2006 | 2005 |
   2003 | 2002 |
2001    2000 | 1999 | 1998


New Collectibles

•12/18 - Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas Blu-ray

•11/06 - Sesame Street: The Magical Wand Chase DVD

•11/02 - Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas CD

•10/09 - Muppets Meet the Classics: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm Book

•09/25 - Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Blu-ray



Join the Muppet Central Mailing List



Sesame Street Season 45 premieres Monday September 15

Muppets star in Toyota Super Bowl ad campaign

"Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular" airs Thanksgiving

Frank Oz, Brian Jay Jones honor Jim Henson on The Today Show October 15

Muppet tech master and puppeteer Franz "Faz" Fazakas dies at 95

More >>


"The Great Muppet Caper" and "Muppet Treasure Island" coming to Blu-ray December 10

"Jim Henson: The Biography" releases on September 24

"The Muppet Movie" anniversary edition arrives on Blu-ray

Video: "The Muppet Movie" coming to Blu-ray in 2013

More >>

Henson employees receive e-mail about Disney deal

Courtesy of The Jim Henson Company
February 18, 2004

The following letter is from Brian and Lisa Henson, Jim Henson Company co-chairs and co-CEOs, and Peter Schube, president and COO. This e-mail was sent to Henson employees several hours before news of Disney's purchase of the Muppets and Bear became public. Similar letters were sent out when the Henson family bought back the company in May 2003 and when EM.TV bought JHC in February 2000.

To: Everyone
From: Brian, Lisa and Peter
Date: February 17, 2004
Re: Finally together, after all these years

It took us fifteen years, but we finally got it right. The combination of The Walt Disney Company and Jim Henson's Muppets was Jim Henson's and Michael Eisner's dream, and it has remained the dream of the Henson family and our Company ever since. Later today we will announce an agreement that transfers to Disney the Muppet and Bear in the Big Blue House properties. Financial details of the transaction are not being published, but you should know that in addition to an upfront payment, JHC will share in the future revenues from the exploitation of both franchises in Disney's hands. We expect that the deal will close within 30-60 days, and a copy of the press release announcing the agreement is attached for your review.

We are thrilled that, after so many years, and so many heartbreaking near misses, these classic characters have found their perfect and permanent home, where they will live on forever and finally receive the kind of distribution and marketing investment that a small company like ours could not provide. As most of you know, this deal has been in negotiation for several months, and our timing is unrelated to the current flurry of corporate news activity at Disney. The Walt Disney Co. is the world's premier family entertainment company, and we have every confidence that it will remain so.

Upon completion of the transaction, Disney will oversee all aspects of Bear and the broad group of characters we all commonly think of as the Muppets. They will therefore handle the distribution of the library of Muppet and Bear films and television programs (all of the Muppet, Muppet Babies and Bear series, movies, specials, etc), all merchandising, marketing and promotion and other ancillary exploitation, as well as the production of any new Muppet or Bear projects.

Having produced so many successful projects together [“MuppetVision 3D,” “Muppet Christmas Carol,” “Muppet Treasure Island” and “Bear,” to name just a few], Disney is well aware of the unique nature of what they have bought. They have therefore, in addition to our significant economic participation, given us far reaching production and consulting deals in all areas of the Muppet and Bear "businesses". We will do this happily, and look forward to sharing with them the special skills and knowledge of so many of our wonderfully talented group. We will be sitting down with the senior operating people at Disney in the next few days and weeks to plan how to transition the properties and how to re-launch them in Disney's hands, and we'll be asking many of you to contribute to the process.

Remaining with our Company are The Creature Shops, as well as the rest of our program library [including “Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “FarScape” and “Storyteller,” and “Fraggle Rock,” “The Hoobs,” “Construction Site,” and others]. We intend to be very active finding partners to help us exploit these properties and to help us create new ones. We are currently exploring a joint venture to form a "fantasy label" to house that entire side of our library and future production. We will also be expanding our live action and animated feature film businesses, with new and separate partnerships for each. The Creature Shop's character building capabilities and digital puppetry technology will be instrumental to all of these activities. The true genius of the very talented people that have worked, and still work, for our company lies in the unequalled breadth of creativity reflected in our Company's output. We are intent on continuing that unique tradition.

Building the future for a "new" JHC, while helping Disney achieve long lasting greatness for the properties from our past, seems like an ideal combination. On behalf of the Company and the Henson family, we thank each one of you for your help in making it happen.

Discuss this story in our forum


Jerry Nelson tribute at The Moving Image Museum October 27
Jim Henson's Pajanimals debuts on NBC Kids Saturday July 7
The New York Pops play The Muppets at Carnegie Hall April 14
Henson announces "Sid the Science Kid: The Movie" in 3-D
The Jim Henson Company Puppets to perform at the 2011 Grammys
"Pioneers of Television" special to honor Jim Henson
Classic "Henson's Place" special arrives on DVD August 3
Frank Oz unveils tribute to the "Henson Pipes" at NBC Studios


home | news | collectibles | articles | forum | guides | radio | cards | help

Fan site Muppet Central created by Phillip Chapman. Updates by Muppet Central Staff. All Muppets, Bear
characters are copyright of The Muppets Studio. Sesame Street characters are copyright of Sesame Workshop.
Fraggle Rock, Creature Shop and similar likenesses are copyright of The Jim Henson Company.
Muppet Central is hosted by KnownHost.

Muppet Central exists to unite fans of the Muppets around the world.
Site debuted on January 28, 1998.