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Emmet Otter General Discussions

Steve Arino

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Hello Everyone,

I'd like to start a General Discussion on one of, in my opinion, Jim Henson's greatest Holiday Specials: "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas," which originally aired on the HBO Television Network in December 1978, 41 years ago next month.

2 years later, in December 1980, "Emmet Otter" was telecast in a somewhat edited form on broadcast network--specifically the ABC Television Network.

The VHS I have of "Emmet Otter" is sourced from the ABC Network airing (Minus Commercials) as seen on the official Disney VHS Release from 1995 when Disney owned The Jim Henson Company (then Jim Henson Productions).

Personally, and unfortunately, I've NEVER seen the original HBO Network version of "Emmet Otter," but I'd love to, and with the possibility of YOUR help, perhaps if anyone here has a YouTube account, PERHAPS you could, as a combination Birthday and Christmas Gift to yours truly (turning 35 on December 9), upload the original HBO Broadcast of "Emmet Otter" and PLEASE include original HBO Promos, Bumpers, Ads, and more before and after the HBO Broadcast of "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas."

As many of you are aware, in August 1989, Jim Henson decided to sell off his Muppet characters to The Walt Disney Company (as would eventually happen 15 years later in February 2004; more on that later in this post); tragically, however, Jim died at age 53 in May 1990, causing the Muppet merger initially to fall through. However, on December 18, 1991, just before Christmas, The Walt Disney Company announced its purchase of Jim Henson Productions for $150 million; Brian Henson, Jim's 29-year-old son (who'll be age 57 on November 30), retained his role as President/CEO of Jim Henson Productions under ownership of Disney.

After Disney's finalization of its Henson Acquisition, production began in July 1992 on "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (a joint Disney/Henson Production), which was released theatrically on December 11, 1992--the first production made both after Disney's Acquisition of Jim Henson Productions AND after Jim Henson died; the following month, January 29, 1993, Disney began releasing Jim Henson Productions on VHS (what would be DVDs today) under its Jim Henson Video banner--among them "Muppet Babies," "Fraggle Rock," "The Dark Crystal," and the aforementioned "Muppet Christmas Carol" to name them.

In 1996, after the release of "Muppet Treasure Island" (another Disney/Henson joint Production), Disney (in my opinion a BIG Mistake) sold Henson to German company EM.TV, which owned Henson til it went bankrupt in late 2002, after which Jim's 5 grown children--including Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John (who died in 2014 at age 48), and Heather--bought back The Jim Henson Company in 2003.

In February 2004, the Henson Children sold the Muppet characters back to The Walt Disney Company, making Kermit "The Happiest Frog on Earth." The Disney Muppet acquisition, unfortunately for me, DOES NOT include "Fraggle Rock" or OTHER Jim Henson Company programs e.g. "The Storyteller" and "Dog City."

I'd LOVE it if Disney were to UNDO its 1996 mistake and re-acquire The Jim Henson Company (NOT just Muppet characters). If the Henson Children are unwilling to sell what's left of the Company to Disney, I suggest they AT LEAST transfer the rights to "Fraggle Rock" to The Muppets Studio (a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, originally The Muppets Holding Company until 2006-ish).

On another note, I JUST submitted an email to both Disney and Henson Companies for Disney to purchase the complete rights to "Fraggle Rock."

Here is what I said:


Dear To Whom It May Concern,

I have a proposal for The Jim Henson Company: to make a deal with The Walt Disney Company for Disney to purchase the Complete Rights to "Fraggle Rock" and related shows and programs from The Jim Henson Company, transferring the rights to "Fraggle Rock" from The Jim Henson Company to The Muppets Studio (a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) for $10 million.

As part of Disney's Acquisition of "Fraggle Rock" (btw, a copy of this email will be sent to The Walt Disney Company), Disney shall own "Fraggle Rock" for all Eternity starting in September 2020.

Sincerely,
Steve Arino

Whether this'll ever happen or not, I'm not 100% sure, but God knows I want Disney to purchase the rights to "Fraggle Rock" SO VERY BADLY.
 
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