It’s been more than 40 years since sibling producers Sid and Marty Krofft’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters first washed up on Saturday morning television, part of a wave of wacky kids’ shows that also included their creations H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, and Land of the Lost.
A few decades notwithstanding, the Kroffts are busier than ever ushering their work into the digital age, and now they’ve brought Sigmund back up from the depths to join the fun.
Last Friday, the Kroffts debuted a rebooted Sigmund and the Sea Monsters pilot on Amazon, where it will vie for pick-up alongside several others kids’ programs.
Although the delivery method has changed, the story hews close to the original — two young brothers befriend a kindhearted sea monster and help him hide out — and the Kroffts’ time-tested approach remains intact.
“When it comes to content, we find out that it’s the same,” Marty, 79, said in an interview with EW. “You have to have great characters, great stories. It makes no difference whether it’s digital, network, Nickelodeon.” (The latter channel is home to the Krofft-produced series Mutt & Stuff.)
“We kept the integrity of the show,” Marty continued. “We didn’t want to piss off all of our fans that have grown up to be about 38 to 40, and who can still sing the theme song.”
That’s not to say Sigmund hasn’t been updated. This time around there’s a main villain, Captain Barnabas, played by David Arquette. The CGI-averse Kroffts have also upgraded the sea monster costumes with electronics, allowing them to be more mobile and expressive, and they can go in the ocean now.
Should the show get ordered to series, viewers can look forward to plenty of guest stars and some familiar faces. “Of course if it gets picked up, then the whole family — Sweet Mama, Big Daddy, and all the other [monsters] — will be back,” said Sid, 86.
In the meantime, the Kroffts are showing few signs of slowing down. They recently released a reboot of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl on iTunes and Google Play, starring YouTube personalities Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig, and they’re exploring projects based on Bugaloos, Land of the Lost, and Wonderbug.
Asked what sustains their long collaboration, Marty said, “I think the big secret is that Sid knows how to have nightmares. He wakes up and he comes up with these wild ideas, and sometimes I do too. We must know something.“
He added, “We’re not cruising to a stop. The best is yet to come with us.”