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Frank Oz: "New Muppets Too Cute"

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Beauregard, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Reevz1977

    Reevz1977 Well-Known Member

    That is the million dollar question!! I, for one, would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to see Frank Oz back...in any capacity with the Muppets. It would instantly lend it credibility to have one of the founding fathers restore some of the lost sensibilities that have disappeared over the years to the Muppets and I really don't think theres anyone else capable of giving us that back other than Mr. Oz.
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    There seems to be an issue with money... supposedly, Frank is "too expensive" to hire... that, or it could be they're too scared to ask him, even Caroll Spinney has said that at times, Frank can be rather "scary".
    Duke Remington likes this.
  3. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    If Frank Oz left the Muppets because he didn't want his career to entirely be defined by them, and he wanted to have more time with his family and directing, then why would he jump back in, regardless of role? I can't see it happening.
    Slackbot and Duke Remington like this.
  4. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I think that's going a little too far he might have good reasons more than we know of why he feels that way.
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Um, he's kind of has always been that way.
  6. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    All I'm gonna say is this I don't agree with Frank's opinion on the latest film I personally felt it hit all the right cords and was just what was needed for The Muppets to finally be back in their glory. No it wasn't perfect but it definitely shined. As far as I'm concerned The Muppet spirit is back and I think their finally on the right path after so many bumps in the road. I don't think Disney is gonna be asking Frank to do any Muppets anytime soon after those words about the movie. Lol! It would be great if he did but I think the chances of that are slim to none. But I still just gain nothing but more respect for that man.

    Because god knows I admire Frank just as much as Jim Henson. And whether you've lost respect for Frank or not you can't deny he was **** good at what he did with The Muppets. He's still good at what he does IMO. I hope the man lives to be a 100 years old or more because god knows when he's no longer with us it's gonna feel like when Jim Henson past away. At least for me.
  7. Reevz1977

    Reevz1977 Well-Known Member

    Whilst everyones entitled to their opinion, that's a little personal don't you think? If he is jaded these days, the guy's earned it in my humble opinion! :)
    Pinkflower7783 likes this.
  8. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I personally agree with Frank. And that's all 'I'm going to say.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    There seems to be some very personal aspect to his work with the Muppets. When they started the Ernie and Bert sketches back up, there was some sort of hitch in Frank's Bert to Steve's Ernie. Not a coldness, not an air of dejection... just the microscopic awkwardness of doing something with someone else after years of doing it with a friend. Not quite as awkward as the Curly Joe Stooge Shorts, but there was something off about the chemistry. Now, compare that to when Frank performed Grover when Jerry was Fat Blue... he still got it.

    But for the Muppet part, there was something very off about his characters in later films, MTI and MFS especially. Even if you take the dubbed dialogue into the equation. Fozzie became an idiot in MTI, nothing like Fozzie at all. And Piggy only had a couple genuine Piggy moments in MFS.

    As far as this movie went... we got the best possible Muppet Movie under the circumstances, and considering how other family film revivals are done, I'd say we got off pretty lumping lucky. Frank's too safe comment does ring true to one thing. This was the first movie that was a continuation of another Muppet movie, albeit a loose one (unless you count the fan nugget of Doc Hoppers in VMX). Now, there's a reason why GMC and MTM were completely different movies from TMM, and a reason why JHH was completely different from TMS, which was mutually ended in season 5. Jim liked doing different things. That's why Muppets were basically TV specials in the mid-80's. Jim wanted to build more of a brand for the Creature Shop at the time. TM is backwards in the sense that the writers and director wanted a nostalgic Muppet film that brought together the three films AND the TV show, combining them in a way Jim wouldn't have done, only because that's already been done. HOWEVER, to build the brand back up after the last 3 theatrical films, they needed to work that nostalgic angle. A High concept like "Cheapest Movie" would scare away anyone but diehards. And then we'd just have that one film, like Superman Returns, that was supposed to build a brand back up but failed to do so.

    And above all... Disney could have given us a CGI, realistic looking crapfest that made the Yogi Bear movie tolerable. I wouldn't want to seem ungrateful with the film they made, because the possibilities of what could have been are far more distressing.
    Lola p and Duke Remington like this.
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's what I've been saying: we know that for the longest time, whenever Frank did return for a few days out of the year for SST, it was to tape new inserts with each of his characters, but then shortly afterwards, he began doing Bert almost exclusively, and admittedly, those inserts weren't necessarily as strong as older ones, but then once they ressurrected the Grover/Mr. Johnson schtick, Frank started doing Grover again, and I'm sure because of the comradery and chemistry that was there even in the old days between him and Jerry when it came to the classic Grover/Mr. Johnson bits.

    I don't even remember when's the last time Frank did Cookie.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    *sigh* I was afraid that some people would take to Frank bashing when I posted this. *shakes finger at them*

    I am actually so glad to hear from him slightly more specifically what it was that he felt was off...plenty of fans have said that something was off, but not specified as directly what it was...but he kinda got it there maybe. Sure, there has always been cuteness in the Muppets. But it was cute in a real-life sort of way, not in a "written to be cute" sort of way. Whenever there were cute bunnies on TMS you could almost always expect them to get eaten, squashed or blown up.

    I adored The Muppets (I saw it 6 times in the cinema) but I'd still like to see a movie with them in where, if nothing else, they change the lighting and the camera angles to something more gritty and realistic and less Child friendly and High-def.
  12. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    I fully disagree. The Muppets have NOT been "Disney-fied" in any way. And the new movie did a great job of reviving the Muppets and the movie they did was one that HAD to be made. Plus, the new movie was filled to the brim with classic Muppet humor and vibes, so such an opinion confounds me.

    While I, too, respect Frank's work, I do agree that he has become awfully jaded in recent years and it's for the best that he's not with the Muppets anymore, especially when you consider the fact that most of his performances in the 1990's Muppet production weren't as strong as they were in the 70's and 80's--it was clear that he just wasn't up to it anymore.

    His opinion on the new movie (which NEVER should've been asked for, IMO), while a tad understandable, just seems to across as mean-spirited and with a lack of an understanding that they HAD to make the new film what it turned out to be and that any "experimenting" probably would've made it fail, resulting in yet another road-block for our fur and felt friends (and goodness knows we do not need any more of them).

    Maybe someday, he'll realize all that, but to quote The World's Oldest Fraggle, "I wouldn't hold my breath".
    a_Mickey_Muppet likes this.
  13. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I don't think Frank was being mean spirited at least that's not how I took it in this interview I just thought he was giving an honest answer and I respect him for that I hate when people sugar coat things...I mean he's said if other people love the movie and new people are getting into The Muppets that's great he just had his own reservations about the film.

    I just think by the 1990's and especially after Jim died he probably and I've said this a few times in a couple threads when you've worked with someone that long and was practically your best friend or maybe even like a brother you really probably don't feel you could ever have that kind of chemistry or even closeness with anyone else. I don't think that connection was there for him when Steve took over as Kermit. Plus it must've made Steve awkward too. But I think Frank was pretty accepting of Steve as Kermit because I remember reading an interview and he was talking about the anxiety he was feeling about taking over as Kermit and Frank helped him a lot particuarly on the set of MCC.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It would be interesting to compare some of the recent Grover/Mr. Johnson bits with Frank and some of the ones that Eric did. Seems Frank usually performs Grover in those, but I'm pretty sure Eric performed Grover in the Rhyme Day sketch and the two from season 41 (Letter G Games and V Salesman).
    Duke Remington likes this.
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well for sure, Eric does also do the occasional Grover/Mr. Johnson bits himself, I'm just saying it's when they revived that schtick for the show like back in Season 37 or so, that's when Frank started doing Grover again after doing only Bert for a while.

    It's interesting to note like the two-part Letter N Letter of the Day insert, the first part had Frank doing Cookie Monster, then after a sequey, David Rudman is doing Cookie while Frank then switches to Super Grover.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  16. Hasenpfeffer

    Hasenpfeffer New Member

    Could this be an example of why Hollywood practices "Ageism"? Old, inflexible, possibly out of touch with changes in taste, maybe his best years behind him? Disney turned down his script, and Oz can't bring himself to acknowledge the enormous hurdle, the new Muppet Movie, cleared. Segel, had to not only relaunch the property, but stay true to the characters and update and attract an audience that hadn't been born, when old school Muppets bit the dust, and not alienate the die hard fans. Jason accomplished all of this, in a bright young and charming way. All Oz can say is that it was too sweet..... dude, nothing is perfect! Let's not forget, that aside from "The Muppet Movie" , "Muppet Caper" and "Christmas Carol", the franchise has not been served well over these thirty odd years, and for this viewer that includes "Muppets Take Manhattan".
    LouisTheOtter and Duke Remington like this.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    They did. It was called Muppet Wizard of Oz, and we all wish that one didn't exist. That was the Muppets own personal Batman and Robin.

    I'm actually convinced that Joel Shuemacker hijacked production of that one. ;)
    Duke Remington likes this.
  18. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    No no, that's not at all what I meant...MTM and TMM both have that realistic-gritty edge, GMC does to some extent. Its like they're afraid to let the Puppets get dusty these days, they are always pristine...fur neatly brushed. It was never that way.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    MTM was a special movie. It was the ONLY Muppet Movie without a tangible antagonist or villain (Dabney Coleman's bit was too short for me to count), relying on Kermit's own self doubt and unfavorable circumstances to bring the tension to the film.

    And, like, didn't Frank not like that one either?

    That's clearly what you meant, but I was making a joke. Well, partially... MOz is how a modern film producer would mistranslate as "gritty" and "edgy." It was just jarring and it looked like a BAD 1960's Batman episode.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    MWoO was nowhere near as bad as IAVMMCM... THAT'S the one we should all wish didn't exist.

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