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Eisner confirms Disney could buy Henson and Muppets soon

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I'll probably go see a movie about a donkey, though I can't for the life of me figure why?! :rolleyes:

    What did you all think of Tigger and Piglet's movies?
  2. radionate

    radionate New Member

    I refuse to see them.

    Along with Jungle Book 2, Return to Neverland, Cinderella 2, The Return of Jafar, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. :boo: :sleep: :mad: :rolleyes:
  3. danielromens

    danielromens Member

    Chilly, this is all I got...

    "We are committed to continuing the legacy of creativity, humor and humanity that marked everything Jim Henson touched," Valentine said in a statement. "At the same time we feel there is enormous potential for growth, not merely from Kermit and the Muppets, but from the expansion of the Henson brand into all areas of family entertainment."

    Not necessarilly cop shows and such, but let's face it, the Henson company can't exist in the long run with puppets alone. This is something I myself denied for a long time. But as computer imaging becomes easier to produce and increasingly more effective to fit in real settings, (the HULK, Holy S***) our animated troop of puppets won't seem so animated.

    but don't get me wrong, physically being there is something Kermit will always have on Woody or Mike Wyzowski.

    I think turning the company into more than just a puppet troop only makes sence, and is in the best interest. More revenue means that they will be able to keep Kermit alive. I think it also adds to the power of the company so that people will bring them more material to work with. Right now creatures and fantasy are what people expect them to be.

    Also, Jim didn't like being pigeonholed either. Look at all the other stuff he had in his head, the Cube, Timepiece, the list goes on. I think this would be nothing but wise and it would turn them into a wider family empire, and not a one trick pony.
  4. Manda:-D

    Manda:-D New Member

    Re: New Article

    This has been bugging me all day. It's from the Julia Weiderger (sp?) article.
    Is that true? I don't EVER remember hearing about that.

    ...Anyway, on to the topic at hand. I've honestly lost pretty much all faith in Disney. Disney itself. I've become totally disillusioned by what I've seen in the past few years, from their busines practices, to their "creative", (I can't honestly call anything I've seen them do lately truly creative), enterprises. All they've done lately is grab as many brand names as they could possibly find and suck them dry and use them solely for merchandising. (I'm so sorry, Winnie the Pooh, for what they've done to you.) I keep seeinng nightmareish visions of animated Muppet movies going directly to video where they retell fairy tales over and over.... (Honestly, Kermit doean't render particularly well in animation to me. The puppets always havem, and always will, seem more alive to me.)
    I just don't like it. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    David Barrington-Holt over the Creature Shop assured us at MuppetFest that puppetry will never be replaced by computer technology.

    Regardless how good it gets, it's true. Computer will never be able to take over the true art of puppetry. There's just a quality to it all that computer animation (CGI) takes away. Like Yoda in Episode 2, they gave him too MUCH emotion, and it takes away from what makes him look real.

    E.T. anyone? ick.
  6. radionate

    radionate New Member

    Re: Re: New Article

    Odds are, in some capacity, it is.

    Eisner has been around Hollywood for years and years and years. He was at Paramount and ABC too I believe.
  7. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yeah but if the people who are going to be behind the Muppets don't want the Henson Company to exist as anything but 'Muppets' then it's exactly the strategy they are going to take.

    We have yet another article where it states Disney are only interested in 'The Muppets' and ideally don't want to buy the Henson Company - this is the word on the industry grapevine too. It all adds up, i've said a few times that 70 million is too cheap for the entire company and we have Eisner saying 100-200 million is pretty much out of the question. This is probably why Disney stepped away from earlier negotiations for JHC and EMTV have been having problems offloading the whole company, they want to sell it all but can't so Disney have come back to a desperate strapped for cash EMTV and are holding in their with a cheap offer for just The Muppets.

    In some ways i think it makes a lot of sense - is EMTV going to cave in and offer the whole company for 70 million ? Heck no ! is Disney going to cave in and pay more money ? I doubt it or they would have done in the first place. Can EMTV make money by holding onto the Henson Company without owning the Muppets ? I think so and this is whats been going on in some scale for a while. If you look at what EMTV originally said about wanting to be stronger in Childrens TV within Europe, and then look at what Henson have been doing in the UK - developing 'JHTE' into a strong and succesful childrens TV production house with 'Hoobs', 'Construction Site' etc it looks like the start of something more longterm. Henson are making more stuff in Europe right now and are beginning to make more and more money out of Non-Muppet stuff and having lots of success with it, maybe even more than they are doing with the 'Muppets'. If EMTV sell off just The Muppets and they get 70 Million then they still regain a healthy production company worth a fair bit with strong UK shows in the library plus non-classic Muppet stuff like Fraggle, Bear and the non-Muppet movies to work with. The UK office is also a management office base for both EMTV and Henson UK so there's no real need to have a costly prescense in the USA at all. It's quite clever, i think they might have been thinking about a JHC without the Muppets for quite a while.

    The problem is more what are Disney going to do with The Muppets though and what will they be like without the Jim Henson Company. If Disney put the kind of money and promotion they've done with 'Pooh' then i don't see it as being that terrible but if they just prostitute the brand and make as much money as they can out of the old shows and the merchandise without keeping the Muppets 'out there' and working as a brand in itself then we might just end up with cheap Disney kiddy-fodder.
  8. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Actually, Nate, unlike the above list, The Tigger Movie (haven't seen Piglet's yet, but I'm gonna!) didn't do anything to ruin the other movies and productions. It may have even made the Winnie the Pooh series better. I don't mean to change your judgment of the Disney cheapquals, as I too am a hater of them, but this is far beyond any cheapquel. It's a nice story, typical Winne the Pooh, and doesn't ruin, change, or dumb-down (is it possible?) the first or any other production in the Winnie the Pooh series.

    Now, if this had been about Return to Neverland, I'd have been backing you all the way. They totally ruined one of my favorite Disney movies when they made that!
  9. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    Oh, I'm totally with you on the CGI stuff, Dan. I have no problems with Henson doing many movies with new, computer-generated characters using the Performance Control System demonstrated at MuppetFest. That will get people's attention; it'll keep the puppeteers employed; and they might even one day top the (admittedly brilliant) Pixar movies because they have one thing Pixar doesn't: the live performance and improvisation aspect.

    But when it comes to animation and sitcoms, there are others who already do that stuff better. If all funds in Valentine's company are diverted towards making a traditionally animated epic and putting the "Henson" name on it, I wouldn't particularly be interested. And I agree with whoever said that Kermit doesn't look as good in animation as he does in real life.

    BTW, I'm also in favor of them using the PCS for traditional Muppet movies. Not to replace the puppets entirely, but to achieve effects and humorous expressions that wouldn't be possible otherwise. The demonstration at MF was hilarious. :D
  10. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    Oh, I forgot to mention:

    I'm still not convinced that Disney is just buying the Muppets, not the Henson Company. These article writers have been wrong so many times before. Since no one writing the articles has ever seen a Muppet production recently, they probably think all there is to buy is the back catalog. In spite of all the suitors Henson has had over the years, the press is fixated with the "Kermit and Mickey" thing. Now it seems they have a fixation where they say "Disney's going to buy Henson? Oooh, they can sell a lot of videos and DVDs!" It never even occurs to them that the Muppets might actually put out some new product. Even the multitude of articles we've seen on this don't impress me; half of these article writers are probably copying from each other as another "source."

    I'm not saying that Disney WON'T just buy the Muppets. I'm just saying that all these articles don't do anything to convince me.
  11. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    From what i've heard there is definitely something being picked up on in the articles and it is factual, but i don't think it's all that decided what the final deal will actually include. I tend to think that Disney are hanging in there for the entire JHC for $70 Million but would take just the Muppets for that price. EMTV need the money but are probably seeing dollar signs in what has been produced and developed in the UK recently without any 'Muppet' involvement. If you just think logically, Eisner says 100-200 is unrealistic, rumors are that Disney will pay 70/80 tops- JHC is worth around 120 and there does seem to be some value in JHC's non-Muppet assets - just all adds up for me that Disney may well just be negotiating for 'The Muppets' nowdays.

    I can understand it - with JHC you got the problems in Germany to deal with, the staff management and existing contracts at JHC, the facilities to upkeep - all Diz really want is Kermit in the stable with Mickey & Co, i guess they'll do the least they can to get that and would probably prefer a 'Pooh' style commitment.
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    It's just sad that the EMTV deal was nearly 700M and this deal might be 70M. It is a quite different deal without Sesame, but eeek! :concern:
  13. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yes you can imagine the smile on the faces of the Henson Family and kids right now can't ya ?

    :o
  14. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Active Member

    SS Muppets/12.5% Noggin stake: $180 million

    22.5% of Odyssey/50% of Kermit Channel: around $100 million

    Jim Henson's Creature Shop: I dunno...

    Everything else: priceless...or IS IT?

    Stay tuned...at least for another month or two.
  15. Doogied

    Doogied Member

    Disney = Money. Money = Continuity. Continuity= More Muppets. Need I say more?
  16. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yeah but does the money come from Disney coffers or from whoring the Henson Company for all it's worth first ?
  17. danielromens

    danielromens Member

    Man, if EMTV sells the muppets I'm going to pop a cap in someone's bippy, yes I said bippy. This darned site won't let me express my real feelings. So how do you pro Disney folks feel about that idea. Not the bippy, just a Muppetless Henson company? Yeah, sounds real swell doesn't it, but I suppose you'll have your rides and collectibles.
  18. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Active Member

    Now for the ramblin'...

    Well, let's put it like this. If Disney buys "The Muppets" (and the libary) as opposed to "The Jim Henson Company," there will still be Muppet stuff from a company that has the potential to put Kermit & Co. back in the forefront, as opposed to a company like Classic Media who won't do a d*** thing, though these are the MUPPETS so who knows. As for the Muppetless/EM.TV-owned Jim Henson Co., I don't know. We seriously don't know what Disney/EM.TV/whoever are doing. Maybe Disney will buy the Muppets, maybe they won't. Maybe they'll buy Henson (now we see there's a DIFFERENCE), maybe they won't. Maybe Valentine will get a winning lottery ticket or a new job at Burger King and collect enough money for a half, oh I'm sorry, 49.9% stake in Henson, and...do what he wants.

    Keep in mind, he was the one (I believe) who started the Disney "cheapquel" series and even said that he planned to do more direct-to-video stuff. From me, it's not a criticism, but an observation. I haven't seen the movies and I barely see the commercials 'cause I watch the news and music networks anyway. Anyway...

    If Walt Disney Co. buys Henson and/or Muppets, the Muppets will be a little more in the spotlight. I don't think Disney's so poor that they can't do THAT. It probably won't be like the 80s when the Muppets were the hottest thing around, but it'd be better than what it is now. I'm not interested in seeing the "magical" Muppets get all witty and just get by with a bunch of talk show/game show appearances. If they didn't have THOSE, I'd really question if the Muppets were retired, and if Henson was just focused on "Bear" and "Farscape."

    I'd rather Disney buy the company and have a chance of reviving the "Muppet" franchise, than just complaining 'cause they make a bunch of cheap video sequels. I don't think the same people who produce the movies will make the new Muppet projects. But of course, I don't know. So let's see what happens.

    As for "rides and collectibles," well, I haven't been to a Disney parks since '91 and never seen MV3D, and I don't shop, so I would have to rely on new Muppet stuff or the classics on TV.
  19. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    I agree there are some benefits of Disney owning either Henson or The Muppets, and while i don't like the sound of it i also see great potential for a Europe based 'Jim Henson Company' without the Muppets rights. The benefits with Disney are mostly financial, facilities, visibility and sheer industry clout. That said, it was Haim Saban not Valentine (i think) who was focused on direct to video family stuff - and it's unfair to say the other companies would do nothing. Take Entertainment Rights PLC - they are a fantastically successful company and have done great things with their brands, i think they've just recently announced their most successful financial year and profits yet.
  20. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Active Member

    No, it was the first Valentine article in Dec. that said their "initial focus" would be direct-to-video releases, though yes I'm sure him and other suitors would probably have additional plans for the Muppets. Though Classic Media have yet to prove that to me, and Ent. Rights, well, that's another side of the world, so I can't say. But they backed out, so not a concern.

    I'm sure there'd be pros and cons with anyone who bought Henson or the Muppets. If Rivkin and his buyout won, there would've been a "yes, Henson gets to do its thing and not have anyone interfere with what they're doin'." While at the same time, possibly, we'd go right back to where we started when JHC was at a crossroads in '99. With Disney, "more rides and new Muppet stuff plus all the classics on TV", while there could be, well, y'all fill in the blank. As for Valentine and these licensing companies, I don't know. To be honest, I thought Valentine was the least likely to buy JHC, seeing he wasn't a billionaire or a company, but if Disney were to back out, I'd rather have him than CM.

    Though I'm still sorta confused with Disney trying to buy the "Muppets." In this world, the Muppets mean three things: Jim Henson Co. itself, the "Classic Muppets," and all the Jim Henson characters, except Sesame Street (which would be better so all the franchises won't be divided.)

    Darn you, Thomas Haffa.


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