The children’s television show “Muppet Babies” recently showcased a male character cross-dressing and some fans are calling it a “perfect message for kids.”
What are the details?
“In the latest episode of Disney Junior’s Muppet Babies, titled ‘Gonzo-rella,’ the fun-loving and always unique alien Gonzo got to celebrate being exactly who he wants to be,” Out.com reported last week.
The episode featured the alien Gonzo, historically a male character, lamenting after being told by Miss Piggy and her friend, Summer, that he can’t wear a dress to the royal ball.
“But Gonzo, Piggy and I are the princesses, we wear the dresses,” Summer said in the episode.
“That’s right! According to the royal handbook, the girls come as princesses, and the boys come as knights,” Piggy added.
Gonzo, heartbroken after hearing the news, lumbers off to a swing set in obvious displeasure. But shortly after, Rizzo the Fairy RatFather comes over to comfort him and ends up magically bestowing on him a gown and mask so that he can attend the ball dressed as a female.
Muppet Babies – Gonzo-rella EXCLUSIVE CLIP
Gonzo-rella | Muppet Babies | @Disney Junior
Gonzo then attended the ball masquerading as a mysterious princess known as Gonzorella. While there, he won the hearts of his unsuspecting friends.
Later, after the ball, Gonzo’s friends approach him and tell him about all that he missed, including the princess who came and danced with them. That’s when Gonzo revealed the news.
“Everyone, there’s something I need to tell you,” he said, placing the glass slipper on his foot. “The princess who came to your ball tonight was me. I’m Gonzorella!”
When the group questioned why he felt the need to wear a disguise, he answered, “You all expected me to look a certain way.”
“I don’t want you to be upset with me. But I don’t want to do things because that’s the way they’ve always been done either. I want to be me,” he added.
In its coverage of the episode, Out.com touted it as “beautiful” and an “absolutely perfect message for kids.”
In an interview with D23, the show’s executive producer, Tom Warburton, explained how the episode came to be.
“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% Gonzo 347% of the time,” Warburton said.
“But then story editor/co-producer Robyn Brown and her team wanted to take it a step further and do a Cinderella story based on the idea. And it was just SO wonderfully Gonzo. We hope he inspires kids watching to be 347% of themselves in their own way, too,” he added.
Twitter fan page, “Muppet History,” argued that “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.”