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Henson sells Muppets to Disney

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by samtheeagle, Feb 17, 2004.


What do you think of Disney buying the Muppets and Bear?

Poll closed May 17, 2004.
  1. It's great! Disney can keep the Muppets alive and visible.

    58 vote(s)
  2. It's awful! The Muppets will go downhill and quality will suffer.

    87 vote(s)

  1. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    If there was no contractual agreement over the name then it wouldn't make a difference if someone bought the company or not - you could have seen "EMTV's Muppets". I think you can safely bet your bippy though that the Henson's and Disney negotiated use of the Jim Henson name and they will not be able to call them "Disney's Muppets". Just because it's Disney doesn't mean Brian Henson wouldn't have had the same kinda clauses put in that EMTV had - like how the characters can be used and what they should be called. I'd be surprised if they also haven't negotiated access to the archives so that the Henson Legacy can use whatever footage they like and also for the Henson Company to be able to use Muppet images. I think taking Kermit away from the logo is probably just to stop people getting confused.
  2. DisneyNut

    DisneyNut Member

    Couldn't agree with you more there. I don't think Disney will tag their name onto the Muppets I think it will be a Disney Film Featuring Jim Henson's Muppets. Or, if they don't keep Henson, I'd imagine it would just be The Muppets. Disney does a lot of things that drive me crazy but all in all, I think they'll do well with this deal.
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Actually if this thread is right, i'm wrong :- http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=12815

    I honestly thought Disney would have had a bit more sense than that and that the Henson's would be quite insistent that they not be able to do it anyway. Shows what tradition stands for sometimes i guess. So if they WILL be "Disneys Muppets" whats all this talk from the Henson Company about them continuing the legacy and all that.
  4. dmx10101

    dmx10101 Well-Known Member

    There you go.
  5. Mark Filton

    Mark Filton Well-Known Member

    The stink of Disney begins...


    Disney exhalts the MOUSE on top, and FROG on the bottom.

    Mickey is like their family member, and Kermit is like a hired hand.

    Do you think Disney wants you REMEMBERING JIM HENSON, and REMEMBERING all the good writing quality? Do you think Disney wants you COMPARING the "real" HENSON Muppets with the Frankenstein's monster "after Henson" Disney Muppets? Do you think they want you to be sentimental, or to get angry when Disney does bad things with Jim's wonderful creation?

    NO :mad:

    Here is what it is about:There is a HUNDREDS of kid cartoons on TV all the time, but there is only ONE Spongebob Squarepants which is smart and fun for everybody to like. That's what the Muppets were, too.

    I'm predicting it for you, too. Just you wait until more information comes. It will all be bad.

    "Who was Jim Henson? Who cares. Forget him" that is what Disney is saying

    Disney looks at Jim as just a fricking guy who was paid for a few designs. Disney paid off Brian for them. Now, forever it will be DISNEY'S MUPPETS.

    I hate you Brian
  6. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

  7. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    They're DISNEY. Mickey Mouse is THEIR character for God's sake. He's the icon. We know! Does not mean the Muppets won't get their exposure, which is the POINT of this deal. It's not a popularity contest between Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog, both characters Disney will own 100%. So there is no need for the Muppets to look down-trodden and sing "Saying Goodbye" in front of the Chaplin lot, 'cause they're not dying.

    And besides, they don't even OWN the Muppets yet, and they only announced the frickin' deal 13 days ago.

    And the horrible things Disney has done with the Muppets, MCC and MTI were hits (unlike MFS) and the videos were doing good as well.

    As for the Henson family's business decisions, well, the highly lucrative ABC deal fell flat and the Sony movie deal was a disaster. Yet the video line went very well. And the idea for the EM.TV deal was so that this fast-growing German kids' company could finance future Henson projects, at a time when Henson was at a crossroads. But since EM.TV put a gun to its fat, corrupt head, things never came to pass.

    And you say any other company besides Disney would trwat the Muppets like royalty. Well, has Time Warner mass-marketed the Hanna-Barbera characters? No, there's Scooby-Doo and Flintstones cereal commercials and crude (but sometimes entertaining) stuff for Adult Swim and that's IT. I mean they don't even call it Hanna-Barbera anymore, it's called Cartoon Network Studios. On the other hand, there is Boomerang, which airs classic H-B and other programming 24 hours a day.

    And you mentioned the guy with AIDS earlier. I ASSUME you're talking about Howard Ashman and how Disney "never" recognizes him. Um, is Henson constantly talking about Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss and Don Sahlin every day? No, and I don't expect them too. If it's the right format, like a TV special or a book or another thing exploring their history, I'd like to see an acknowledgement.

    I think Disney gets beat up on, sometimes fairly and sometimes unfairly, is because they make more stuff than Henson. They have more clout and more ways to distribute and produce their product, and more chances to make mistakes and face criticism. While Henson, while I'm sure they care, need the money and financial backing to MAKE their product and entertain the world. And both the Muppets and Disney animation reached their creative peak years ago, yet they're still iconic and respected and have the potential to do more creative things. And I have no idea what drove Henson to make the final decision to actually SELL the Muppet characters to another company, which is surprising, but you know the gist of this arrangement is to put the Muppets back into the public eye with new projects and make a profit. The Henson family realized that this wouldn't happen if the Muppets were sold to some small rights-holder like Classic Media.

    I've had my criticisms of course, but if you're going to hate the Henson family and their past (and present) decisions on the Muppets and call them a bunch of snotty rich kids (though they're adults) and you're going to hate Disney for decisions that haven't even been made, what's going to satisfy you? I would have rather seen the Muppets be in Henson hands, or see Henson sold off as a whole to Disney, but now the Muppets have the chance to not be just participators in game shows and run the risk of nostalgia.
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Besides MouseWorks or whatever (House of Mouse?), what has Disney REALLY ever done with Mickey? Since the 50's or 60's? Nothing. There's been 3 Aladdin films and a series, 3 Lion Kings, almost 4 (and a series) of Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid (and a series, right?), Tarzan the movie and series, 2 Hunchbacks, and Mickey is featured in a small section of Fantasia, repeated in Fantasia 2000, and a cameo in A Goofy Movie.

    What has Mickey REALLY done? Nuffin! He's a corporate symbol anymore. That's all. Kermit has done more than the Mouse ever has...and isn't as old.

    I have complained to Disney before that I would LOVE to see more stuff done with their classic characters, and they won't do it. Where's Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow? Where's all of Carl Barks' ducks? DuckTales is gone for the most part.

    Yeah, Mickey and the gang would be great to see come back, but they are not only on the back burner, they're under the oven while Hercules (movie, series) is seeing more press.

    I hope Kermit and Co. don't fall alongside Mickey and Gang...
  9. electricmayhem

    electricmayhem Well-Known Member

    Thank you, well said.
  10. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    Ohhh my...its world war 3, lol

    Hey gang,

    ALL companys have there probblems and BoyRaisin2 had some VERY very (if NOT very them pritty darn good) points if ya ask me! :smirk: Both Mickey & Kermit have probbly done the same amount of work in Hollywood, and i LOVE both of them very dearly! There my hero's (along with Winnie there) all 3 of em. Like Larry King sayed a few weeks ago when Eisner was on talking about the Muppets , King sayed "We don't see the Muppets Much"...and ya know what thats %100 true gang! Ok ok.... so they done what? a few TV spots gottin tossed around by EMTV done a TV Christmas Movie for NBC and MFS (witch is my least Fav Muppet film, even tho i own the DVD). Now i seen people complan on the Board all the time and to say the least..... :excited: IT BUGS ME!!! lol, really t does! No one REALLY even know who Disney is goin to treat "our" Muppets there gang...the point is Mickey (and Eisner...even tho i dis like that guy...aLOT! lol) must really do care about Kermit & co., BoyRaisin2 is right on another thing too....about WB (even tho i don't like that company one darn bit!) they treat Scooby and the others like.....well..... crap! My little bro (when i come home on the wekends) he has a few scooby thing and the live actin mvie aswell but like BoyRaisin2 WB gives HB NO credit on toys or n e thing okay...so ya see HB in little little letters! And WB bought that hole company...and Looney Toons...oh my DON'T get me started on them ... haha... But come on gang you REALLY think Mickey is that dumb to spen $60000 or what ever to ruen the Muppets?? No!!! I for one is VERY happy Disney bought the Muppets... i mean Kids know a day (ok so maybe %50 of them) DON'T know who Kermit or Fozzie Bear are (un-less they see them on Vieo at sombodys house) but Kids have NO idea who Kermit is gang, They SS but thats it! :( and the Muppets NEED all the help they can get out of Disney...sure Disney my over expsse the Muppets....but own cares, i know If i go to Disney store or a wal mart i will be buyin EVERY Muppet thing thay have! :)

    Sory about my rant gang...but i HAD to get it out lol :D

  11. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    I would love to see more Mickey. I wish ABC/Disney Channel/Toon Disney would continue making episodes of House of Mouse. But they are releasing "The Three Musketeers" and the CGI "Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas" for video and DVD this year, and that's a good start.

    Mickey Muppet: BoyRaisin2 is right on another thing too....about WB (even tho i don't like that company one darn bit!) they treat Scooby and the others like.....well..... crap!

    No, Scooby is treated pretty well. The other H-B characters are basically nonexistent. They are basically nostalgic properties.
  12. dmx10101

    dmx10101 Well-Known Member

    Here's the article from Video Store New magazine-

    Disney aquires Henson's 'Muppets' and 'Bear in the Big Blue House'
    By Erik Gruenwedel

    The Walt Disney Co. has purchased from The Jim Henson Co. the rights to "The Muppets" and "Bear in the Big Blue House" properties for an undisclosed amount. Under terms of the deal, Disney will own copyrights and trademarks to all Muppet TV, film, and library assests including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo, in addition to a similar agreement for all assests pertaining to "Bear in the Big Blue House", according to company executives. "Disney's principal plan is to strengthen these properties with new productions and enhance and revitalize merchandising and licensing programs." said spokesperson Michelle Bergman. Both properties to date have had licensing agreements between ABC/Disney and Henson for a variety of cable TV programs, merchandising, and theme ppark attractions. It remains to be seen what effect the Disney acquisition will have on home video distribution agreements for "Muppets" and "Bear" product with MGM Home Entertainment and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (CTHE). At deadline, representatives from MGM and CTHE were unavailable for comment. Bergman said there is "certainly a possibility" DIsney will incorporate the properties into proprietary home video content in addition to TV shows, stage, and theme park productions. "It could be more of anything", Bergman said, "Exact programming opportunities will be announced in the future."
  13. Mark Filton

    Mark Filton Well-Known Member

    Boyraisin you say that I said "And you say any other company besides Disney would trwat the Muppets like royalty."

    NO I did not say that! Come on :D

    I am saying that if the Muppets started to get big again, Disney would say "That is enough of that. We are MOUSE after all, and not FROG."

    So I am saying the Muppets will always be limited with Disney. It is like if HENSON bought BARNEY from PBS. It might be nice to have, but it is understood that it is just a sideline. That is what the Muppets now are.

    I am just saying that they would have a better CHANCE under somebody else.

    YES, the Henson kids (I don't mean they are kids like babies. What do I call them..."offspring?") have a right to a life of their own, and probably they want to PUKE whenever they see a puppet, but I am still disappointed with them.

    Jim Henson gives us something special. Brian has sent that off to the Dr. Frankenstein. Too bad, I am not accepting as an excuse that they "need to live their own life." YES have your own life, and let somebody else run the Muppets for a while. Try some NEW stuff.

    The Henson kids are multimillionaires. Would it KILL THEM to lease the Muppets for one dollar to somebody cool like Pixar for a while and find out what happens? Well? Would they be in the poorhouse? Would they die?

    Kermit sang about IMAGINATION so much......I think Brian has no imagination at all.

    The end result is wonderful Muppets are sold off to a stupid company that treats kids stuff as kid stuff, and the Muppets won't be very "deep" or "philisophical" anymore. They will be stupid from now on.

    Maybe all you guys are happy with more exposure for Muppets that have no soul, but already the Disney people will never call them "Jim Henson's" Muppets ever again.

    The thing about Ashman is different. It isn't like Hunt or anybody else or AIDS or anything else. Jim created the Muppets and they all had his philosophy. Hunt worked for Jim and Ashman worked for Disney, but Disney is TREATING Jim Henson as if he was "just" a hired hand with an ENTIRE CREATION and that is why I hate Disney for one reason at least.

    Wait until you check out the crap that Disney makes :grouchy:

    So many here believe press releases. Who can anybody trust? I feel like the Muppets are killed and now Disney will wave their dead bodies around in a sickening display. Am I supposed to be happy?

    No :cry:
  14. MuppetNewsFlash

    MuppetNewsFlash Active Member

    How can Disney be both only in this to make a profit and at the same time they would stop making a profit if Muppets were too popular? :confused:
  15. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Like I said before, it's NOT a popularity contest between Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog. If the Muppets were to become a phenomenon again, Disney would be pleased because THEY'RE the ones making millions of dollars off them!

    You can argue whether they'll do a good job or not and whether the product will be entertaining, but for goodness' sake, if Disney's not going to care whether Pooh or the Pixar films, or ESPN for that matter, are getting more attention than Mickey Mouse, they're not going to care if Kermit and Piggy are getting more media exposure. They're Disney characters that are getting Disney money.

    They're not going to "have enough" of the Muppets unless it becomes such a stale franchise that they can't do anything more with it; they're not going to pull the plug when/if the characters become more popular. The "Mouse" is not going to be jealous.
  16. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    Yeah!!!! Go BOYRAISIN2, lol :excited: Like Kermit HIM SELF sayed... "Mickey and I are old buddys" "we're BOTH members of F.A.S.A." So see they BOTH have been "buddys" b4 we even foundout on Muppets @ WDW gang! :D

    BoyRain2: They're Disney characters

    Ahhhh lol, Ive been watin YEARS to here that! :)
  17. Carpeteria

    Carpeteria Member

    I would suggest you take your own advice before deciding that this is the end of the Muppet legacy. No one can say right now for sure how this will turn out. If this results in more exposure for a new generation of Muppet fans (outside of commercials, the West Wing and Weezer videos) then I am all for it. Muppets do not get the exposure or attention they deserve, and this will only help the brand gain a new following and very likely produce some great new material.

    Why do you assume that, because the Disney name (and money) are now behind the Muppets, that anything Muppet related will now suffer creatively? There are many different facets within the Disney camp, in any case. Films like Lilo and Stitch (which is some of Disney's best and most up-to-date work so far) are completely seperate from those like Brother Bear or Lion King 1 1/2, etc. Let's all just give this a chance; what other alternative do we have?
  18. Mark Filton

    Mark Filton Well-Known Member

    Sure, Disney is gonna want to make money with Muppets, but put yourself in another's shoes :D

    Let's say Henson bought Mickey. They would want to make a buck with the mouse, but if the mouse took off big time, they would say "wait a minute," that's enough. Focus on the frog.

    "I would suggest you take your own advice before deciding that this is the end of the Muppet legacy. No one can say right now for sure how this will turn out"

    Oh? Well how about Disney removing Jim Henson's name from Kermit forever? How is that for a start?

    "this will only help the brand gain a new following and very likely produce some great new material."

    LIKELY not. You take the Disney "spin" at face value. I stand with Steve Jobs, who walked away from Disney and said they are boring. And like people said before, what the heck new movies do you get with Mickey and the gang? Well?

    But I want a big audience too. But a big audience of crap versus a small one of good stuff. That is the choice.

    Muppets successful in dollars or quality? Which is more important?

    If they don't make it big, they shrink anyways. What is the thing we are losing? We are losing greatness. Disney guys don't care. It's just a job to them, and people move on. Anybody makes 3 stupid movies and a cartoon show about "The Mighty Ducks" is making CRAP, not MAGIC.

    Look, anybody can make a Muppet these days. All puppet characters in TV today look like Muppets, so it doesn't matter anymore. Disney's Muppets are just dead, empty shells that look like something we loved. They're just making more stupid kiddy stuff like everybody else. Face up to it.

    So why am I upset? Because the only thing that makes the Muppets different is the magic, which is the intelligence and quality and artistry. I would love it if the Henson kids had a love of their own Dad's Muppets, but THEY DO NOT :cry:

    We are all just NOT LUCKY that Jim's kids have not interest in the Muppets. Like I said about the HENSON BUILDING, the selling means they are SICK of it all and want OUT of puppets, and I PREDICTED RIGHT.

    What can you or I do? Nothing.

    The Henson kids wash their hands of Kermit, and they weren't great business people, and they have not much imagination or love of Muppets. They want to do other things in life. FINE! It is their RIGHT.

    But what an UNLUCKY shame it is that they walk away and sell to a stupid kiddy video company.

    Sure, maybe more success, more money, more exposure, but all they had was that special magic.

    It is gone now. Muppets are just another kiddy video.

    I wish it were different, that Jerry Juhl was still around, that Brian had a love for Muppets like Sophia Coppola likes to be in movies like her Dad, but...

    ...Brian doesn't want to make a career of Muppets...

    ...so they are now DEAD.

    You all want me to be happy about that?
  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    No you didn't. The Henson's are gonna be making the Muppet shows and movies for at least another three years. You say they might suffer creatively but then why hire the Henson Company as consultants for further years if Disney don't care about the qualtiy? Of course they do - if the Muppets fell flat they'd lose a $60-$100 million investment. Henson use puppets sometimes in Farscape which is getting a push and own the Creature Shop which make puppets. The workshop at Henson will likely still make the Muppet puppets (as well as Sesame ones) and this doesn't mean to say that new properties they develop won't use puppets. If Brian Henson hated puppets THAT much then why would they have Rygel in his pet project, Farscape? The Henson Company have definitely NOT got out of puppetry. If anything, the Disney deal means there will be MORE puppetry for them to work on.

    I know you seem upset with ever move the Muppets make Mark but i think you could probably do with a little more knowledge and a little less of the angry tone and long rants. We've got the point ok?
  20. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    1. Well, Bear has been a major hit since '97. Farscape was a major hit during its Sci-Fi run. Do you think the corporate leaders at Henson CARED if these shows were bigger than Kermit? No, it's their product. They WANT it to be successful. Kermit is the icon of Henson, but that's not the end of their creative vision, and it's obvious that Kermit wasn't the "focus" during those years. Mickey is the icon of Disney, it doesn't mean they don't have OTHER shows and movies that they want to do amazingly well (i.e. Pooh or "Finding Nemo"). Nobody is going to say "wait a minute" is their stuff is successful! No media executive thinks that way.

    2. Muppets successful in dollars or quality? Yeah, you can argue or speculate whether the Muppet product will be GOOD, but if it is GOOD and it's making a profit, Disney is not to going to bite their nails because the Muppets are making more TV appearances than Mickey Mouse. They don't think that way. The company is bigger than Mickey Mouse, just like Henson is bigger than Kermit the Frog.

    3. Disney's Muppets aren't ANYTHING yet, for The Jim Henson Company still owns them. Jim Henson's Muppets 2004 aren't exactly as the same as Jim Henson's Muppets 1990. Doesn't mean that's a horrible thing (sorta), it's just the way it is. Under Disney ownership, they'll get the kind of distribution and marketing they deserve (which is the POINT of the deal), and hopefully the quality will be good as well. We'll see what happens, 'cause it hasn't happened yet.

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