Here’s the latest example of the LGBTQ community infusing sexuality to children’s programming, using Muppet Babies to retcon a key character: Gonzo is now transgender.
Disney Junior aired the new animated Muppet Babies reboot episode called “Gonzo-rella,” revealing Gonzo wants to dress up like a princess because the gang is playing “royal ball.”
From D23 in July: “Gonzo (voice of Ben Diskin) learns that lesson in a brand-new episode of Disney Junior’s Emmy® Award-nominated series Muppet Babies, airing tonight at 5 p.m. ET/PT. In the Muppet Babies’ imagination sequence, Gonzo wants to dress as a princess for the Royal Ball, just like Piggy (voice of Melanie Harrison) and Summer Penguin (voice of Jessica DiCicco)—all while the other boys, including Kermit (voice of Matt Danner), Fozzie Bear (voice of Eric Bauza), and Animal (voice of Dee Bradley Baker), plan to dress up as knights.
“According to the princess handbook, only girls can wear princess dresses, while boys must dress like knights. Luckily, Rizzo the Fairy RatFather grants Gonzo’s wish and gives him a magical gown so no one will suspect it’s him! At the Royal Ball, Gonzo helps Piggy and Summer see that doing things a little different can be fun, inspiring him to tell his friends the truth. ”
Muppet Babies executive producer Tom Warburton said about the episode, “Very early on, we wanted to do an episode where Gonzo just showed up to the Playroom wearing a skirt. And it was no big deal. No one cared or questioned it because Gonzo is always 200 percent Gonzo 347 percent of the time.”
From a fan page on Twitter:
In my eyes, the Muppets represent the ability to be accepting and loving of others, even if they may be a little different. To embrace those who others may shun.
I’m glad to see that philosophy is still going strong. pic.twitter.com/9mnKBdCsIT
— Muppet History (@HistoryMuppet) July 24, 2021
From Vulture: “We’re not crying at this very gentle episode of a show aimed at children ages 3 to 8, you are. Or you will be, after watching these clips. On Friday, Disney Junior aired an episode of its CGI animated Muppet Babies reboot called “Gonzo-rella,” in which li’l blue alien Gonzo wants to dress up like a princess because the gang is playing “royal ball,” but Piggy tells him that boys have to play knights. So the “Fairy RatFather” (Rizzo, a true ally) grants his wish, turning him into a princess with a secret identity.
“It’s a clever twist on the old Cinderella plot, with a nice message about inclusive gender expression in a show that’s already about imagination and play. In an interview with official Disney fan club blog D23, Muppet Babies executive producer Tom Warburton said about the episode, “Very early on, we wanted to do an episode where Gonzo just showed up to the Playroom wearing a skirt. And it was no big deal. No one cared or questioned it because Gonzo is always 200 percent Gonzo 347 percent of the time.” But Warburton says that story editor and co-producer Robyn Brown and the story team added the Cinderella conceit, and “it was just SO wonderfully Gonzo. We hope he inspires kids watching to be 347 percent of themselves in their own way, too.”