Friday, October 25, 2013



My apologies for being so late this morning, but life gets busy around here every once in awhile.

I've given a lot of thought to monsters lately, as I planned these Halloween posts. Monsters come in many different shapes and sizes, and range from terrifying to ridiculously funny. But there does seem to be a limit on varieties. 

Whether werewolf, vampire, witch, ogre, zombie, etc., monsters can conger up fear, or at least shivers of apprehension, in all ages. And for some reason, no matter how repulsive or terrifying they are, monsters have appeal. I wonder why that is?

So, while I've been dwelling on monsters, I began thinking about my own preferences in monsters. I definitely do not care for zombies. Something about eating brains just turns me off. Why that should bother me more than something that sucks blood, I have no clue. But brain eating doesn't appeal to me, although I know zombies appeal to many of the younger generation.

No, I'm more an ogre or witch gal. Let's face it, these are two monsters that are capable of all sorts of mischief, not just consuming our gray matter. There's a saying about variety being the spice of life, and I guess that applies to monsters, as well, at least for me.

My ideal monster isn't a Halloween monster, although he certainly could be. Actually, he may have appeared in some type of Halloween special and I'm simply not aware of it. I'm speaking of Sweetums, the ogre creation of Jim Henson.

Sweetums made his acting debut in one of my favorite Muppet productions ever; The Frog Prince. We met him for the first time in 1971, along with his witch mistress, Taminella. While Taminella was indeed frightening, Sweetums left me in fits of giggles.

In this particular rendition of The Frog Prince, Kermit meets a young frog who claims to be the prince, Sir Robin the Brave. Sir Robin is such a tiny, unassuming frog, that Kermit and the others hanging out at the old watering hole dismiss his claims with laughter. But when Robin declares he's going to befriend the princess and convince her to kiss him, Kermit decides to follow along and watch out for the little fellow.

Of course, the princess has been placed under a special enchantment by the conniving Taminella, who is planning to usurp the princesses place and have herself crowned queen. The princess is aware of this, but her enchantment makes it impossible for anyone to understand her warnings.

But Robin understands the princess - at least, most of the time - and so the two become friends. Unfortunately, Taminella discovers that the two are determined to undermine her evil plot, so she captures Robin and throws him in the dungeon.

Can you guess who lives in the dungeon? That's right - our dear old Sweetums. He's a terrifying sight, towering over everyone and swinging his shaggy head around while his sharp fangs are waiting to devour little Robin - at Taminella's encouragement, of course.

My favorite scene is when Sweetums completely destroys the dungeon as he lunges for Robin, swinging his club and crashing into everything, while he sings about his plans to make Robin his lunch.

I won't give away the ending, but it IS the story of the frog prince, so you can figure it out. I never tire of watching these characters and their entertaining antics. But as funny as they are, there's enough of a fear factor to worry the younger audience members. That's why I always dig it out at Halloween and let these incredible muppets send shivers of apprehension down the little ones' backs. You should check it out. 

Until next time,


Cordelia Dinsmore


Sharon Ledwith said...

Oh, I remember Sweetums! LOL! I once went out as a zombie in college, before they were cool. Guess I was ahead of my time! My fav monster is the wolfman. Have a fondness for the hairy-chested! Cheers!

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

HA! I never went as anything frightening. I was too chicken. I did go as a sack of potatoes once. It was a very economical costume. I was ahead of the times with recycling.

Anonymous said...

Cookie Monster!

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Serena - yes! He is a favorite. All those Muppet monsters are my kind of scary.

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