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2011 Muppet Movie plot officially announced

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by theprawncracker, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    i can totally understand that...i have been in years to Muppet vision 3D so im hoping the store look is still there

    as for the Disney store them selves ive been very disappointed in them, is it so hard to carry muppet stuff a kermit plush in the giant center plush area they have

    or anything besides the vinylmation
  2. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    There has not been much Muppet merch from Disney. Maybe now there is at Disney parks, but there wasnt from 2004 to 2010. Not at Disney stores or Disney parks. Least not in California. There has been a lot to complain about relating to the Muppets handling by Disney. Maybe now they can make it all up...or maybe they'll just quietly slip the Muppets into theaters with very little merchandise(like with what happened with Up) I wish they'd bring back the all Muppet stores to Disney parks and then expand into more Muppet attractions/food places/etc.

    I don't think Muppet fans or the general public realize that there is absolutely no Muppet canon established in the tv shows, specials nor films that fits any overall narrative. All Muppets are just actors working for a paycheck. That is the canon. When Kermit or Pepe is on a late night talk show, they mention this. Now, certain tropes and themes are reoccurring and referenced and reused. VMX referencing Doc Hopper, or little injokes that dovetail throughout various productions. Gonzo is not an alien. Kermit and Piggy are not married. Even the new film which acknowledges the Muppets as actors and all the films/tv shows they've done, is itself set in its OWN canon separate from anything else.

    The Muppets are an afterthought with Disney. It's no secret. I have no idea why they decided to make the Muppets its flagship Holiday film, but clearly they thought they'd take a chance on it. Indeed, had Segal not aggressively campaigned and lobbied to make this...we'd ALL be complaining how Disney is not doing anything with the Muppets.

    This film to me looks and feels nothing like the original film or films. To me it feels more like a tv special. It doesnt look any more "theatrical" than VMX or Letters to Santa(which I thought felt a bit theatrical in look) Now please dont take that the wrong way, maybe its just the way Bobbins films. But I dont see "theatrical" so much as "90 minute tv special"...one that will hopefully be very memorable. I personally am not a fan of the cinematography used from trailers Ive seen, but then again I can be a bit of a film science nerd.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It seemed that movie specific Pooh stuff just popped into Disney stores (again, that's kinda tricky... but they have Owl and Rabbit stuff that they'd never have before), and even with Cars, I haven't seen anything with the new characters specifically until the movie came out. Of course, thanks to Simon Mall-nopoly, there's only one DS near me again.

    Now I can't fully say it's afterthought, but somehow it seems that every time there's momentum, they completely step on the breaks and stop for a few months. They keep being a bit too cautious. Now, if there's a rights hold up with The Muppet Show Season 4, that's their ONLY excuse. There's no call to sit on 2 seasons of a show for 3 years plus. The one thing Henson does right is releasing it's back catalog. We've only seen 3 season sets, and the 4 movies rereleased 6 years ago. Then to pull the Pixar and Muppet license from Boom so they can just rerelease crummy reprints of what we already have wasn't exactly a genius idea. The comics really gave the Muppets a bigger hold in the media than they think. There's no way a Muppet television project could find a stable place on any network... I think we all know why.

    I still say, give it August, because that's when a few of the little things like the cover band album and the cheap reprint come out. Still, I don't think a small plush Kermit or a T-Shirt with anyone besides Animal will cause overload.
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    If all we're gonna see is a few token Kermit/Animal/Group cheap gift stuff and shirts at Disney, forget it. It'll be time to declare what we've known all along. As Muppet fans, it's not a "fool me once" thing, but a "fool me 385,005 times" situation.
  5. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Active Member

    No offense to anyone, but it's a bit heartbreaking to see people losing faith in this movie. :cry:
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I understand in part what you're talking about here, but I think it's a good thing.

    The plot itself is based in the classic film trilogy, but the Muppets are first and foremost creatures of television. They work best in that format so infusing those elements, especially with the reported telethon segment, seems to be the best fit for this re-launch (not reboot) of the franchise. Personally I hope this movie reflects the best of the Muppets in both film and television. After all, we've never been given the opportunity to see the Muppet Theater in film. :cool:

    I just hope the movie has polish. The trailer footage looks really digicam and not as seasoned as their previous efforts. This is often altered in the later stages of digital film processing so I believe that will be remedied in order to give the image more of a film look.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It's not time to declare until the movie's out. I see what you're getting at. Everytime Disney starts getting some momentum on something with the Muppets, they immediately pull it back. No virals, no new comics, there's been nothing since the movie finished wrapping. Again, I have a feeling this stuff will pop in August and have 3 months of drilling this home... but the time to start was as soon as the teasers popped up with POTC4. The cheap gifts should have happened by now, leading into collector friendly stuff. Somehow I get the feeling this is holding stuff hostage until the movie box office comes in. And I worry heavily about those 2 movies. I don't want to see a gaping black hole if this movie doesn't do well.

    But I'm sure, closer to movie time, we'll see Kermit on talk shows or something. I guess they just want to promote movies about 3 months in advance anyway because they just have so many... but I hope they take notice of Pooh's poor performance, and release date opposite Harry Potter.

    Yet... Henson is REALLY promoting the heck out of Fraggle Rock with weird stuff at Spencers, those overpriced plush, the amazing but sadly temporary comic series... Karen and Red at Comicon again. And they're basically promoting nothing, since that film's never going to happen.

    The line is blurred. TV shows look theatrical, movies look like TV shows... Though, I'm sure that this is because this is the first theatrical film of someone. But HEY! At least this time he likes the Muppets and has a symbiotic relationship with the writers, unlike that MFS guy (whose films ALWAYS look like low budget TV movies). I'm not terribly worried about that, we've only seen a handful of scenes...
    frogboy4 likes this.
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Disney has some time between summer and winter to reveal their marketing model. I hope and believe that stuffed Kermits will fill every Disney store or at least have some retail deal with Macy's like they did in years past. Maybe some other characters too. They need some type of plush and figural representations. I think that has a good chance of happening. Let's see what happens at ComicCon! Part of me hopes they won't do too much 'cus I'm poor!! :p
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    That's what I'm hoping for. But still, I hate beating a dead horse, but not when the horse was wrongfully murdered...

    Canning the comic book to make reprint magazines was a DUMB idea. I know it clearly has something to do with the Pixar license being married to the Muppet one, but canning the comics wasn't smart at all. The comics did moderately well, I only tend to find loose fairy tales ones still on shelves, maybe the occasional Family Reunion issue... but they did quite well, the comic book carriers I bought them from were very enthusiastic about them, and it really gave the Muppets a foothold and new stories in a world where they couldn't possibly survive on television. And I will contest that the Muppet Show Comic Book actually improved upon the actual concept. Now, even if Disney gets the hint and brings them back, the fact that they didn't keep the momentum going is going to hurt all the work they did.

    Sure, Roger left, but there's no doubt they would have either found someone else, or just continued the Classics line and given us something else later.

    Think about it this way... virals could pop up from now till the movie, there is NO WAY they could film a TV special back to back after the film (they shoulda worked on the Halloween one after filming finished... just saying), but the comics could have carried the weight a television project could have.

    Other than that, everything seems to be coming out around August. That's when they SHOULD start on the media blitz... NO ONE will benefit if this movie doesn't do well... Disney will be stuck with yet another property they'll never revisit, the fans will be angry at Disney for doing it... it's lose lose. They've been careful, but too much so. If they don't do something soon, which I do still have some faith in, then they'll completely lose a fanbase that will promise to be snotty if we're stood up again.

    Again, I have faith... but COME ON! Give us something already!
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The Boom comics were always an experiment, one that went really well, but I never got the feeling that they'd be around forever. There was an over-saturation of the Muppet titles and they should have slowed down! However, I didn't agree with the decision to axe the comics when they did. It happened and it's time to move forward. I believe that's exactly what they'll do on all fronts once the movie hits. They're letting the movie reintroduce the characters and that's the way it should be. It's good to have a little silence before the storm. I trust this method 100%. As for the upcoming blitz, I can't scrutinize what hasn't happened yet. I do believe it's coming. :)
    theprawncracker likes this.
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't think that the comics would have lasted around forever, but gee golly, they shoulda lasted right up until the movie. I kinda agree that 2 comics starring a license coming out in a month was going to lead to burn out in the long run, but even then, just get rid of one of them. The Muppet Show Comic Book was clearly going to end somehow with Roger gone (and believe me, I intend on getting Snarked!)... but continuing either the classics line or coming up with something else new and exciting just up until the movie to keep the momentum slowly going would have been nothing but helpful. I still kinda wanted to see a 4 part Muppets Tonight comic miniseries... If I was established as a cartoonist, I would have indeed pushed for one.

    But internal politics got in the way, Pixar titles disappeared dragging the Muppets down with them, all got consolidated to Marvel, and nothing's coming out of Marvel but reprint magazines. But I don't think we would have got Darkwing Duck and Ducktales out of it if those were still going.
  12. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Key words: "the bank". The oil company is not a bank. Loophole! :D
    Like after the special where they mourn him?
    It COULD be tied to Muppet Babies, since, really, they implied it first.
    Never really understood what irks people about that. I guess I'm just used to accepting the little whatever for what he is, so specifying it doesn't really change things for me.
    GASP ... LIAR!

    LOL ... :D
  13. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    i feel the same way, i mean one of the reasons MFS is my least favorite is it was Missing the Musical Numbers
  14. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I felt a bit snarked myself when I heard they were ending the run!
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I'm not being a pessimist so much as more of a CNN talking head pundit giving political analysis from a contextual basis. Trend analysis, realism, statistics, etc. Sometimes I'm right, a lot of times I'm wrong, other times it's a mixed bag.

    People were dissing on Langridge's "odd style" adapting the Muppets at first before the comic series started, and I said it was a welcome new take and that his series was going to be the biggest shot in the arm since Palisades.However, I also around the time made the unfortunate comment that I originally didn't know if the team behind Sarah Marshall was right for a new Muppet film. Yet, it was precisely Segal's rabid obsession of using all his clout to convince Disney to make a new Muppet film; which many people never thought would happen(at least, not in the big way of 50 million dollar tentpole treatment) I also naively would for awhile say "next year will be the Muppet's glorious return or renaissance" on here. So far there's nary been a peep about this film exactly four months to go. But I agree, it's possible they are just choosing to get the media blitz cranking 2-3 months prior.

    Disney can pull an "Emperors New Groove" or "Up" and release little to no merchandise. It's possible. Certainly we can't expect anything even remotely comparative to the merch/marketing juggernaut that was Toy Story 3. That was Phantom Menace level of insane penetration in the collective consciousness. I saw at least 7 random people today at the state fair with Muppet related shirts. Not Sesame, but Muppet characters. So they are still in the collective consciousness, maybe not to the saturation of other beloved franchises...but it's there. Disney would be reviled and stupid for not putting big muscle behind merchandise. I personally don't like how the only place to buy Muppet related merch is at the bottom of the barrel hedonism emporium that is "Spencer's Gifts".

    To Dr Tooth: Where are tv shows(non HBO/Showtime/premium) looking more like movies? Yes, they have bigger budgets, explosions, epic storylines. But look wise? Still looks like tv. Meanwhile in 1999 Sopranos came out looking like a theatrical film. I see promos for virtually every NBC/CBS/ABC/TNT/AMC original and I haven't seen theatrical looking stuff. It's all on HBO and Showtime...which is funny, as for $700 you can buy a Nikon 3100 DSLR camera and do high end film looking dv without even too much post conversion. Frogboy is right, maybe they'll make it look more "filmish" in post conversion. MFS at least looked theatrical, and had an amazing 20 minutes.

    If we're going to be completely candid and honest, I'm a bit worried about the film and the muscle behind it. Segal can do all he can do and then some, but that doesn't guarantee an overall slam dunk execution or solid marketing/merch/awareness campaign.

    My worry is this:

    - The film may feel disjointed, too schticky and tv modern. uneven and feel more like a modern TV 90 minute special than a proper theatrical film. I worry we'll have awe striking moments that pop and leave us teary eyed(beholding the mighty rebuilt theater, Kermit's speeches, etc) BUT that the film will be heavily saturated and peppered with things that greatly take away from the overall experience(be they bad gags, cringe worthy dialogue or setups, etc) I just worry of a letdown/disappointment. I'll take anything from visionary(the first time you saw The Matrix, Dark Knight, etc), to "pretty good", to good.

    - Very little (quality) merchandise. I'm not saying we need Cars 1 or Toy Story 3 level of almost nauseating over saturation. But it wouldn't be right for Disney to make this it's main holiday film only to skimp or forgo the expected Disney merchandise factor.

    - Marketing/awareness/creative ways of promotion worries. Some speculate Disney is waiting for 2-3 months in to let the hammer drop and the blitz to begin. No problem.
    But they need a comprehensive obligatory tv interview/junket, online scroll over blitz, endless online coverage, a really cool movie specific site, but then what I call the x factors: guerrilla and inventive viral marketing, show stopping appearances(MTV movie awards? SNL again? crazy viral youtube videos? Hiring Bansky to do street promotion?) Disney needs to send a clear message...the Muppets are back and as inventive as ever

    If this film underwhelms, it could have some serious complications and mean a lot of setbacks. Pooh's fate never hinged on the new film. Disney knew only certain people would go see it anyways, so they never even bothered promoting it too much.
    Either way, it'll be very curious to see the demographic makeup of who will go see this and be interested in the muppets come this fall.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You might as well tie in the terrible Chaos at the Carnival game as well, it implied Space Gonzos too... even further back, the Atari Pigs in Space game.

    As for them disavowing Gonzo being an alien... I'm not talking fanbase... Dave Goelz even said that (through Gonzo) it was just a movie. When the character itself denies it, it's usually a sign.

    Kermit and Piggy aren't really married due to the fact it's an easy way to keep the old gag of their relationship. Sometimes I wish they WERE married because those jokes ARE old!

    Merchandise is going to be tricky, to say the least. No one really buys anything anymore. not even that people don't have money and the price of everything is going up... people just don't buy toys the way they used to. I'm expecting at least a line of plush and some other goods like that. Maybe a PVC line if we're REALLY lucky. I don't see anything half as big as Toy Story, EVEN THOUGH the characters exist outside of a series of films.

    Now, ENG, they just completely threw to the wind, they treated it like crap, and the ONLY merchandise I saw was a kid's meal, soundtrack and coloring books. A year later, a bean bag line with 4 characters. So far, we've gotten word of Muppet Nail Polish, a series of books, a cover CD, a soundtrack CD, and Pez. Already that eclipsed what ENG had at first. Seriously... not even 10th anniversary plush. Up was a bi-product of Ratatouille merchandise not doing well... I mean, it's a movie about gourmet rats and had a lot of foodie inside jokes... not something kids want to play with. And we all have to relent... what kid wants to play with an old man toy? Up had some stuff, but it was (i guess this was a wise tie in in retrospect) travel gear and little explorers stuff. I have to say, it wasn't all that smart to make huge giant plush of the other dogs besides Dug. And it took them forever to release Kevin, and those went very fast.

    Still, I didn't get the Dug bean bag yet. Luckily that's still there.

    Muppets IS different... not only should it go beyond the movie, the characters are all lovable enough for kids to want toys of any and every character. I can't envision a little kid cuddling a plush Carl Frederickson, but I CAN see a kid cuddling a Big Mean Carl. I just hope that we get a LOT of bean bag plush out of this movie. And not just the Gonzo, Piggy, Animal stuff... At the very least make a Scooter.
  17. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Oh heck, as far as I'm concerned they got married back in 1984! Anything else I don't even hear, lol.
  18. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Interesting, considering that even Jim backtracked on that one...And if they are gunna be apart, I'd rather believe they never married than that they got divorced or separated. Don't get me wrong, I too wish that they were married because frankly the other stuff is getting boring, BUT I just don't see how people can take that part of the movie as real and in the same breath claim that Gonzo isn't an alien or that Scooter wasn't the EM's road manger. Nothing in the movies can be said to be real or not real except out of character moment...(Kermit and Piggy fighting by the duck pond) or interviews (which are the 'real life' Muppets) but even then they'll just do something to be funny.

    How many times does it have to be denied by BOTH parties (even Piggy doesn't pull the married line anymore) before people accept it?

    Although...every one is entitled to their own opinion, obviously. What happens off-screen is up to our own imaginations!
  19. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I told you, I don't even hear it. ;)

    I did hear Piggy call Kermit "hubbie" at the 30th anniversary special though, hehe.
  20. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    You'd deny what you are too if you realized nearly everyone despised the claim.


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