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Is there a reason why Disney dislikes releasing Muppet DVD's?

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by beaker, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Just wondering if anyone has a theory why, after TEN years Disney still refuses to release Muppet works on the home market? Heck, between 2009 and 2010 Lionsgate films released way more Muppet/Henson related dvds than Disney has in a decade.

    Disney just keeps re-releasing the same movies(Muppet Movie/Caper/Carol/MTI), Oz and then of course the two new films with VMMC and LTS re-releases.

    Forget the endless complains about the refusal to release Muppet Show Season 4 and 5...heck Disney seems to have no intention of releasing on dvd or blu ray Muppets at Walt Disney World, Muppets Tonight or Muppet Family Christmas. Which is odd as ALL of those aired on Disney's ABC channel and were tied to Disney. Heck, look how Disney ended everything to do with Disney's Bear in the Big Blue House.

    What gives? I won't even get into the complete lack of Muppet merchandise the past few years. It's like other than some tv appearances, Disney just cared about the theatrical films and pouring a zillion dollars into mass marketing(which is great, dream come true, yada yada) but I can't help but feel we were getting MORE Muppet stuff 2002-2005.
    Boy, we had more Muppet merch than we knew what to do with. We had all sorts of dvd releases(even the Muppets Ed Sullivan dvd)
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  2. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile, we've gotten what seems like thousands of Sesame Street dvds and vhs tapes in the last three decades.
  3. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    It's simple my friend, after the 10+ years that Disney has owned the Muppets, they still do not know what they are going to do with them. When Disney bought Marvel and Star Wars there fan base was more secure, and sadly a lot larger then the Muppet fan base. I think it was you or someone else who had started another thread about how the Muppet fandom was kind of like an underground fandom. The fandom is still kind of weak even though there are three major websites, this one Tough Pigs and the Mindset.

    I think Disney needs some kind of proof that the Muppets can still make them money. MMW did not do that great at the box office, and I think that has caused doubt that the Muppets can make as much money as Marvel and Star Wars.

    Also if you look at how happy Disney is to include Marvel and Star Wars in anything new they are doing. Where as the Muppets are being treated like Disney's red headed step child that no one wants to play with.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Do you realize Disney's not the only studio that does stuff like this?

    It took six years to get Seasons Four and Five of Rocky and Bullwinkle after the first three seasons were released annually (of course, part of it had to do with Sony Wonder going under).

    It's been been nearly a decade since MGM released Season Three of GREEN ACRES, and they still have three more seasons to go.

    Warner is by far the worst... we were actually lucky they just released Season Two of COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG to coincide with the new CGI short that just came out, otherwise, they haven't released any new titles under the CN Hall of Fame banner. Likewise, it's been seven years since they released the first two seasons of ED, EDD N EDDY, and that was one of their biggest hits... they never even released BIG PICTURE SHOW on DVD!

    Don't forget there was a five year gap between Vol. 2 and 3 of SST Old School.
  5. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    I never thought I'd be saying this, but I totally agree with you here.
  6. LeanneRivett

    LeanneRivett Well-Known Member

    it was also the same with the Brady Bunch, but they released them in the end. Never give up hope
    Duke Remington and zns like this.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I should also mention that there's plenty of American shows that have gotten DVD releases... in other regions. I believe all four seasons of KENAN AND KEL have been released over in the U.K., and I know all four seasons of COW AND CHICKEN and COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG have been released in Australia and New Zealand (the latter of which just recently saw it's second season released in North America).

    Also, we can't really accuse Disney of "hating" to release Muppet DVDs, when you consider we've gotten multiple releases of the titles under Disney's ownership (TMM, GMC, MCC, and MTI), and each one of them varying from the previous release.

    Yes, it's frustrating that we've been left hanging for Seasons 4 and 5 of TMS, but as I said earlier, there's other shows from other studios that have also abandoned releases. Sales are a determining factor in how soon further seasons of a show are released on DVD; if sales aren't so good for one season, then they won't get in any particular hurry to release the next season. In the case of TMS, let's take into consideration: are Muppet DVDs (or other Muppet products, for that matter) selling well outside our fandom? Are they selling well to the masses? That could very well be playing a factor.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Except, in terms of DVD release, they hate those guys as well. Sure, they released the full 90's Fantastic Four series, 90's X-men in odd 2 disk volumes, and the Avengers cartoon before the current one in single disk volumes... but where's Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (though it is on Netflix), 80's Incredible Hulk, 90's Incredible Hulk, and the original 60's Spider-Man cartoon (though, who'd want that one). Sure, there's a lot of Marvel stuff Disney can't get the rights to, like the HB produced FF series and some of the Sony made Spider-Man cartoons (but Sony still can release those, so...). But there's indeed a lot of stuff they haven't released on DVD yet. Heck, even their current Marvel cartoons only got crappy single disk releases.

    And who wants to bet Disney isn't going to even touch Droids and Ewoks? I don't think we'll see Rebels in the same season sets Clone Wars was either.

    Bottom line. Disney hates releasing season sets of anything. Even cash cow Toy Story didn't see a Buzz Lightyear of Star Command release, Winnie the Pooh's new Adventures cartoons saw sporadic 3 episodes on a 15 dollar DVD, and that's the one thing you'd think they would have released by now. Why do you think all the Disney Afternoon DVD's stopped half way, and The Tick had 2 incomplete seasons culled from Comedy Central reruns (read edited)? Even their own crappy 00's era sitcoms had to be rereleased by Lionsgate (as if anyone wanted them).

    So it's not a Muppet specific problem. heck, the Muppet ones they did release had a tone of more care than any of the DA cartoons I mentioned. They couldn't get Jim Cummings to sit down for a few minutes to interview him?
  9. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Please drop that attitude and conclusion-jumping. It's not healthy. :grr:
  10. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Except that TMS Seasons 1-3 WERE best-sellers.

    They just need to finish clearing all the gosh darned music and celebrity rights before they can release the remaining seasons.
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  11. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I'm not so certain seasons two and three were best sellers - at least in terms of profit. They definitely made a profit, but season sets tend to taper off with each additional season. I'm not saying that these won't do well or that they shouldn't be on home video - THEY SHOULD ALREADY HAVE BEEN RELEASED. I'm just noting that such decisions are usually made by risk vs benefit bean-counters.

    Personally, I wouldn't care if they just released the whole show in one boxed set and made us purchase it in its entirety. In fact, that might be the best way to go. But home video releases are becoming scarce in this day and age - at least the discs. Everything else is negotiated for streaming. But I want my hard copies on DVD or Blu-ray.

    One thing to note is that the third and final set of The Tick animated program never saw release. That's one of those weird things. I don't know why they'd do that.
    charlietheowl likes this.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    What the heck are you talking about?

    Disney doesn't like DVD sets of anything. Their Disney Afternoon ones were oh well, at least it's something type releases that they didn't even finish. And Ducktales only had one set to go. Supposedly they are releasing the rest of Talespin somehow, but other than that, there's no DVD box sets of anything. It's not just a Muppet problem, and I wanted to point that out.

    Also, I'd like to point out no Disney specials to my knowledge from the 1980's were released on DVD as well.

    Seems the only thing getting released these days, besides current TV shows are old crappy cowboy shows that nobody under the age of 70 has heard of or remembers. Streaming is the new thing, but it's a pain in the neck for those who want to collect hard copies. Far as I can tell, digital streaming doesn't come with free keychains or reproduction cels or anything like that. That said, there isn't even an effort to stream TMS at all either. If it's indeed a music clearance problem, nothing can be done. If it's not caring about non-movie based media released on DVD, that's all them.
    jvcarroll likes this.
  13. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Just because they don't release them does not mean they hate them. Stop the un-healthy conclusion-jumping already. :grr:
  14. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps New Member

    Duke is right about music and celebrity rights.

    Disney is a caring a company than a lot of people realize. Lylle Breier said on MuppetCast years ago Disney is clearing the rights for the remaining seasons and it's not easy (don't know how it was easy for 2 and 3 though). This year marks the 60th anniversary so odds are this year maybe the year... maybe more. Who knows if they're clearing rights for anything else... ;)
  15. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well that is the thing we don't know what they are planning with Muppet merchandise at all. In fact the only thing we know that is going on with the Muppets is that they will have inserts on Disney Jr. I'm not saying I want Disney to come out and share every single thing they are planning with the Muppets in the next 5 years,but just that they are still working on getting the Muppet Show out there to us fans.
    Duke Remington likes this.
  16. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    The Muppet facebook page and some of the character pages were given new imagery to reflect the Muppets brand. Nothing new or big. It's basically just character stills from the 2011 movie rather than MMW. That seems to now have its own separate page. I don't know how they did that, but that's how it is.

    One one hand it makes me feel that Disney is tending to the Muppets. On the other hand, it seems like they might be trying to steer the brand back to the 2011 depiction rather than the superior MMW humor that has its roots in the more classic Muppet tradition. Maybe the MMW cycle is merely over. Who knows?

    So they're doing something. Disney's definitely showing some love. Yay that. Maybe that will translate in the release of the remaining Muppet Show episodes.
  17. WalterLinz

    WalterLinz Well-Known Member

    Aww I just saw those!! They are beautiful.:fanatic: They updated their Twitter too.:)
    jvcarroll and Duke Remington like this.
  18. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    Awesome!! Hopefully good things are in store
    WalterLinz and Duke Remington like this.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You really need to bother reading the whole thing. The only unhealthy attitude around here is yours. End of discussion.

    Now, point made in bold Disney isn't in the market of putting anything in a box collectors' set, it isn't some anti-Muppet conspiracy. Toy Story is one of their cash cow franchise, no Buzz Lightyear of Star Command set. They aren't exactly beating down the door to release Droids or Ewoks either, and they intend to get back every penny with friends for the purchase of Star Wars from Lucas. This isn't an unhealthy attitude, but rather a market realization. With the advent of streaming, no doubt many companies are backtracking from DVD season by season releases unless the thing is incredibly popular. Sometimes not even then. Not to mention the fact is that when the market was flooded with DVD box sets of series that no one wanted, asked for, or even remembered. The bottom line is Disney makes more money off of Movie releases than it would off of full sets of programming, so naturally there would be a bias. Not to mention the revelation years back that they refused to sell the 90's Spider-Man on DVD because they felt it would hurt the ratings for their rebroadcasts (remember, this is before they owned Marvel, but after they had the rights to Saban programming). Then they just never released it for no apparent reason, even though Spidey prints his own money, especially when a movie is released.

    Which We can all hope is what's going on. Disney actually put care and time into The Muppet Show DVD's (more than I can say for any of their other "oh well, at least it's something" releases). Anyone remember the long list of special features they couldn't get the rights to for season 3? And they worked really hard securing those music rights for the 2nd and 3rd seasons. They didn't even bother trying to get the original masters for The Tick, and went for the Comedy Central edits. That says something.
    jvcarroll likes this.
  20. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps New Member

    I haven't heard about The Tick animated series (and I never heard of it airing on Comedy Central).

    Look like I said, it's been 5 years, this year marks the Muppets 60th anniversary, it's a very safe bet we're going to be getting Season 4. You think all this time, Disney is going to miss this chance?

    Which more, time to time, ask Disney about the status and if it is music and celebrity rights, we'll understand if they need more time.
    jvcarroll and Duke Remington like this.

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