You know television is at peak saturation when we're awaiting a reboot of an animated spinoff of a film franchise that was based on a variety TV show. But we're not complaining, since the reboot in question is for the beloved children's show Muppet Babies, which will give fans all new adventures when it debuts on Disney later this year. Fans can expect to see a new face in the nursery, too, as Muppet Babies has revealed the brand new character Summer the Penguin. Check her out!
Admittedly, first impressions may not wholly go in favor of Summer the Penguin, especially for adults who despise change, and my strongest feeling is that she doesn't necessarily look like a signature Muppet character. But she does look tailor-made to appeal to kids, and we expect reactions will be positive when she makes her Muppet-verse debut in March. A purple penguin with big wide eyes, a ponytail and turtlenecked dress sounds ripe for toddler adoration, and we're hoping her voice (as provided by Loud House's Jessica DiCicco) is as striking as her feathers.
Summer the Penguin was the creation of the Muppet Babies reboot's executive producer Tom Warburton, who conceived around a hundred different character pitches with art director Chris Moreno in attempts to come up with the next great Muppet character. Disney Junior execs jumped at Summer, and now we can expect to see her as a new female counterpart for Miss Piggy. Warburton gave EW a decent description for how Summer will fit into this already established batch of imaginative youngsters.
[Summer is] kind of our art girl. She's super creative. She loves to draw, she loves to paint, she loves to dance---all at the same time. She's the smallest of the group, but she definitely has the biggest heart.
Interestingly, the artistic and creative Summer will be serving as an unofficial replacement for Skeeter, who won't be used in the Muppet Babies reboot. There's logic in this choice, since Skeeter also joined the Muppets brand through Muppet Babies, as opposed to a live-action project. (Skeeter never did appear in live-action form, either, but hopefully that's not a bad omen for Summer, as I'm curious how that transition would happen.) While the impact of her absence will likely be minimal, it's worth noting that Skeeter was the most athletic of the kids, so hopefully the new show will expand other characters' interests in physical activity, to keep real kids inspired to stay active.
While a specific date has yet to be set, Muppet Babies will make its grand debut on Disney Junior in March. While waiting to hear more, check out why Frank Oz thought the most recent live-action Muppets show failed, and then head to our midseason premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows hitting primetime soon.