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Wilf with Milton

Aart and Blanche



Song of the Cloud Forest Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes footage.

The Song of the Cloud Forest originally aired as the second half of episode 107 of The Jim Henson Hour on July 16, 1989. When it appeared on the Odyssey Network, it was edited into its own half-hour stand-alone special. The special was released on DVD in 2010 as The Song of the Cloud Forest and Other Earth Stories.


Milton, a golden toad, is desperately searching a mate, yet no female answers his call. He is lonely and begins to fear that his call will never attract a mate.

As the animals begin to fill the rainforest with their "beautiful music", two humans (which the animals call "Uprights") enter the rainforest. The two humans are scientists, who are in search of a male golden toad and hope to capture a male of the endangered species in hopes of preserving it from extinction, and when the forest creatures overhear the two scientists and learn about the fate of Milton's species they all begin to worry about his fate as well.

The "uprights" continue their quest to capture a male golden toad, in hope to take him back to their lab. They use a female, locked in a cage, to attract the male. Milton detects the scent of a female golden toad. He follows it only to encounter traps that the "uprights" have laid.

Milton doesn't know what to do. Should he attempt to free the captive female? Should he continue to sing his song to attract a mate? Or should he remain silent as to not tip off the "uprights" to his presence? Ralph Robin arrives and tells the creatures, via song, about the motives of the "uprights" – according to Ralph, the "uprights" want to literally eat the forest and its inhabitants, and are trying to capture Milton just to eat him.

Milton, depressed and alone, wanders the forest at night. He wishes there was a way to free the female and fill the forest with baby golden toads. He wonders what will become of the golden toads, and what will become of lonely old Milton. He just concedes that there is no hope for a happy ending.

Milton soon encounters Caiman, an elder, who tells Milton to listen to his heart, stand his ground, and simply help the "uprights" learn to listen. Milton decides to stop worrying and just sings his song – loud, clear and from his heart. He soon attracts the "Uprights", just as the entire forest joins in the song. However, the female scientist is touched by the song of the cloud forest and begins to question if they should go through with their plan of disturbing the natural order of the forest. The uprights decided to release the female toad and let nature take its course.

Milton meets Ruth, the female toad, and the two hit it off. And thus balance is restored to the forest – and Milton's life.



Milton, Wilf, Quetzal, Aart, Nick, Blanche, Ralph Robin, Ruth, Caiman, Uprights, Picnic Bug


  • According to David Young's script drafts, the original working title of the special was "Milton's Paradise Lost". [1] The name would be reused in the special, when Aart comments on Milton's extinction: "Milton's Paradise Lost: forever."
  • In 1990, the special was nominated for two Emmy Awards, in the categories for Outstanding Children's Program and Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program.
  • Some of the puppets from the program are currently on display at the Jim Henson museum in Leland, Mississippi.