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Frank Oz: "New Muppets Too Cute"

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

  1. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    What? I loved IAVMMCM. Now, it's not my favorite, but it was the closest to The Muppet Show we've seen in years. I do respect your opinion. Everyone is different. :)
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Again, it just seems to me that it was more like if some manic depressive emo guy crawled out of the hole of whatever funk he was in, tried to write a Muppet Christmas fanfic, then sold the idea as a script for a movie and they made it.

    Come to think of it, as far as the Muppets being "too cute" or "too sugar-coated" or "too watered down" in recent years, I'd argue that this movie is probably the only modern-day Muppet movie that wasn't anything like that: it had grit and edge, but in a somewhat more distasteful way than the grit and edge Jim and Frank and Jerry and Richard and all had given them in the past... I think in this case, the grit and edge came from pure shock factor.
    CaseytheMuppet likes this.
  3. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I prefer NOT to acknowledge MWO was ever made. That movie just needs to stay buried in those 1.00 bins at Walmart. I'll give more merits to MFS then MWO!! But that's not saying much either! :p
    SweetPiggy and CaseytheMuppet like this.
  4. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    You're entitled to your opinion, Duke. I'm glad you liked the film. I enjoyed it too, but it was not the same Muppets that I grew up with. I'm assuming you're younger and grew up with an even different Muppet era than myself which is fine. But I don't think Frank was being mean spirited. He was being honest. Frank is brutally honest which is one of the reasons I love him as an artist/performer. I wish he was involved with this film or that they would've made the film based on his original script which I think would've been far more Muppety than what we got.
  5. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    No offense to Frank but according to what he wanted in a Muppet movie it would've been a flop IMO!
    Duke Remington likes this.
  6. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    I've also been confused by the fact that people say this recent film stayed true to the characters. I found Kermit to be a very sad characterization in this recent film, almost pathetic. That's NOT the Kermit we know and love. Even him living in a mansion is out of character. Our little Kermit of the past would NEVER be living in a giant mansion, even if it was meant for him and Miss Piggy to live in. He would've gone back to the swamp!
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's pretty much what I said three pages ago: in Frank's interview, he DOES have a bit of a point, if based only on the kind of attitude I've seen Muppet Freaks take in recent years, if there's one thing Muppet Freaks have been saying for some time now is that Kermit isn't the same anymore, that he's too low-key, too mellow, too laid back, that he doesn't fly off the handle or lose his cool like he used to. Admittedly, while I did love the new movie, I too felt that Kermit was somewhat wishy-washy, but I wouldn't say pathetic... but one has to keep in mind, before setting out to bring everybody back, he basically lost all of his friends, and much of everything he ever worked for... that certainly has to take some kind of an emotional toll on a person, so most things considered, I think for him to be a sad characterization was rather natural and realistic.
    dwmckim and CaseytheMuppet like this.
  8. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Let me just say this if you loved the movie that's great, if you thought it was just okay that's also great, if you did not like the movie at all then that's also great. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I can respect and accept that whether I agree with your views on it or not.

    However I would like for people to at least try and understand this whether you liked it or not. You could NOT have done a Muppet movie for this generation like GMC or MTT. Why? Because people who haven't grown up with The Muppets, weren't even born when they were in their glory would've been like "Who the heck are these guys and What makes them so great?" Jason Segal said you had to show people who don't know who these weird and wonderful characters are why their so great. You had to otherwise if they had just jumped in and pulled out just some random Muppet movie it would've been a flop. Plain and simple it would've been a flop. The reintroduction had to happen for this new generation. But you also had to find that balance for the fans who grew up watching TMS.

    I think that was accomplished on both levels. And forget Kermit living in a mansion to me that's just knit picking and besides wasn't it said in the movie Piggy had the house built? Anyways... yes Kermit was sad in this film god knows he pretty much had lost all hope. But again if your gonna introduce Kermit to a whole new generation you can't really have him starting out all happy you have work him from the bottom back up to the top. Bascially to me what happened to Kermit in the film is what happened to The Muppets in real life. You can't have Kermit already with his friends cause otherwise how do you know who they are?

    Which is why Walter despite whether you like him or not had to be a version of bascially all us fans because he showed you why their great if you didn't know them but if you knew them then bascially you were him in a way and were following him and The Muppets on this journey to get them back where they needed to be.

    Now that people bascially know who The Muppets are now you can put out fun, quirky movies like in the good old days of TMM, GMC, and MTM. Which is so far what the next movie is gonna supposedly do. Did I think this latest film had flaws? Oh yeah it did but I was able to easily overlook them.

    No Kermit is not the Kermit from back in the Jim Henson days. But let's face it Jim was just good at having Kermit fly off the handle and loose his temper he was just good at that. I don't think that's something Steve is particuarly good at yeah I've seen him have Kermit get mad but it definitely lacks that comical feel that Jim brought to it. Plus I also feel time has a lot to do with it. This is bascially Steve's Kermit now not Jim's and you really can't compare well you could but their still two different performers who perform in different ways.

    I personally feel The Muppets are back to where they need and should be and I hope they continue on this path. Its taken them a long time to find it. But as I've said a couple times on here I think their FINALLY doing okay without Jim and that's not really a bad thing. And like Dr. Tooth said I am personally grateful for this movie. I hand full credit to Jason Segal for being so passionate about getting this film made. Because let's face it without him we wouldn't be able to have this debate about it now. I probably wouldn't have gotten back into The Muppets. Which haha some of you probably wish I hadn't cause then I wouldn't have joined this forum. LOL! Trust me I miss the good ole days of The Muppets I wish TMS was still on. I wish Jim Henson was still alive because if he was then we know Jason's film wouldn't have been needed or any of the other ones before it. But I can now say I've fully embraced the new Muppets as well.

    I am not out to try and change people's minds who maybe still didn't care for the film if you still didn't care for it that's perfectly fine hopefully the next one will case something that maybe you didn't like about this one.

    To me though this movie was a long time in the making but it was well worth the wait IMO.
  9. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    That's a lot of greats! LOL! Nice write up, btw!
  10. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    LOL! Just trying emphasis all peoples thoughts of the movie that no one is saying they HAD to like the film and it's not a bad thing if they didn't care for it but I just wanted to make some points of my own for them of why it had to me the way it was. I'm not out to try and change people's mind about it and I don't want them to because it would be quite boring if we all thought the same. :D
  11. LouisTheOtter

    LouisTheOtter Well-Known Member

    I hesitate to come down too hard on Frank Oz for his recent comments because (a) he has as much right to make them as anyone else, (b) he arguably has MORE right to make them than anyone else, (c) he's responsible for many of my fondest childhood (and adulthood) memories and slagging him feels like slagging Santa Claus, and (d) there's the one-in-a-bazillion chance he might actually come to Muppet Central and read this.

    That being said, I find it hard to believe that the director of The Muppets Take Manhattan - my sixth-favourite Muppet film, largely due to the overly-saccharine debut of the Muppet Babies - is dissing the new movie (my third-favourite Muppet film) for being "cute" and "smarmy."

    I won't rehash everything said earlier and better by others (particularly Pinkflower) but the short version is that I loved The Muppets and think it works beautifully as both a stand-alone film and a relaunch of the franchise. True, there's the sad-Kermit-getting-his-confidence-back debate, but I think pretty well all of the characters had their "edge" on without being offensive. I don't know how Frank Oz visualized this film, but none of my nightmare scenarios played themselves out on the screen.

    As I mentioned in another thread, I think the "edge" Frank seeks will be on display in the next Muppet movie, which will be the fun "comedy caper" Nick Stoller promised and not have to resort to the nostalgic tone of the last one.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    VMX had substantial problems, but MOz was a failure across the board. VMX had the luxury of being around when Family Guy/Simpsons pop culture gags weren't completely exhausted and rendered unfunny (the Parody Movie franchise saw to that), sure... but beyond all of that, it got some things right...

    • The Muppet Theater was BACK
    • The aside about alternate world Piggy showed more of the importance of the Kermit/Piggy relationship
    • For the first time in a while Kermit actually flew off the handle (multiple times)
    • Classic Characters started coming back
    • The Muppets were playing themselves.
    Now, I can go volumes about why MOz was screwed up. It's the same thing, stunt casting, rush, trying to capture the lightning in a bottle of VMX again... but the one major thing wrong with the film, the Muppets were once again doing fairy tales, not playing themselves, having to play second to human characters, and over all it was a step backward to the MCC and MTI films... without the benefit of the well written scripts by Jerry Juhl. There are 2 good things about the film... it managed to portray a couple things left out of most WOZ portrayals, and the Electric Mayhem actually had a couple numbers (where they didn't sing much).

    Still, I can't find the alternate universe in VMX half as disturbing as Wicked Witch Piggy basically making a snuff film in MOz.
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's another problem, although the Muppets have had that sneaky and clever little level of adult humor, they never went too far or tried too hard to push the envelop like is the case with BOTH The Simpsons and Family Guy, and you have to admit, some of what was in IAVMMCM was somewhat inappropriate for a family movie.
    LouisTheOtter likes this.
  14. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I don't know about that TMS could push the limits at times in terms of adult humor. Lol!
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Yes, but never too far.
  16. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I thought VMMC was more tolerable then LTS. I felt like I was watching a Sesame Street movie vs a Muppet one.
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    One part of the interview I don't really understand: It sounds like Frank Oz is vaguely mentioning an upcoming project he's been working on, but then says he doesn't want to talk about it because he doesn't want to sound like somebody talking about his work. But it's hard to hear the question being asked... Was he asked what he's currently working on? Or was he saying he doesn't like talking about his past work (though he has done many interviews talking about past productions)?
  18. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    To me it sounded like he might have a new project in the works obviously it won't be Muppets at least we know that much. Lol!
  19. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    You are entitled to your opinion, Melissa, but I still don't see what you see wrong with the new film (which IS one of the more truly-Muppety things they've done in a long, long time). Please try to understand that it's the kind of film that HAD to be made--anything else would've been a flop, as everyone else just said.

    I can appreciate Frank sharing his honest opinions, but I wish that he would express at least somewhat of an understanding that they HAD to make the film that they did in order to revive the franchise, as well as understanding that Disney's ownership of the Muppets has actually been a great big boon and not a failure.

    Don't rely on the past all the time. In this case, stop asking Frank to return to the Muppets--he doesn't want to. He has moved on. Wish him well and leave him alone.

    I'm sorry, but I'm just sick and tired of some people totally ungrateful towards the new film, whether they liked or not. The Muppets are back (as they're old Muppety selves, no less) and we should all be happy about it. Do you really want them to fall into another slump like they did after Jim died? Didn't think so.

    That's because it did!

    Two things wrong here:

    First, Kermit's characterization in this film had to be the way it was because of the tone of the story that they had to tell. In spite of all that, Kermit really was still Kermit.

    Second, Kermit was NOT living in the mansion, especially not after he and Piggy broke up. He was already living elsewhere and only stopped by the place from time to time to check up on it. As others have said, it was Piggy who had the mansion built (which probably would've been in character for the pig anyway), not Kermit.

    Either way, the recent film accomplished its goal and now the Muppets are truly able to go back to doing what they truly do best again, which will be even more evident in the next Muppet film.
  20. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Yeah because we could always rewind 12 years back to MFS. *shivers*
    Duke Remington and galagr like this.

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