ABBA is a Swedish pop music group formed in Stockholm in 1972. Comprised of Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog (Anna), the group topped the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982.
- In 1979, the band's hit "Take a Chance on Me" was covered on The Muppet Show in episode 403 by a group of birds bouncing and jumping on power lines.
- Gran Musical at Parque Plaza Sésamo featured the interpretations of "Mamma Mia", "Take a Chance on Me", and "Dancing Queen" from Mamma Mia!.
- In the 2004 Sesame Street video What's the Name of That Song?, the Two-Headed Monster lists his favorite songs -- including "Dancing Queen," ABBA's only #1 hit in the United States.
- The Elmo the Musical segment, "Tomato the Musical," features a song titled "Mamma Mia," performed in the style of ABBA.
The Last Video
In 2004, the Jim Henson Company provided the puppets for ABBA's music video The Last Video, in which four small puppets (caricatures of the group members) try to get a recording contract in Stockholm in 1974 by playing a medley of some of the band's biggest hits.
The video was originally shot as Our Last Video Ever for the 2004 semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, thirty years after ABBA had won the contest. It was later released on DVD at the request of the former ABBA members, retitled The Last Video. A group of celebrities made small cameo appearances in the video, including each of the four group members and Cher.
Besides mentioning the Henson Company's achievements, the band's official website shares the following anecdote by writer/video director Calle Åstrand about the members' reaction to the puppets:
“When Agnetha saw what her own doll looked like, she laughed and said, "I look like Miss Piggy!" She thought that was a lot of fun. And Frida was delighted when we showed her what we had filmed so far. The male half of the group was just as keen about this light-hearted approach.”
The DVD booklet lists the following credit: "ABBA dolls by Jim Henson Creature Shop Ltd." The same can be found in the on-screen credits, where the distinction between the terms "puppets" and "dolls" is lost in translation. (There is only one word for both in the Swedish language.)
The DVD also features a behind the scenes making-of featurette, showcasing the puppeteers and the Henson shoot crew at work.
- ABBA dolls:
- Created by Jim Henson Creature Shop Ltd.
- Creative Director: Jamie Courtier
- Designer: Sharon Smith
- Producers: Tracy Lenon, Tanya Knight
- Puppeteers UK: Phil Eason, Richard Coombs, John Wheatley, Mark Jefferis
- Puppeteers SE: Petter Lennstrand, Jenny Bjärkstedt
- Henson Shoot Crew: Tim Rose, Denise Baseley