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Kermit's Swamp Years News

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Thog, May 24, 2002.

  1. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Who knows whether they wanted to sell out - depends what state the company was in financially i guess. Personally, i think i would have taken that money too - it's far more than the company was actually worth. Henson's were probably laughing before the share price dropped .... then the mass panic to sell, sell, sell set in !
  2. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    I'm still confused about how and/or why Henson sold to EM.TV. Did Henson put itself up for sale in mid- or late-1999? People keep saying EM.TV bid twice as much money than other Hollywood studios did. Were Disney, Viacom, etc. in talks with Henson in 1999/2000 or what? I just want to know how Henson ended up at some German company whose subsidiaries I can't even pronounce (except for Junior).
  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    EMTV were already a partner of the Henson Companies - they bought a lot of the shows for German distribution.
  4. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah I know, but STILL. Oh, that's brings up something else. I remember reading the article, "The Muppet Show won't belong to EM.TV until 2050." What does that mean? I still don't get it. Could you or someone explain it in laymen's terms?
  5. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    This one was to do with distributing Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show to German language countries. EMTV bought the shows when they bought the Henson company, but the Henson company had already licensed the German rights to Kirch (i think)up until 2050 and recieved the money. So basically EMTV has to wait until that deal has finished before they can start making money from those rights.

    I don't know how this all works now though since Kirch went into liquidation - i haven't kept up with what happened with them.
  6. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Makes sense. Would this mean Disney (or whoever) would have to wait 'til 2050(!) for German rights to these shows or would this not affect them at all?
  7. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    It depends ! If it is Kirch, and they are insolvent - i'm not sure if they can sell on the rights to a new owner or whether they would revert back to Henson if the company went bust. In whatever case, until those rights come back under Henson control then any new parent company would have to wait until they did to do anything with them. So, in a nutshell, probably 2050 - but theres nothing to stop Disney, Time Warner, Viacom etc trying to buy themselves out of the deal !

    This is basically the thing - the new owners will still have to take on all of the existing Henson deals be they merchandising or output (so Palisades, Sideshow, Columbia, Fox etc etc) but if they desperately don't want to continue and want to use their own people straight away then they could buy themselves out immediately (at serious cost) but in most cases new parent companies just go along with it until they can safely get out of the deal without paying up, then do their own thing.
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    How do you feel about the Rivkin angle? I know he's pretty much out of the picture, but if he werren't...
  9. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member


    I like Rivkin as a person, but i don't feel like he has the backing, either financially or in the industry to make a success of the Henson company beyond what it is now. To go beyond this level, JHC needs a parent who can give them facilities, promotion, money etc etc and make them a powerful player. If not, the company will just stay stuck in the void it has been in since Jim's death. The changing times and attitudes of people don't help the brand but the Henson company have made some pretty bad calls over the years as well.

    If he actually looked like he could do something for the company rather than just keep it ticking along i would probably be more positive - but if his offer is so weak that he'll only get JHC if nobody else bids or EMTV goes bankrupt then it just isnt worth it - they'll spend all the money they can get on aquiring the company and then have nothing to spend on the brand itself.
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I have heard it said that he doesn't understand there is a 20-something market for the Muppets, but I could be wrong. I hope that isn't true. How could one that loves the Muppets not understand it's core appeal? Disney is a better bet if that is the case.
  11. danielromens

    danielromens Well-Known Member

    I don't know if you noticed Jamie but their recent products haven't been getting all that good of reviews either. That includes their movies, direct to video work, tv shows, toys...

    yeah sounds like they'd be great for the muppets. Just because they can make a bunch of crap isn't a good thing. Right now Disney is like McDonalds, they make money but making more stores and product, not by what a single product makes. Their good product has been from other peoples work, like movies they distribute and Pixar.

    True Henson isn't exactly what it used to be, but anyone who thinks Disney still is needs to get his head checked.
  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I understand your sentiment, but does it need to be expressed so harshly? :)
  13. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    I can say it less harshly and in only two words:

    Snow Dogs!!!!!!
  14. towels

    towels Well-Known Member

    I think they're working on the sequel for Snow Dogs too...
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yeah. Snow Dogs is pretty offensive. It's sad to see an Oscar winner do disposable kiddie flicks, but my feeling is that Disney may be the best bet. It doesn't come without bad feelings though.

    Rivkin has helmed Henson Co under some really crummy projects (like MFS and Jack) that I don't even think Disney would release. If we can expect more of that, then they might as well be with Disney. But if they came out with The Great Muppet Caper 2, I'd just scream. I can see stuff like that happening.

    On the other hand, Disney will ensure the permanent longevity of the characters. I think we have seen that in the 90s many kids didn't even know who the Muppet Show characters were. And when MCC or MTI would come out, people would ask me if they still made movies. Very disturbing. I'm so glad for this flood of Mupopet stuff hitting the market this year!
  16. danielromens

    danielromens Well-Known Member

    I hardly think I was harsh. More sarcastic. You're a smart young man surely you can handle it.

    Yes I agree with the importance of longevity. And Disney sure did let that longevity shine with their support of Muppets Tonight on ABC, and their promptness of bring MCC and MTI to DVD. They're really giving those releases the royal treatment aren't they. And the dolls at WDW, well they are just spitting images of our beloved. Pluh, could someone get me a bucket, I think I'm about to recycle a bowl of Total.
  17. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    On the same sarcastic tone - I sure have seen a lot of Muppet merchancise out there in the stores the last decade or so. I see what you mean about quality of product, but you are dwelling in the negative here when there is an upside. Everything you have said is true and I have posted about my angst regarding the Disney Company, but in fairness there are upsides to a Disney buy out. Somebody's going to get them - would you rather Fox or AOL get them - they don't have a themepark and the WB stores were shut down pretty fast. I see all these top entertainment companies taking their cue from Disney. They really aren't much better than them as far as standards and practices. Disney is the big fish and that's who I'd rather have the Muppets pair with these days. They will always keep them in circulation.

    Many people complain about what Disney did to Pooh, but I really don't see it. The original drawings had their own charm, but since it was animated - Disney has put out mostly high-quality projects - excluding the Book of Pooh, of course. But those unforunate projects are bound to happen anyway. Anybody remembber Muppets From Space?

    About the lack of suppoirt for Muppets Tonight. I hated that it was canceled. There were certainly some problems with the show, but it did not deserve the axe. There were management changes around that time and many shows were effected but had they had more of an invested interest in it I am sure they would have kept it around a little longer.

    You make some good points, but there are so many absolutes in them. I guess I'm not that extreme in my views. I have always been a moderate of sorts. I wish Jim were back and that we didn't have to worry about all this...oh yeah, if Jim were here we wouldn't be having this discussion. Food for thought. Just my opinion and no asteriscs used. ;)
  18. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    You know what ? Right now i just cant wait for Disney to buy the Muppets and do something with them.

    If Disney own them they will survive, PERIOD ! They will then finish when Disney finishes, And personally i dont see an end to Disney. and they will keep on bringing stuff out be it TV Shows and Merchandise, It will be FOREVER !

    So im just anxious for them to buy the Muppets now, Cause i know that they will get right down to making something new with them.

    I know the Christmas Show and Fox Show is coming too, But Disney would make a permanent thing.
  19. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    My thoughts exactly. I really don't like Disney all that much, but Jim saw them to be the best place for his creations and who am I to argue? His thinking was to let them do all the marketing and stuff because it's what they do best, but I do disagree with many of their decisions and things are different without Jim's leadership. Still the best bet for the Muppets. I just hope they'll give us WIDESCREEN! Eventually everything will be in widescreen though.
  20. danielromens

    danielromens Well-Known Member

    Actually I thought the Book of Pooh was great. As far as the cartoon goes, I think they all but ruined the spirit of Milne's writings. They took everything that was smart about Pooh and stupified it. The original writings were just as much for adults as kids, and held messages in philosophy and life. There were actually some rather dark and sad stories as well. Disney put a sugar coating on Pooh that in my opinion has left him sticky and tainted. Give me the classic. I just don't like that when people think of Pooh, Milne is all but forgotten. The drawings used in the original stories have been overshaddowed by fluff. Tigger was the most popular character in the cartoon and low and behold a weak plotted movie is born. Again, innocense lost.

    I've always thought it would be great to take one of Milnes writings and do a stop motion animated piece using the original art as inspiration. No diluting the substance either. Just non-Disneyfied, Milny goodness.

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