Thanks to an anonymous commenter, Bermuda Shorts has learned of yet another island connection to a famed children’s classic (ala “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which I wrote about on Friday). According to one of you intrepid readers—and confirmed by a local news story last month—Bermuda’s crystal caves were actually the inspiration for the underground world of Fraggle Rock, the children’s television series co-created by puppet master Jim Henson and Bermudian Michael K. Frith. Reports Bernews: “In a letter included in [Fraggle Rock’s] DVD boxed set, Mr. Frith explains his inspiration for the show came from his childhood in Bermuda, specifically from the island’s exclusive reliance on rainfall as a source of water. ‘And so a water cycle became the center of the Fraggle world,’ Mr. Frith said. ‘The difference being that they didn’t understand it or how each resident of the Rock (and beyond) depended on the others to maintain it.’”
I always enjoyed the Fraggles as a kid, but now their crazy underground world totally makes sense. For example, listen to what Frith had to say in this interview from LongTale Productions (or watch for yourself at the six-minute mark in the interview above): “One of my absolutely most magical memories as a kid was lying in bed at night during a rainstorm and listenening to the water going down through the pipes from the roof down into the tank underneath. It was music. It was just pure music. And it so connected you to this process of being part of the world. The whole idea behind [the Fraggles] was to show both the natural eco system that ties all these different worlds together but also the metaphorical human eco system that ties all of theses disparate groups in ways that they don’t understand. What [the Fraggles] see as differences [are] actually strengths and the strength of each group becomes the strength of the world as a whole. Time after time as I explore this world of the Fraggles I find myself going back to my world and relating from that to this magical place. Because I do believe that Bermuda is a magical place. I think you can find in it an energy, a beauty and a mystery and possibilities that I don’t see anywhere else in the world.”
I don’t think I could've said it better myself.