My Review of Muppets.com (2/5 Kermits) After 60+ days of watching a countdown, the new Muppets.com is finally here (although 2.5 hours later than said)! The site which is now maintained and created by the Muppet Holding Company, instead of The Jim Henson Company is a sight to see. When you first visit the site you are welcomed by a simple “splash page”. It has a simple greeting, a picture of the core-Muppets busting out, and the new Muppets logo, created and used by the Muppet Holding Company. This is the logo we will probably be seeing on any new merchandise by the MHC for a while. It is a nice image of Kermit and bubbly letters. There is then a link to enter the site, which is a flash animated marvel. People on slow internet connections beware, it may take a while to load the site and the sections. Main Gate / News Stand The first place you visit is entrance to Muppet Studios. This features the Muppet Newsstand in front of the arch way into the studio lot. The news stand showcases the Muppet Newsman (who is nice to see again) and the “latest news”. Like many corperate sites, this should not be your first place to go for news, the information they share will probably be a few days (even weeks or months) behind other places on the web (such as Muppet Central). Hopefully they keep the news coming. If you’re looking for the biggest inside scoops on upcoming things this will most likely not be the best place, as most of the news has been known for months by hard-core fans. The site is highlighted by real videoed Muppets that appear with greetings, jokes, and information. This section features Kermit and Rizzo popping up to talk about the site and whatnot. These are new videos and are quite cool to see they went to the trouble of recording the actual puppets just for the site. You may also notice Scooter on a golf cart wiz by in the back. If you go to the map you can jump to the other areas, one nice gag on the map is the fork in the road, and one of the only references to The Muppet Movie. You can see the new logo for the Muppets Wizard of Oz (and when you click for more information you get some old news and two new concept sketches for the film) There is also a "Sow in the City" parody with Piggy at the news stand. Studio Lounge Next on our tour of Muppets.com we come to the studio lounge. You’ll see Bunsen, Beaker, Animal and Pepe hanging out (although like many images of the Muppets these are taken from standard stock photos that any Muppet fan has seen before); and a videoed Fozzie pops in with a joke. This section features three games for you to play. Bunson/Beaker’s game, remix game, and four-arm pepe. If you look closely the shelves in the room have a Bunson bust, and a Kermit doll. Soundstage Now we come to the soundstage where we see some chickens, Beaker, and a videoed Gonzo. This section has FX lab and some not-so-new Muppet Wizard of Oz information. Miss Piggy’s Trailer At this time the section is not available, it will be coming soon…we hope. Muppet Stuff The Muppet Stuff section is quite nice. You can scroll though six different wallpapers to download for your computer. There are 6 AIM buddy icons to grab. A screen save download is coming soon. There are also links to Muppet merchandise and desktop themes.. A videoed Ms. Piggy will pop in, and if you look closely you’ll see some familiar muppet products on the shelf (like the best of the Muppet Show DVD, The Muppet Movie DVD, Muppet Family Christmas, Dr. Bunsen Bust, Lunch Box, and more. El Muppetana At this time the section is not available, it will be coming soon…we hope. Central Casting This section features information on some of the Muppet themselves. Sam the Eagle is shown at a desk and if you click on the filing cabinet your will have access to Muppet profiles. These only cover the main core-Muppets, so don’t expect to see information on Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Uncle Deadly, Wayne and Wanda. Even characters such as Robin, and Sweatums are left out. There information here is fun and entertaining, but nothing new or real useful (just stuff like Rizzo's favorite food). Behind Sam at the desk is a picture on the wall of Jim Henson and Kermit – this is the only time a Muppeteer is mentioned (or seen) on the site. If you click on the picture a quote from Jim pops up. I’m disappointed that there is not more about the puppeteers on the site. You’ll also notice the pictures on the wall change, and showcase some of the more patriotic or artistic images from the Muppets. Club Mayhem Here you can see the Electric Mayhem in action, well kind of. Four of the Band members are shown on stage playing a techno-ish song, while other Muppets watch. A videoed Animal pops up. The sad thing is both Zoot and Lips are left out of the band here. You have access to the remix game from the Studio Lounge here too. The music and animation on the band are quite annoying and cheap. However outside the club, before you enter you will notice some animated Muppet penguins and a clever parody of the iPod ad campaign featuring the Electric Mayhem. Muppet Records At this time the section is not available, it will be coming soon…we hope. Swedish Chef’s Kitchen At this time the section is not available, it will be coming soon…we hope. Conclusion The site is beautiful. Full of animations, sounds, live Muppets and fun. But once you get past the appearance of the site, it is quite a disappointment. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. This site looks awesome, but has no real content, and the little content it has is a disappointment. There are some things missing from the site. There is no historic pieces, nothing about the Muppets as a franchise and what they have done over the years. There are no references to previous Muppet projects. Not once was the Muppet Movie, or the Muppet Show mentioned on the site. There is no information or mention about any of the productions (movies, TV shows, specials) except the Muppets Wizard of Oz. There is also no mention (aside from a small picture and quote of Jim) of any Muppeteers. Disney likes to keep the characters as the character, so any “behinds the scenes” information looks grim. It looks dismal that any information or even mention to Steve, Dave, Bill, Frank, Brian, Eric, or any of the others will be found here. Even Jim Henson has no real mention here or his impact on the Muppets. The site features many Muppets, but it is missing so many of them. Famous Muppets like Robin, Pops, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Zoot, Lips, Beauregard, Sweatums, Bean, and many, many more. Even Statler, Waldorf, Rowlf, don’t show up. The news department is dismal on the latest and greatest breaking and indepth news, but like many “ official sites” it will not be the place you go for the latest news of what is going to happen – this is something many could tell you before the site even opened. They’ll concentrate on what has happened or what is happening. Places like Muppet Central will still be the best places to go for the latest breaking news. The site is very 21st century Muppets, and most references to projects from the Muppets from the “Henson-days” are lacking. The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, Muppet Tonight, Tales from Muppetland, Muppet Treasure Island, The Great Muppet Caper, Muppet Babies; forget seeing information or many references to them. The site is based off the characters and their personalities, very little about what they have done. Hopefully they keep the site up to date. I would hate to see “The Muppet Wizard of Oz coming soon” still there in July 2006, or the “Muppet Stamps coming soon” in April. I hope they add more information on the existing Muppet catalog and the works. I hope they give the Muppeteers some recognition. It is a fun and flashy site. I enjoyed exploring and playing around the site, there were some real fun and breathtaking things. But the site lacked real content that would make me want to return for a second look or reference (except to see if they updated it). The site is beautiful and fun to explore and watch, but lacks real content, and lacks the depth and allusions a hard-core Muppet fan would desire. Over all, for a cooperate website promoting a franchise I’m not surpised by what I see, but it is still no competition for places like Muppet Central and other fansites which really understand the Muppet fans.