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Am I the only one who hates what they've done to the Fozzie puppet?

toadster101

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The nose is too small, the eyebrows blend into his fur and aren't expressive enough, and the puppet looks sterile and lifeless. Which is upsetting, considering how talented Eric Jacobson is. Fozzie used to be one of my favorite Muppets, but now I cringe whenever he shows up. Is there something wrong with me?
 

D'Snowth

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No, many people have been complaining about how the character don't look right ever since Puppet Heap took over building them: Fozzie apparently looks too much like a plush toy than a puppet; Gonzo's nose is too big and throws the rest of his proportions off; Animal is too pink and his head isn't shaped right; Piggy's ears are too long and pointy; yadda-yadda-yadda.

The thing of it is, when you build multiple puppets of the same character, none of them are going to look 100% the same.
 

Reevz1977

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Nope, you are not alone!! I have nothing but disdain for the new Fozzie puppet - I genuinely hate it, which is quite well documented on here.

Like yourself, Fozzie used to be one of my favourite characters but I no longer care for him anymore. These days, the Puppet looks way off and his character isn't right - this is no reflection on Eric's performance, it's more down to the writing.

With regards to how he now looks, the excuse of "no two puppets look alike" doesn't really hold water with me. During production of "The Muppets", Disney made out that Fozzie's fur was no longer available and Puppet Heap had to find something similar. Sadly, I can say with 100% conviction, fur the same as Fozzie's or close enough for nobody to tell the difference is readily available, I know this for a fact. This has left me of the opinion this change is 100% done on purpose. Like D'Snowth mentioned, I too have drawn the conclusion that this is to soften the character and make him look clean and more like a stuffed toy - which is probably done solely to push merchandise and appeal to the younger crowd. However the issues do not stop at the fur. His head sculpt is awful, I can't stand his new "fat" jaw and his eye focus is simply dreadful - he looks spaced out for the majority of the time.

I think there has been a lot of "Disneyfication" of the Muppets appearances, though not all bad. Overall, the characters pretty much all look incredibly pristine now, unlike the rag-tag bunch of characters from the original Muppet Show. They all looked like they had seen better days, which I preferred and felt it gave the characters more of an edge. But, at the end of the day, Disney owns the Muppets, has done a great deal of good with them and can do with them whatever they like - they are not gonna lose sleep over what this fan thinks. After years of bad incarnations, Piggy now looks great, Scooter has never looked better and we have recently seen many of our favourite and beloved obscure characters from yesteryear brought back and re-built, so I guess we must accept the rough with the smooth.

That said, I really wish they would change Fozzie, I've yet to hear of a single fan, though I am sure someone will quickly jump in and prove me wrong on that soon enough.
 

Drtooth

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Nope, you are not alone!! I have nothing but disdain for the new Fozzie puppet - I genuinely hate it, which is quite well documented on here.

Like yourself, Fozzie used to be one of my favourite characters but I no longer care for him anymore. These days, the Puppet looks way off and his character isn't right - this is no reflection on Eric's performance, it's more down to the writing.
To be perfectly honest, I think there have been writing problems with Fozzie since MTI. They got him sort of right in VMX and TM as far as character goes. I disagree with your feelings about his portray in the new show as far as Bear Write and the thing with Statler is concerned (the latter was a long time coming, I just wish there was another scene). I still think the Fozzie nadir is how he was portrayed as a simpleton mommy's boy in MFS. To be fair, it really seemed that Frank Oz phoned it in, even if that kinda was the case. But Fozzie picking his nose and saying "Mama always says to wash your hands" just... okay, with MFS I don't hate the movie. It's clearly a Gonzo and new characters movie. But what they did with Fozzie and making Kermit a Stepford Smiler just ruins the film. They didn't need to be in there. Piggy was 50 50 in that one. It seems to me there's some weird ebb and flow of writers confusing Fozzie's sweet naivete with stupidity. And I have to admit, I forgave that in MMW because the underlying concept was such a stabbing tongue in cheek rimming of the "Idiot Plot" and evil twins that the characters would have to be incredibly stupid to let any of what happened in that film happen.

Seriously, though... picking his nose!?! Even fart shoes are less juvenile.:rolleyes:

But I'll agree... the puppet's ...off. I actually like all the new character designs for the most part. We're getting better Miss Piggies than we've seen in years. Oh, to have the Piggy of today back in 2005. The Electric Mayhem Band had a much needed update or wardrobe that makes them look magnificent. Even Kermit's pretty good looking, even if a little more lime colored. But Fozzie's new fur and Gonzo's lack of expressiveness kinda bug me. The build of Fozzie, shapewise, isn't the worst I've seen of the character. Seems they were very inconsistent the past couple of decades about that head shape. Sometimes it was squatter, sometimes it was more pineapple shaped... Kinda liked the pineapple, I must admit. But I agree. There's got to be some way to kitbash or jerryrig or canabalize or freebleflazing the fur stock to make it the bumpy fired chicken skin color it used to be. And fix Gonzo while they're at it. He seems really stiff.
 

D'Snowth

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During production of "The Muppets", Disney made out that Fozzie's fur was no longer available and Puppet Heap had to find something similar. Sadly, I can say with 100% conviction, fur the same as Fozzie's or close enough for nobody to tell the difference is readily available, I know this for a fact. This has left me of the opinion this change is 100% done on purpose.
Well, no. It was supposed to be a big secret, but since it's out in the open now, I was speaking with Terry Angus once, and he did mention that certain fabrics for certain characters are no longer made or no longer available - this is actually the real reason why we're seeing considerably less of Rizzo and the other rats, the fur they used for them is no longer available either. The right fur is always difficult to come by: I usually tend to like to work with Mongolian sheepskin for fur because it's lightweight and has a great appearance, but it's not always easy to get ahold of, so sometimes I have to use luxury shag instead, which is a much heavier and stiffer fabric which makes for some heavy and cumbersome puppets.
Overall, the characters pretty much all look incredibly pristine now, unlike the rag-tag bunch of characters from the original Muppet Show. They all looked like they had seen better days, which I preferred and felt it gave the characters more of an edge.
I agree, and it's not just with the Classic Muppets owned by Disney, even the Sesame Muppets have a really clean, almost-flawless look to them: I "blame" it moreso on advances in puppet building since the days of Don Sahlin and Kermit Love. Sometimes I feel like they go to extreme lengths to make the character appear as lifelike as possible, but I feel that in doing that, they're taking away something from them, perhaps like an "edge" that you mention, but there's almost no "warmth" to them anymore. I know in the case of the Classic Muppets they're saying, "Well, everything's HD now, so we have to hide all of these flaws and digitally remove rods and stuff like that because we didn't have these issues before." Seeing rods isn't going to melt everyone's faces, and so what if we see a seam or two? As long as the performers can breathe life into the characters and give them personalities that endears them to the public, that's all that's really important; I think we're losing touch with that to be honest: it's less about the character and personality and more about cosmetics and appearance.
 

Drtooth

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I agree, and it's not just with the Classic Muppets owned by Disney, even the Sesame Muppets have a really clean, almost-flawless look to them: I "blame" it moreso on advances in puppet building since the days of Don Sahlin and Kermit Love. Sometimes I feel like they go to extreme lengths to make the character appear as lifelike as possible, but I feel that in doing that, they're taking away something from them, perhaps like an "edge" that you mention, but there's almost no "warmth" to them anymore.

Yes yes yes and yes. I've been saying this for years, but Ernie and Bert look too darn perfect now. Even Ernie's signature tossled hair is perfectly coiffed. There's such a warmness from the late 70's- late 80's versions of the characters. Somehow the turn of the millennium, those two characters went from being a little rough around the edges to the point where you could see some bumps and "pills" on the fleece they used to being completely perfected and color corrected. A lot of personality was lost with perfecting the characters. They look really artificial now. And that's unfortunately the result of perfected puppet making. I also have to say I'm not wild about how Prairie Dawn looks now, either. Even Oscar looks clean. Though I must say, there was a period where they were using really off looking Cookie Monster puppets of slightly different shades of blue that they seem to have moved on from. They still have some very off looking Cookie Monsters they use for full body bits in the Crumby Picture skits. Then there was that one oddly combed fur one they used for the Lord of the Cookies bit, which thankfully never appeared again.
 

Duke Remington

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I wish people would stop complaining about the puppets looking "too perfect"--not only are they wrong, but it's also getting extremely annoying and is an incredibly stupid and all-too-petty thing to complain about. :mad:
 

Drtooth

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Yes, but you have to understand D*Snowth made a good point about Sesame Street having the same problems. It's not Disney Muppet exclusive. Heck, there were terrible and downright ugly Piggy puppets even before the buyout. That's not to say there aren't some puppets that look great now. It's just one of those unfortunate things that comes from years of advances in puppet building. And sometimes it is hard to recreate the special imperfections that made the characters look the way they did. That takes a lot of reverse engineering. It's like trying to draw poorly on purpose. And yes, some materials don't exist anymore and it's tough to replicate. That's forgivable.

And on the contrary, some first season Muppet designs (including Sesame Street) are millions of times worse. Droopy, perma-scowl Bert, that bloated faced Piggy, even the first season Ma Gorg. All complete uggos. And don't get me started on the AM's from the first season of Sesame Street before they developed the "magic triangle." I know they were supposed to be simplistic, but it seems they were thrown together 2 minutes before the skit. Some during, and that's clearly a budget thing going on. If you look at the "Five People in my Family" song, the puppeteers even make a subtle nod to only having a few puppets for every character at the end when they're all mixed up and thrown together. And look at them now. They even have different builds and colors that they didn't 20 or so years ago.
 

minor muppetz

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I was speaking with Terry Angus once, and he did mention that certain fabrics for certain characters are no longer made or no longer available - this is actually the real reason why we're seeing considerably less of Rizzo and the other rats, the fur they used for them is no longer available either.
I thought it was just the last two movies that hadn't had much Rizzo, with him being a lot more prominent in other recent productions. He is seen quite a bit on the new show, in addition to them making Yolanda a major character. Though I don't recall seeing other rats on the show yet (and it seems like other rats were shown a lot more than Rizzo in the past two movies).

Hopefully they can find a suitable replacement material for the rats.
 

Reevz1977

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I wish people would stop complaining about the puppets looking "too perfect"--not only are they wrong, but it's also getting extremely annoying and is an incredibly stupid and all-too-petty thing to complain about. :mad:
Oooooh sorry, I forgot, my opinion is wrong. Ok
 
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