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Of Muppets and Merchandise and Photoshop

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Drtooth, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I have absolutely no idea where to put this, maybe it should go in the Merchandise folder..

    But anyway... I know we have this discussion from time to time, but what the heck is up with all those pieces of merchandise, calendars, books, posters... that take a base photo and just cheaply and quickly photoshop characters who weren't in there to begin with, often times in the wrong lighting and in some cases, the wrong scale?

    Now, I was looking at the 40th anniversary coffee table book I got for Christmas, and while giving it a very good look it seemed like some of the characters were added last minute. An overly large Cookie Monster in the middle of the book, and the last minute addition of Herry (who I actually thought WAS Stinky the Stinkweed, and just didn't look closely enough) who was about a fraction of his usual size in comparison to the other characters. I actually drew something as an editorial if you check my account out.

    Now, I like obscure characters as much as anyone else, and I love them getting the nod. But that doesn't mean I like to see an out of place Angus McGonacle crudely inserted behind Miss Piggy in a 1976 promotion shot. We've been getting this stuff for years, now... remember the Uno set with the Swedish Chef holding half a broken whisk?

    Why is it that we don't get more unaltered rare photos or even new poser photos in merchandising anymore?
  2. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I'd even go further. Even when they don't mix different characters from different photo shoots together, they much with things like eye placement etc that end up making the characters look ugly or just "wrong" - look at the vast majority of the photos that are currently in the gallories at muppets.com - ugly, ugly, UGLY!

    The posers were one of the worst things to ever happen to the Muppets - not only because of the clear difference in the amount of "life" you get when photographing a posed doll and a real puppet with hand inside giving it its expression but also the whole aesthetic that's lended its way to all the photoshopping that further bastardizes the look. This is a problem that long predates Disney (but one they've inherited and still haven't "gotten right") and infects both Muppets and Sesame. The cover of the SST 40th anniversary book is one of the best examples out there as to the difference - just about any more recent photo looks awful and just about any older photo looks beautifully Muppety.
  3. Dearth

    Dearth Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I really hate it when they move the pupils on the puppets in publicity photos... trying to give them a focal point after the fact or whatever. Makes you wonder if they do that to photos of humans more than we realize, if they're that casual about it.

    I think the worst example I've seen would have to be the animated menus on the VMX DVD. Seeing obviously 'dead' photos moving around in a crude semblance of life... it's like the zombie Muppets. Cringe.


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