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Your Thoughts: The Muppets Character Encyclopedia

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by Phillip, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, the book does have the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. And it also has the Cracthet Children, though aside from Tiny Tim are the other kids named in the original book?

    This book mentions what happened to a number of characters who haven't been seen in a long time. Considering that, I'm surprised that the book doesn't give any explanation as to why Seymour and Pepe broke up their act. There's been a number of occasions over the years when Pepe said what happened to Seymour, and he's also said that they are still friends but Seymour can't fit into the clubs Pepe goes to (of course it's rare for Pepe to be shown at any clubs).

    Some people are speculating that all of the characters in the book will appear in Muppets Most Wanted, but then again, the book does mention that some characters retired. I doubt those characters will be in the movie.I know that Craig Shemin got to look at a copy of the script when writing it, so maybe some of those "retired" characters will show up in the movie but not a big enough role to be noted in the script. But then if Shemin doesn't know that the "retired" ones show up then it can't just be characters who'll be in the next movie...
  2. muppzd

    muppzd Well-Known Member

    I feel like Christmas Carol is more public domain (if that's a thing) than Treasure Island especially since Disney's used it at least three times
    SkeetScootSquat likes this.
  3. Chopped Liver

    Chopped Liver Active Member

    This encyclopedia had some errors. You'd think Craig Shemin would know better:
    • he misspells Sal Minella as Sal Monella
    • he says Lips has never been seen with his eyes open, but we know he did in the Muppet Caper movie in the "Happiness Hotel" number
    • the entry for Rufus uses a picture of Muppy
    • he incorrectly states Miss Piggy's first appearance
    These are the ones I could find, if I find some more, I'll list them too. Other than that, this book is pretty nice. I'm sure it'll be worth big bucks in the future. I absolutely love how Craig made background stories on some Muppets and explanations on why some haven't made an appearance in forever. For example, the reason why Nigel from Muppets Tonight isn't around anymore is that he became an air traffic controller! Who would've thought?
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Regarding first appearance errors, I decided to look at all the pages for characters who first appeared on Muppets Tonight and check the Muppet Wiki page listing the production order, as that is used for the Muppets Tonight character debuts (it's also used for the MuppeTelevision debuts, though the only characters whose first appearances are from that show have their broadcast numbers match the production number), and the only production number error is for Howard Tubman. His debut is listed as episode 105, but going by production order, he was first seen in episode 104 (though in broadcast order, the debut is correct - episode 105 was broadcast as episode 102).

    I was a little surprised that The Great Santa Claus Switch was listed as Gonzo's debut. While it is true, in that special the puppet was used as a different character. I would have thought it'd list his debut as episode 101, or maybe even The Muppet Show Pilot (though he's just in the background there). The debuts listed for Bobo and Sal are not The Muppets Take Manhattan and Muppet Treasure Island, respectively (where they were generic puppets), but their Muppets Tonight debuts.

    It's kinda interesting how there is an errata section for the book, as there seems to be a balance between fiction and non-fiction. The book doesn't have any behind-the-scenes info, though basic info on characters is included, but pretty much every character has at least one piece of new info created for the book. And then again, the new info would be just as much cannon as The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies, and all of the movies are cannon.
  5. I recently picked up my copy from Coles Bookstore.
    I was gonna ask why none of the SS muppets are included in this encyclopedia.But from what I've read in other topics,the answer seems quite obvious.It's basically Disney owned muppets.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The Muppet Mindset posted part 1 of a two-part interview with Craig Shemin today, and he revealed that the book was originally going to be marketed towards kids as opposed to all fan demographics. If it were just going to be for the kids, I wonder how many characters would have been included. I guess it would have included all of the main characters, and maybe everybody who does something significant in Muppets Most Wanted, but I wonder if it would have included characters from Muppets Tonight or the first season of The Muppet Show.

    He also said that Disney asked Jim Lewis first to write it, but Lewis was too busy.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  7. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    minor muppetz likes this.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

  9. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly, we spent more time talking about Jim Henson, he shared some insight on John Henson (look for part two) and some more about the archives. We spoke a lot about his book too.
  10. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    I hope you told him that we'd love to see a second edition of the book in the near future, to include characters that were left out.

    For one thing, with all the MMW stills and the two-page Kermit and Animal spreads, they could replace them with more character pages, which would easily pave the way for at least 18 additional characters or character groups.

    Examples of Disney-owned Muppet characters I'd love to see in a future edition of the Encyclopedia:
    -80s Robot
    -Trumpet Girl
    -The Travelling Musicians (Leroy, T.R., Rover Joe & Catgut)
    -Taminella Grinderfall
    -King Rupert
    -Spamela Hamderson
    -Blind Pew
    -Snookie Blyer
    -The Country Trio (Jim, Frank & Jerry)
    -Old Skyball Paint
    -Shakey Sanchez
    -Mr. Callahan
  11. DutchMuppet

    DutchMuppet Well-Known Member

    More books would be great but on the other side this wouldn't be commercial enough. I think Disney approved this book because of the promotion for MMW in it. Those double pages with the photo's are the reason why Disney agreed. Because the book itself will not raise a lot of money. It's purely a commercial. And the double pages with Kermit and Piggy are logical. They are the main characters. But if you delete those out of a Part 2, the book wouldn't be profitable in any ways. Yeah, some fans will love it but every merch that Disney sold is not alone for the fans. They're stuff everybody can buy. Even with no knowledge about the Muppets. Do you think the Rowlf plush is just for the fans? **** no, they'll always have Kermit but how many ordinary people will buy multiple Kermit plush. If you have one, it's enough. With the wide range of characters Muppets have, it's nice for them to spread those characters over the years. And if you sold all the plush you're maybe even 10 years further and then there is a new generation for the original Kermit plush. Just like Disney does with the DVD's. A book with just very rare muppets will not sell to the consumers. The fans will love it but there is money to be made. I rather like a new set of new Muppet Bedtime stories then a new book with rare muppets even I never heard of...
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    For April Fools day, I had thought about posting an April Fools thread saying that an updated edition had already been announced, with less focus on Muppets Most Wanted (and maybe some focus on the upcoming 60-year anniversary), over 45 characters not in the first version, maybe even including non-fiction behind-the-scenes content. But I did enough good enough April Fools threads for yesterday.
  13. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Oh, and they could also add the Gills Brothers to the "Under the Sea" section.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It's interesting how in the Muppet Mindset interview with Craig Shemin, he said that he learned new things about certain characters. I wonder if he learned the new things through actual Henson Company files or from looking at Muppet Wiki. I'd be surprised if the book has any on-screen facts I didn't know that were not made up.

    It would be cool to compare some of the "likes" and "dislikes" in the book with those on the Palisades Toys character profiles, to see if there are any matching likes and dislikes not mentioned in any productions. Though according to Muppet Wiki, Shemin wrote the profile information. Another thing that'd be interesting would be if he looked at the facts mentioned on the inside covers for the Playhouse Video releases. I haven't seen all of those inside cover facts (and some that I've seen I last saw a long time ago, before getting the internet, and can't remember what was said), since all the facts I currently know have to do with a different character. Like in the inside cover for Rock Music with the Muppets, it says that Dr. Teeth got his name because he's never had a cavity, though this book says that he dislikes going to the dentist.

    In The Muppet Mindset interview, he said he didn't want it to just be a reference book. I think it would have been cool if it was a reference book.

    I was disappointed that the book referred to the Muppets Tonight Band simply as "Jowls and the Muppets Tonight Band", especially since Jowls is the only one whose name is already known to us. But then again, maybe that was the official name of the band. I never thought about the fact that Jowls might be the leader. Though when I asked on the Ask Jim Lewis thread about the bands name, Lewis said he couldn't remember but recalled it being "something something Foam". Though I wonder if he was thinking of Solid Foam instead of the Muppets Tonight band.

    Tough Pigs has posted the first two parts of a four-part interview with Craig Shemin. They haven't gotten to discussing the book yet, but hopefully that part will come soon (I'm guessing a new part will go online every other day). On the Tough Pigs forum, I think one of the Tough Pigs guys talked about asking Craig about various characters not in the book for the interview.
    Muppet fan 123 and DrDientes like this.
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, today Tough Pigs posted part 3 of their interview with Craig Shemin, and they discussed this book. http://www.toughpigs.com/craig-shemin-part-3/

    Just last week I was in a book store and decided to look a little in some of the other DK character encyclopedias, and noticed that those also avoided behind-the-scenes information, and wondered if acknowledging performers was avoided because of the other character encyclopedias, and this interview seems to confirm that.

    In that interview, Craig said that DK might put out an ultimate visual guide for the Muppets, which would probably include behind-the-scenes stuff and info on more stuff not in the encyclopedia. I hope it happens. But I hope they get more time to work on the book.

    So the book was rushed. He said that Gaffer wasn't included because they couldn't find any good-enough-quality photos (though I'd previously read that that's why Waldo wasn't included), when there are plenty of pages that only use poor-quality photos. But then it said they only wanted to include characters who only have poor-quality photos if they had to, and didn't want to include Gaffer because the character didn't do much (I think Gaffer did more than Jowls and the Muppets Tonight Band, the Toms, and some of the monsters).

    Just as I suspected, Bill, Gil, and Jill were not included due to Disney not owning The Muppets Take Manhattan. I'm surprised that Craig Shemin wanted to include characters from Kermit's Swamp Years as well. But they didn't want to go through the trouble of getting permission to use images from those productions since the book was rushed.

    And the interview confirms that the Sam and Friends characters are owned by Disney, but are a "frozen property", which means Disney needs Henson's approval to use them. I'll have to look up what "frozen property" means (my current guess is that the creator or estate needs to approve of its use by the company that actually owns it).
    DrDientes likes this.
  16. galagr

    galagr Well-Known Member

    All of our questions are FINALLY answered!


    The story of the inclusion of Splurge was really neat. I'm glad he was included instead of Blotch.

    I'm not too sure about Droop's story, though...you can include two characters that have the same name (Nigel and Nigel), two characters that look exactly alike (Muppy and Rufus), but you can't include a character that looks somewhat like another and has a completely different personality? I dunno...

    Considering that "The Great Santa Claus Switch" was mentioned on Thog's page, I wonder if characters like Lothar, Thig, and the Elves could've been included.

    It's also nice to hear that Craig himself has mentioned the idea of a second/extended edition of the book. That makes it, in my opinion, even closer to becoming a reality. I just hope that the character's autographs could be included on each of their pages next time around (provided there is a second edition).
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, aside from "did you consider including (insert character not asked about in the interview)". I'd like to see Craig Shemin's original list of who to include.

    If more characters from The Jim Henson Hour were included (it's a shame they didn't ask why Jazques Roach or Anthony and Fern were allowed in the book), I wonder if they would have avoided Beard, since he looks so much like Zeke (though Zeke was grouped with the jugband).

    I'm not sure whether Henson or Disney owns those particular characters (neither company owns that production), but I'm guessing no, since the book doesn't include characters from the Sony-owned movies.

    Hopefully if a second edition comes out, they'll be able to have more time to work on it, so they can get permission to include characters from productions Disney doesn't own (it's a wonder the Beautiful Day page has an image from The Ed Sullivan Show). But I hope that they end up doing that "Ultimate Guide of the Muppets", and hope they can spend more time on getting the right images and facts and required permission.

    Recently I saw that DK put out a Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode guide book. Not sure if DK has done other episode guide books, but it'd be great to see one for The Muppet Show (and maybe also include MuppeTelevision, Muppets Tonight, and Muppet TV).
    Duke Remington and galagr like this.
  18. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    Toughpigs went really in detail in that Part 4! I wish I had more time to ask about those specific characters, but Craig was only available for 20 minutes, (it ended up being 35 mins, so we went overtime) so Toughpigs wins in the Craig Shemin interviews! :p
    Duke Remington and minor muppetz like this.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I guess the fact that production of the book was rushed would be why we didn't learn any names we previously didn't know. I'm guessing he went by what was on Muppet Wiki, as opposed to looking at files (character design sketches, scripts, etc.) to double-check or determine names of characters Muppet Wiki doesn't know the names of. The section on Lubbock Lou's Jughuggers has the names of each member by their image, but names aren't included for individual members of other groups (whom we don't know all the names of). The section on The Vile Bunch lists Beakie and Silver Beak by name, but not the other member pictured.

    Of course, I could be wrong about that.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  20. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    I would like to say that one of his responses regarding the "Tales from Muppetland" characters sounds a bit confusing, particularly in regards to who actually owns the rights to them.

    I always thought that the TFM characters (Splurge, Rufus, King Goshposh/King Rupert, Featherstone, Taminella, Leroy, T.R., Rover Joe, Catgut, etc.) were owned by Disney (considering that some of them made appearances on The Muppet Show, along with the fact that Disney owns the rights to Hey Cinderella, The Frog Prince and The Muppet Musicians of Bremen)...unless those characters might currently be co-owned by Disney and Henson or that Disney has to get permission from Henson to use them, rebuild them for new movies and shows, etc. (If they have to get Henson's permission for them, I wonder if they had to get permission to include Splurge and Rufus.)

    (Then again, Leroy, T.R., Rover Joe and Catgut all appeared in the Muppet King Arthur comic and T.R. appeared in one of the Tales of a Sixth Grade Muppet books.)

    I really hope we get more of the TFM characters in a second edition of the book (presuming that there will be a next time), so they can put in pages for them, especially the King, Featherstone, Taminella and the Travelling Musicians (Leroy, T.R., Rover Joe & Catgut)--those are great characters that are often overlooked, IMO, and deserve to be brought back into prominence. (Heck, if they all came back in any new Muppet productions, it'd be cool to see Walter geek out a bit over getting to see them.:fanatic: )

    It was also surprising when Shemin revealed that Disney owns the Sam & Friends characters, yet they have to get permission from Henson to use them.

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