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Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by theprawncracker, Sep 13, 2009.
cant belive im saying this but lets face it Lady Gaga is a human muppet
Concerning the substitute performer...
While I must admit to having missed both performances, the hoopla over the substitution reminds me of a Jane Henson quote shortly after Jim Henson's death, concerning Steve Whitmire's casting: "The performer needs time. Kermit won't come back so strong at first. Then little by little, he will get his whole personality back."
And he did, and, if this substitution proves long-term, someday will again.
That's a really nice way of looking at it, and I tend to share your optimism. There's potential there. I just wish we all knew what was going on--I respect the work that Mr. Whitmire has done too much to be okay his replacing him unless there's a valid reason.
Info on the Performance
Many of you are dissing the recent Kermit performances knowing that it is not Steve. These same people are praising the D23 "boat" performance, speculating that it was an old Jim recording, and that a "seasoned" muppeteer was manipulating Kermit. Having many friends that worked on the D23 event, I wanted to set the record straight that Arite was the voice and the hand behind kermit for D23.
Actually, the VMAs was Artie's 3rd performance as the frog. Steve was NOT at D23. That was Artie...his voice..his hand. And he was AWESOME!I was there and it was magical to see all the Muppets together like that. I'm grateful that Disney is bringing back the muppets and giving us as many as 3 appearances in 2 weeks. It's all been very exciting! And frankly for as devout muppets fans as everyone on this site is, it is so sad to hear so much negativity when we are finally getting some real exposure.
An Open Letter to Disney
Hi Muppet Central,
I see many of you have questions and worries about what has happened to Kermit (and what has happened to Steve.)
I share your concerns, and I've written an open letter to the people at Disney and the Muppets Studios to let them know how I feel.
You can read it here: http://forums.delphiforums.com/toughpigs/messages?msg=12087.1
If you want your voice to be heard by the Walt Disney Studio and the Muppets Studios, these are the main people you should contact:
Ms Lylle Breier
The Muppets Studios
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-9722
Mr Richard W. Cook
The Walt Disney Studios
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-9722
And if you want to write them but you're not sure how to go about it, feel free to reply here, or in the Tough Pigs thread.
Let's just remember that being thrown into Kermit twice in a row on Live T.V. is much different than working on set behind a Camera. On a set you have sometime to get into your character and become that character ( having a few takes to get the inflections right) or even inbetween takes you have time to get into a character. Artie was thrown into the part and lets not forget that just like anything lets see what happens... Lets see what he can do with some Scripts. Understand that almost everything he has done this far has been improv I give him a A+. Support with anything fans included will always give you a better product. I know that Jim felt that way. Sending letters out that trash Kermit will only want to make them pull them all the way out. Let just see what happens. Did you accept Piggy when Eric first took over her? Do you accept her now? Good question to ask... I know I do.
Oh yeah... that's exactly what we should watch out for. I'm sure there's a reason for whatever happened to Steve... we just don't want to complain the Muppets back into the closet (or Disney Vault as the case may be). Look how long it took them to get the franchise back on track after Oz, which was plagued with nothing but complaints (and justifiable ones at that).
This is basically an unfortunate blotch on what's gonna be a huge year. We already have the comics... but there's just so much stuff planned for next year, we can't afford for something to happen here. Again, benefit of the doubt... emergency recast and all that...
A fantastically written letter, Kynan. I've been reading your posts over at Tough Pigs the past few days and I agree with you on every point. I'll be more than happy to send my thoughts to Ms. Bryer and Mr. Cook. Would you like us to use your letter to send, or would you prefer we compose our own? Either way, this needs to be done and our voices need to be heard!
Come on, Muppet Central, it's time to step up and let Disney know that we only want the finest Frog--and that is Steve Whitmire!
Personally, I saw improvement (vocally), but I'll be honest ... if I have to have an impersonator, I thought the guy who did Kermit in The Bear Wit Project was really funny and good. *waits to get shot*
Hey, that's great news, thanks.
I just put my letter up as an example, and because I wanted to let as many people as possible know how I feel. But I think it's better if everybody tells Disney how you feel in their own words. We all have our own voices -- why would we want to imitate someone else's?
Agreed. I'm working on my letter as we type!
Quite a few people here are worried that complaining will make Disney stop producing new Muppet stuff. Luckily for us, I don't think it works that way. Disney paid a lot of money for the Muppets, and the best way to make that money back is to produce things that people like us want to pay for. They want to please us.
We have very limited power to influence a company like Disney. Our letters and suggestions (and ticket purchases) can guide them, but the Muppets aren't going to pack up and leave showbusiness just because a few fans stomped their feet. So this isn't about stomping our feet or being ungrateful. All we can do is let Disney know how much we DO want the Muppets we know and love. And how much money we want to spend when we get what we want!
Actually, 100% of the fans who saw Eric's first appearance did accept her. It was at MuppetFest -- in front of the toughest critics of all -- and not one person noticed the difference!
Eric's set the bar very high for recast performers. But he never asked anyone to cut him slack while he learned on the job. He was a near-perfect substitute for Frank from the very first moment. It might make it harder for other understudies out there, but that's the standard now.
And that's a good thing, for us fans, and for the characters. I want the Muppets to set impossibly high standards! That's how Walt Disney succeeded too. And nobody ever had to say, "Hey, cut Jim Henson some slack, he's doing his best." Jim just made sure his best was always THE best.
I want the Muppets to be the best!
Right on! THIS is what Disney needs to hear, gang! They don't need to hear passive, "Oh, Kermit wasn't THAT bad..." They need to hear that he wasn't the BEST, as he ALWAYS should be.
Disney wouldn't stop promoting the Muppets due to some fan complaints on performance quality. I'm glad we're making our voices heard. I think there's a chance they'll listen. Whatever it takes to get Steve back under the frog.
That's the point I'm trying to make. I have seen it actually happen... fan complaining leading to the death of a project or a massive collection of projects ( man... I wonder what happened to the member Jimhensonhour... he knows what I'm talking about). We want them to know we're unsatisfied with Kermit being recast with no given reason (more so the latter for me) and we want the same person performing Kermit for these great new projects. if there's some way to politely state that while congratulating them on the new success, I think they'll be inclined to listen more. We just have to remember, as fans, we have to express out displeasure, as opposed to rudely complaining. I'm gonna e-mail them at some point as well (I'm working on something while I'm typing) about this.
But then... I wonder if this also could be a matter of Steve and not just Disney. Best we can do is to keep asking until we find out what's going on.
Don't worry, Dr Tooth - no one is suggesting being rude, but your worries are very valid and Disney should be hearing them, and now before any of these plans continue without our best efforts to tell them we want Steve at the core of things. It's definitely the time to tell them before any more mediocre performances damage the Muppets' good name. I agree with Kynan, and want nothing but the BEST for our frog!
Just say how excited you are about everything, except anything you are worried about, and your opinion will register loud and clear without doing any damage. It can only help, I feel!
Okay... My turn
Look, All I have to say about this is that, As long as Kermit is out there - I don't care what he does in a public performance - it's the films and TV shows that matter most. And the best thing is Kermit is out there!
My thoughts on Where in the world is Steve Whitmire? - I agree I have come to enjoy Steve as the definitive replacement for Jim. And something just does not seem right when he is not working Kermit. But I do remember the days of MCC...
I think that we should all show appreciation for what Steve and his family, and the Henson Crews commit to this effort of keeping puppetry alive. If it's a company thing - You all have been warned with the republican govt taking funds away from public broadcasting and the recession hurts private companies like Disney. I hope Steve is well. Artie should be proud of the confidence he is being shown to work with the Kermit icon. He will get better too. "Lighten up Francis " to pull a movie quote...
Personally, I think that Gonzo should be the public face of the Muppets - Dave is Great with spontaneous stuff. And he is a legitimate funny guy, not a poser.
Support the jim henson legacy
Kermit is only "out there" to get the public interested in watching those films and TV shows. And a substandard Kermit is going to attract a lot less people.
I understand why some of us fans think films and TV shows are more important. But if the Muppets aren't giving 100% every time they make an appearance, no matter how "minor," then they won't have many more chances to do the big things.
Don't you think if viewers get the impression that Kermit is a shadow of his former self, that they're never going to bother seeing how good he can be in the next movie?
I agree with you. The quality and consistency of Kermit the Frog is what distinguishes him and keeps him from being an empty icon. Kermit has never suffered the watered-down Mickey Mouse fate of serving as a bland figurehead. He has wit, soulfulness and energy. All of that was sorely missing in these non-Whitmire performances of late.
(note: I like Mickey, but don't want Kermit to turn into a logo)
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