The Frog Prince. 60 minutes. Musical. Broadcast May 12, 1971. Syndicated.
Producer: Jim Henson and John Ross; Director: Jim Henson; Book and lyrics: Jerry Juhl, freely adapted from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale. Music: Joe Raposo.
Performers: Trudy Young, Gordon Thomson and Frank Oz.
Songs: “Frog Chant,” “Sir Robin the Brave,” “Frogs,”I’m Nineteen,” “Sleep, Sweetums,” “Sweetums,” “Anthems of Joy.”
"In this story, as in most, it is the minor characters who have the better roles, and I’m afraid that King Rupert II, the father of Princess Melora and a general dullard, steals the show… The other very appealing protagonist is, of course, Sweetums, the Orge who eats frogs. Sweetums…talks like a 3-year-old (most notably, ‘It’s yummy-yummy time,’ whenever he spies a frog), and carries a club which, luckily for certain frogs we could name and have, he is incapable of utilizing with any degree of marksmanship."
- Judy Bachrach, The Baltimore Sun (May 13, 1971)
Also known as Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince, this special was preceded by Hey Cinderella (1969) and followed by The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972).
From the Muppet Wiki: “In later years, Henson said that Kermit didn’t become a frog until the 1971 special The Frog Prince, a claim that made its way into the 1993 book Jim Henson: The Works. However, Kermit’s froghood asserted itself as early as 1965, when Johnny Carson referred to him as ‘Kermit the Frog’ on a December 31st Tonight Show appearance.”