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The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island coming to Blu-ray December 10

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by Muppet fan 123, Aug 9, 2013.

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  1. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there has to be some interesting things about GMC. I mean this was Jim's first hand at directing a movie, and sure that was a mile stone for not only him, but the company as well. even if there where just interviews from the Muppets about the movie, that would be great. However the fact that this and MTI are getting released to Blu-ray at all makes me happy.
  2. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    Yeah true i am excited
    dwayne1115 likes this.
  3. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I still think at the end of the day that Disney, Sesame, and Henson are still trying to figure out who owns what, and more importantly how to use it the right way.
  4. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member


    The cover art for Blu-ray and DVD releases is farmed out to marketing companies. They are not created with loving care. The assumption is that the fans will buy the release anyway. These marketers are trying to get a new generation of fan. That means kids. That means big, glossy, images that are super-saturated with color.

    I believe it's been said that the Struzan art was commissioned by the Jim Henson Company and they retain the rights to it. I'm not sure how Disney would obtain these pieces and even if they did, they probably wouldn't use them because they're not considered "cool" by kids. Whether that's right or wrong, it's the assumption of the marketers.

    I still don't see why the beautiful posters for Labyrinth and Dark Crystal have been replaced by dull Photoshopped images. I also don't understand why Disney doesn't pull the Muppets out of storage to create some new images. None of it makes much sense to me.

    Here's a complete list of alternative fan-made sleeves that I found on the web. They all incorporate the original poster art. I guess MFS and TM weren't included because the releases retained some original artwork. Enjoy. :fanatic:
    ElizaSchuyler likes this.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    They used a classic art piece for the cover of the Muppet Movie Soundtrack re-release. They used the exact same Michael Frith cover as the original. While I understand why we need to have these bland kiddy looking DVD covers, I fail to see the logic of why they couldn't also use that for a DVD/Blu release cover. I mean, there is the logic that only older fans would care about the CD's rerelease. Other than that, it makes no sense.

    Then I see some fan friendly stuff... Shout's Sam and Max DVD came with original artwork from Steve Purcell, the Sonic SatAM came with submitted fan art (with only the most professional looking ones gracing the cover)... and after several Rocko releases with clip art, Joe Murray did the covers for the last of the releases. It's a shame these movies are kid's stuff and therefore marketed to them. However, to single out just Muppet/Sesame/Henson releases shows a sheltered fan base that doesn't get a good look at most other DVD titles out there. Then again, you could say the same for movie posters.

    Disney has created new posers. Problem is, it's a money saving technique to use the old Henson ones that Henson was using back when we got sick of them the first time. So we're always going to have invisible doobie smoking Chef, flat head Kermit, and DVD cover of MTM group shots. If there's one thin that bugs me about this double disk's cover, it's flat head Kermit, when they have enough pictures of fixed Kermit they made themselves.
  6. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I thought that was strange too. I wonder if the CD cover art was a direction from Paul Williams. We know those who hold the music rights have a lot of clout. I also think older fans comprise a great deal of customers for the Muppet Movie soundtrack. This was its debut on MP3 and its first solo CD release in 20 years.

    The reuse of images isn't a cost cutting technique. The creative team receives a number of images to work with and they seem to choose the same ones. These cover artists are not necessarily fans. They don't know which images have been used before or which ones fans do not like. That particular flat head Kermit is one of the images already extracted from the background so he's easier to handle, but not really that much. Kermit's one of the easier characters to deal with because he has no pesky hair to deal with. It's also important to note that Jim Henson approved a lot of flat-head Kermit photos in his day. However, he was always taking fresh new poser photos.

    Regardless, I wish Disney handled the graphics better for Muppets properties. They own these fellas. There is no need to cut and paste the same old things in Photoshop. The beautiful spreads that have popped up in Entertainment Weekly have proven that.
    ElizaSchuyler likes this.
  7. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    What if Disney dose not know how everyone (older fans) feel. Why not someone try and reach out and let them know. I'm sure they would at least listen, I mean if it's really that important, and it really hurts the sells of these products I'm sure they would change.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Again, it's not a Muppet thing, it's not even just a Disney thing. Every company has to deal with stock photos and style guides because that's what the higher ups are looking for. Brand unity and easy recognition. In the case of animation (just throwing this into the conversation), the style guides rarely are identical to the show proper due to the fact they were taken from the earliest designs. Then the art evolution of the cartoon series changes the character looks, and you're stuck with toys and t-shirts with sort of looking the same characters. Best example I can think of is the Looney Tunes Show. The overly stylized characters look less and less stylized as the show progressed.

    I know there's some Sonic the Hedgehog DVD out there that uses one of Milton Knight's original model sheet Robotnik poses. I'd love to see more weird original artworks being used and less style guide crap. And the funny thing is, those Ncircle releases actually commission new art a good amount of the time. Some very off model and ignoring style guides.

    As for the Muppets... I agree. We've got these great new posers that Disney has been starting to use, and they're inconsistent with it.
    I wish I had a bigger picture of this, but I don't want to make one....


    They have new Piggy, Kermit, and (I'm going to guess) Pepe poser cards, but they're still using pepper shirt Gonzo, the MTM DVD cover, and that exact Bunsen and Beaker pose from the 90's. I long for the day when we have a new batch of Disney made poser pics to put on merchandising.
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    With Sesame it shouldn't be hard to determine - anything Sesame Street or Sesame-related is owned by Sesame Workshop (but Sesame Workshop doesn't own any crossovers with the Muppets). In fact The Jim Henson Company only owned the rights to the characters and the distribution rights to one special. So the rights to Sesame Street productions didn't change, just ownership of characters created for the show.

    It can be more confusing with Disney and Henson, but there are documents online listing what productions/properties Disney got the rights to (including some things that seem odd like the Muppet Meeting Films, Neat Stuff to Know and To Do, Tale of the Bunny Picnic, and Mr. Willoby's Christmas Tree) and what Henson retains the rights to. Disney doesn't own the distribution rights to all Muppet productions (and Henson doesn't own distribution rights to all its properties), and there are some things not mentioned, a few things that seem confusing. There's no mention of who owns The Muppets on Puppets (I assume Disney owns it, as it was included on The Muppet Show: Season Three release, but then again the season sets have a few additional bonus features that I think other companies own the rights to, like the appearance in a Weezer music video and the Purina commercials, and I've heard that they almost cleared the rights to the Muppet skit from I Love Liberty for the third season). It doesn't say which company owns either of the Tinkerdee specials (though the Henson Company YouTube channel did post a clip from Land of Tinkerdee), InnerTube (I would think Disney would have the rights to that one), or The Jim Henson Hour Pitch Tape. It also doesn't say who owns the Cinderella pilot, understandable considering Henson didn't have a copy in its archives until recently.

    I would assume all poster images are owned by Disney.
  10. panmanthe2nd

    panmanthe2nd Active Member

    Could you link me to this? Thank you :)
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    panmanthe2nd likes this.
  12. panmanthe2nd

    panmanthe2nd Active Member

  13. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Wow that sure is a lot to go through but man, am I glad I did. Yes Disney did pay a lot for the Muppets but man alive they did get a lot of rights to a lot of things when they did. Looking at the money that they paid and then looking at now what they own, why have they not done more? I'm not a lawyer so can someone explain to me two things. from all the papers I read it seems like Disney now owns all the Muppets from Sam and Friends, but dose not own Rocky Mountain Holiday. Is that what I'm understanding or is that wrong?

    Back to the new releases there are things that could have been used as bonus features for GMC.
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Yeah, there is a lot in there that's a bit confusing for me to comprehend. Like a section that says that the seller (Henson) acknowledged that some Muppet productions feature characters retained by the company as well as references to the company and that buyer (Disney) does not object to those being included (shouldn't it be the seller who doesn't object???). And the first time I read that I thought it meant that both companies were okay with their trademarks and characters being in productions the other company had the rights to (aside from some Fraggle Rock releases Henson has rarely edited out instances where the word "Muppet" or "Muppets" appeared in the credits) outside of what's mentioned in the "restricted retained entertainment properties". And I don't quite understand what it says about ownership of "Jim Henson's Scary Scary Monsters" books. And why does it have a section on Henson's involvement with Sesame Street but not acknowledge Sesame Workshop's rights to continue using the "Muppet" trademark and existing Kermit footage?

    I kept reading the parts about "early Muppets" and it's confusing as to whether it says Henson still owns them or Disney does (Henson has recently rebuilt Yorrick for Puppet Up). So even reading that it's confusing as to which company owns the pre-Muppet Show characters who didn't appear (at least not primarily) in any production Disney got the rights to.

    And I'm sure the distribution rights to Rocky Mountain Holiday (and A Christmas Together) are owned by John Denver's production company, I think it's called John Derr Productions (for some reason A Christmas Together was never acknowledged in those documents). I don't know how Sony was able to release Rocky Mountain Holiday on DVD under the Jim Henson Home Entertainment line (it's the only Henson production distributed by an outside company other than Sony to be released by Jim Henson Home Entertainment). And there's one part that talks about ownership of that special and Muppet Magazine, and I can't quite figure out what that's saying (that outside rights are temporary, or Henson had temporary rights to both, or something else?).
  15. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    As a Muppet fan looking at all that could be used as bonus features, and even sold as separate DVD's. I almost feel like Disney had no clue what they where buying. Even though it is a clear as black and white, and almost plain as day. Disney is sitting on this stuff and could have and still could make a lot of money by slowly diving into the Muppet library.

    The papers also talk about Kermit not being in Emit Otter, but I wonder if Disney and Henson realize that Emit and the gang are in the Muppet Movie?
  16. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Not to mention the fact that a song from Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas was covered on the recent "Green Album", a song that wasn't featured in any other Muppet productions. And the fact that Paul Williams' liner notes for the recent Muppet Movie soundtrack rerelease mentions Kermit being in it (at least Disney didn't censor the information to avoid drawing attention to Kermit not being in current releases).
  17. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well that is one thing that the papers do not talk about m the song rights. but I think the reason for that is because it has to be in agreement with the ageists.
    Bringing things back on topic here, I don't understand for the life of me why they would not put Muppets Go to Hollywood with this Blu-ray. They own it they should use it.
    In another thread we have been talking about JHC becoming less and less of what it use to be, but look at the list of specials that Disney would not own. Almost all of them including Henson Place and Sesame Street a celebration of 20 years have been released through Lions Gate. What has Disney done? They are the ones with the bigger library, Where is all this stuff?
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Did you mean The Muppets Go Hollywood should have been on The Muppet Movie Blu-Ray (I agree with that) or that The Muppets Go to the Movies should be on this one (I feel this special is more an hour-long Muppet Show episode than promotion for GMC, but it should have a commercial release)?

    The only things I can really think of keeping those from being released are music rights (and maybe the heavy use of celebrities in Muppets Go Hollywood... some celebrities only appear for a few seconds and don't really do anything, but I'm not sure whether Disney has to worry about celebrity appearances for Muppet DVDs).
    Duke Remington likes this.
  19. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    That's what I meant, the titles for both of those are to much a like.

    I know I must have known about all of these productions being owned by Disney, but in the back of my mind and on here I have tried to support Disney and there handling of the Muppets. That is one reason why I have had a hard time with people complain about cover art. I have thought that fans should be focusing there attention on just getting The Muppet Show Season 4-5 released, but now my goodness there is so much us Muppet fans could have. I just hope that Disney will wise up one day and start releasing these things.
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, I think the fans have only been complaining about cover art for the movies. I don't recall many complaints about the covers of any of the TMS season sets.

    And the movies have been among the most widely available stuff for fans to watch. The oldest ones have all been released on VHS, beta, laserdisc, DVD, and now Blu-Ray. Whenever any of the movies went out-of-print, it didn't stay out of print for too long (maybe just a few years at most). And even when they were out-of-print, it was quite common (at least for me) to find copies of most of the Muppet movies at various video stores (though there aren't many video stores these days) as well as most libraries that have a video rental section. And I think all of the movies are available for download on iTunes and Amazon and so on. The movies might not be broadcast as much anymore (these days it seems they're only broadcast on channels that a lot of cable companies don't carry).

    But will fans complain about a horrible cover for something rare? Well, fans did complain about the Muppets Magic from the Ed Sullivan Show cover (which led to the first design-a-better/worse-cover contest for Tough Pigs), and I think a number of fans complained about the first cover for that Julei Andrews: One Step Into Spring special (which has been delayed). But will fans complain if, say, The Muppets Go to the Movies gets a DVD release and Animal is heavily on the cover despite not being in much besides the opening number and the finale? Will fans complain if A Muppet Family Christmas got an uncut DVD release but the cover had a big image of Elmo, who doesn't talk in that special (of course that's depending on whether the Sesame Street Muppets appear on the cover. I wouldn't have expected that before 2009, but since 2009 Kermit has appeared on the covers of most Sesame Street videos he's appeared in, and those Henson releases from 2010 that feature Disney-owned Muppets featured them on the covers)? Will we complain if The Muppets At Walt Disney World gets a DVD release and the cover shows some theme park attractions that came after 1990?

    Those will all need to get DVD releases first before we can know.
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