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Frank Oz worked on a new Muppet movie script

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by cahuenga, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I have high hopes that the next Muppet Movie after this one will be one penned (or DIRECTED) by Frank Oz. His comments failed to damage this movie at all, and he sure knows his stuff (Miss Piggy has never been better than when improvised by Frank.)
  2. mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    Especially on The Tonight Show back in the 1990s. LOL Risky and wonderfully funny. LOL

    Has anyone ever seen the one where Miss Piggy is rubbing Jay Leno's legs and she asks if it was his knee and he says no, Piggy looks shocked at the camera "GOOD LORD" and the audience was roaring with laughter. LOL
    That was diffidently one of Franks top funniest performances of Miss Piggy in my opinion.

    I know that Eric Jacobson can do the voice well, but he's not as funny as Frank. Not even close. Eric is more modern Britney Spears Pop Star Deva and Frank is much more deep with the character. Frank said that Piggy comes from pain and she has no talent and she hides most of her real personal life with either lies like Kermit is her husband or with aggression aka karate chop. LOL In my opinion, Eric doesn't have that part of the personality, just the modern Deva thing.
  3. Beauregard Well-Known Member

    My two all time fav Piggy interview situations were on Regis and Kelly and on Martha Stewart, where people were cooking and she was insulting them and then she was having a go at them for just plowing on through the cookery section and ignoring her.

    Some of her insults are really hurtful, though, to be fair.

    But her bit with Martha was BRILLIANT. Martha just ignores her, and Piggy does her own little thing.

    Eric is my HERO for bringing Piggy back to life, but he could be a little braver and a little sweeter while being a little meaner.
  4. dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    to be honest If Frank is going to try and hurt the credit of the new movie then he should not really be tring to write a new script. Because it will be everything that this movie is not.
  5. JJandJanice Active Member

    You know I have to ask, why are people making such a big deal of Frank's opinion of this movie? I mean of course he one of the original master minds behind what made the Muppets so successful in the day and NO I'm not saying no one should have listened to him if he was indeed giving advice on what should be done with the movie, which I'm sure they would have. But come on, Oz appoved and worked on all the Muppet movies from the 90s: Chirstmas Carol, Treasure Island and Muppets From Space and in my humble opinion, as I just saw the new Muppets movie late last night, I thought it blew all those three TOTALLY OUT OF THE WATER.

    Don't get me wrong, needless to say I have a lot of respect for Frank Oz both what he did within the Muppets and outside the Muppets, but he's opinion on the new Muppets movie hasn't effect my view on it in the least, I totally loved it.
  6. RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I just don't know if we'd get the Piggy we see in this movie if Frank were still involved. The argument in Paris is what the GMC duck pond one would have been if it weren't played for laughs. That scene alone deserves an Oscar, and not the Grouch. I think this movie cures any criticism that Eric's Piggy isn't as deep. This is actually the deepest it's ever been in recent memory.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  7. JJandJanice Active Member

    You know RedPiggy, I do have to agree with you on that. Plus (I don't want to give away too much here) but in this movie, it was the first time I've ever seen Animal have a little character development, EVER.
    Duke Remington and Puckrox like this.
  8. matleo Active Member

    I think we've kind of established that Frank's comments were based on an early version of the script. We know what some, if not most, of those changes were and we know that they were NOT true to the character. And I for one feel that were Jerry Juhl still alive he most likely would have been brought in as a consultant on the film (which would have solved some of the problems the final film ultimately has).

    Personally, I would love to see Frank come back and write/direct the next film. I know one of the things he wanted when he pitched the idea to Henson back before MFS was to finally pass the torch to the new class. And as good as a job as they've all done, that's the next step the franchise needs, not just for the performers but more for the creative team. Wether Frank would want to perform or not is a conversation for him, Eric Jacobson and the PTB. I would be equally happy with whatever the outcome. Though I hope he would at leat take on a few minor characters or something. I also especially LOVE the "Cheapest Muppet Movie" idea and would enjoy seeing it come together.
  9. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It's not that he was trying to hurt the film... that's what no one takes away... the "I don't want to be a grouch and ruin the movie." He just didn't like the initial direction... that's it. The quote has been taken too far out of context when it was Monday Morning Quarterbacked by everyone. Plus, no one seems to take away the fact that the film's writers went to him first... or one of the first.

    If the next movie is a completely different direction and Frank DID write a script, I'd like to see that. I'd rather have something as emotional and deep as this turned out to be than another MFS with a constantly in smileface Kermit, a caricatured Piggy, and the only good Muppet/Human interaction's between a tertiary character and the Human star. or another Classic retelling... Jerry Juhl was the ONLY reason MCC and MTI were as good as they were... they could have turned into the loud, garish MuppetOz without his clever handling... though I still think the comic books of Muppet Peter Pan, Muppet King Arthur, and Muppet Snow White blew those out of the water.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  10. Epictetus Member

    It's nice to read some discussion of the film from folks who know more about Muppets history and context. I had an extremely negative reaction to the new film and was, frankly (pun intended), relieved to find that Frank Oz and, apparently, some of the other folks from Henson studios, had criticisms of the script.

    For me, the script felt like a shallow recreation of someone who had tremendous affection for, but not deep understanding of, the characters in the Muppets. The screen time devoted to the human characters was probably the worst part, as it was not sufficient (nor was the script resourceful enough) to make it anything more than an incredibly superficial cliché, but it was enough screen time to reduce the breadth of story allotted to the Muppets themselves considerably.

    But for me, the saddest thing was just how few decent jokes there were. Great jokes are hard to write, obviously, and the Muppet show (like almost any show) has plenty of misses, too. The other Muppets films have ups and downs (Muppets Christmas Carol is a masterpiece, the product of skill, luck, and divine inspiration, while Treasure Island is a more mixed bag), but I've never seen an entire film so filled with wet sacks of dead-on-arrival attempts at humor. Most of the movie's meta jokes function mostly as preventative apologies for the script's half-assedness.

    Whether Oz saw the final script or not, I'd be surprised if his lack of enthusiasm wasn't related to the utter lack of vitality of the characters themselves, something that - in my opinion - was certainly not resolved in the final script.
  11. heralde Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the movie yet (hopefully this weekend) but I also did get the impression it was like a big budget fan fiction. Which isn't perfect but better than some of more recent projects that just had too many mean spirited jokes.

    Well here's where we differ. Muppet Christmas Carol was a nice kids film, but to me not really a Muppet film. Its understanding of the characters was also pretty shallow at times. So it's possible that the jokes in this new film will work. Or not. Will have to see, lol.
  12. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You'd be the only one here with that opinion.

    I cannot believe someone who'd pick apart a movie for having screen time devoted to the human cast members would go on to praise Muppet Christmas Carol. or as I like to call it, "The Michael Cain movie that just so happens to have Muppets in it." Sure, it took a little while for the Muppets to get involved with the plot. But the pacing was fast enough for that not to drag on forever, like half of MCC does. There were so many experimental decisions in that film that took the Muppets out of the action. Other than Gonzo, Rizzo and Kermit, the rest of the characters were dumped off as shoehorned in cameos. Calling it Fozziewig's Rubber Chicken factory doesn't make it Muppety. And, while I do enjoy the Ghost of Christmas Present, making the other ghosts look as far from Muppety as possible made it seem even more like a movie that had the Muppets in it. There was nothing in the new movie that stopped the film as cold and dead as the lenghty "The Love is Gone" segment. No wonder they dropped it from the theatrical release.

    At least with MTI, they managed to have FUN with it. MCC is a great Christmas movie, but even the director ruined Muppets From Space was more interesting and fun to watch.

    Above all, this movie was a stepping stone for future projects. Should they follow this movie up with continuity, all the establishmental bits about getting them back together are done. If they start all over with a completely new script, it doesn't matter much either. Another thing that was established, a LOT of the movie was cut for time. Songs were halved, celebrity cameos were cut, entire long extended scenes with more Muppet characters were cut. Something tells me this would have been a 3 hour sweeping epic if it could. Sure, I'd have liked to have seen more of certain characters, but overall, I was satisfied and felt it lived up to the hype... and about everyone else on this site feels the same way.

    Oh, sure... we could have had the same people write the same movies with goofy themes and retelling stories that were already told, probably hire some Simpsons writers to punch up the jokes and make them exactly like something out of the Simpsons, but Jason and crew brought a fresh vision to the project. Fan Fic? Maybe.. but at least the characters weren't running around all goofy like they were the last bunch of projects. and it was refreshing to see Kermit and Piggy NOT reduced to the same lame fat joke/HiYah stuff that they claim the audience wants to see.
  13. Puckrox Well-Known Member

    Woah... okay, speaking as someone who has seen the new Muppet movie more than once, I did not see this at all. I thought Segel and Stoller did a really great job capturing the characters of the Muppets. And they most certainly did tap into the depth of their persona's, which we haven't really gotten much of in recent years.

    I was legitimately surprised, actually, about how little screen time Jason Segel has in this film. I had seen him on so many talk shows promoting the film, I thought the plot would revolve a lot more around him, when in actuality it didn't. I mean, yes, he was there, he got some screen time (as did Amy), but this is definitely not a film at all about his or Amy's characters. They're there to add conflict, insight, and subplots, but even in scenes by themselves the focus is still largely on the Muppets. Honestly, out of all the new additions, Walter I thought was a much larger addition, and he is a Muppet, so.... yeah. And besides, Muppet Christmas Carol? You said you're a fan of that one, and that one spends a far more amount of time focusing on a human character (no complaints though, I love me some Michael Caine).

    Then why was I laughing so much? :(
    Drtooth likes this.
  14. Epictetus Member

    I found all your other arguments interesting and well worth reading: I wish you hadn't included these fallacies by mass-appeal. I doubt you really think I'm wrong simply because no one here (I'll take your assertion at face value) happens to agree with me. If you did, you wouldn't have bothered to make the perfectly valid arguments you made elsewhere.

    Let me add some further context to my complaint. I wrote:

    Note my criticism about the human characters amounting to nothing more than cliché. I have no fundamental objections to humans having prominent parts in Muppets films. However, absent anything really worthwhile about their story, they have less reason to be there than any given Muppet. In my opinion, Muppets Christmas Carol was a great story, and it showed the Muppets doing what they've always wanted to do: putting on a fantastic show.

    As with any film, I evaluated The Muppets based first on how good it was as art and second on how true it is to the canon. Frankly, I wouldn't have any affection for the Muppets at all if they hadn't produced so many pieces of good art. So I have a certain limited sympathy with your complaint about MCC being not-very-Muppety, but I don't share your perspective.

    This is a bit of a straw man argument. I don't want the same old movies, nor do I insist on goofy themes or Simpsons-esque jokes. I just want a better film.

    I do think the tone has a lot to do with folks' reaction to this film and to MFS. I actually enjoyed MFS pretty well, though I can understand pretty easily why it felt off to a lot of people. When I read the story earlier in this thread about how the ending of MFS was changed, I can really understand the frustration of some of the people involved: it sounds like it could have been, OUGHT to have been a helluva lot better.

    But for me, it was pretty easy to enjoy a lot of razor sharp jokes and great character banter. This might show that I have less invested in the greater gestalt of the Muppets (they're living in a big house college dorm style? whatevs) than other fans. I appreciate them more for how incredibly funny, poignant, and insightful they can be as entertainers.
  15. Epictetus Member

    See my response to Drtooth on this point.

    Well, let's examine this argument.

    Is anything that any one human being will laugh at a "decent joke"? If I can find some human being somewhere on earth who'll laugh at something, is it automatically good? I will grant you that it must be, in some sense, funny. It made a person laugh. (I remember my first joke. Knock knock. Who's there? Apple. Apple who? APPLE!)

    But I hope you'll agree with me that this doesn't really make a joke decent. There's a higher bar. Lots and lots of people laugh every week at Two and a Half Men... and those people are Bad People. Or people with bad taste in jokes. And there are legitimate ways to talk about such jokes and figure out what's better and what's worse.

    Jokes are the art by which lots of people make their living, after all. They spend their lives trying to get better at it. Is there really no distinction among all of them that can make someone, somewhere laugh?

    So: all that established, let's at least acknowledge that there's a reasonable ground for claiming that jokes might not be good even if someone else laughed at them.
  16. heralde Well-Known Member

    Well it's just that I get my razor sharp jokes, character banter, poignancy and insight from Jim Henson's work. In contrast, I can't watch MFS for more than two seconds, lol.

    But now we're just getting into personal preference of course. :)
  17. Epictetus Member

    That's legitimate. It's a point of personal curiosity to figure out what it is about MFS that set so many people's teeth on edge so quickly, but you're right that there's a murky swamp of simple preference to navigate in so doing. Maybe another time.
  18. Epictetus Member

    I remember another joke I got from a Rice Krispies box when I was about five or six:

    Q: Why do tigers live in the jungle?
    A: Because they hate city traffic!

    I cannot imagine what I thought was funny about this joke, but it cracked me up.

    (This is merely further proof that not all that is laughed at is funny.)
  19. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Conversely, if one person doesn't laugh at something, does it mean it's a terrible joke. No! It just means it's not your taste.
  20. Epictetus Member

    False. That is one possible meaning. What it necessarily means is that there is a discussion to be had about how to evaluate the quality of jokes. The fact that this is a difficult and monumental task is what makes it worth doing.

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