For those of us who grew up as kids during the 1970s, amidst a sea of bell bottoms, day-glo colors and hair and fashion that became wildly anachronistic as soon as it was introduced, one of the great joys was watching children’s programming on television. From Saturday mornings to weekday afternoons, there was a high amount of kids shows to be watched and re-watched again and again, mainly animated fodder ranging from funny (Warner Brothers cartoons) to action-packed (Johnny Quest) to all in between (Scooby-Doo). There were also live-action programs that were produced, mainly by the brothers Krofft, Sid and Marty respectively, which were equally as popular and now, mired in the zeitgeist of the times as quintessential 70s artifacts.
One of the most popular programs that came from their production studios was Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, which is now getting a TV reboot from Amazon Studios via a pilot order.
The original series starred the ginger-haired Johnny Whittaker, who was also on a popular sitcom called Family Affair back in the 1960s, as a boy who, along with his brother, discovers a friendly, young sea creature named Sigmund (who was voiced by diminutive actor Billy Barty). The show, which told the crazy tales that manifested from such a strange discovery, ran originally from 1973 to 1975 and was emblematic of the Krofft style, with songs that moved the plot; characters that were pretty much made from foam rubber; and an overall visual playing field in which real people and puppets and fantastical characters acted in concert together with each other. The success of the program led to other shows which followed it, like Land of the Lost, Far Out Space Nuts, The Lost Saucer, and even campy variety programs such as ones helmed by 70s kitsch stalwarts Donny and Marie and most of the original cast of The Brady Bunch among many more projects. To this day, Sigmond and the Sea Monsters is still loved by many, and still has a cult status high amongst the kids of baby boomers.
Now, Amazon Studios has a signed on the dotted line deal with Sid and Marty Krofft, who are now in their 80s, to conduct a full “re-imagining” of the series for today’s generation. In a statement, Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price gleefully noted what “geniuses” the Kroffts are and how honored Amazon are to be working with them to bring the return of what he believes is “TV’s most fabulous and funniest sea creature ever” in Sigmund.
Flipper, the lovable dolphin who also had success on TV in the mid 1960s, was unavailable for a comment and rebuttal to Price’s statement.