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Seven Years Later: Disney buys Muppets and Bear

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I still don't think that many of the themes you're speaking of were specifically intended to be Christian, but I'm sure it was known that the morality of particular movies fell in line with Christian morality and that was probably intentional. I guess we're saying the same thing. I don't recall any Disney specials like the Peanuts gave us.

    Narnia as mentioned before and that's a great example of Disney's modern inclusiveness on every step of production. The book definitely has an inherently Christian theme and it wasn't hidden in the film. I think they chose the title due to its popularity and not necessarily its spirituality, yet that remained intact. Also, the franchise's executive producer was an openly gay fiction writer. He unfortunately passed away this weekend and I hadn't realized that Perry Moore was on the Narnia team until reading his obit, but that's really froggin' cool to me.
  2. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Well the Johnny Appleseed cartoon unmistakably was, have you ever seen it? That's probably as close to the Peanuts special vibe that a Disney cartoon ever got. But yes obviously most Disney films were not blatently talking about religion. But that's not what people are saying. People are simply noting when a film contains themes from their religion. Any religion can and does do that and there's nothing wrong with that, that is not supremism. But I agree, we are probably saying the same thing. A lot of it comes down to semantics.

    Well at the same time I do want to also point out that just because a book or a film doesn't spell it out the way Narnia does, doesn't mean it lacks religious themes. Tolkien intended for Lord of the Rings to have Christian themes, he was just more subtle about it than Lewis because he wasn't writing for kids.

    That's really interesting, I didn't know that! That's a shame that he passed away, I'll try to find his obit as well.

    I actually haven't read the Narnia books and only saw one of the films (and only because my family wanted to see it, heh). I enjoyed one of the cartoons versions as a kid though, dark but entertaining. But in the end I guess I was always more of a Tolkien person even as a kid, lol.
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I just turned 33...and strangely, I feel ever more a strong connection and interest to things I grew up with as a child. I've been able to table my modern grown up responsibilities and needs with a sort of kinship toward various things that inspired me as a child. So while I feel a thousand times wiser, complete and aware than I did growing up...and certainly, the magic or whatever you want to call it is not as strong, I feel I can almost still see some things with the same excitement I had. Albeit, slightly different.

    There's a great Gonzo song in TMM called "Im Gonna go Back There Someday", and that's how I feel...mixed with the Magic Store and Rainbow Connection lyrics(hence why I feel that movie resonates so strong with us)
  4. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    This entire post really said it all, and it's so true. I just didn't quote all of it since it's only a few posts away. But right on:wisdom:
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I still fail to see where this Christian stuff comes in. Seems like whoever posted that just had a vendetta against The Lion King.

    Now, I'm going to have to start a conversation about Disney movies here.

    Let's face it, Jim Henson, Walt Disney... when someone who founded and created an entertainment company, even a small one, when that person dies it's ALWAYS a struggle to get things back to normal. Or even passable.

    Disney had a lot of problems trying to recreate the success of the earlier films in the 70's and 80's. There were some good films then, don't get me wrong. I find Oliver and Company and The Great Mouse Detective highly underrated. And we forget, even though it was halfsies with Amblin, Roger Rabbit came out of that era. But Disney didn't reach the heights of animated film (after Disney) until The Little Mermaid. Then it was hit after hit until Pocahontas. Then they got cocky and made hit or miss stuff like Hercules (which I personally love, though the romantic subplot seemed forced) and Hunchback of Notre Dame (why was that decidedly a good idea for a kid's movie?) And Disney got stuck with unsellable Quasimodo dolls for years later. It took Lilo and Stitch (an original story line with original characters) to really get them out of the dumps, only to make Home on the Range and derail their 2-D with it.

    Now, Lion King? Schmaltz, hooey whatever? That's hooey. It's a very dark film, probably darker than Bambi (Bambi's mom died because of hunters... Mufasa dies in diabolical political intrigue). Plot and substance behind, it was a HUGE success. The movie spawned 2 DTV's and an animated series. Only Aladdin, the Little Mermaid (though, movie "3" was too far into production to stop) and Lilo and Stitch (which had 3 DTV's... 2 of the animated series) had that distinction. I don't count Tarzan, one of the DTV's was episodes of the show... Beauty and the beast had a movie with unsold pilot episodes and one Christmas special. But face it, when Disney has a success, it milks that success for all it's worth. Movies Mermaid- Lion King were huge successes in their own right.
  6. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    If we're putting our two cents in about Lion King, I was never impressed with the cartoon. Didn't care about the characters, it was only slightly less pretentious than Pocahontas, IMO.

    However I found the Broadway musical version of Lion King absolutely breath taking and much more emotional. I've seen a lot of Broadway plays and this was the first one that genuinely made me cry, in a good way.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but compared to the mind erasing Home on the Range movie and the historically inaccurate preachiness of Pocahontas, anything else is heavenly.

    But with Lion King, it's not so much the story and the characters that should be impressive... but rather that it was successful enough to have a successful Broadway musical, 2 movies, a cartoon series, all that stuff. Right along side some of the more successful ones done during Disney's time, movies Little Mermaid- Lion King were smash successes on all counts. Aladdin is the only of the three that doesn't have a musical yet (though I hear they tried)... And Little Mermaid wasn't a musical until decades after... can't remember if Beauty and the Beast or Lion King came first musical wise. Lilo and Stitch was the last major 2-D/non-Pixar success they had. And success doesn't have to mean "good" it has to mean profitable (loved that movie, though). What other Disney movie had not only an American cartoon series, but a different Japanese anime as well?

    I swear they were just coasting with Brother Bear and Home on the Range, stalling the inevitable...they said, "okay! These are our last movies... let's not care about them!" Though, BB did Native American legend better than that OTHER movie.
  8. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Well the Brady Bunch had a ton of spin offs too, doesn't mean they were any good, hehe. But yes I'm glad the cartoon was successful enough to warrant a much better Broadway musical. ;)
  9. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Take Little Mermaid. Little Mermaid had a Broadway musical based off of it, but that didn't mean that the musical wasn't horrendously awful.

    I'm fairly certain the Beauty and the Beast broadway show came before Lion King.
  10. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Weeeeelll....in defense of The Lion King cartoon, I did enjoy the soundtrack, definitely gorgeous (makes sense of course, Elton John!).
  11. piggyinmanhatte

    piggyinmanhatte Active Member

    I heartily agree with you.
  12. Yorick

    Yorick Well-Known Member

    In short: To me, Lion King was an instant classic, and I liked Letters From Santa more than Very Merry Muppet Christmas (though it had it's moments).:)
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Lion King is one of my favorite movies from Disney. And the sequel is one of the few to do justice to the original film... never saw 1 1/2 though, And Timon and Pumbaa are my favorite characters.

    To me, Disney's worst films were Pocahontas and Home on the Range for 2 distinctly different reasons. Poc was trying too hard to be a classic, Home didn't try period. Home felt like an off brand Dreamworks CGI wanna be in the form of a Disney 2-D animated film. Poc was too preachy to be fun, took itself too seriously and the animal characters were weak comic relief. Home was a non-stop goof fest, it had no direction, and the animal characters were weak comic relief, AND Cuba Gooding Jr. is in it (He annoys me). I did like the villain being an unappreciated Yodeler in Home, though... only good part of the movie. That and the weak backhand at Dreamworks "Hey, Spirit of the Cim-moron!" Take that Shrek, who's villain was a caricature of Eisner! of course, I'm only yalking about their in house 2-D films... now Dinosaur was just LOOOOOOOOONG and boring. And I refuse to accept Vanguard or The Wild as Disney films. I also refuse to watch them.
  14. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    1 1/2 is kind of like a MST3K treatment of the first movie, but only at the beginning and the end, with the rest just a look at what Timon and Pumbaa were doing while offscreen in the first. It's touching in spots but it's definitely a very light-hearted look. It can be touching, such as fleshing out their relationship with Kid Simba after they find the oasis, but even then it's almost sarcastic.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    How would you compare it to the Timon and Pumbaa cartoon series? Is it anything closer to that?
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I think so, but better drawn, LOL. Artwise it seemed to be like a cross between the movie and the cartoon. I thought it was hilarious. It uses a tune from the Pridelands CD, though it was about Pumbaa on the CD and it's about Timon in the movie (Warthog Rhapsody or something like that). Timon's backstory seems to be taken from that same CD's version of Hakuna Matata, which focuses more on Timon not fitting in with the meerkat collective. And Timon proposing to Shenzi is just fall-on-the-floor funny, at least it was to me. :D
  17. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    This is what I'm afraid of. Garbage kid's films that ONLY get high ratings at the box office because they're the ONLY kid's films out there... and the only reason why people are going to movies is because they need to baby sit their booger eating brats for an hour and a half. Same reason Yogi Bear did well.

    Rango's gonna kick it's butt.... at least I hope it is.

    What I can't wait for is the 50 DTV sequels Gnomecrap's going to get.
  19. Daffney

    Daffney Active Member

    (Noticed that the thread was getting off topic.)

    I do have mixed feelings on the Disney ownership.

    In its defense, it was always Jim's desire to have the Muppets at Disney. A deal with Disney buying the Henson company was almost a go-ahead, but Jim died the week he was to sign the contract and the Henson kids kept the company and the Muppets private.

    Still, Disney and Henson had a partnership over the early '90's. We had the two Muppet movie treats and a new Muppet show. Plus, Muppet*Vision 3D at Disney-MGM Studios. And as a cherry on top, Disney gave Henson their own video division and there was a lot of releases. :)

    Them by late 1996, Henson took themselves and the Muppets to Sony. Things took a turn for the worse for the Muppets, and by the time Henson was bought by EM.TV things were very dark.

    Disney decided it was time to reunite with the Muppets, so they bought them and Bear from Henson in 2004. When I heard about this, I hoped for the best.

    Well, we did get the first three seasons of The Muppet Show on DVD, plus re-rereleases of four Muppet movies (even though they had lackluster special features). Aside from that, Disney didn't do allot with the Muppets. Okay, there were a few tv specials, but while Letters from Santa was decent, Studio DC was quite painful.

    I still have hopes that the upcoming movie will be the Muppets' finest hour. ;)
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Studio DC was an unfortunate experiment. They wanted to try to promote the characters to the tweenagers... this was a period in time when they still only cared about that demographic. Dark days indeed. Now all three High School Musical movies are selling in the bargain bin, Hanna Montana stuff has been cleared out at ruthlessly low prices (90% off), and Phineas and Ferb, a CARTOON, is getting the focus those shows once had. Things are a step in the right direction... though I want to see a better vehicle for Mickey, Goofy and the gang than a Dora clone kid's show... Epic Mickey should be a cartoon series or something.

    Now, until recently when they're either resting up before the big match, or just not caring until after Cars 2 comes out, I feel they've been doing a great job. Sure, we've had 4 unfinished projects, but that's about a million less than Henson has, and those projects were inconsequential... really, did we REALLY want to see a Reality Competition parody?

    However, the movie's going to be here before you know it... sure, they just finished filming not even a month ago and the players deserve a nice rest (unless they're working on Sesame Street stuff), but once their vacation is over, it's time to round them back up, make more virals, and promote the heck out of the movie and the brand.

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