The show follows the basic premise of the original, with baby versions of the Muppet characters going on all sorts of adventures in the nursery while under the care of Miss Nanny. They use the power of imagination and creativity to solve any problem (let's say this reboot is basically the original 1984 cartoon meets The Backyardigans.). The target demographic of 4-7 year old children is still the same.
With that said, there are some differences. As opposed to the hand-drawn animation of the original, this show is in CGI, fitting in with other modern Disney Junior shows. Also, this show has two 11 minute episodes per runtime.
The main cast is as follows:
- Supervising director Matt Danner (Gravity Falls) as Baby Kermit
- Melanie Harrison (Fish Hooks) as Baby Piggy
- Dee Bradley Baker as Baby Animal
- Ben Diskin as Baby Gonzo
- Eric Bauza as Baby Fozzie
- Jenny Slate as Miss Nanny
In addition, there is a new character joining the babies named Summer Penguin, voiced by Jessica DiCicco.
A number of other well-known Muppets also appear in recurring roles. Most prominent are Camilla the Chicken, who lives in a chicken coop on the back yard with two other chickens, Priscilla and Beep; Statler and Waldorf (Eric Bauza and Matt Danner), the next-door neighbors who often watch the goings-on from their own house; Rizzo the Rat (Ben Diskin), who lives in a hole in the wall and occasionally shows up to play; and Bunsen and Beaker (Eric Bauza and Matt Danner again), who come to visit every now and again. Other Muppets can often be seen in small cameos or pictures on the wall.
The show is executive produced by Tom Warburton (creator of Codename: Kids Next Door, and supervising director for Fish Hooks and The 7D) with Eric Shaw (SpongeBob SquarePants, WordGirl, Arthur, My Friends Tigger & Pooh) serving as the show's story editor. The first episode is available on YouTube.
The show contains examples of:
- Adaptational Jerkasses:
- Of a sort; Statler and Waldorf are less abrasive than usual, but more so than their counterparts in the first run of Muppet Babies.
- Averted with Rizzo, who's pretty much on the same Jerk with a Heart of Gold levels as his adult counterpart — though since everyone else are Adaptational Nice Guys and the stories more often center around some kind of Aesop he does come across as a bigger jerk in comparison.
- Adaptational Nice Guy:
- While Piggy has usually been a jerk with a heart of gold, the jerk part tends to be a bit more pronounced, making her somewhat abrasive. That's not the case here. Tom Warburton mentioned how she's just somewhat insecure and craving for attention . Indeed, the preview clips make out Piggy to be stuck up and somewhat egotistical, but not outright mean or abrasive.note
- Statler and Waldorf, while much closer to their classic "cormudgeonly hecklers" personas than they were in the original cartoon, are still notably kinder towards the kids than they ever were towards the adult versions of the Muppets. It's especially noticeable with Fozzie; in one episode they even tell him he's "pretty funny."
- Adaptation Personality Change: This version of Gonzo doesn't have a crush on Piggy like he did in the original Muppet Babies series.
- Age Lift: Animal was very clearly the youngest of the Muppet Babies in the original series, but here he's around the same age as them. In addition, all the characters seem to be slightly older here than in the original Muppet Babies.
- All-CGI Cartoon: As with most Disney Junior shows, the animation is CGI.
- Art Shifted Sequel: From traditional hand-drawn animation, to CGI. Or, if you count the original Muppet Show, from puppets to CGI.
- This comes full circle with the Play Date shorts using puppet versions of the show's version of the characters.
- Ascended Extra: In the original series, Camilla was a stuffed toy owned by Gonzo. Here, she's a real chicken, and the focus of one or two episodes.
- Balloon-Bursting Bird: Summer accidentally pops a balloon with her beak in "Kermit Levels Up". Later, she uses her beak to clear some giant balloons from a level of a video game.
- Banana Peel: In "No Laughing Matter", Kermit tries to prove to Fozzie that he can still be funny without his Great-Uncle Schnozzie's lucky joke book by having him slip on a banana peel. When Fozzie tries to do so, he ends up kicking it into Piggy's face.
- Blanket Fort: "The Blanket Fort", in which Piggy and Summer build a whole blanket kingdom.
- Broken Ace: In a way, Kermit is this as shown in "Sir Kermit the Brave". Since he is the leader of the babies, everyone thinks that he is really brave. In reality, he is scared of the dark, and initially hid the fact from his friends because he didn't want them to think less of him.
- Captain Colorbeard: Kermit goes by Captain Greenbeard in "Playground Pirates".
- Cassandra Truth: Gonzo not believing that "Animal Fly Airplane" briefly leads Animal to think his friends didn't like him until he manages to land them in Paris, at which point the others apologize for not giving him a chance.
- Canon Foreigner: Summer Penguin, like Skeeter before her, is a character created specifically for the series.
- Character Tic: Fozzie tends to wiggle his ears when he's excited, or when he's particularly pleased with one of his punchlines. This is a trait he displayed all the time in the first season of The Muppet Show, but which was dropped from the second season onwards because the ear-wiggling mechanism made the puppet too heavy.
- Christmas Episode: In "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas", it's Christmas in the playroom, and all the babies love their Secret Santa gifts, except for Kermit, who tries to trade his.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Two of the main characters from the original series, Scooter and Skeeter, seem to have been eliminated from the cast outside of references. In Skeeter's case, she was likely removed to make way for Summer Penguin.
- Dance Off: Between Kermit and Rizzo in "How Kermit Got His Groove".
- Deep-Immersion Gaming: In "Kermit Levels Up", the babies pretend to jump inside a handheld video game that Kermit found.
- Demoted to Extra: Some of the main characters from the original series have been relegated to guest appearances, these being Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, and Rowlf the Dog.
- Digging to China: What Animal is trying to do in "Summer Penguin, P.I."
- Dog Walks You: In "Puppy For a Day", Rizzo does this to Summer when he pretends to be a puppy.
- Ensemble Cast: The show focuses on seven characters, the six babies and Nanny.
- Everything Is Better With Penguins: Summer Penguin.
- Expressive Accessory: Nanny's socks have a different pattern in each episode, matching that episode's theme.
- Expressive Mask: Bunsen's Eye Glasses are a subtle version. The glasses themselves are stiff and round at all times, but the rims make shadows on his eyeless face that look like eyelids, and these shadows move and change with Bunsen's expressions.
- Genki Girl: Summer in general is quite excitable and full of energy.
- Gesundheit: In "Fly South", Nanny explains to the babies why geese fly south for the winter. Gonzo thinks Nanny sneezed when she said "migration" and goes "Gesundheit".
- Gift-Giving Gaffe: In "Summer's Super Fabulous Holiday Surprise", when the babies find out that Summer's trip home is cancelled due to a snowstorm, they decide to throw their own celebration for Summer in the backyard. While Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo all think of things that best suit Summer's personality, Piggy wants everything that best suits her personality; pink, glittery, and super fabulous.
- Gilligan Cut: In "Puppy For a Day", when the babies decide to give Rizzo, who pretends to be a puppy for them a bath, he says that he'll do it, but he won't like it. Cut to Rizzo enjoying his bath.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Piggy in "The Blanket Fort" is Queen of the Blanket Kingdom, and has a whole set of rules that the others must follow, such as "no yelling", "no breaking" and especially "no saying 'no' to the queen". Eventually, the others end up breaking the rules and being sent to the dungeon, leaving Piggy all alone with no one to play with.
- Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: In "Playground Pirates", Kermit accidentally backs up his pirate ship, sinking the port town.
- Halloween Episode: "Happy Hallowocka/The Teeth Chattering Tale Of The Haunted Pancakes" both follow this. The former is about Fozzie wanting to be seen as scary, while the latter involves Summer telling Kermit a story about ghost pancakes to get him to try new things.
- Height Angst: Summer in "One Small Problem" is tired of being the shortest one in the nursery. Bunsen offers to make her taller with his Enlargo ray, but it breaks down and makes her even smaller instead. After having an adventure getting Kermit's toy car from under the couch, she gets turned back to normal, but refuses an offer to be taller because she now feels more confident being the way she is.
- Hidden Depths: Despite acting pretty much like a 3 year old version of his adult self in this incarnation, Animal proves to the others he can control himself sometimes in "Animal Fly Airplane".
- Jerkass Has a Point: While Statler and Waldorf do seem like grumpy neighbors in "Hatastrophe", they do make a good point about Kermit climbing the fence being dangerous.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Not surprisingly, Rizzo. He's messy and obnoxious, but he keeps his promises and is overall amiable.
- Magic Feather: In "No Laughing Matter", when Fozzie loses his Great-Uncle Schnozzie's lucky joke book, he thinks he can't be funny without it. The other babies get Bunsen and Beaker to make a new lucky joke book for Fozzie, and when Fozzie sees that Rizzo borrowed the real lucky joke book, he realizes that he doesn't need it, as he still performed his funny joke show without it.
- Medium Blending: A signature staple of the original show is taken further here with the advancement of animation styles.
- Mythology Gag:
Bunsen: Welcome to Muppet Labs, where the future is being made today.
- In Kermit's Show And Tell short, he's shown practicing a few lyrics from "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie .
- A piece of the backyard stage is part of the wallpaper from the original Muppet Babies scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan.
- There are various pictures on the nursery walls showing other young versions of Muppets, including Scooter and Skeeter, Mahna Mahna and the Snowths, the Swedish Chef, Sweetums and Sam the Eagle, and Dr. Teeth and the remainder of the Electric Mayhem.
- In "Hatastrophe", when Kermit imagines his friends going into Statler and Waldorf's yard to rescue Fozzie's beanie propeller hat, the statues resemble Big Mean Carl, Luncheon Counter Monster, Sweetums, Behemoth and one of the Frackles.
- A line in "Piggy's Time Machine" will remind older fans of the 80s series.Animal: Animal go bye-bye!
Fozzie: Who are they?Gonzo: Beats me.
- Also in that episode is a shot of the babies briefly being sent to an opening shot of The Muppet Show. (Specifically, the recreation of it from The Muppets.)
- Bunsen uses a familiar phrase when introducing his lab to the others in "One Small Problem".
- In "You Oughta Be in Pictures", Animal stops to admire a Renoir painting, a nod to him wanting to see a Renoir exhibit in The Great Muppet Caper.
- In "Upside-Down Day" the babies briefly have the tomatoes from the garden fall on them. Fozzie comments that he usually has to tell a joke for that to happen, alluding to a Running Gag in the 80s cartoon, where his worst jokes tended to end with a tomato being thrown at him.
- Planet Gonzo seems to be a reference to Muppets from Space, although Gonzo isn't actually an alien himself this time around.note
- New Friend Envy: In "The Best, Best Friend", when Rowlf visits the playroom and impresses the babies with his piano playing, Fozzie worries that he's replaced him as Kermit's best friend. To try to win Kermit back, Fozzie challenges Rowlf to a game of Tri-Soccer Flying Baseball, a game he and Kermit invented, but Rowlf ends up winning. Fozzie then tries acting like Rowlf, but he, unfortunately, can't play the piano very well. When Fozzie tells Kermit that he feels like Rowlf has replaced him as his best friend, Rowlf tells Fozzie that Kermit told him he's still his best friend. Kermit also reveals to Fozzie that you can have more than one best friend.
- Pass the Popcorn: Rizzo, in Animal Kong, at the potential distruction from the giant Animal.
- Portal Picture: In "You Oughta Be In Pictures", the monkey from Sunday Afternoon at the Grand Jetee steals Fozzie's lunchbox, and the babies jump after it, hopping from one painting to another.
- Private Eye Monologue: Summer does it in "Summer Penguin, P.I." Lampshaded when the others ask "Who are you talking to?"
- Role Reprisal: In "Muppet Rock" , there's a live action segment where an adult Dr. Teeth offers to have Animal join the Electric Mayhem, with Bill Barretta, who currently plays him, reprising the role.
- In the Latin Spanish dub, Francisco Colmenero (Statler) and Arturo Mercado (Waldorf) reprise their roles.
- Send in the Clones: The episode "Counting Kermits" has Kermit use Bunsen and Beaker's Make-Another-You-Inator to make clones of himself when he commits himself to 4 activities. The clones themselves wear different colored shirts and are less intelligent than the real Kermit, to the point that one of them called Piggy "Puggy".
- Trademark Favorite Food: Fozzie is very fond of noodles in this series.
- Treasure Hunt Episode: "Playground Pirates" has the babies looking for Nanny's lost earring, pretending to be pirates searching for treasure.
- Two Shorts: Again, the show is composed of two 11 minute segments as opposed to one 22 minute story.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: In "Puppy For a Day", the babies want a puppy to play with, but Nanny doesn't think they're responsible enough to take care of one, so they get Rizzo to pretend to be a puppy for them. They soon find out that taking care of a puppy isn't as easy as they thought it would be, since Rizzo got them wet during his bath, got a stomachache from eating a meatball pizza, and they thought they lost him when he left to take a nap in Camilla's chicken coop.