Friends, thanks for joining us for another Retro Records offering – this time we are sharing The Case of the Missing Mother. Released back in 1984 it appears this read-along story is long out of print – which is a shame as The Case of the Missing Mother most assuredly possesses that familiar Muppets charm. Interestingly enough the story was first published by Random House the previous year as just a book – written by James Howe and masterfully illustrated by William Cleaver. James Howe by the way wrote an additional Muppet story entitled The Muppet Guide to Magnificent Manners. To say nothing of the fact that along with Deborah, his late Wife, they co-wrote 1979’s Bunnicula.
William Cleaver, whose art in my personal opinion is perfect for The Case of the Missing Mother, would go on to do some illustrations for the Sesame Street Magazine in 1988. A magazine that I strangely have no recollection of whatsoever.
There are some differences between the children’s book version of The Case of the Missing Mother and it’s book and record adaptation. Perhaps these changes to the text of the original book were altered to match the dialogue provided by the amazing cast? Jim Henson provides the voice of Kermit the Frog with Frank Oz performing Fozzie, Miss Piggy, as well as Animal. Jerry Nelson handles the voice of Floyd with Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo. In addition to Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice and LaVerne… Animal’s Mother!
Which brings us to the plot for The Case of the Missing Mother. The Muppet gang can’t help but notice that Animal is acting strangely – more manic than normal… for Animal that is. Then to his friend’s dismay, Animal leaves without telling anyone, forcing Kermit and the Gang to follow the trail of destruction left by everyone’s favorite drummer. But will they be able to find Animal in time for the special show, a Salute to Motherhood?