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Frazzle

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Sesame Street - Frazzle (1975)02:10

Sesame Street - Frazzle (1975)

Frazzle is an eponymous emotional song about the monster which is composed by Sam Pottle in Sesame Street. His snarl sound is always the same regardless of any emotion.

The performers of the backup singer vocals include Richard Hunt who performed the earliest version of Joseph Scarbrough's monster character "Steve D' Monster" (built out of a lavender Anything Muppet pattern), Jerry Nelson for Maurice (who also performed Frazzle) and Christopher Cerf for the lead Frazzletone singer "Little Chrissy" (who is made from the fat blue AM Monster pattern used for Harvey Monster). On this song, Chrissy's singing voice is noticeably deep than usual. Other notable differences with this puppet that also has a moving jaw, two square teeth, navy blue fur, a bigger darker pink nose, long hair and sunglasses (with thicker temples) compared to the regular character variant.

Nicknames

"The Song of Frazzle", "The Frazzle Song", "Broken Monster Background", "Ripped Up Background", "Frazzle's Emotions"

Music Video

At the beginning, we see Frazzle staring at the viewer on a green background idling for a second and then he grumbles before the music starts. He walks a few steps at the beginning and during the song, Frazzle runs outside the 4:3 screen before the circles open up on the screen with white ripped paper applied around it and The Frazzletones sing about him and his expressions prior to the transition to the bourbon colored background with them. In the order they sing after the hole expands, Little Chrissy is displayed first, Steve D' Monster second, both third and last, Maurice Monster, next we transit to the other side of the green wall with The Frazzletones shouting "He goes" and then we see Frazzle snarling through ruptured circle causing the paper to shake with a teeter totter animation at a speed depending on how fast he growls while they watch him grawl and describe what his grawl does depending on his emotions. The second time Frazzle grumbles stretches the paper up and then the scale transformation remains unaffected until the transition to Frazzle's part. Once we hear Frazzle growl three times, we go back to Frazzle's background where we left off. At this point, he walks to the left from the screen. The routine with the Frazzletones part through the broken background is repeated. We go onto the Frazzletone's part again and this time, Frazzle will growl six times with most of the paper outline animation playing at a fast speed. During the point after the third growl from him, he nods his head up and down before he continues growling with the Frazzletones making noises. The last growl will make the ripped paper animation play at a slow speed before he runs to the left while the iris expands. After that, the hole opens in the center of the screen which Frazzle will appear in the same background with the Frazzletones when the surface occupies most of the green background. Once everything has been explained, the circle along with the ripped paper gradually contracts with Frazzle grawling twice (with only slow ripped paper teeter totter animation) and the Frazzletones performing the last ensemble vocals before the contraction speeds up and then the hole disappears from the background.

FX

The outline overlay appearance is styled with unique shapes that look like horns, thorns, spikes, mountains and beaks (which includes Falco Lombardi's beak on the right side of the graphic). Parts of the line's edges have some magenta and burnt orange coloring on it. The paper was created and applied to the circles to manipulate the surface physics as a signal when a growling sound is heard from Frazzle to help viewers determine how fast and loud he is snarling. It is also used to make it look like the monsters are bursting through the background while they open up. However, the song has odd minor upscaling of the paper overlay which hides the parts of it that resemble in shape of mountains, a pawn and a horn. This happens on the Frazzletone background part once Frazzle snarls the time after the circle along with the graphic opened up to reveal him.

The graphic is rendered at the same frame rate as the recorded footage which is made for 60 frames per second. The song with circles opening up with monsters in them may catch viewers off guard.

The circles of each footage use clipping mask on the background to appear as the background is open.

Errors

SS Frazzle Song Circle Opening Frames

While using the frame by frame features while the video is paused, the frame on the left displays the circle appearing without the graphic added which appears to look like the original version of the song as the addition of the graphic was missed; stepping to the next frame will show the graphic in place of the circles that is intended to be seen on the screen.

  • Due to a keyframe error, the paper moves off-center before moving back to the position the circle is placed during the accelerated circle opening animation.
  • In some instances, the circle lines are visible because the paper overlay effect didn't fully cover them while zooming in.
  • The head for the puppeteer is partially shown on the bottom right.

The paper does not always cover the circle leaving some parts of the circle lines to be visible as it makes it's way to the same scale factor as the circle. It also occured with the transition back to the green background from the second time on the Frazzletones part. On the part after Frazzle leaves the green screen the third time from the bourbon colored background, the graphic doesn't stick with the circle and the transformation keyframes were supposed to stay within the position where the circle is placed, but instead moves itself to the top right of the screen which then goes back to it's normal position.

By using frame by frame on the version with the graphic present after Frazzle leaves the green screen or after the transition to the Frazzletones part where Frazzle starts growling, there are a number of frames that the circle appears before the ripped paper appears on the next frame. It is due to frame timing on adding the graphic effect onto the circle during the editing proccess. The first time that Frazzle walks away has it applied onto it at the same time the circle appears.

Another goof has the puppeteer's head for Chrissy partially shown on the bottom right of the screen in the second time in the Frazzletone part.

Variants

There is a version of the song that does not contain torn paper around the circles which leaves the circle physics static as Frazzle snarls. This variant was the first and original version to be in use before the song was updated to have the graphic being part of the song. This was used on most episodes of Sesame Street and the second rendition was only released on the Sesame Street home video Elmo Says BOO!.

On the home video Monster Hits!, the beginning of the first variant of the song is trimmed off which fades to the point where Frazzle runs to the end of the screen on the green background.

There is an abridged version of the song where it starts with Frazzle grumbling and freezing near the end instead of finishing all the way to the end after the hole disappears.

Trivia

  • The puppets used for the Frazzletones come from the first Fur song except that the Harvey puppet was modified to form a monster variation of "Little Chrissy".
  • This is the only song on Sesame Street to feature the monster form of Little Chrissy.
  • It appears that Frazzle might have broken through the circles to open a hole on the background so the monsters can see through it as they explain about Frazzle's emotions to the viewer. It also renders realistic hole openings rather than iris transitions itself.

Gallery

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