We’re not crying at this very gentle episode of a show aimed at children ages 3 to 8, you are. Or you will be, after watching these clips. On Friday, Disney Junior aired an episode of its CGI animated Muppet Babies reboot called “Gonzo-rella,” in which li’l blue alien Gonzo wants to dress up like a princess because the gang is playing “royal ball,” but Piggy tells him that boys have to play knights. So the “Fairy RatFather” (Rizzo, a true ally) grants his wish, turning him into a princess with a secret identity.
It’s a clever twist on the old Cinderella plot, with a nice message about inclusive gender expression in a show that’s already about imagination and play. In an interview with official Disney fan club blog D23, Muppet Babies executive producer Tom Warburton said about the episode, “Very early on, we wanted to do an episode where Gonzo just showed up to the Playroom wearing a skirt. And it was no big deal. No one cared or questioned it because Gonzo is always 200 percent Gonzo 347 percent of the time.” But Warburton says that story editor and co-producer Robyn Brown and the story team added the Cinderella conceit, and “it was just SO wonderfully Gonzo. We hope he inspires kids watching to be 347 percent of themselves in their own way, too.”
Gonzo is already embraced by many queer fans as a non-binary icon, so this just feels plain right. You go to that ball, Gonzo-rella.