Steve Whitmire has left the Muppets, Matt Vogel to continue as Kermit

Daffyfan4ever

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I know I don't. Corporate big-wigs rarely (if ever) listen to John Q. Public. (just don't go blame Mickey Mouse, he's just a fictional character. Yes I know that sounds really dumb, but there are people out there who *do* blame the mouse when Disney does things they don't like, and Mickey is my sister's favorite character).
Yeah. I've been trying to avoid negative thoughts about Disney as well. They have done very well with their movies (my brother is a fan of those) and classic characters like Mickey, Donald, Goofy, etc. It just seems like Muppets aren't really their thing for whatever reason. Though if that's the case, then why would they have bought the Muppets? Just something to think about.

I know I don't. Corporate big-wigs rarely (if ever) listen to John Q. Public.
Yeah. I know what you mean, because recently there was an ad for TGI Fridays that used the 'h' word. I have read online that many of people have written in and complained about it. Yet, they didn't listen. They ran that offensive ad for about a whole month. Sorry to get off subject, but I just thought I'd site that's another example of how "corporate big-wigs" don't listen to people's complaints.
 

D'Snowth

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Let's take a look at something:

Sid & Marty Krofft are working again, their new show, MUTT & STUFF has been successful enough to not only spawn a season with 40 episodes (when back in the day, their shows usually only had 17 episodes), but a second season with a generous amount of episodes - this is the first time the Krofft brothers have been working regularly since the early 2000s.

ALVINNN!!! AND THE CHIPMUNKS became an unexpected hit on Nickelodeon, recently entered its third season, and some consider it superior over the live-action/CGI movies that Fox has been cranking out for the past ten years.

How are these both like the Muppets? Both are endearing and enduring entities that generations of fans are familiar with: Sid & Marty Krofft dominated Saturday Morning in the 70s and (less so) 80s, and the Chipmunks have been going relatively strong since the late 50s and their 80s cartoon series was one of the longest Saturday Morning cartoons lasting for eight seasons and over 100 episodes when most last a season or two with 17 or more episodes.

But how are they different from the Muppets? Well, aside from the fact that both the Kroffts still retain the rights and ownership of all of their properties, and that Bagdasarian Productions still retain the rights and ownership of the Chipmunks franchise (with the exception of that period in the late 90s and early 2000s when they sold to Universal, but Universal didn't live up to their part of the deal, so Bagdasarian sued to get the franchise back), unlike Henson did with the Muppets, but here's the thing: somehow, Nickelodeon trusted both Krofft and Bagdasarian enough to give them creative control over their respective shows, and as such, both shows are doing incredible well with audiences and critics alike . . . and lest we forget that Nick is an entity of Viacom, another notorious Devil-Worshipping International Media Conglomerate. This is where the Muppets are failing: the people involved with the Muppets don't have the creative freedom over the franchise, mainly because Disney won't bring in Muppet writers/directors/what have you, and what has happened so far? Two theatrical movies that were met with mixed reviews from fans and critics, and a primetime series that flopped. Why? Because Disney is trying too hard to bring in outside influence to try to give the Muppets a new direction and edge to make them fit in with the zeitgeist of mainstream entertainment when the Muppets were never about that. Nick has let Krofft do their own thing with MUTT & STUFF, and Nick has also let Bagdasarian do their own with ALVINNN!!! (and this after Fox let them have minimal creative control over those terrible movies), and such, both are succeeding greatly; but Disney just can't seem to let the Muppets do their own thing, and they're failing because of it. The YouTube and other online videos aside, the Muppets would do a lot better on TV or in theaters if Disney took a hint from their rivals and let the Muppets do their own thing.
 
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beaker

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Steve's newest blog post today goes into the almost spiritual root of the Muppets. Such a pleasure, albeit heartbreaking, to finally see the mind of Kermit distilled to it's essence, imbuing the core issue of why you can't just REPLACE a character. And why the longer the distance from Jim era performers, the farther we get. Ready mindblowing stuff from Steve today
https://stevewhitmire-muppetpundit.com/2017/07/16/the-muppet-performers-are-not-interchangeable/

some choice lines that stand out to me:

Now, it’s not that fans don’t know who the characters are, they do; you do. It’s just that our job as the linear souls of the Muppets is different than your job as the impassioned viewers. As fans, you can interpret the characters however you please in whatever way you relate to them. When you sense that something is off, you don’t have to fix it, but I do. It’s up to the Muppet Performers to be purposely maintaining the consistency of the characters they perform. That’s because beyond owners, producers, directors, and writers, that singular performer will be the ongoing thread in the life of a character indefinitely.

and this, my gosh this...

I approach The Muppets as a lineage tradition. For the inside knowledge-base steeped in its origins to survive and be passed down, there has to be a line of transmission, or you had to be there. For the Post-Jim performers to really understand enough about the Muppets to carry on the lineage they need to continue to be around the core performers Jim mentored as long as any of those people are willing and able to share.

Preach on!

and finally...

Having had the opportunity to spend the last 27 years cultivating knowledge of Jim along with feeling his presence through Kermit, I find myself at a place where evolving Jim’s vision has begun coming from a deep empathetic connection to him. So, I see my most important task as providing a taste of the atmosphere created by Jim Henson to those Post-Jim core performers who will never otherwise come by it. My hope was to install it directly into their hearts and minds so that they could, in turn, be inspired to do the same for the next generation of performers instead of the characters becoming stale copies of their former selves. But, as I look around at what is presently transpiring it’s clear to me that the job is far from done.

It occurs to me, if tomorrow Disney decided to fire Dave Goelz, Baretta and other mainstays, would the blogs and gatekeepers be telling everyone that everything is fine, to just shut up and support Disney's Muppets and that any dissent is angering and disruptive?

Im rooting for Matt's Kermit to work, because otherwise there's nothing but the deep abyss of anger at Disney. Well there still is, but Vogel has been masterful and Id hate for people to fixate frustration at him. All frustration should squarely be aimed at Disney no matter what the cheerleaders say.
 

Schfifty

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Yeah. I've been trying to avoid negative thoughts about Disney as well. They have done very well with their movies (my brother is a fan of those) and classic characters like Mickey, Donald, Goofy, etc. It just seems like Muppets aren't really their thing for whatever reason. Though if that's the case, then why would they have bought the Muppets? Just something to think about.
Probably because Disney understood Jim's vision of the Muppets and shared a strong connection years ago, and thought that using them for whatever purposes would rake in more money. But with the catastrophe of events that's occurred since MMW and the cancellation of the TV show, their view has obviously changed.

I still feel sorry for Steve being departed, but he's done what he's done to keep the Muppets alive in the years Disney owned them, and they're just biased towards a different kind of direction now. I can't really agree with their decision, but I still wish Matt the best of luck with Kermit (though he's going to have more responsibility now than before), and thank Steve for all he's done. I read his most recent blog entry about the Muppet performers and it's mind-blowing.
 

Pig'sSaysAdios

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Welp, we're all gonna find out what Matt does with Kermit tomorrow. Prepare to give up on life or argue when several people complain about the voice being different.
 

Dearth

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I wonder about that too. I was watching MCC last night as a tribute and it seems like Steve's :smile: was pretty dead on there, but in Steve's most recent appearances as :smile:, I've noticed the raspiness in his voice. I worry about that because Disney has let go of Paul Winchell as Tigger because they thought his voice has gotten to raspy to properly portray the character, but I don't know. Just a theory. A GAME THEORY! Lol. Just trying to lighten the mood here.
I'm curious to have you elaborate on the Tigger story... because Paul Winchell died in '05, I believe.
 

Mo Frackle

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Winchell was reportedly "retired" by Disney during production on the Tigger Movie. Even prior to that, Jim Cummings was filling in for him more and more frequently.

As for Jim's relationship with Disney prior to his death - well, I'll have to read up on the Henson biography... all I know is that the deal-making process was extremely taxing on Jim - at least from the perspective of everyone around him. I think it's mentioned in "Street Gang" that Henson's associates used to refer to the Disney situation as "Mousewitz."

Anyway, this might be worth a read.
http://www.newsweek.com/kermit-vs-mickey-mouse-202356
 

dwayne1115

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well today is the day we have been waiting for. Dose anyone know what time they post the new Muppet Thought of the Week?
 
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