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Henson sells Muppets to Disney

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by samtheeagle, Feb 17, 2004.


What do you think of Disney buying the Muppets and Bear?

Poll closed May 17, 2004.
  1. It's great! Disney can keep the Muppets alive and visible.

    58 vote(s)
  2. It's awful! The Muppets will go downhill and quality will suffer.

    87 vote(s)
  1. samtheeagle

    samtheeagle New Member

    Just now, according to CNBC - Disney has agreed to buy Henson Associates (including the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House). Talk is that there will a new Muppets TV show! Even though I can't say I was the happiest when the Mouse acquired the Muppets last time, this time it is all but necessary to keep the Muppet franchise afloat - we are going to see more Muppets!!! More soon....

  2. samtheeagle

    samtheeagle New Member

    Link to first story

    17 minutes old - Reuters reports - Disney to Buy Muppets, Relaunch on TV


    Reuters Story
  3. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Disney Buys Jim Henson's Muppets & Bear
    Source: The Walt Disney Company

    The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Disney will acquire the beloved Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties from Henson.

    The transaction includes all Muppet assets, including the Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and Animal characters, the Muppet film and television library, and all associated copyrights and trademarks, as well as all the Bear in the Big Blue House characters, television library, copyrights and trademarks. The parties have signed a binding purchase agreement and expect the transaction to close within two months, subject to receiving the necessary regulatory clearances. The transaction does not include the Sesame Street characters, such as Big Bird and Elmo, which are separately owned by Sesame Workshop. The deal also includes non-exclusive production and consulting agreements under which Henson will develop potential new programming featuring the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House for Disney.

    Brian Henson, who with his sister Lisa is co-chair and co-chief executive officer of The Jim Henson Company, said, "This new and very important relationship will enable our two companies to combine our respective talents and resources in ways that will fully realize the tremendous potential of the Muppet and Bear franchises. Michael Eisner's long-standing passion and respect for the Muppets gives me and my family even more confidence in Disney as a partner."

    Lisa Henson said, "In the months before his death in 1990, my father Jim Henson pursued extensive discussions with The Walt Disney Company based on his strong belief that Disney would be a perfect home for the Muppets. As such, the deal we announced today is the realization of my father's dream, and ensures that the Muppet characters will live, flourish and continue to delight audiences everywhere, forever. My brothers and sisters -- Brian, Cheryl, John, Heather -- and I are so proud to have the Muppets living under the same roof as Walt Disney's own timeless characters. We could not possibly be more pleased."

    "Since the time I worked with Jim Henson on the first Muppets TV special in the 1960s, it was obvious to me that his characters would make a deep imprint on the hearts of families worldwide, and this announcement is the culmination of a long-time desire to welcome them into The Walt Disney Company," said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman and chief executive officer.

    "Kermit and Miss Piggy are well-known and beloved around the world and will have an opportunity to be seen and loved by millions more well into the future through Disney's distribution channels at home and abroad, including home video, family television programming and consumer products, in addition to the existing theme park presence at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. We are honored that the Henson family has agreed to pass on to us the stewardship of these cherished assets. We are also pleased that this transaction puts us in a position to work with the Henson company on future projects," Mr. Eisner said.

    Disney, which owns broadcast and cable networks reaching over 120 million households worldwide, operates or licenses theme parks on three continents, and offers home video and consumer products worldwide, is planning to re-launch the Muppets with new TV specials and series. Disney also expects to expand and enhance the global licensing and home video initiatives based on this new production for the Classic Muppets, the infant/preschool property Muppet Babies, and Bear in the Big Blue House.

    The Jim Henson Company, which was purchased by the Henson family in July 2003 from the German media company EM.TV, will retain all other assets of the company including Jim Henson's Creature Shop and ownership and rights to all other characters and entertainment properties in The Jim Henson Company's extensive film and television library, including Fraggle Rock, Farscape, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Storyteller, The Hoobs, and various other properties. The Jim Henson Company will also actively pursue partnerships and other strategic arrangements to exploit these and other existing and new properties and to build their value over the long term.
  4. Dr. Bombay

    Dr. Bombay Well-Known Member

    I'm not too excited about this as I think that the Disney company Jim was looking to work with and the Disney company that is today are two different companies. :rolleyes:

    I hope it works out though...
  5. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    I like it so far. I hope it does do good if so we might can see old show like Muppet show, Fraggles, Muppet Tonight, Speicals, Hoobs. Thats about the only thing I'll look forward to seeing on Disney. :) I just hope it doesn't go down hill. :smirk:
  6. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    We're in deep doo-doo now.
  7. Cap Backfire

    Cap Backfire Well-Known Member

    I'm on the fence...

    If this means I get a new Muppet show, then so be it. Selling your soul to the Devil is only about 3 steps down from Disney, but I woulda sold to the Devil to see some new Muppets on TV.

    Does this mean we'll get to see some Muppified spoofs of Disney stuff??? Cause that alone would be worth it. :D
  8. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    Well, I see why you'd say that, but I have two worries about this.

    1. Even without Disney, Henson could have done a Muppets series in the next few years. Fox had offered them a sitcom deal a few years ago, but for some reason it fell through (possibly due to the failure of Greg The Bunny.)

    2. At the Unseen Works of Jim Henson Seminar in October, Craig Shemin, Jerry Nelson and Jane Henson all agreed how hard it would be to get a new Muppets series on television..I think it was Jerry who said that it was difficult for them to even get a 6 episode commitment. Which is understanable, since most of their recent projects have been less then successful. I have a strong feeling Disney is really going to mess with the Henson name. Just my gut reaction to all of this.
  9. crazy ernie

    crazy ernie Well-Known Member

    I REALLY didn't see this coming.
  10. Morice

    Morice Member

    All I can say is Nooooo!!! wait let me rephrase that....

    I hate disney! :grouchy: :eek: :cry:
  11. Baby Animal

    Baby Animal Well-Known Member

    The only way this will be any good is if Comcast and Steve Jobs are successful in getting Eisner out as CEO. And even then, it won't be good.

    Phil, do you foresee any problems with copyrights with Disney owning "The Muppets"? Are they going to come after the site?
  12. gfarkwort

    gfarkwort Well-Known Member

    I totally agree!!!!!!!!!! If Disney bought the Muppets 15 years ago that would have been great. But now I think that the Disney Empire is going to fall. And I definetly dont want Comcast owning the Muppets. :mad: :boo: :concern: !:eek:
  13. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    I don't know alot of people are getting mad or happy. I understand how Disney is one of the wrost owned stuff in the world. I remember a theard that had the same type of stuff going on. What happned to the one w/ "What do u think Disney should do?" question and I voted no and lot of memebers voted YES! As in what should they do for the Muppets. Now alot of people are getting mad. Now I didn't like Disney's thing but if it gets the muppet back on TV then thats all I care about. And if something goes wrong then so be it. I'm sorry I'm fed up to here about people saying that Disney is bad but and thats all I'm Sorry. I want MUPPETS ANDTHATS FINAL!!!
  14. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    The main points here are that the Henson company are not selling "The Company" (as in with EMTV), they have sold "The Muppets", "The Muppet Babies" and "Bear". That includes the licensing, puppets, and past shows and films. Thats all they are selling. The idea is that Disney will hire "The Jim Henson Company" as a freelance independant production company to produce new shows and movies but ultimately Disney will control what happens and how it happens with those shows.

    My gut reaction is that i don't like it at all. Loads of Jim's properties are well and truly totally split from each other now, and it doesn't sound great for the ones that have been left behind with Henson. It means they can go ahead and make new shows (like Farscape) themselves but you can imagine for something like "Fraggle" it would be harder for them to really do anything with it now. It also means the Henson's have no real control over what happens with the puppets or brand yet again, if there was a problem between Disney and Henson you could see the Muppeteers and Henson kids on one side, and Disney and the Puppets/Brand on the other. The positive is that we will now see new shows and movies, and the programming Disney buy will be seen on their channels and released to video/dvd. Overall the brand will have a lot more visibility and get more of a "push". I think it has come at a massive price though, a part ownership deal would have been MUCH better and safer. It also means that licensing wise we'll probably see a move away from "speciality" stuff (like figures and busts) back to the more kiddie stuff of the 80's and 90's, but we'll be able to get hold of it easier.

    I would guess this deal was brewing even before the kids bought back the company from EMTV, and if not, could be the result of things not really working out that well financially since they did get the company back. I remember Charles Rivkin at the Sun Valley Media Conference ensuring people that the kids hadn't bought back the company just to sell it again and it seems these words were a bit misguided i guess.
  15. Struble

    Struble Well-Known Member

    I'm marking my calender.

    Today is the day my childhood died.

  16. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    An unofficial independant chat room has been set up for people from Palisades forums and MC to talk about the news. It is at :- http://chat.cjb.net/muppetsale
  17. Jonathan

    Jonathan Well-Known Member

    Now maybe work can contenuue on The Muppet Movie Ride at Disney world!!!!! we can always dream!! :rolleyes:
  18. NoelGypsy

    NoelGypsy New Member

    Wooo Hoooo Disney!!!

    It is about time :) .. I think this is a great deal for Disney and the Muppets. I have been waiting for this for years!! I love the Muppet-land area in MGM and I am sure if Jim Henson was alive it would have been bigger than it is now. Muppet vision 3-d... who doesn't love it?? Everytime I went to Disney I bought every Muppet item they had. I am so glad I do not have to see anymore of those LAME dolls EM.TV put out!! :eek: EM.TV ruined the Muppets and Disney will bring them back to us!! All you skeptics will see that Disney has always, and will always, hold everything, including the Muppets, in the highest standards. And no one can do as bad as EM.TV.
    Wooooooooo Hooooooooooo :halo:
  19. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Well, I understand the trepedation with Disney...but geez, do any of you know how dire the situation was? Thank goodness we have Luke who knows the 411 on the dilly. All I know is if this means a release of Muppets @WDW I would be more than overjoyed. The Muppets needed a miracle, hopefully this can be it.
  20. DreaminMage

    DreaminMage New Member

    let me also state what has been said...


    and the henson legacy is now gone... Disney is a lecherous company. Comcast is looking to buy Disney... this is just going to be one HUGE monopoly. And Henson is just a pawn.

    I think this is a horrible decision, i would think the Henson's learned their lesson from last time... i guess not...

    its a sad sad day... :sympathy: :sympathy: :sympathy:

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