch, the report is turned over to our favorite reporter Kermit the Frog who explains that Big Bird has run away and intends to head back home.

I'm not sure if this counts as a cameo or not.

He interviews the Dodo family who are completely distraught over the loss of their new child. Wait, I meant they are completely excited to be on television and they leave the interview in order to watch themselves on TV. Yeah, we aren't supposed to care for these characters one bit.

The hatred of birds among children ages 3-7 increased 500% after this movie premiered.

Kermit then interviews Miss Finch who swears to hunt down Big Bird and kill him, I mean, return him to his "proper" family if it's the last thing she does. Big Bird watches her threat on a store's television set and psychs himself up for his "three-hour" journey (because it took two hours to fly there, and he knows walking will take longer, obviously).

I miss the days when all store windows had multiple TV sets showing plot-relevant news stories.

The gang on Sesame Street decide that the best course of action will be to split up and drive across the country in order to intercept Big Bird's path. Akin to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, we get five wacky modes of transportation to follow:

1) Gordon, Olivia, Linda, and Cookie Monster are taking Gordon's VW, because it's smart to bring a monster that devours everything in sight on a rescue mission.

2) The Count heads off in his Countmobile alone, probably because no one wants to be stuck on a 24-hour car ride with the Count.

That's one! One person counting out loud the entire time! Ah-ah-ah!

3) Super Grover is going to fly by himself. Um, we don't want to end up with two missing Muppets, Mr. Movie!

4) Bert and Ernie take their biplane that they always have that Ernie knows how to fly like always.

5) And Maria and Telly Monster join Oscar in his Sloppy Jalopy, which comes with Homer the Honker, since the car's horn doesn't work. Oscar's only agreeing to help because he's sure they will end up coming home empty handed. Does that mean he thinks Big Bird is going to get killed? Probably.

 This is the cool car, by the way.  Shotgun!

As the gang fans out, Big Bird continues teaching all sorts of great lessons to the viewing audience, like it's a good idea to hitchhike with random turkey farmers because they'll probably turn out to be kindly country music sensation Waylon Jennings. And he'll sing you a nice tune encouraging you to stick to your decision to run away from your home.

"Ain't No Road Too Long" is this film's "Movin' Right Along."

But lurking on the sidelines is a pair of ne'er-do-well brothers named Sam and Sid Sleaze who run a shoddy carnival that swindles kids out of their well earned nickels.  Played by Joe Flaherty and Dave Thomas of SCTV, the Sleazes get an idea as to how to increase revenue at their crappy park.  They need to get their hands on that missing bird and make him their main attraction!

Now these guys are just what Sesame Street villains would be like: pure evil without any sense of realism.

Uh-oh!  Hopefully Big Bird will manage to stay far away from these two.  Tune in tomorrow to see if he does!  (Spoiler alert: he doesn't.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Follow That Bird, Part 1: Bye Bye Birdie

Before we get started, would you please rise for the Grouch Anthem?

If you politely agreed to that request, then you missed the entire point of the Grouch Anthem.

The existence of a Sesame Street movie creates an odd sensation.  It is common for television shows to be adapted into films, but rarely do we see this with long-running daytime shows that produce over 100 episodes a year.  Just to give you an idea as to how rare this phenomenon is, let me remind you that 2012's Dark Shadows was the first movie ever based on a pre-existing soap opera.

The fact that it is a show for preschoolers makes the leap to screen even weirder.  Try to imagine a property like Mister Roger's Neighborhood getting a theatrical release.  It wouldn't happen because preschoolers are not the target audience for movie producers, but their parents are.  Why would a parent take a harrowing trip to the movie theater to see a show that their kids watch everyday anyway.  It's not like little kids are thinking, "Oh, a movie adaptation of Teletubbies will allow the writers to tackle deeper, harder-hitting issues that the television format doesn't enable them to cover."

So, who is a Sesame Street movie for?  Well, given that Follow That Bird premiered in 1985, 15 years worth of kids would make a nice large audience, and they probably wouldn't mind a trip back to Sesame Street.  But, the tone of the movie would be a little different.  Gone are the blatant educational sketches or whimsical animated inserts.  Instead, we are focusing only on Big Bird as a character who just happens to have been the star of the biggest children's show of all time.  And it was time to teach kids a different kind of lesson.  A lesson about life.

The movie starts with the assumption that you know all about Sesame Street and it's inhabitants, so instead of introducing the existing characters, we meet a group of avian social workers discussing their next case.

Because that's what kids love: meetings!

The head of the Featherd Friends adoption agency informs the board of a troubling situation in which a 6-year-old bird has been discovered living by himself in the middle of an urban city without any other birds to care for him.  It almost seems like a self-parody that the movie's premise is based on an issue that the show never bothers to address's just a magical kids show.

Nope, this movie is going to get heavy.

I've proposed my theory about the history of Big Bird's family and this movie jumps on that assumption and runs with it.  Despite Big Bird's evident contentment for where he is, the board believes birds must be surrounded by their own kind in order to thrive.  In order to save Big Bird from his life of abandonment, the case worker Miss Finch agrees to track him down and place him with a nice family of birds in Illinois so that he can live a better life.

Miss Finch: Worse than Doc Hopper, Nicky Holiday, Jareth, the Skeksis, and the city of New York combined.

This brings us to the movie proper as we see Sesame Street, remade for the big screen!

There are actually buildings across the street now?!

Sesame Street has never looked busier or more realistic as all your favorite Muppet and non-Muppet characters walk around and going about their daily business.  Big Bird enters on roller skates and interacts with a chirping bird, showing that he is just fine exactly where he is.  But shortly after he takes a tumble into Oscar's garbage pile, Miss Finch discovers him, and finds that her assumptions are true: Big Bird is living in filth and needs someone to take care of him.

Enter "Imperial March Theme" here.

She discusses with him the opportunity to live a life with birds, far from Sesame Street, where he can finally have a real family.  Big Bird is unsure at first, but he starts to imagine the perks of having his own mother and father taking care of him.  His fantasy shows that his lack of parents and siblings has bothered him for quite sometime, and finally, his dreams are about to come true!

Big Bird's idyllic family.  In Technicolor.

Big Bird agrees to leave, much to the dismay of all his friends and neighbors.  Despite their suggestion that they are his family already, Miss Finch reminds them that they are not birds and are, therefore, unfit to raise Big Bird.  Big Bird makes his rounds, saying goodbye to all.  He leaves Snuffy in charge of his nest, and promises to write every day.  The simple-minded and loyal Snuffy promises to visit him at his new home, and everybody cries for a bit.

This was when I thought, "What would someone who had never seen Sesame Street before think of this scene?"

After Big Bird promises to write and count and read and breathe and eat, he bids farewell, as Miss Finch coldly tells him to not look back at his old friends.

Why...why would someone say that to a child?

Big Bird flies (by plane) to Oceanview, IL where he meets his new family at the airport, the Dodos.  And much like their name, they are complete imbeciles.  After it takes them a while to accpet that this giant yellow bird is the one they were supposed to meet, they welcome Big Bird to the family, calling him "Big Dodo."

This is not going to end well.

They drive Big Bird to their home out in the suburbs where it's quite easy to tell which house on the block is theirs.

It's the one that says, "Dodos" on the mailbox.

Big Bird writes a letter to his friends back on Sesame Street, explaining all the weird things his new family does.  None of them are actually too weird (except for their daily worm hunt that never results in any worms) but they are too different for Big Bird to handle all at once.

This is ridiculous.

The final and most crucial difference that are shown is Big Bird's adoptive parents finding themselves unable to kiss him good night.  This hits Big Bird the hardest.

He closes his letter, "I should be happy here.  What's wrong with me?"

That's the kind of movie we are getting ourselves into.  Tomorrow, Big Bird decides enough is enough and starts his long journey home.  Adventures will unfold, but there will be a lot of strife along the way.  Get ready to follow that bird.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prairie Dawn: Why the Best Man for the Job is a Little Girl

A recent online article caused a big stir when it proposed the theory that each Muppet can be classified as either "Chaos" or "Order."  While I have a few issues with the simplistic view of these nuanced and complex characters, the most glaring flaw was the omission of the most "Orderly" Muppet in existence. You cannot talk about Order in the Muppet universe without mentioning Prairie Dawn.

So innocent and sweet.  And she can crush you like a bug.

Prairie Dawn (not to be confused with that other small pink Sesame Street Muppet) is a force to be reckoned with.  Kermit is often the go to example of an "Order Muppet," but even he lets loose, has fun, and, most alarmingly, employs a cast of characters who cause destruction as soon as they step on stage.  The loose, anything-can happen atmosphere of The Muppet Show would not fly under Prairie Dawn's watch.  If things are out of Order, she sees to it that they are fixed immediately.

Hell hath no fury like a little girl scorned.

The seeds of desire for power were planted very early on when Prairie Dawn was placed in charge of the "Sesame Street Pageants."  These 5 minute educational skits were directed by Prairie and performed by her fellow castmates.  While she stayed on stage playing the piano and narrating, her friends would appear to portray the necessary items in the play.  However, Prairie often found herself reprimanding the cast for missed cues, forgotten lines, and breaking character.  She would trudge ahead, but her fellow performers could never stick to the scripts.

For years, Prairie suffered through these pageants, and she found herself always being the responsible one.  Being 7, she was older than most of the "child" Muppets, and her maturity allowed her to take charge in many situations.  Eventually, she worked her way up to directing movies, and it's clear she had picked up some techniques for handling morons, namely "assertive force."

Her quest for order became her driving passion, so, for comedy's sake, she was often paired with Cookie Monster, the most "Chaotic" Muppet on Sesame Street.  They began with simple tasks in which  cookies were often used as props, and she would try her best to keep Cookie from rushing ahead and spoiling the lesson.

Eventually, the two would cohost the "Letter of the Day" segments, and the lack of cookies caused Cookie's behavior to become even more erratic, constantly keeping Prairie on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Fran Brill (Prairie's puppeteer) said she most enjoyed the segments in which Prairie would get frustrated.  She began her stint at Sesame Street playing background roles and right arms to two-person puppets, and one day she was handed the tiniest puppet in the shop.  She began playing Prairie as a sweet, innocent girl, but soon realized she had dreams of grandeur.  But, unlike the other Muppet dreamers, Prairie wanted control.  She wanted to direct and manage.  According to her, if Prairie were given enough time, she would run the television network.

And she would rule it with an iron fist!

When given the choice between Scooter and Prairie Dawn as a stage manager, Brill picked Prairie without hesitation, because she knew Prairie would get the job done.  There is a reason that Prairie has lasted as long as she had, becoming one of Brill's two signature characters.  Prairie has the gall and determination that all people long to have.  She knows what she wants, and she gets it, even if she has to deal with all of the other regular folk in the world.  She is a natural born leader.

Don't let her looks deceive you.  She can be scarier than the monsters.

One last thing: Prairie Dawn has "Days of the Week" underwear.

There is no more argument.  Compared to Prairie, everyone is a Chaos Muppet.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mokey Fraggle: Everyone Has a Purpose

We love characters who fail more than they succeed.  Peanuts lasted 50 years based on the concept of little kids never reaching their goals, yet still learning about life along the way.  The most popular Muppets (excluding those who just destroy everything in sight) are the ones who struggle endlessly.  We sympathize with them and root for them because their victories are few and far between.

The Fraggles are a group who "dance [their] cares away" and leave their "worries for another day," yet every episode they find themselves in on predicament or another.  Of the Fraggles who have suffered the most, none can compare to Mokey Fraggle.

Those sad, dreamy eyes...

Kathryn Mullen was one of Jim Henson's most trusted puppeteers.  She was chosen to play Kira opposite his Jen in The Dark Crystal and she was also one of the two puppeteers operating Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.  When casting Fraggle Rock, Henson knew exactly who he wanted for the role of Mokey, the lovable loser for whom life never seemed to cut a break.

Kathryn and Mokey.

Mokey was the artist who just wanted to be accepted and acknowledged by the world.  She was awkward and tall for her age, but she exuded positive thoughts wherever she went.  She enjoyed caring for others and sharing her art to make the world a better place.  Most of all, she wanted to find out who she was and where she belonged.  But, as seen by the episodes in which she has a central role, her most common experience was facing rejection.  Every season built her up only to knock her down.

Season 1:  In "New Trash Heap In Town," a misinterpreted message from the wise Trash Heap leads everyone to believe that Mokey is the new oracle who can solve all their problems.  Mokey enjoys the added attention she receives, but her advice is often foolish and impractical.  In the end, her good friend Gobo must tell her that she is not cut out to be a source of wisdom in Fraggle Rock.

Sorry to crush your dreams, but that's what friends are for.

Season 2:  In "Mokey and the Minstrels," Cantus and his wandering minstrels make one of their random appearances in the rock, and Mokey is so enamored with their singing and zen way of life that she decides to join them, leaving her home behind.  Despite Cantus's esoteric suggestions that she may not be cut out for this way of life, Mokey remains convinced that she has what it takes to be a minstrel.  Unfortunately, she fails to heed the first, last, and only rule of being a minstrel: "Listen."  Cantus returns a rejected Mokey to her home, telling her that she is not yet ready to be a minstrel with the song "Lose Your Heart (And It's Found)."

If only she just listened.

Season 3:  In "The Secret Society of Poobahs," Mokey learns that a bunch of Fraggles of joined a secret club and she decides that she belongs in the group.  Red believes that the society is silly and refuses to entertain Mokey's desires.  But, when Mokey gets a secret invitation to join, she tells Red, thus breaking the first rule of the society.  The group holds a trial to see if Mokey should stay, and she discovers that the purpose of the society is to just be silly.  So, it's a small win as they eventually allow her to join, but it comes with the added knowledge that everyone (including all of her friends who were already members) thought she took herself too seriously.

We are letting you join because otherwise you'd be the only Fraggle not in the group.  And that's just sad.

Season 4:  In "A Brush With Jealousy," Mokey's greatest skill is put to the test when a popular new painter comes to town.  Everyone enjoys Pedley the Painter's work because they are all so used to Mokey's art that a change of pace is most welcome.  Mokey grows jealous of her new competition and she receives a magic paintbrush from the Trash Heap, one that automatically paints beautiful pictures, and never stops.  Mokey becomes a slave to the brush until she admits her jealousy and learns to just be happy with her own style.

Why did Fraggle Rock become Fraggle Hell?

Throughout the entire run of the series, Mokey has learned everything she can't do.  She's too foolish to be an oracle.  She's too impatient to be a minstrel.  She's too serious to be a Poobah.  She's a fine painter, but there just happens to be someone better.  This onslaught of rejection was probably not intentional, but when viewed together, Mokey's life as a Fraggle has been very rough.  Fraggles are supposed to be silly and creative and she can't even manage to be good at that.  How can she call herself a Fraggle?

But finally, in Season 5, Mokey found her true purpose in life.

In "Mokey, Then and Now," Mokey decides to put on a play about the Great and Wondrous Blundig, with her playing the lead role.  According to legend, the Ancient Fraggles awaited the arrival of Blundig, who was prophesied to be the greatest leader the Fraggles would ever have.  In an era without play, song, laughter and wild Fraggle hair, Blundig would bring joy to all.

Dressed in the appropriate garb, Mokey brings Boober and Wembley to the ancient drawing of Blundig and they prepare for their play by reciting the original Fraggle voodoo chant in front of it.

You remind me of the babe.

This chant transports the trio back in time to the ancient days they spoke of, and they quickly learn to keep their hats on, for the bald leader of the Fraggles, Fishface, will lock up any Fraggle who has hair on their head.

He's a fun guy.

Mokey, dressed the way she is, is mistaken to be Blundig herself and all the ancient Fraggles begin treating her with respect.  However, when she fails to perform the miracles from the prophecy, she is thrown into the dungeon (with her crew) for impersonating the legendary hero.

Typical Mokey.  Seconds of happiness followed by a crushing  blow of reality.

The trio shares a cell with a Fraggle known as Noodlenose (because he has a noodle on his nose), and he cannot stop laughing.  He tells them that Fishface has banished laughter from the kingdom, as well as hair, because Fraggle hair makes everybody laugh.

You can always trust Noodlenose.

Knowing what she has to do, Mokey uses her hair to get past the Fraggle guards and ends up taking control of the throne when Fishface sees her uncapped.  The laughter and songs from the Fraggles allow all of Blundig's miracles to occur, proving that Mokey is the Blundig of prophecy.

Blundig Saves.

She passes down "new" wisdom to the ancient Fraggles: 

"Dance your cares away. Worries for another day.  
Let the Fraggles Play.  Down in Fraggle Rock."

They follow her advice and a new era is born, the era that all Fraggles will grow to know as the Golden Age.  She returns to the time cave with her friends, draws her portrait on the cave wall, and returns to the present via the chant, leaving behind a race without oppressive leadership and full of joy.

Mokey had finally found her purpose.  Through her repeated failures, she learned all of the lessons about what it takes to be a great Fraggle.  She was no longer the loser.  She was the One.

Mokey: The Savior of the Fraggles