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The new Muppet movie: Next Year's Yogi?

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Frogster, Dec 17, 2010.

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  1. heralde Well-Known Member

    I have to admit that idea puzzles me. As other users have said, it will end up getting confused with the original "The Muppet Movie."
  2. theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    I think I'm just going to walk out of this thread after this post. I refuse to get involved in an argument with someone who cuts down and verbally abuses the immensely talented performers who have carried and continue to carry on the legacy of Jim Henson every day. Say what you will about the projects, but insulting dedicated, hard-working, and talented people who try their hardest to please people like us... is a line that Jim himself would have never crossed.
  3. Frogster Active Member

    Jeez, I think someone needs to spend less time on this site. I'm not insulting that aspect of the Muppets anyways. I'm insulting the people who have continually tried conforming to what people of today THINK the Muppets should be like, instead of trying to fix something that isn't broken. And you act like these people's performances and credits rival people like Oz and Juhl. The fact is, they're slightly above average puppeteers who got lucky enough to work for the greatest puppet franchise in history.

    Relax, Slim... sorry I'm not one of those MC members who has the time to list every background character in the "Bohemian Rhapsody" video or blind dedication to every single Muppet project out there. This isn't pessimism, it's me giving a perspective from outside the Muppet world. We're not the only people going to see this movie, because if we were, it wouldn't do very well.
  4. heralde Well-Known Member

    That has been my concern as well. It's not too late, I mean it took Disney two decades to get their act together again. It is possible that this new project could break the pattern. I really can't say much else until I actually see the movie.
  5. beaker Well-Known Member

  6. Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I'm going to tell you what our theater directors tell us: "Seniority doesn't matter." It could have starred Kermit or Fozzie or even Robin, but they chose Gonzo because it (semi) worked. It's not because Dave's the oldest one around and deserved his own special.

    EDIT: "And you act like these people's performances and credits rival people like Oz and Juhl. The fact is, they're slightly above average puppeteers who got lucky enough to work for the greatest puppet franchise in history."

    Sorry to say, but that's a nasty thing to say, no matter whether or not you call it an insult.
  7. heralde Well-Known Member

    Aw thanks, that is very nice. At least they're talking about decent entertainment on a late night talk show for once, instead of the usual nonesense.
  8. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    So, I'm the only one slightly worried by that terrible sounding Arthur Christmas movie cutting into this movie's potential BO? I'm sorry, but really... I am GLAD they didn't have any Christmas movies this year. I have yet to see one that's measurably good that was released in the past 10 years. And lemme guess, the elf is an outcast who gets mocked until he winds up saving Christmas by thinking differently, right? And at the end, they can all dance around to pop music. YAY!

    I'm gonna throw up now...

    Almost makes me hunger for the minus minded slasher flicks they cough up on Halloween.

    I'm gonna agree with everyone else. That is pretty much a horrid thing to say. Sure, there might be a point in that somewhere... but then of course, there are many of us that actually accept the fact that Jim, Richard, Juhl and a bunch of others are gone, either passed or retired. Calling them lucky is complete and utter bull, and you know it. It's SHOW business, and no matter how nice someone involved is, it's almost impossible to get anywhere. Let's not forget the dozens of other puppeteers who spend most of their careers as someone's other arm who never get the chance to do a voice, let alone audition to perform a character. It's NOT an easy thing. I'd say the Muppets (especially Sesame Street) is far more lucky than these new recasts. Rudman as Scooter? Rudman's been with the Muppets since Jim was there. I admit, there's a little offness in Eric's Piggy... but if you look at the last movies Frank played Piggy in (or at least relooped dialogue in) the character was essentially becoming like that ANYWAY.

    Of course, we don't think they "rival" anyone. I just wanna see a solid effort that brings the characters back into the spotlight without turning them into what a 50 year old white guy thinks is "anime" or has references to everything that happened in the last year every 5 minutes.

    And that's what ticks me off more than anything.

    "Waaah! I hate all the new characters! Bring the old ones back! Oh, That's what they sound like? WAAAA!" It's ONE or the other. Jim didn't want to permanently mothball everything, only pulling it out for merchandise, like Schulz did. You ever see any of those posthumous Peanuts specials? They're enjoyable to an extent, but since they're forcibly based off of old strips, they're rigid and lack rewatch-ability.

    And if we're going on a "General Public" kick... oooohh the stuff I could say. "Duh... we don' wanna pay taxes, but we freak out when anything's cut! OOOH! Survivor should ALWAYS still be on, as should the Bachelor." Not really playing with a full deck of cards, those ones.
  9. heralde Well-Known Member

    I don't agree that the only alternative to new projects is to keep the franchise in mothballs. The posthumous Peanuts specials weren't duds because they tried to be like the old strips. They were disasters because they tried to be so different from the old strips. They would have been successful if they HAD been like the originals.

    The Peanuts remain popular because their original specials can still be seen. Not because they keep attempting new projects. That's what has been the problem with the Muppets. This idea that wanting their past best work to come first is somehow wrong.

    I wouldn't be saying this if the projects from the '90s had been successes. But they weren't. If something's not working you don't keep trying it again and again because you're convinced it's right. What counts in the business is whether you're just coming off a success. If you're not, sometimes you need to look inward at what you can be doing differently.

    Of course I agree there's no point in blaming the performers.
  10. heralde Well-Known Member

    deleted, see above lol
  11. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Though, let's also say that at least we don't have some lousy forger doing the comics either... that's the thing I respect the most... though I still think leaving everything unresolved was a big disappointment. But as for the specials... I agree to an extent... I think it's the mixture of BOTH reasons why they didn't gel. They had to alter the old strips in a way that they make a connected plot. And somehow, that worked a LOT better with The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.

    That said, and this is coming from a HUGE Garfield fan, the only thing that really brought relevance back to the comic strip was the internet and Garfield minus Garfield.

    So when it comes down to it, even when you have the same creative forces, the magic of certain things doesn't last.

    However, I still say that any cartoon/TV show can live on if done RIGHT. That means no hip hop where it shouldn't be, no pop culture references that shouldn't be there, and if you have to make a movie at LEAST watch multiple episodes of the series BEFORE you write the script... and when you do, try to steer the studio clear of Mary Sue characters.

    To me the one thing lacking after Henson's death WAS that leadership. MCC and MTI came out of when they were wondering to what extent to use Kermit... and somehow, they're strong projects in spite of that, but weak for not having a better Muppet to human ratio... or at least MCC was... MTI felt stronger.

    Essentially MFS SHOULD have been a better movie, but that one had directing problems... and the funk track made no sense.

    VMX is fine for a special, though I stifle to call it a real movie. If you were to edit it down some, you'd have a stronger project (just cut out the NBC promos).

    Oz was outright junk, and rushed. There's nothing I can say I haven't said before... stunt casting and all.

    LTS would have been much better had it been in pre-production a LOT longer, and wasn't a 40 minute with 20 minutes of commercial break every 2 minutes. The plot was a bit juvenile, I'd admit that... but at least they weren't trying to get drunken 20 something [adultswim] watchers or tweenagers.

    There is potential for a GOOD project, but it all depends on writing and direction. We have some fans in the biz making these movies, so again, I wouldn't worry about anything.

    That said, in no way am I expecting anything to eclipse the first three. Something with the spirit, maybe... but anything better than a seizure inducing 60's Batman looking reference fest. Really, Oz looked like it took place in the world Kermit wasn't born. It was THAT dismal looking.

    But to the main point... it all depends on the property too. Some age terribly, some revive flawlessly. Scooby-Doo has never been off television for more than a decade (and most of the time they have the same plot), Batman keeps coming back in some form (even though Schumaker almost killed him outside of comic books), and I have to admit, I like the House of Mouse/Mouseworks Mickey shorts more than the ones Uncle Walt did. Heck, Wayne was the best Mickey we ever had... he actually gave the character the personality no one else could.
  12. heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah I agree that makes sense as well. Just shows how difficult the reviving process can be.

    Yes I do think it's possible and it has been done. A lot of it does come down to the writing, but also having a clear vision of who you are trying to appeal to and what you're trying to say.

    Lol, true, that freakin dog has like 15,000 lives! And I suppose it probably is because they haven't strayed too far away from the formula. In many ways the TV business is not about trying new ideas, it's about recycling old ones because they work. Yes sometimes it's lazy, but in other instances it's a strength. : )
  13. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Writing is everything.. You can save a project with bad acting and weak direction if you have a strong script... but you can act the heck out of bad script and it's still a bad script.

    When it comes to revivals, you need someone that cares enough AND has talent. Again, Tiny Toons and Animaniacs were semi-revivals of sorts and they had some of the best animation writers of all time working on them Paul Dini... nuff said. Had some great writers for Taz-Mania and Duck Dodgers too.


    To be fair, they stray from the main concept every so often (Laff-a-lympics, 13 Ghosts, Get a Clue) , but they always come right back to it. It's a nice change, but they never last all that long. But it is one of the major properties with staying power. LT does, but after BIA (which had problems with studio meddling, that's always another concern) they blamed the property, not their own idiotic meddling, and we got LU, which was universally disliked. A 10 year old BOY tried to set up a petition to stop it.
  14. beaker Well-Known Member

    @Dr Tooth: I agree about us fans complaining when it's a seriously flawed reprisal(ie: Lady Gaga/D23 "Kermit" when Whitmire was on vacation), but even my cynical mind feels most the replacements are just flawless. Cookie, Fozzie, Piggy, Animal, etc all act and sound precisely how I remembered them before Oz retired his Muppeteering. Scooter FINALLY sounds like Scooter *as* of the Bohemian Rhapsody video. I mean seriously, how much closer can people expect the characters to be? Kermit by Steve Whitmire is a great evolution of our webbed footed friend, and for the most part all the other replaced performances feel natural. When Rowlf spoke on a recent Muppets Kitchen with Cora, I didn't for a split second think of "replacement".
  15. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I still wonder why the heck it took them so long to try to cast someone who reprised a LOT of Richard's roles to reprise Richard's roles... oh well.
  16. Bannanasketch Active Member

    I agree with theprawncracker 100% on this topic. Frogster, your whole "opinion" based on what you think the public will think is just complete crap. Oh, and the whole comment about how Oz and Juhl just got lucky is complete bull. Jim Henson and the original muppets team was pure GENIUS. We still have a great team of muppeteers that keep the legacy of Jim Henson alive and continue to make his dream a reality. The muppets have never left us. We still have had muppet specials and appearances so the muppets were never really gone.

    I have a feeling The Muppets Movie is going to be an amazing movie. Disney is going to come out and promote it BIG TIME. We are going to see a big push to get people to see this movie. Yogi bear is just a movie that was put together and thrown out there with little advertising. And unlike Yogi bear, the muppets have still been in public eye and people know about the muppets!

    We are going to see a whole new generation of muppet fans after this movie comes out. this forum is going to get much more members. I guarantee it.
  17. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I don't understand the underlying anger and disdain in your posts; but when the insults masquerading as insights begin to include solid Muppet pillars like Frank Oz and Jerry Juhl it is clear that common sense has been abandoned. I understand the role of devil’s advocate, yet there’s only so much a person can do so before becoming synonymous with “Big Red”.

    The intention of this film is simple – the Muppets sing and dance to make people happy. We know that’s the pitch. Little else has been revealed. You have every right to approach this new Muppet film from a place of negativity and skepticism rather than one of hope or at least pragmatism, but that doesn’t make your case logical or Muppety.

    Sure, the Muppets have a level of cheeky cynicism reflected in some of their characters, yet at the end of the day the Jim Henson outlook of the Muppet gang has been very much like Mulder’s “X-Files” poster. First and foremost – we want to believe. That spark seems to be missing from your posts and that’s something this 36 year old life-long fan just can’t comprehend. I hope next year’s film fills you, and all of us, with more Muppety spirit. I really do. :)
  18. heralde Well-Known Member

    Definitely true, writing is the thing that will make or break. I mean George Lucas cared about his prequel projects and had the talent, but even he admitted he'd neglected the actual writing of the stories in favor of the special effects. Which though impressive, didn't save the films.
  19. RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, as bad as the prequels were, actually, they make some interesting questions about the nature of morality, to me, at least. Without the bungling and arrogant Jedi, we wouldn't be able to question whether doing things differently (like, oh, NOT treating your Chosen One like crap) could've spared you all the trouble in the first place. I don't really like seeing Vader's creation be nothing more than "I was bullied growing up by my supposed friends", but that's what it is, and reality says it's not really impossible to get that result.
  20. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The problem with the prequels to me is that what made the originals amazing WAS the lack of technology hindering the process which made it more realistic. My point? Jar Jar Binks... now imagine that was made without all the CGI... would he be the annoying, leaping, cartoonish Roger Rabbit knockoff if it was a guy in a suit? NO! He would have been grounded a LOT more. Plus, let's get this straight... the pod race in the first episode went on FAAAAAAR too long and it stopped the movie cold. There were some great concepts in that movie, but some of the plot could have been left unsaid and just revealed later, and a lot of the CGI characters ONLY made the real live actors' wooden acting (wooden direction to make wooden acting, maybe? Why does everyone think wooden=serious?) look flat against their toon antics.

    That said, episode 2 was a major massive improvement, and episode 3 was ALMOST but not quite like the original movies... but then again the general consensus is that Empire Strikes Back was his best movie and he wasn't even the director.

    But honestly, the same can be said for ANY aging director. it happens. They somehow get into a weird comfort zone, rely too readily on technology or something, and stop being the bright energetic wizkids that gave us great stuff and become self absorbed perfectionists that make junk even they don't like or fool themselves into liking.

    But then again, consider this... We may have gotten prequels that don't measure up. if Lucas didn't have control, we would have got Star Wars remakes with Malcom in the Middle as Luke and Hillary Duff as Leia, and Chewie would be a wisecracking Latino stereotype. So, one way or the other... one's always worse.

    That's the best way to put it, I think. Now, I have to say he has a little point of Booberish worry that we should consider, but not completely. How will people react to this movie, especially when there's a cheap Christmas special film (I know I'm going on about it, but it is a valid concern of mine) that people just may flock to see to force Christmas spirit down their candy cane holes? I'm one of those types that feels that there hasn't been a decent Christmas project since Olive the Other Reindeer (underrated, and never shown on TV anymore... booo), and everything is a jaded attempt to be a new classic, but only extensively stealing from them with weak scripts and obvious dating.

    I completely agree Yogi feels thrown together, though again, at least not as bad as Underdog was (Yogi could have easily been a real bear with a superimposed mouth and a generic voice that sounds even less like him). This project has been under intense scrutiny at Disney... maybe after Prince of Persia and the even worse Sorcerer's Apprentice they're not taking any chances. And Disney actually KNOWS what it's doing lately, unlike some OTHER entertainment companies out there. Though it would have been nice to have some small plush before Christmas.

    Onto the next subject...
    Ever see Yogi's Treasure Hunt? That show was a million times better than it should have been. It had one of the best parodies of 60 Minutes I've ever seen, and really backhanded stuff too.

    Yogi hasn't had a project since Yo Yogi. That was his Batman and Robin. Other than the Spumco Shorts which SHOULD be released on DVD but aren't, this was the last thing he had. That show was THAT BAD! Pup Named Scooby-Doo was at least LIKED, and that did lead to a drought until the late 90's DTV projects... but Yo Yogi TOTALLY killed Yogi projects ever again until this movie. As far as the Muppets go, we get a new project at least once every couple of years. So they are in the public eye enough, just not nearly as much as they should.
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