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If "The Muppets" is a success: What's next?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Beauregard, May 22, 2011.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see them do something like the Bohemian Rhapsody video, but bigger, with more characters. They'd certainly rebuilt many. I'd also like to see a viral video starring the full-body monsters (give the newly-rebuilt Thog and Mutations more to do, as well as any full-body character we don't know will be in the movie).
  2. 12Medbe

    12Medbe Active Member

    I'd like to see them release an uncut version of Muppet Family Christmas to DVD, and obtain the music rights... eh, a Muppet fan can dream can't he? lol.
    MJTaylor likes this.
  3. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Something I've been wondering is, would we rather see a few longer tv-specials a year (scattered throughout the year), or a season of a TV show that goes on for a number of weeks and then is finished until the next year?

    Also, if it came to it, TV-show OR cinema release movies?
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Problem with another cinematic movie... if this film DOES blow us away, we're gonna have to face facts a hypothetical movie after that won't have the same insane fans working on the thing and probably won't be as good.

    But ANYTHING that isn't the re-enactment of a classic story is okay with me.

    Seriously... I'd LOVE Roger Langridge to work on a Muppet project besides comics... but I bet that there's some writer's guild thing that would keep him for writing TV or movies. Dude personified, even perfected the Muppet show format with his comics.
  5. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    I'd like to see them do fairy tales again. Everyone says bad things about retellings, but I loved the feeling of the very first ones like Frog Prince. It's all about in the end I think about them being muppety :D
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That's because (at least in terms of the GOOD retellings of MTI and MCC) the Muppets would often play second fiddle to human stars. MTI did it much better, but MCC just... it was very lacking. At the time, we were getting around with less Jim characters and only one Richard character (Beaker) so the cast was limited extremely, but it still felt like the Muppets SHOULD have been the ghosts. Much as I love the Ghost of Christmas Present, past and yet to come were very dry. How funny would it have been if the Ghost of Christmas future pulled off his cloak and was Animal?

    Oz was a trainwreck plain and simple.

    Still, I find the Boom Studios crew did retellings MUCH better.. all Muppets. I'd LOVE to see someone rework the Snow White series into an actual Muppet project.
  7. jukyter

    jukyter New Member

    I'd have to say, I'd've liked MCC much more if they cast Sam the Eagle as Scrooge... yes just that.
    I think if The Muppets is a sucess we'd be seeing a complete ressurection of the Muppet franchise. TV show is a maybe, seeing as when Disney bought the franchise they didn't have the TV show that'd be risky ground...
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I see the larger problem of the re-tellings has to do with the timing. The "Celebrating Jim Henson" special aside, MCC was the first post-Jim project featuring the Muppets. They were trying to reestablish the brand, but did so with the main cast playing other characters rather than being themselves. The film that followed it was MTI and they were doing the same thing. Sure, Gonzo is always Gonzo and Kermit is always really Kermit underneath it all, but this just created a needless veneer compounded with a new Kermit voice and performance and the noticeable absence of Jim's specific spark for audiences to accept. And then Muppets Tonight finally rolled around and they stuck Kermit in the background. The same goes for MFS. The only time Kermit was heavily featured was in studio recorded albums. Considering that people are most sensitive to sound, Henson Co should have established the new Kermit character in film and television before cutting an album. This was never quite achieved.

    So it really wasn't re-tellings or even human stars that weakened the Muppet brand. It was the continued watered-down reintroduction of the characters, particularly Kermit, that was never really handled right. This really had nothing to do with Steve's wonderful performance. It just was never framed correctly IMHO.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    To me, a perfect MCC would have had J.P. Grosse as Scrooge, Scooter as his overly cheerful nephew... and it would have been a late 70's/early 80's TV special. But that's just me.... Seems if Richard didn't die before they made MCC, Scooter could have been the nephew. heck, ANY Muppet should have been the nephew.

    MT was proof they weren't extremely confident in Kermit at the time. He kept getting tertiary roles in his own movies. MFS was a slight improvement in terms of Kermit's role... it took them until VMX, 10 years after MCC to really bring the frog back out. And say what you will about KSY... VMX and KSY WERE all about the frog. I don't know if it was a decision by Henson, or Steve just wasn't all that comfortable with him yet, but it was clearly something they had to work around with.

    I will say, MCC and MTI were at least well written and some of the songs were glorious (though Jim Hawkin's high alto kinda ruined some of them), where as MupOz was just... it was a jumble. Bad casting, bad concepts, just... bad all over. Yet, it was the first time the Electric Mayhem performed vocally in a while. But with all the other, superior sounding scripts that were thrown around after VMX, it was a shock they went with something so... so gimmicky. Even if they had to do a WOZ storyline, they could have done it MUCH better than a clear and obvious tie in to American Idol (which explains the FOX involvement), and "borrow" from other versions of the story.
    frogboy4 likes this.
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I still like Oz and think it could have been good if they'd have punched up the script, had a new lead besides Ashanti and increased the musical element. The half-baked song inclusions almost seem like an apology. It was like they were sorry to bother those who hate musicals, bud didn't want to disappoint fans who like Muppets to sing in their projects. I guess this was really missing in VMX too.

    The Oz script's problems seem to have derived from the page itself. It clearly wasn't ready. No running length, ad lib or musical number could have saved it. I don't remember who was at the helm, but whoever led the Muppets' Oz and KSY needs to stay away from the relaunch IMHO. :skeptical:
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    One important truth that must be recognizable about MCC though is that for the UK -- it is the #1 most recognised Muppet film. Anyone I ever speak to knows of the Muppets primerally from MCC, then from TMS. Almost no one has ever seen or heard of TMM, GMC or MTM. Almost everyone here watches MCC every Christmas.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Johnny Fiama?!? Now you're just messing with our heads here.

    Anyway... there's just so much wrong with Oz, listing anything would seem futile. But to say the least, I believe that certain 1930's movie which almost everyone loves (I like it too) kinda ruined the legacy of future versions of the book's story in movies. It wasn't until Wicked (morseso the musical than the book) when people actually paid attention to a different version of the story without trying to get it to hold up to the film. The Wiz is different, but still it wasn't extremely respected. You see, no matter how hard anyone tries, they ALWAYS wind up making references to the film. Same thing with Alice in Wonderland. Always has to reference the Disney version.

    But the overall problem with the Muppet version (other than the fact they did it multiple times before... especially the allegorical aspects of The Muppet Movie) is the fact that at the time there were SOOOO many scripts floating around that sounded much better and presumably were closer to completion. If they absolutely had to do a retelling, why didn't they do the Hamlet one? That sounded like a prime place for over kid's heads satire. If they had to rush a telefilm into production, why not use something they already had, and had been sitting on?

    That was MupOz's problem right there... lack of time, dodgy casting, Disney clearly had a small hand in the rush so they could show the stockholders something... I swear if it aired on Fox like it was intended, the American Idol stuff would have been a lot more prominant.

    Plus, I still don't like them being referred to as puppets in their own movie. And not even in a clever inside jokey sort of way.
  13. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Active Member

    By that, do you not like things such as, say, Howard Handupme? Or Kermit saying "We on The Muppet Show are very interested in puppets, for some strange reason?" or the puppet jokes in the Senor Wences episode as well?

    Then again, those earlier examples are more subtle, without actually calling themselves "puppets" or being called "puppets" by others.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I LOVE the cleverly disguised asides, don't get me wrong. But when someone turns to the camera and says, "They're puppets" it's not clever at all. It was a bad line in a bad script full of them. Subtle asides like Grover playing with a marionette saying "It must be fun to be a puppet" or Uncle Matt strangely finding resemblance in a large puppet are quite funny, but they manage to keep the illusion of them actually being creatures.

    The line in Oz might as well have been, "Once Steve puts the Kermit puppet back in his box, I'm sure he can make a few phone calls for you!"

    Oz was a bad foot forward for Disney's Muppet ownership. Even though the only hand they had was helping to further rush it into production. When you look at how much of a smash VMX was... great ratings, good reviews... Muppet stuff started sprouting out all over the place (also due in part to the Palisades line)... Oz got bad ratings, especially opposite the Daytime Emmys on the night a Star Wars film was released... and the reviews from fans and critics alike wasn't spectacular. Even when it was released on DVD, it wasn't budging off the shelves, whereas the Muppet Show Season 1 barely stayed in stock. No wonder it took so many years to recognize the ownership of the characters.

    But they hired a new head of the division, they started slowly to bring the brand forth... the gave us a couple TV specials, a comic book series (then took it away abruptly :sigh: ), viral videos, both on YT and their own site, and we're getting a theatrical movie. Something none of us would ever expect ever again. And they've been careful with the script and tried to slowly work this into production so they have a quality project.

    No one wants to make an Oz-like eye sore ever again.
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    If there's another Muppet show, maybe it should revolve around the Muppets running their own station, as opposed to putting on one show. I'd thought this recently while reading a thread at Tough Pigs concerning Muppets Tonight, where it was pointed out that the format kept changing between being a variety show and a sitcom with sketches.

    And I realised, in the first episode, at the beginning the Muppets have a meeting, with Kermit pointing out the new Muppet studio and having Gonzo read the shcedule line-up. The writers realised what format worked best with the last episode, but if the show continued and was more of a sitcom, I wonder if they would have done away with putting on a show.

    If a show was about the Muppets running a station, it could have the Muppets running a number of different shows, maybe showing portions of different shows. And there could be plots that don't show any shows, and plenty of scenes taking place away from the station. There wouldn't need to be a weekly guest star (though I'd expect any Muppet show to have guests regardless of format).
  16. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I have no doubts that a new television show would rock. But the trick is getting it on a network with a good timeslot and promotion. I have total faith in the Muppet team to put on a good show; i have very huge fears about what network interference and impatience would do with it.

    I'm also really nervous about whatever a next theatrical film would be - how to follow-up this one. Disney's going all out making this all about The Muppets and the title says it all...THE MUPPETS. Even though i'd like to believe and have faith the film is the beginning of Muppet Domination...i have a sinking feeling in my gut, that the film may be treated as Disney's Big Muppet Project that they put everything behind and pull out all the stops on just to let anything afterward just kind of exist. I wish i could put this more eloquently - i know what i want to say but can't quite find the words (lots of offline stuff clouding my head)

    I just fear Disney may end up seeing this as THE Muppets and not The MUPPETS, the one project they acquired the brand for and explode like wild and then let it slide from then on out.

    I want to believe Disney has a longterm plan as far as what comes next after the film but something inside says not to get my hopes up. Even if Diz does keep things going, i also fear that they'll fall in the same habit the Muppets always seem to fall into whenever they do a major project - everyone waits and sees to see the reaction to it before making any plans as to how to follow it up instead of getting the process started during the time between completion and release and letting the momentum that had previously been built up drop, and by the time the next major project is ready, it has to be considered another "relaunch" because so much time has passed.
  17. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I really would like to see a Muppet TV program that transcended the backstage antics and actually covered their misadventures outside the theater. They'd of course rehearse some sketches and all of this would lead up to raising the curtain at the very end. Possibly some musical number finale too. I think that could be interesting.
    minor muppetz likes this.
  18. bingboingcutie

    bingboingcutie Active Member

    really? I think the old ones are the best. Who hasn't seen, owned, or taken their kids to a screening of MTM, as scary as the taxi hit was?
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The worry is, for any franchise, that the movie always has to carry the weight of how popular the franchise is. And we get one of two things, franchise popularity based on the movie's popularity meaning future projects and products will have to resemble the movie... like the Chipmunks and how everything Chipmunk related has to look like the movie (I wonder about the Smurfs.... the movie was hugely popular... not as bad as the previews made it out to be, but not great... will Smurf stuff now have blue eyes?) OR the movie tanks, the franchise is put into a box and shoved into the back of the closet, presumably until something changes hands like Underdog or Rocky and Bullwinkle. Bullwinkle NEVER recovered. Looney Tunes sort of recovered from BIA, but only after a horrendous turn.

    Of course, if the movie is a smash, the Muppets always look relatively the same as they always have. The worry is if it isn't, it will fall to the wayside.

    Ad for a TV show, I want one. We all would want one, we'd all love one. But dw hit it on the head with this one. The Muppets never had a good run on network television... except for the babies cartoon, but that doesn't count. JHH disappeared silently, due to NBC's refusal to put the show in a good time slot and even bother to promote it. MT got the short end of the stick on ABC, first getting kicked off a Friday night slot because it wasn't pulling in Boy Meets World ratings, dumped on Sunday Night opposite 60 minutes (which not only killed Pinky and the Brain in prime time, but P&B kept mentioning that in their show for their Saturday run).

    I do NOT see ABC making room for a Muppet program. They found gold in Modern Family and The Middle... The sexy doctor shows are still doing well, but other than that, there's too much experimentation. Their reality crap is solid, sure... Housewives's popularity burned out quick (can't say I blame them for cancelling it), they're putting stock in an ugly period piece show as a "If Mad Men did it, WE CAN!" idea, a terrible remake of a terrible show in the first place (Charlie's Angels) and a bunch of ephemeral sitcoms that won't gain ground. If it went on another network, especially NBC, there's no inter-corporate love. The Disney Channel or ABC Family could theoretically have it, but they're too stuck up in their demographics to try anything new. A new Muppet show NEEDS to find a home that gives them all the potential they deserve... but in this climate? No.
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I hope that Pepe continues to be a main character after the new movie. Rizzo, too. Though I seem to notice a trend when it comes to the Muppets Tonight characters being integrated with the classic characters.

    At first, the Muppets Tonight characters who continued to be used were Pepe, Clifford, Johnny Fiama, Sal, Bobo, and to a lesser extent Dr. Phil Van Neuter. Then Clifford and Dr. Phil were pretty much dropped, and it seems that Bobo was retired for a few years. Then after The Muppets Wizard of Oz Johnny and Sal were very scarcely used, and around 2008 they brought back Carl (who hadn't been seen since Muppets Tonight got canceled) and Bobo, and it seems Pepe, Bobo, and Carl had become "the Muppets Tonight three" to be used with the classic characters (Andy and Randy were also brought back for one episode of The Muppets Kitchen). With the new movie, Bobo is the only one to be a major character, while others are included.

    If they drop Pepe, then Bill Barretta will be able to focus more on Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, and The Swedish Chef, but I hope Pepe will return as a main character in the next big production after The Muppets.

    Maybe this belongs in another thread, but while Henson and Disney have been recasting many characters originated by Henson, Oz, Hunt, and Nelson in the past decade (some characters changing hands throughout the decade), it seems they don't want to recast Clifford or Sal. I don't know if they just think people won't care about them as much as the classics, or if they are holding out hope they can eventually get Kevin Clash or Brian Henson to perform with the Muppets again someday, or if it's something else (Bill Barretta might not feel too comfortable performing Johnny Fiama to anyone else's Sal).
    frogboy4 likes this.


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