Kermit the Frog has always been — and will always be — our hero. And as if we couldn't love him more, the beloved muppet has dipped his little toes into the world of climate activism, with Kermit's involvement with Dear Earth, a new environmental special. The YouTube Originals special, which will be released on Oct. 23, will feature a wide range of icons including President Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, Billie Eilish, and more.
We sat down virtually with Kermit, to discuss his involvement with the film, as well as how he's bringing climate education to Sesame Street. He's truly one of the most eloquent amphibians out there.
First, though, watch a preview of Dear Earth, below.
GREEN MATTERS: Tell us a little about Dear Earth — what was your involvement with the project?
KERMIT: Dear Earth is a celebration of the planet, where we’re thankful for all the wonders of the Earth, and we can learn what each of us can do to reverse climate change. All kinds of amazing folks will be on this special, from Billie Eilish and Blackpink to Barack Obama and Desmond Tutu. I think they asked me to be a part of it because they needed a talking frog. As a frog, I can kind of speak for all the other species out there, cause the Earth is our home, too.
GM: What was your favorite part of working on Dear Earth?
K: I learned a lot about what every one of us can do to make a difference. This isn’t about just countries and companies, it’s about people in communities large and small doing all the little things that keep the planet healthy and sustainable. Plus, there’s lots of great music, inspiring words and very funny skits. Being part of this was entertaining, enlightening, and fun.
GM: What will kids be surprised to see? Can you let us in on a glimpse of any?
K: I think they’ll be surprised at how much they can do to help right where they live and how they live. And I know they’ll be surprised at some of the performances. Amazing stuff. I’d share details, but then the surprises wouldn’t be surprises and I’d be in violation of the talking frog no-surprise-telling-disclosure agreement. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
GM: How should we be talking to kids about the climate crisis?
K: I think we’re doing it right now…and that Dear Earth does a great job of talking about it. We have to be honest and talk what’s at stake, but we also have to be optimistic and positive. We have to focus on what can be done by everyone everywhere, not somebody else someplace else. You don’t have to be a frog to know that the future of Earth affects all of us, regardless of species.
GM: Will you take any of these environmental themes beyond Dear Earth, to any of the muppets movies or shows?
K: Well, we’ve already kind of started. During the Dear Earth special, the Muppets’ very own Electric Mayhem Band will be performing the world premiere of their version of ELO’s classic “Mr. Blue Sky” on sets that are built of upcycled and recycled materials. Like I said, doing things that make a difference happens in everything we do. Plus, I can promise that the Muppets will always be about working together to make the world a better place. Oh, and of course, Fozzie Bear has been recycling old jokes for years. I don’t know if that counts, but he likes when I mention him in interviews.