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Is there an overrated/underrated Muppet production?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by minor muppetz, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking latley, are there any speciffic Muppet productions that fans see as either overrated or underrated? I'm not talking about individual segments, songs, characters, or episodes of shows, but actual productions like movies or specials or such.

    Because I can't really think of any Muppet, Henson or Sesame Street production that's really overrated or underrated. I guess it may be hard to actually determine how something could be considered overrated or underrated. But there are many productions that fans tend to agree on being really good (the first three movies, Muppet Family Christmas, The Muppet Show), stuff that fans tend to see as bad (the Studio DC specials, Muppets From Space), and stuff that seem to be mixed among fans (Muppet Treasure Island, the John Denver specials). I don't think there are any productions that seem to be annoyingly popular.
  2. beakerfan76

    beakerfan76 Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think the Muppets at WDW special was underrated. Yeah, some could write it off as an hour-long Disney World advertisement by showing off rides (Miss Piggy and Beauregard's storyline) and even that Indy spectacular (Only with Kermit as the fedora-wearing archaeologist himself), it did indeed have a plot, or series of plots (Piggy's ride fascination, the Electric Mayhem's world showcase tour, Beaker having a bucket stuck on his head, ect.) that tied into one main storyline or Kermit and Robin taking the rest of the Muppets to the swamp for an annual festival, but only to get sidetracked at Disney World.

    As for overrated, though not by the Muppet fanbase, but rather the Muppet's current company, Disney, I thought it was Studio DC: Almost Live. It's the failed experiment of having classic Muppet humor mix with current flash in the pan teeny boppers. Though it was cute seeing Beaker sing alongside Selena Gomez, the rest fell flat on its face, making the Muppets brown-nose the very thing(s) that's killing Disney with an iron grip. I understand this is a way for the Muppets to come back in the public eye, aside from the viral Youtube videos, but this special was equal to receiving a pile of trash as a gift, but with Muppet wrapping paper covering it.

    Heck, not even Statler and Waldorf could save this monstrosity. If they could rip the Muppet Show a new one, this could have been an easy target!
  3. beatnikchick300

    beatnikchick300 Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Seeing the Electric Mayhem as Miley Cyrus' back up band made me want to cry.

    I think the 2002 Christmas TV movie is way underrated. It was actually very good, and heartfelt. I actually liked it better than Letters to Santa. :shudder:
  4. beakerfan76

    beakerfan76 Well-Known Member

    Although to be fair, I haven't seen that many specials myself, so my judgement on the WDW one may be a bit biased, seeing it was the last Muppet production Jim Henson worked on, wasn't it?

    However, my thoughts on Studio DC still stand. Disney, if you do not want angry Muppet fans to swarm you and your teeny boppers, do NOT do anything like this again, and do NOT undermine the Electric Mayhem to performing for talentless popstars.
  5. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Well-Known Member

    Well, just to be fair, I'm not a big fan of those specials now, but those are part of what reintroduced me to the classic Muppets. After seeing those, I ended up getting the first three movies from Blockbuster and rekindling my interest in them.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You want highly underrated? The View-master VHS game machine video "You're the Director." That was completely underrated, considering it was only available on a video game engine that could never take off and that people rarely had. Not the best thing out there, and it's only available for watch on Youtube... but it's got some great moments that are just perfectly what the Muppets are about. I mean, there's an entire portion of the game where the characters rap, and pressing the button makes them screw their lines up, blowing their rhythm and rhymes. Trust me! It's a LOT funnier than I'm making it sound.

    And so I won't anger whatever 2 Diz-com fans we have on this sight, but to anger everyone else... Muppet Christmas Carol is highly overrated. not the worst project, Oz was that by a long shot, but it just... well, it was an experiment to see where they stood without Jim or Richard, with Frank one foot out the door. But I feel they got it better with MTI. Most of the film centered around human characters with the Muppets playing second and third to them. Why they didn't make some Muppet Scrooge's nephew was beyond me (too bad Richard died before this film was made, it could have been Scooter) and that long scene with Belle just goes on and on! Especially the song. Why, it's more interesting to look at how many times her nostrils flare while she's singing than the listen to her singing.

    And like the BEST songs were soundtrack only. Sure, it had its share of great moments... "Light the lamp, not the rat. LIGHT THE LAMP NOT THE RAT! PUTMEOUT PUTMEOUT PUTMEOUT!" you can't be a Muppet fan and not find that scene pure gold. But you have to wade through a half hour of plot expo for anything actually funny like that to happen. Not to mention the fact that I never cared for Muppet classic retellings outside of these new comics, which manage to get them right! Even Robin Hood.

    MCC is a great Christmas movie, sure, but as a Muppet movie things were just... well, missing. Even MFS managed to get some of that back. Even MTI.
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder how the terms "overrated" and "underrated" are determined. I would think that would be based on exposure and preference, or how much the owners promote/release them. For example, many fans say Elmo is overrated because he's in every episode and on every piece of Sesame Street merchandise these days, while Telly is underrated because he's in almost every episode and special these days but there's hardly any character merchandise.

    I'm surprised to see that somebody said the Studio DC specials are overrated. I know they were rebroadcast frequently after their first showing, but have they been broadcast since 2008? We know it was announced they'd be on DVD this year, but aside from a Europeon release there hasn't even been an official release date announced for an american release.
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Over: Personally, I never thought the Muppet Babies lived up to their hype or the quality usually associated with the Muppet brand. The program had its moments and great potential, but some of the shrill voices and poor animation quality caused me to lose interest during its second season. I know it's dear to the hearts of many fans, just not me. I kind of wish the Little Muppet Monsters segments could have been mixed in for good measure. There was enough actual Muppet Show character puppetry going on during that period.

    Under: The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years didn't really run as much as it should have. Maybe that was due to its dating itself with the actual anniversary number, but this is one of the last times in Jim's final years that the Muppets were all together in one room actually seeming like Muppets! No Disneyworld, no holiday to celebrate...just pure Muppets.
    bandit likes this.
  9. beakerfan76

    beakerfan76 Well-Known Member

    Like I said, Disney seemed to overhype Studio DC, and to me I didn't like it. Sure, it was nice to see the Muppets on TV again, but at what cost?
  10. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    for me VMMCM is underrated
    DannyRWW likes this.
  11. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    I'm going to have to disagree with you on the Studio DC programs, which, IMO, do not deserve all this flack on here and are actually kinda underrated, at least now. Those specials were necessary in an attempt to get the often-hard-to-reach tween demographic interested in the Muppets and make them want to see more of them and we should be more grateful for them. Plus, the fact that those tween stars ARE Muppet fans and enjoyed getting to work with them is all the more reason to be nicer to them.

    I also think that Muppets from Space, IAVMMCM and Letters to Santa are all pretty underappreciated as well.
  12. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Well-Known Member

    Why must you all make fun of kids? Now, THAT is something to cry about--adults making fun of kids, which is downright shameful. :mad: :grouchy: :cry:
  13. beatnikchick300

    beatnikchick300 Well-Known Member

    Miley Cyrus is only 5 years my junior (she'll be 18 this November). I sort of resent being treated like a bully who stole candy from a baby or kicked sand in a 6-year-old's face just because it annoys me to see my favorite Muppet band playing second fiddle to a person whom I consider to be just a "Flavor-of-the-Moment" pop star.
  14. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Well-Known Member

    By the way, just for the record, I'm a teen/tween, so if I ever make a negative comment on any of these modern pop stars, they're more than likely to be older than me.

    Also, I think Studio DC had a pretty good idea (it worked on me, right?), but I would have preferred a show with much more variety rather than just Disney Channel stars...like TMS, but with more modern guest stars, like Daniel Radcliffe, Lady Gaga, etc.
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I think you're being overly sensitive. He said nothing about picking on Miley due to her age. We all have different tastes and yours happen to differ from his. Let's leave it at that. For some reason it seems you might be the member who created this same argument here, at ToughPigs and over at the Newsflash under different names. Forgive me if I'm wrong about that, but it appears there's a pre existing chip on your shoulder pertaining to criticism of these sorts of stars. I can assure you that nobody is being a bully here. :search:
  16. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    Too regain a bit of dignity to this thread, I shall now honor Miley Cyrus with a song:


    But don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart
    I just don't think it'd understand
    And if you tell my heart, my achy breaky heart
    He might blow up and kill this man


    ... but, seriously...

    UNDERRATED: Muppet Classic Theater. The song's are fun, the movie's funny, and the Muppets don't play second fiddle to humans. Sure, it's still a storybook movie, but I don't mind that at all. There are so many great lines. It's entirely quotable, and doesn't get nearly the kind of love it deserves.

    "Whoa! A brick house!"
    "Oh, yeah? Well, you're no junior petite yourself!"

    "Take that, Mr. Ralph Lauren!"
    Dominicboo1 and ZeppoAndFriends like this.
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that the hardest type of production to determine over/underrated status for Muppets are the specials. I think it's a safe bet that the best-known Muppet specials are the Christmas specials (and honestly, I don't think A Muppet Family Christmas would fall into either category.... If just plain "rated" is a term then that's what A Muppet Family Christmas is), and maybe to a lesser extent the "Tales from Muppetland" specials.

    Case in point: In recent years we've been getting many boxed sets of Henson productions on DVD, and those seem to be the most successful Henson-related releases, whether it be complete season sets of TMS, FR, or Dinosaurs (maybe also Farscape, though I haven't paid attention to that). I don't know how successful the Sesame Street: Old School (or 40 Years of Sunny Days) sets have been selling, but I'd like to think that those have the same success and hype as the others.

    But then most single-disc releases don't seem to have as much hype among fans (not even the anniversary releases of the movies, though I can see why...). In these past (and upcoming) months we've been getting the first-ever U.S. releases of a number of Henson specials. While the releases are a big deal to us, I don't think the majority of casual fans are aware of these releases.

    Back when Nickelodeon aired Muppet specials on a regular basis, it seemed like Nick wasn't really showing favoritism regarding how often certain specials were shown (I'd like to say that Odyssey was the same way, but I never had the channel). There were a number of Henson specials not shown on Nickelodeon, some because other companies had the distribution rights, others for unknown reasons. I can see why Nickelodeon wouldn't want to air The Muppets on Puppets (it's in black-and-white, though I'm sure Nick still aired B&W Lassie at the time, outside of Nick at Nite) or Sex and Violence (the title isn't appropriate for a kids channel), but it's a mystery to me why specials like The Muppets Go Hollywood, Henson's Place, Dog City (well, maybe the 40-minute legnth, though I think it was shown on Odyssey), and Song of the Cloud Forrest weren't shown on the channel.

    Back when Disney distributed Muppet videos under the Jim Henson Video banner, Disney released a lot of Muppet productions on video, but not very many of the specials starring the established Muppet Show cast. JHV released Muppet Classic Theater, some of the specials that primarily featured original characters, and I believe all the Muppet Christmas specials Disney could release. Not sure if the lack of video releases of specials starring The Muppet Show universe of characters could have been because many had songs not written for the Muppets (or because the 30th anniversary special and Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson had many clips that weren't even owned by Henson) or what (as we all know some of the songs from MFC were cut on video).

    Columbia was pretty much the same way, only less. During the time Columbia had the Henson license it seems Columbia was mainly interested in Bear in the Big Blue House, Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, and creature shop property videos. Aside from the specials and movies (and eventually Muppet Show videos that were already released by Time-Life) we didn't get much in the way of the Muppets (I am surprised that John Denver and the Muppets: Rocky Mountain Holiday was released on DVD by Columbia).
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Firstly, if you think the animation was bad in the second season (I thought it was quite good, but I wish somehow they got Tokyo Movie Shinsha to do the animation if they had to do outsourcing to Japan, but Marvel was in a major deal with Toei at the time) the final seasons had such sloppy garbage animation it would've made your head hurt. :D Kermit's eyes especially. They kept moving on his head.

    As much as I love the show, I have to agree with a few of the points. A Puppet version of the show would have been a logistics nightmare, though. Why does Muppet Babies have 107 episodes while Sesame beginnings only had a handful of DVD's? The only problem I have with the show is the fact that it spawned so many downright terrible Baby shows. Sure, Pup Named Scooby-Doo was pretty good... but Yo Yogi... shudder shudder. And Baby Looney Tunes is an outright knockoff, a poor one at that. TTA is a next generation show, though slightly inspired by this movement, but I still don't count it.

    Though, things considered, I wish more Preschool shows were akin to Muppet Babies than Dora. I mean, mild peril, sly humor, treating the children as a young audience, and not as a demographic that has to be overly regulated and over seen by staff child psychologists. Ugh. Really, watch a Muppet babies and a Super Why. Even if MB doesn't suit you, Super Why will make you question life.

    He completely derailed conversation, and an intelligent one at that on another thread.

    I too have problems with the special, considering it came out at a time Disney really had trouble finding an audience for anything BUT their Tweenage shows, but it seems Disney's on track now. Especially when it comes to the Muppets.

    To me, Studio DC was a test to see if they can market the Muppets to different demographics... unfortunately most of the audience just wanted to watch the pop stars anyway.

    But that stuff seems to be cooling off slightly, Miley wants to focus on a career after the show's over... and it doesn't matter what you think of her, NO ONE would want to be stuck as only the star of a sitcom their entire lives, especially a kid's sitcom. Even Stevens went on to play Indiana Jone's KID! The stars of Small Wonder... are they even there anymore?
  19. Skekayuk

    Skekayuk Well-Known Member

    Well, having actually watched all thirteen episodes. IMHO 'The Ghost Of Faffner Hall is an underatted gem of a TV series, which I think deserves to be much better known than it is.

    Best Wishes
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I think we're talking only about The Muppet Show type productions, but I feel Faffner must be completely underrated due in major part to the fact it's impossible to find anywhere and was only available on premium cable. Unlike Fraggle Rock, it didn't last too long either, so it was never broadcast anywhere else, nor was it available on home video 9at least to my knowledge).

    I'm DYING to see Faffner myself.

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