Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance’s Design Supervisor Was Also the Baby in Labyrinth

David Bowie holds Toby Froud in Labyrinth (1986).
David Bowie holds Toby Froud in Labyrinth (1986).
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Toby Froud, who was a toddler when he played baby Toby in Jim Henson's Labyrinth, is now 34 years old and the design supervisor for Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Entertainment Weekly reports that Netflix shared the news on Twitter. "Fun Fact—Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance design supervisor Toby Froud is no stranger to the fantastical world of Jim Henson," Netflix tweeted. "He was also the baby in the truly iconic 1986 movie Labyrinth!" 

Really, it shouldn't be that much of a surprise when you consider Froud's lineage. Toby's parents, Brian and Wendy Froud, worked as a conceptual designer and a puppet builder, respectively, on the original Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. In fact, Brian designed the bulbous costume worn by the Goblin King (David Bowie). According to Age of Resistance executive producer Lisa Henson, Brian met Wendy (who also sculpted Yoda) while she worked as a doll sculptor on The Dark Crystal, and the rest is history.

Toby followed in his parents' footsteps. He worked as a sculptor on stop-motion animation studio Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link, and directed a short puppet film entitled Lessons Learned. IMDb lists him as a puppet sculptor for Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming Pinocchio film.

When Lisa Henson was hiring the team for the new Dark Crystal series, she contacted Toby and invited him to L.A., where he created the sculpted maquettes (a preliminary model or sketch) of the lead characters. “As weeks went by, we realized he was providing an invaluable role helping to translate his parents’ designs into the concrete build of the puppets and the costumes,” Henson told Entertainment Weekly. “Toby was really in charge of translating all of the designs into the actual build and the look of the puppets.”

For Toby, opting to work with puppets was probably a no-brainer. “It’s interesting growing up with the idea of being the baby in the Labyrinth and becoming the Goblin King as it were,” Froud told HuffPost. “It’s sort of passing the mantle. But I grew up in this world of fantasy and this world of goblins, and I sort of formed my life around the art of creating creatures and puppets and characters with my parents. Certainly it’s led me to interning and working in film and television.”

(Just don’t say “slap that baby” to Toby.)

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]

Why Air Supply Changed the Lyrics to “All Out of Love” for American Fans

Air Supply.
Air Supply.
Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images

Sometimes one minor detail can make all the difference. A case study for this principle comes in the form of the pop music act Air Supply, which enjoyed success in the 1980s thanks to mellow hits like “Lost in Love,” “Every Woman in the World,” and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All." Their 1980 single “All Out of Love” is among that laundry list, though it needed one major tweak before becoming palatable for American audiences.

The Air Supply duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock hailed from Australia, and it was one particular bit of phrasing in “All Out of Love” that may have proven difficult for Americans to grasp. According to an interview with Russell on Songfacts, the lyrics to the song when it became a hit in their home country in 1978 were:

I’m all out of love

I want to arrest you

By “arrest,” Russell explained, he meant capturing someone’s attention. Naturally, most listeners would have found this puzzling. Before the song was released in the United States, Air Supply’s producer, Clive Davis, suggested it be changed to:

I’m all out of love

I’m so lost without you

I know you were right

Davis’s argument was that the “arrest” line was “too weird” and would sink the song’s chances. He also recommended adding “I know you were right.”

Davis proved to be correct when “All Out of Love” reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1980.

While it would be reasonable to assume “I want to arrest you” is a common phrase of affection in Australia, it isn’t. “I think that was just me using a weird word,” Russell said. “But, you know, now [that] I think of it, it’s definitely very weird.”

Russell added that arrest joins a list of words that are probably best left out of a love song, and that cabbage and cauliflower would be two others.

[h/t Songfacts]

In 1995, You Could Smell Like Kermit the Frog

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

The mid-'90s were a great time for Kermit the Frog. In 1996 alone, he led the Tournament of Roses Parade, was the face of the 40-year-old Muppet brand, and had both a movie (Muppet Treasure Island) and a television show (Muppets Live!) to promote. His career could not have been hotter, so Kermit did what any multifaceted, single-person empire does while sitting atop his or her celebrity throne: he released a fragrance. Amphibia, produced by Jim Henson Productions, was dripping with froggy sex appeal. The unisex perfume—its slogan was "pour homme, femme, et frog"—had a clean, citrusy smell with a hint of moss to conjure up memories of the swamp. Offered exclusively at Bloomingdale's in Manhattan, it sold for $18.50 (or $32.50 for those who wanted a gift box and T-shirt).

There’s no trace of a commercial for the perfume—which is a shame, since Amphibia is a word that begs to be whispered—but a print ad and photos of the packaging still live online. The six-pack and strategically-placed towel are an apt parody ... and also deeply unsettling.

Amphibia was the most-sold fragrance at the Manhattan Bloomingdale's in the 1995 Christmas season. "Kids are buying it, grown-ups are buying it, and frogs are really hot," pitchman Max Almenas told The New York Times.

It was a hit past the Christmas season, too: The eau de Muppet was cheekily reviewed by Mary Roach—who would go on to write Stiff and Packing for Mars—in a 1996 issue of TV Guide. "I wore Amphibia on my third date ... he said he found me riveting which I heard as ribbitting, as in 'ribbit, ribbit,' and I got all defensive," she wrote. "He assured me I didn't smell like a swamp ... I stuck my tongue out at him, to which he responded that it was the wrong time of year for flies, and besides, the food would be arriving shortly."

Not to be outdone, Miss Piggy also released a fragrance a few years later. It was, naturally, called Moi.

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