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Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, May 7, 2003.
Amen, amen, amen.
Er, did I say something? It has been werry quiet out there.
With all due respect, Cory, my man, M@WDW was one of the best Muppet specials (as you noted yourself), even though it's essentially an hour-long advertisement. I don't see how that differs so much from the NBC references in their recent so-called "fall from grace."
I think you're expecting that the TV-movie will be a filmed version of that Muppet monster video game. If that were the case, I'd be with you on this. But Brian mentioned the possibility of a Muppet Halloween special as early as 1991. I see potential for an entertaning story here.
And of course, all of this might be a moot point, since the names of the projects weren't even mentioned. They might be something completely different.
Anyway, just my thoughts.
I agree with you. With recent popular films like the Scream trilogy, the Scary Movie trilogy, The Ring and countless others, I think the Muppets could have success with a Halloween haunted house Scooby Doo sort of mystery. Audiences seem to like that sort of stuff these days and the Muppet gang can parody like nobody else. I view it as a current, potentially hot idea.
I really don't care what the plot or story is, I just want to see more Muppets on TV. A Halloween special would rock. The Peanuts have all the holidays covered, why not the Muppets? They have many Christmas specials, but little else in the holiday category. The old Valentine's special was cute, but I would like to see an updated one.
That brings me to a question. If you could pick a holiday Muppet special, what would it be? Independence Day, New Years, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, another Christmas special, Halloween or some other holiday?
Aw, you are very right...however M@WDW in my opinion is one of the best Muppet productions I have ever seen(be it as a grooming for a JHC buyout or not) MVC, after repeated viewing unfortunately feels like a train wreck.(tho I am very happy at what VMC did numbers wise, and some of the special)
To me, a Halloween Muppet special just seems like pure schlocky cheese. JHC/CTW knows how to make cryptic and strange films, like Dont Eat The Pictures or Dark Crystal...but from the few plot points of what I read, this just sounds really lame. Then again, we really dont know anything about these tv specials at all.
Christmas, as those themed specials always make for osme of the best Muppet viewing.
Cory, re the train-wreck feel to VMMCM: try fast-forwarding past any parts with human guest stars. Seriously! I watched it again this past week (seen it about 3-4 times now) and the movie flows much better without most of them. I think more judicious editing and better human actors would have helped the movie considerably. I'm not fond of all the product placement, but as already noted, M@WDW showed it can be done entertainingly.
Aside from that, it's just a matter of seeing things slightly differently. Dark Crystal is a stunning technical achievement, but I never cared for the story or the characters. Don't Eat the Pictures bored me (and slightly creeped me out) even as a kid. So I wouldn't want new Henson stuff to resemble those. I will agree that there was at least an attempt at innovation in those projects that could be felt more strongly in the recent stuff.
Frogboy: Two words for the next holiday special: Bastille Day.
Seriously though, I think you nailed exactly the same parallel I was thinking: the Peanuts specials. First came Charlie Brown Christmas, then the Great Pumpkin special. This seems a natural progression for the Muppets too. And I agree with you that we sorely need an updated Valentine's Special. That doesn't mean every Muppet TV-movie ought to revolve around holidays, but it'd be a good launching point for some of them and would get some casual fans' attention: "Oh, the Muppets' take on Valentines' Day? THIS I gotta see." Eventually I'd like to see a Thanksgiving and Easter special as well (with puppet Muppet Babies on the latter, introducing Baby Pepe!), but not immediately after the others. They should switch gears somewhere in there.
I hope Henson's done with Christmas specials for a while. Christmas is my favorite holiday, but ENOUGH ALREADY. The studio's produced so many specials about this holiday with both the TMS cast, the SS cast, the FR cast, as well as numerous one-shot specials. I'm sure there's a Bear Christmas special that I just haven't heard of yet. And none of them is going to top MFC. Heck, just show that again on a major network every year! On TV, they'd be able to show those scenes that always get cut on the video. Aside from Piggy's hair, I can't think of anything really dated about the special. Muppet fans would be thrilled, and the casual fan would be none the wiser. I say they should go for it! (After VMMCM gets at least one more airing, of course.)
The next part shouldn't be read by anyone from JHC, for fear that they can't use the idea for legal reasons. This is just me hoping out loud to my fellow fan/friends:
If they do make a Halloween TV-movie, I hope Clueless Morgan is involved. I didn't care much for MTI; I only saw it once when it first came out. But I still think of Clueless Morgan in his two scenes and I laugh every time I do. I guess they used the character along with Polly the Crab in some lame UK skits where they were waiters or something, and then pretty much forgot about him. Clueless is funniest when he's scared and trying to come up with an inept solution to his problem, i.e. someone swings a sword at him and he says, "Oh, wait, okay. Ummm...I'm dead!" then obediently closes his eyes and falls over! I could see great potential for that kind of character in an allegedly haunted house. (Of course, in the end they'll find out it was Farmer Jenkins with his counterfeiting scheme, etc.)
I don't think we'll see two TV movies this year, they might shoot them this year but i would guess we'll see the Halloween Movie in October and then another one sometime Easter/Summer 2004. I also think that unless they are shooting the movies together then the third project will still be dependant on how the second one does. They hyped Muppetfest 2 on the 'Squares before so they feel ok with talking about very early day projects for some reason yet the actual Henson Company press people didn't make much of the deal when the sale publicity happened.
It makes sense to do the Halloween movie, but maybe creatively it isn't the best idea. In the business sense NBC want these themed movies, i would expect the budget will be a lot lower, and Henson just happen to have this 'Haunted House' script they paid a lot for, have spent lots of time developing and had little chance of getting it into Theaters. So yeah, the TV movie deal is a perfect opportunity for them to recoup some of that money, especially at a time when they are strapped for cash.
However, 'Haunted House' was a script back from the times when the Muppets were more 'family' and doing completely different styles of projects than they do now. The last NBC movie was supposed to begin to take us in this new 'edgy' direction and so it seems they have the 'Greg' producers and other people trying to re-write this old Halloween script into something more contemporary. In my experience though, trying to change a story into something completely different from what it was originally meant to be can often lead to a very mixed up script and it usually shows in the end product - ie:- MFS. So i would just hope somehow they manage to keep focused on the whole new direction for the Muppets they started and not take a step backwards just because it would be easy.
I think the general idea of a Muppet Halloween special is as good as any. I doubt they'd do another Christmas one and i think a Kermit/Piggy Valentines special is old and would make people puke. There aren't many other choices for themed specials.
I only noticed the NBC sign on Kermits foot, And we didnt have any commercials in the Special either in England.
Halloween and maybe Easter. The others dont seem strong enough, And it would have to be a universal holiday too.
I do think it would be superb to have Jerry Juhl back, He truly knows the Muppets better than most of the people there now.
Except Dave, Steve and Jerry.
Can some of you tell me why "Don't Eat the Pictures" creeps some of you out? I haven't seen the special in many years, so am I missing something.?
They are talking about all the guest stars who were only in the movie to plug their NBC shows (like the cast of Scrubs)
I was thinking about the prospect of the Haunted House film. There are possibilities, but they need to get a final script and REALLY TWEAK it good, because they can't afford any failures or bad criticism at this point.
Heck, they SHOULD call Juhl back in to advise on the final script.
I see it as an opportunity to re-introduce characters such as Uncle Deadly, also the whole Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo investigative team ala GMC.
What I DON'T want to see is a whole bunch of Muppets running aimlessly around screaming at the top of their lungs, and I don't want to see Muppets getting killed off (ie, Liza Minelli episode--even though that was their script for the night). I also don't want to see a bunch of tired old parodies of Blair Witch, Scary Movie, or other films. I'm tired of parodies.
The whole "It's A Wonderful Life" theme in VMX was bothersome to me, but I enjoyed it for some reason. I think it had to do with all the old classic characters being back in the Theater.
As someone suggested, there could be a "Scooby Doo" type mystery involved that is both funny, edgy, and intelligent--but in a Muppety way.
Time Machine, on the other hand, seems to me like another one of those "based on the book" movies. Plus, you can only fit so many Muppets in a time machine, so it would knock out the use of many of the characters.
I'm not so sure we'll see 'Time Travel', i don't think it's a movie that they absolutely have to do something with, and it doesn't seem to fit in with the new style. 'Haunted' does seem to be one of those that could work with the right script. I agree totally about bringing Clueless back in, he could definitely be another break out character for them like Pepe. I kinda disagree about bringing Juhl back in - complete respect to the man - but he wrote for the Muppets of old, things can be learned from the 'old days' but they are supposed to be going in this exciting new 'edgy' and contemporary direction and are deliberately seeking out the newest 'hip' producers. I think getting the hottest new writing talent is just as important - if anything i'd just have Juhl advise on the way the characters are used rather than the script content.
I'm there with ya, brother-man.
So folks already know for certain they are going with the Halloween special? My thing is I just smell "family sanitized" Scary Movie all over this...especially with Scary Movie 3 out in August, ya know this may just be some laundry list of thriller movie parodies with more bad human acting. To me, this, the time machine idea, etc seems to fall into the "not so innovative" pile...or more correctly, the "yawn" basket.
I have some ideas for a Muppet special that wouldnt require any effects, cgi, or hardly any budget, but would be leapin light years better than this idea. I think a lot of us do...there is a way to get back to basics(ie: Juhl era) while also appealing to the newer modern crowds.
We don't know for CERTAIN theres going to be a Halloween movie but it does all add up. They've spent tons of money buying and developing the Halloween script, they've had new producers recently working on it - it's not the kind of thing you just chuck away in the bin without trying to get your money back on, and NBC reportedly wants themed movies, and they seem to have a deal for more. So all signs point to it being a Halloween thing.
I agree with you on Time Travel - that really doesn't seem right for them at all. It might have been good for them pre-MFS but not now.
Well we dont get all those shows, So it wasnt so noticable to us.
I think Juhl needs to be brought back, Even if they do get the 'hippest' and best writers in, they still dont know the Muppets.
I believed in the Muppets, Until they kinda became actors.
Jerry wouldnt need to write the whole script, but i would like him to advise on the script and use of the characters, He knows 'em best.
And i really dig what Kevin said, Imagine Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzie going inside a big Haunted House for a weekend break, Ofcourse Gonzo booked it from the 'Wampire Veekly'. Uncle Deadly, Sweetums, Timothy Monster, Doglion, The Frackles all the monsters could be used !
Then the whole gang meets up with them or something.
It could be great!
I agree. Even if Jerry is brought in to develop the story or character arcs. He wouldn't have to write every line, just enough to give it that Muppety goodness.
Yup, i agree too. Give it that classic Muppety shine !
What is the situation now between Juhl and Henson nowdays anyway ?
I think Juhl is working on other things. I know he holds writing workshops and has quite a life outside of the Muppets. I'm not certain if the MFS mishap soured him. I bet not. Just speculation on my part. He's probably stayed away because of the confused state at Henson the last few years.
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