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NY Times: Fuzzy Renaissance

Muppet Newsgirl

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I agree, there should have been more balance..They always make it seem like a 'kids these days with their newy pop idols, yes sir, the only thing we can do is put them in with the muppets, that's the only way they'll even look at them :sympathy:'
It's not that uncommon for children to like the muppets for themselves..maybe not the whole generation, but then the whole generation does not love High School Musical ether..They do have minds of their own :wink:.
Yeah - the minds up in the boardroom assume that all the kids are going to swoon, lockstep, over the latest bit of fluffy pop-culture stuff they throw out, and that's always annoyed me - that they think all kids are supposed to love the exact same things.

And here's something: in 1997, it seemed that almost every other girl in my age group was listening to the Spice Girls. I was listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

That said, I'm certain that there are plenty of kids who love the Muppets and couldn't care less about what Disney's up to these days. At least, I hope that's the case.
 

Telly

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i'm even MORE excited about all of the projects after reading that article! If any or ALL of the projects get cancelled...oh well! I still have my Muppet DVDs to watch!
 

mbmfrog

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Wow, it seems that the muppets are coming back to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade....

Going to be kind of weird with it other Muppet family joining in the parade festivities. :stick_out_tongue:
 

theprawncracker

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So I mentioned this article to Gonzo and he grabbed up the paper from me and read through it... his response can be seen here.
 

GelflingWaldo

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My rambling on the topic...

Are you KIDDING me? Look in the mirror pal...
Well keep in mind that The Walt Disney Company is a giant corporation that employs over 140,000 people, whereas The Jim Henson Company has less than 60 employees!

Disney is 2,400 times bigger than Henson! And they shelled out big bucks for the Muppets back in '04, but they didn't really hit the ground running like everyone initially thought they would - they spun their wheels a bit (due in part to corporate politics, and change in management, and the lack-luster of "Wizard of Oz" which had been started before the deal). I think a lot of fans have been frustrated – as we felt we should be getting big things by the Muppets being at Disney but the output in the first few year (2004-2007) and the total momentum appeared to be just about the same as (if not just a little lower then) their later years at Henson (1999-2004).

Well it took a while to get the franchise situated and comfortable within the company (a huge entertainment powerhouse and cooperation like Disney very different beast than the little ‘mom and pop’ company that the Muppets came from) - not to mention having to develop a strategy to rebuild the brand a bit and relaunch the Muppets as a viable and current brand (and not turn them into a nostalgic brand or a kiddie brand, or alienate the fans or have the characters loose their souls). The Muppets haven’t really had a big hit and huge sustained exposure since the early/mid 1990s (and some would argue it’s been longer then that). But things are looking good for the Muppets now. And I think the big Muppet boom everyone expected to magically happen back in 2004 just took a little longer too get here. But that's because Disney took it somewhat slow and did not just quickly pump out any junk they could slap their newly acquired brand's name on (and then just cast them aside when the next bigger, more profitable, thing came along). They had a bumpy start but Disney is truly trying to relaunch the Muppets for the long haul.

I've talked to many people that work with the Muppet and Muppet Studios, and there a big shift in attitude by everyone -- everyone I've talked too has high spirits and is very optimistic about the future (in a way that hasn't been felt in more than 10 years). This isn't like the other attempts at "relaunches" that we've that seen in the past - where it lasts for about 4 months (usually just around the release of a new film) but then it all dies off -- such as around the release of Muppets from Space (1999), Very Merry Muppet Christmas (2002), or Wizard of Oz (2005) --- Disney is not going to let this the Muppet fizzle out after the next big project -- they are trying to build the brand up in a way so the everyone loves the Muppets again (like they did in the 70s and 80s) and so the next big project is a big success and everyone wants more, more more! This isn't going to be just another a flash in the pan attempt to squeeze some money from these puppets, this is a strategic and planned rebuilding and reintroduction of the Muppets in hopes to get the Muppets back where they belong.

 

theprawncracker

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GelflingWaldo said:
I've talked to many people that work with the Muppet and Muppet Studios, and there a big shift in attitude by everyone -- everyone I've talked too has high spirits and is very optimistic about the future (in a way that hasn't been felt in more than 10 years). This isn't like the other attempts at "relaunches" that we've that seen in the past - where it lasts for about 4 months (usually just around the release of a new film) but then it all dies off -- such as around the release of Muppets from Space (1999), Very Merry Muppet Christmas (2002), or Wizard of Oz (2005) --- Disney is not going to let this the Muppet fizzle out after the next big project -- they are trying to build the brand up in a way so the everyone loves the Muppets again (like they did in the 70s and 80s) and so the next big project is a big success and everyone wants more, more more! This isn't going to be just another a flash in the pan attempt to squeeze some money from these puppets, this is a strategic and planned rebuilding and reintroduction of the Muppets in hopes to get the Muppets back where they belong.
Three things... One, THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT! ! ! Two... YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! ! ! ! ! ! Three... BRING. IT. ON! :excited:
 

frogboy4

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Are you KIDDING me? Look in the mirror pal...
I would have to agree with you there.

Dave Goelz spoke last year in San Francisco's YBCA of the hard reality in funding and promoting projects. Ideas are everywhere, but it's hard getting companies to sign on and once they do they want some control for their dollar. That can get sticky. He seemed to think things had the potential of happening at Disney with both announced and confidential projects. There was the appearance of hope.

Pot, meet Kettle. The Henson Company has such limited resources compared to large companies like Disney, but they haven't had a firm strategy so nothing substantial projects are coming to market. They have spread themselves too thin. The no longer have the distraction of the Muppet band, but it took them far too long to focus on the Fraggles - the first and brightest thing they should have started with. I mean, the Nightmares & Dreamscapes episode, Mirrormask, the kiddie flicks and the floundering Dark Crystal projects have so clouded the direction of the company in the eyes of consumers. They are finally setting it right, but let's hope they hire a good external marketing team. The Muppet brand is showing solid signs of digging itself out of the past troubles. The Henson Company and Fraggle project, though I firmly believe is happening, is mostly talk at this point.

The Muppets are back on track. They could easily end up a wildly more successful brand with active projects than they were in Jim's final years. I do believe the fuzzy renaissance is coming.
 

Fozzie Bear

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I'm looking forward to a great future full of feathers and fur, and that ain't no 'fleece!'

Haa! Hey, this is my "A" material.
 
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