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Does Disney own Fraggle Rock?

Discussion in 'Fraggle Rock' started by PanthraDion, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. PanthraDion

    PanthraDion Well-Known Member

    I know that Disney owns the Muppets, but does Disney also own Fraggle Rock? Saying that, does Disney own the Henson Company? I am really confused, because I am getting different information from different sources. Does anyone know for certain?:smirk::dreamy::coy::sigh::excited::busy::drool:
  2. beakerboy12

    beakerboy12 Well-Known Member

    In short, in 2004, Disney purchased the Muppets characters and Bear in the Big Blue House and its characters. The deal between Disney and the Jim Henson Company excluded the Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock characters and productions. And though the Walt Disney Company bought Henson Company properties, Disney does not own the company.
  3. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    Beakerboy12 pretty much said what I would have! Disney should buy FR. I think kids need to see more Fraggle Rock. I mean, if you go up to a five year old and ask them if they like FR, they look at you funny.:smirk: It would be nice to live in a Fraggle world. :sigh:
  4. panmanthe2nd

    panmanthe2nd Well-Known Member

    I agree completely, it should be on TV more. But personally I'm not 100% sure Disney would be doing any better.
  5. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    If Disney had bought Fraggle Rock, I guarantee we would still be waiting for the final season on DVD.
    CaseytheMuppet likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd guarentee we'd still be waiting for the second season DVD...

    they did release all of Dinosaurs with no problems. I still assume The Muppet Show seasons 4 and 5 are due to music renegotiations that have hit walls.

    Still, Disney DOES suck at releasing box sets of anything.
  7. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering what the brick wall keeping them from completing the Darkwing Duck DVD series is. Grrrr.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Some crap about not selling a zillion copies on the first release day, I bet... They basically dumped ALL of the Disney Afternoon DVD releases after second volumes. Still, I heard that the comic brought sales of the DVD up to a noteworthy status years after their release. They really need to capitalize off the Disney Afternoon brand. often times, I got that last Darkwing or Rescue Rangers comic they had, and I went in the early afternoon on the Wednesday of the release.

    Still... no excuse to not even bother with any of the other current shows. I'm not about to pay 15 bucks for 3 episodes of Phineas and Ferb.

    But anyway... music rights... can't really do anything about that. I'm guessing that's the problem. Something had to be renegotiated after they got the okay years before.
  9. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I think that if Disney owned Fraggle Rock, there would be a lot more merchandise (plushes, shirts, etc.), though it's very easy to have more stuff than is out now. I don't actually know what they would have done with the project itself, because it's tough to say what commercial influences would have made them do with it. Perhaps they would have made a cartoon, perhaps a full-fledged revival of the show, it's tough to say. But I think they would at least of had the common sense to market everything better.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It depends. There's a long list of stuff Disney owns that it frankly seems like they don't even realize they own. I've been on this soap box before, but that includes a LOT of Saban/Fox kids programming they got due to the buyout of Fox Family. And while Saban did purchase back the rights to all the live action shows (mainly for Power Rangers, but that includes everything.. even the live action TMNT series), Disney still owns the cartoon series... even anime dubs (which is why Hakushan Daimao's big fat Genie character couldn't be in the US version of Tatsunoko vs Capcom). But of course, they do nothing with it... yet, they're not in a hurry to pull them all down from Youtube. Which means we may never see a legal release of Eek the Cat in the foreseeable future, as well as the rest of The Tickseries of the 1990's.

    Sure, we have to realize how lucky we've been in the Muppets department since about 2008, that they're actually acknowledging them (just not to the extent we want, other than a feature film we thought we'd never see). If anything, I'd say Fraggle Rock could be treated as the other Muppet thing they own. We'd probably get backing for the movie... but I wonder how much else we'd see. Kermit is more instantly recognizable than Gobo, after all. And it isn't like Disney's burning to do anything with the other Muppet license they own, Bear in the Big Blue House...
  11. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I think that, and this is a natural thing, because this is a Muppet board and everything, we posters tend to overrate Fraggle Rock and its popularity. It was moderately popular in the 1980s, and has been remarkable persistent in reruns ever since, but it never got a giant audience in the first place being on HBO. Nowadays, outside of the shreds of dedicated fans like us, the fanbase for the show is the handful of kids watching it at 7 AM on the Hub and people who picked up on it on the neverending wave of 1980s nostalgia.

    I love Fraggle Rock; it's probably my favorite television show ever, and Boober might be my favorite fictional character of all time. The scripts and subjects tackled on the show are unlike anything found on any children's show before or since, and I doubt there are too many shows in general that have as such a three-dimensional world and set of characters. But from a purely business standpoint, there's admittedly not much separating the Fraggles from lots of others 80s kids shows languishing in reruns. Sure, the characters are cute and nostalgic and all, but if you're in the movie development business, cute and nostalgic is dime-a-dozen. There is so much at play in producing a television show or movie, and I think the poor Fraggles are essentially lost in that mess.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It was truly a shame PBS wasn't interested in picking the show up. Though, if anyone saw PBS in the 1980's, the kids programing was far from extensive as it is today. They had some stuff in the morning and then in the afternoon. But in the middle it cut to various things like college credit shows or odd Canadian children's programming. It took the cartoon series to get any television exposure for anyone that didn't have the cable station that carried it.. and a premium one at that. We should be thankful someone picked it up at all (I'd hate to see the alternate universe where Fraggle Rock turned up an unrealized series idea like Starboppers did), but the fact it was on a cable station hurt the show's popularity. It took me until I was in my 20's to see the episodes via the first DVD release.

    That's why you rarely see Fraggle Rock parodied or mentioned in outside sources, but Sesame Street references are so commonplace. That's why the movie's probably never going to happen, and while the Muppet Movie was a hard sell, that was purely due to the fact the previous theatrical film (the sixth) didn't do too well.

    But then again, they made a Marmaduke movie... and who even remembers who he is that isn't under the age of (I'll be generous and say) 30? He had one cartoon series that he had to share with Heathcliff (and he wasn't even the first to share that series). Of course, I'm talking the Ruby Spears one, not the DIC one that more people remember and have seen. Even then, it wasn't that good a cartoon (I saw a couple years ago... nothing remarkable about it). Of course, that movie flopped, and the way it was done it could have had ANY cartoon do0g name slapped on it.

    Still, Henson wants to build it up as their major family franchise. They wouldn't bother with comic books and woolen beanies, and stuff like that if they didn't. It is the only Muppet Big Three that they still own, so it's partially for nostalgic purposes. But establishing it WILL be an uphill battle. If that movie happens, it could give the franchise a nice boost... even if the Doozer thing happens. But other than that, it's on DVD and another weird cable channel some people get and others don't....

    But it IS the same cable channel that has the completely popular over the internet Pony show... so someone's watching that network.
  13. thiefb0ss

    thiefb0ss Member

    Disney better not buy out FR. Remember when Eisner took over and replaced Mickey Mouse with Selena Gomez, Hannah Montana, etc....
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Eisner had been there since the 80's. Let's get it straight there. And in the 80's and early 90's, he did do a world of good. Under his initial leadership, Disney was rebuilt back up to the massive powerhouse it is today. It was that late 90's period up until he was booted out where things went sour, and he got a massive ego that almost destroyed the company. While I can't say I'm a fan of the guy, we wouldn't have the big movies of the 90's everyone waxes nostalgic about, NOR the Disney Afternoon cartoons.

    The Hanna Montana situation was unfortunate, but it was happening just as he was kicked off... Iger continued it for a period of time, but it seems things are back to relatively normal. I can only hope that money went to other projects to bring back the actual legacy of Disney instead of that cheap at the moment pop star assembly line they had going. They still have that, but you don't see it as aggressively merchandised.
  15. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    This all feeds back into the issue that the Henson company is struggling to push its projects into fruition, aside from the two PBS shows. They have been putting the merchandise out there, slowly but surely. We all want to see more stuff, better stuff, but maybe they don't have the money/means to do it.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Henson ALWAYS needed a partner for distribution and production. Even during Jim's day. I've been saying that for a while. The partnerships they had up until currently all went sour. There were problems with Sony during the production of EIG, Buddy, and MFS (though they kept the partnership to release DVD's up until the Disney buyout), then they had Hit and Weinstine which were both terrible (it's Hit's fault for the complete series release BEFORE the release of season 4)... Lionsgate stopped doing stuff a year ago. And if Henson wants to make so much as a TV show, they need some production company to back them up. That's why the Fraggle Movie had been stalled repeatedly. Henson AND Weinstine needed to get another partner into the project. Getting that other partner was the problem.

    I'd love to see a Disney Partnership (not buy out) that would lead to more things being produced... probably another company for the adult stuff... but there are smaller, cheaper projects they can do to help them make a name for themselves. Which is why the Doozer preschool show not happening is a huge facepalm. They can't get that or Happy Time Murders off the ground, how do they expect major movies like Fraggle Rock and Power of the Dark Crystal?
  17. Mupp

    Mupp Well-Known Member

    If Disney had bought Fraggle Rock, we would have probably had a Fraggle Rock movie by now. Or at least some Fraggle Rock viral videos.

    But to reiterate for anyone glancing though this thread (you can never be too blunt on the Internet);Disney does NOT own Fraggle Rock (Or The Jim Henson Company for that matter, Henson continues to run independently.)

    Seriously though, Henson REALLY needs to find a business partner and make some Fraggle Rock viral videos.
    Don't get me wrong, its awesome that Fraggle Rock is being shown in reruns on The Hub, but there needs to be new Fraggle content!

    To be honest, I don't even want a Fraggle Rock movie anymore. Viral videos should be top priority right now.

    I still think that Henson could partner with LucasFilm. Never mind the fact that George Lucas has made some questionable creative decisions in recent years, the point is, Lucas kind of owes it to Henson for Yoda and all.
  18. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    How expensive would it be for the Henson company to actually make a viral video? Here's a list of what they would need to make a video (or at least what I think they would need, I really don't know all this much about producing content, so take this apart if it's wrong):

    • puppets: provided they use only Red or Uncle Matt, they're already out there
    • puppeteers: Karen Prell would probably be willing to play Red, don't know who would play Matt (are puppeteers bound under contract to one company or could Dave Goelz do it? would he be interested?), don't know how much puppeteers get per appearance
    • script/idea: have to pay a couple of creative people to come up with ideas, but I imagine they'd use somebody on staff from another one of their projects (unless each show is contracted separately)
    • camera staff: imagine since it's a viral video, it shouldn't be that expensive to film; the Henson presidential campaign videos didn't look that complicated shooting-wise as a comparison
    • set: imagine they'd film a viral video outside because that's easier and requires no set to be built, so unless they have to pay a fee to use a certain place that shouldn't be an issue
    • other assorted fees: union dues/salary for camera-people, lighting-people and other assorted tech people, any sort of music/audio overdubbing if needed, feeding the people on set, imported Doozer sticks for Uncle Matt
    So it seems like the most expensive part of it all would be bringing in the puppeteers, and the hardest would actually be coming up with an idea. So the problem must lie on both sides, because they've promoted Fraggle Rock in other ways with merchandise, and they have put out other things.

    I know they desperately need a partner for large projects, but couldn't they put out a video on their own in the hopes that it would be popular and then some company would say "hmm, looks like there could be something here"?
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Henson is doing wonders with Marvin E. Quasniki's political run... they can do much the same with Red or Matt... and it doesn't have to be a thing like the Muppet viral videos like Bohemian Rhapsody. I'd LOVE to see one with Uncle Matt walking up to random "silly creatures" on the street and asking them strange questions. Heck... there's so much potential for new Postcards from Uncle Matt. Shouldn't be that huge a cost.

    I'd see them doing it ONLY after doing a Muppet movie. It's been my hypothesis that Disney would have made a Muppet movie in time, but let's not forget that it was a lot of Segal and Stoller's famous hands that lead it to truly happen. If they're every inch a Fraggle Fan as they are Muppet fans, I'm sure we'd see a Fraggle film too. That said, they really aren't doing anything with Bear, so that very well could have happened too. Due, if nothing else, to the fact more people were exposed to Kermit and Piggy than Gobo and Red. One had 6 other movies and 2 television shows, one only had a series on a premium cable channel and a short lived animated version those without the channel and to make due with.
  20. Mupp

    Mupp Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's true.

    Still, it helped that it was with Disney, they have the muscle and pull to get things done.

    On the subject of Bear, there is a possibility that it will rerun on the Disney Junior channel launching next month.

    I honestly hate to say it (seriously), but it seems to me that Henson just doesn't have an interest in doing anything with the Fraggles. (The shoe ads are nice, but a little awkward.)

    I would honestly be happy if we NEVER got a Fraggle feature film...The only thing I would want to see is some Fraggle viral videos.
    Perhaps Henson could team up with the same production company that Muppets Studio worked with to make the Muppet videos.

    As mentioned before, its not impossible, the puppeteers such as Steve and Eric are not ALWAYS busy with Muppets Studio and Sesame projects.

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