Nine Years Later: Disney buys Muppets and Bear

Phillip

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Nine years ago today February 17, 2004, Disney bought the rights to the Classic Muppet Show characters and Bear in the Big Blue House.

Look back on one of the biggest days ever in Muppet history and let us know how you think Disney is doing and what they can do better in the months and years to come. With the huge anticipation for the Muppets eighth theatrical film in March 2014, this is a great opportunity for us to look back on where the Muppets have been and where they are going.

Disney buys Jim Henson's Muppets and Bear
http://www.muppetcentral.com/news/2004/021704.shtml

Fans respond: Henson sells Muppets to Disney
http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=12638

Henson employees receive e-mail about Disney deal
http://www.muppetcentral.com/news/2004/021804.shtml

A New Era: Disney's Muppets
http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/editorials/disneys_muppets.shtml

Coming to Terms with Life after Jim
http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/editorials/disneys_muppets2.shtml

Trapped in the Magic Kingdom
http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/editorials/disneys_muppets3.shtml
 

Drtooth

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I dunno... 2 Theatrical movies and Henson struggling to get that Fraggle Rock movie, any movie for that matter in as many years...

I think that alone proves it was a good thing.

Still, they're absolutely sitting on Bear.
 

BobThePizzaBoy

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I dunno... 2 Theatrical movies and Henson struggling to get that Fraggle Rock movie, any movie for that matter in as many years...
No, Henson has to put their resources towards movies like MirrorMask if they do theatricals. :rolleyes: Because MirrorMask was a much more suitable comeback project than a Fraggle Rock movie.
 

charlietheowl

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I agree with Tooth, Disney has gotten the Muppets back in the public eye with two movies and Henson is having a hard time with their most marketable property in the Fraggles. I think it was the best move for them.
 

Squigiman

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Hey,
My creation of this page: http://www.facebook.com/MoreClassicMuppetHomeVideo sums it up for me. I'm glad they're doing stuff with the characters to get them out there, but look at this topic. NINE YEARS LATER! The recent movie only came out a little over a year ago, and beyond that, there's just been little things here and there. I know a comeback of a property doesn't happen overnight, but for quite some time, they seemed to not be caring about them, and Jason Segel apparently had to fight to get that movie made. Now that it was a success, there's a sequel. That's all well and good, but I still want our stuff from the golden days of the "Jim era", and as much of it as possible.

I do know there are legal complications with song ownership and celebrity appearances and stuff split between Henson, Sesame, and Disney, even amongst the Muppets, themselves, but I wanted to have more faith in Disney, being a huge powerhouse in entertainment, with money and resources galore. I feel not enough has been done. They need to keep pushing this, not only in getting a new generation into the characters, but restoring faith of the older ones. That The Muppets At Walt Disney World has never seen a home video release is a huge testament to their missed opportunities.

We'll see how The Muppet Movie Blu-Ray goes, but as far as I'm concerned, that's probably their biggest chance to cater to the core fanbase, outside of finishing the Muppet Show seasons, UNCUT, and going from there. It should be PACKED with any and all bonus features, including all deleted/alternate scenes and commentaries from THE HUMANS BEHIND THE MAGIC. Character ones are fun and well and good, but James Frawley is still alive and director commentaries are probably the most common. Also, Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher would do a great one, as was clear when seeing them gush about it at a screening at The Museum Of The Moving Image. Additionally, of course, there are the key performers. Steve and Dave are no-brainers, but if they could get Frank in on it, too, that'd be amazing. Having the three of them reminisce, together, would be a real treat for all involved, I'm sure. Heck, I think even Jack Burns, co-writer with Jerry Juhl and a key writer for The Muppet Show, is still alive, too. Either way, JUST GO ALL OUT, as the next chance to rerelease this with anything new would probably be a way off.

Yeah, I've probably beaten this dead horse a lot, between this board and my Muppet fan friends on Facebook and stuff, but it's what I most wanted from this acquisition, getting to see stuff I enjoyed as a child, as well as so much I never got to enjoy. I hope more will come to light, within my lifetime, at least. There ya have it. I've said my piece (peace?). Thanks for hearing me out.


-Zach
 

Hubert

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My thoughts on the deal looking back are mixed. Disney did give us the comeback we wanted with a theatrical movie and an in-development sequel. They have released the first three TMS seasons on DVD. They gave us a very fun Christmas special. They have given us a lot of great merchandise. Disney really has done a lot for the Muppets, and I really do like them for that. I think they have done a nice job of bringing the Muppets back at a low point in the fandom where we were hungry for the Muppets.

At the same time, I never thought Disney and the Muppets were a very good fit for each other. Disney is an enormous company, when I feel like the Muppets belong with someone smaller who can focus more on them. I also don't think that Disney did as well as they could have with marketing the Muppets correctly, and they did kind of sit on them for a time. Still, you could see some effort, however bad, present (MWOO, Studio DC, LTS, etc.)

I would imagine that Disney did a better job than JHC would have when it comes to keeping them alive, since they have more resources to be able to live up to the standards that we fans have. They haven't been perfect, but they have done a lot of good for the Muppet franchise. I feel like the sale did turn out quite profitable for the Muppets, and though we may not like to think of it, they probably did better than many companies would have. Still, there are a lot of negatives involved.
 

BobThePizzaBoy

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We'll see how The Muppet Movie Blu-Ray goes, but as far as I'm concerned, that's probably their biggest chance to cater to the core fanbase, outside of finishing the Muppet Show seasons, UNCUT, and going from there. It should be PACKED with any and all bonus features, including all deleted/alternate scenes and commentaries from THE HUMANS BEHIND THE MAGIC. Character ones are fun and well and good, but James Frawley is still alive and director commentaries are probably the most common. Also, Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher would do a great one, as was clear when seeing them gush about it at a screening at The Museum Of The Moving Image. Additionally, of course, there are the key performers. Steve and Dave are no-brainers, but if they could get Frank in on it, too, that'd be amazing. Having the three of them reminisce, together, would be a real treat for all involved, I'm sure. Heck, I think even Jack Burns, co-writer with Jerry Juhl and a key writer for The Muppet Show, is still alive, too. Either way, JUST GO ALL OUT, as the next chance to rerelease this with anything new would probably be a way off.
This. Above all else. The big thing you point out is that in the nine years Disney has owned the property, the talent has gone completely unacknowledged. The fact that the characters are constantly treated as "real" makes sense from a business standpoint but Steve Whitmire deserves more credit for things than Kermit if you get my drift. I'd say, yeah, I'm sure we'll see another character commentary there but since Steve and Dave will be in the studio already, a more reserved, out-of-character commentary would be terrific. Basically anything pertaining to the movie Disney has that can be cleared should be on the disc, just based on the movie's notability factor.

And ending this post on the subject of seasons 4 and 5 getting released... I think it'll happen... sooner or later... maybe... :eek:
 

muppetlover123

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wow nine years flew by... amazing what has happened from the lame studio DC special too two new theatrical movies... WOW :smile:
 

JohnMan418

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Disney has been doing very good with the Muppets. I'm looking forward to the next film and future DVD/Blu-Ray releases, and any future TV special I can catch and any other magic these characters can build up
 
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