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The Mouse is Wooing Miss Piggy

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Jamie, Jamie, Jamie,

    Please tell me you are being just a little sarcastic. If not, may I remind you of Enceno Man!!! (however you spell it)(Me I spell it C-R-A-P)

    I don't think Noel has done any of his father's characters for years. The main plan was that he would take over after his father's death (as Mel had been training him for years), but as far as I know, he hasn't really done anything. Does anyone know more about this. Its something that I haven't researched, and would like to know more about.
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yes, I am being completely sarcastic. I don't think he's done amany good films exept for Gods and Monssters and maybe School Ties.
  3. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Gods and Monsters was incredible. I also got a small kick out of George of the Jungle (but I admit it was bad)
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I remember that a scene from that film tied up traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge for hours a few years ago.
  5. DrGoshposh

    DrGoshposh Active Member

    I was curious about Noel Blanc not too long ago, so I did an internet search, and it just happened to be around the time that Noel got married (the ceremony was on the WB lot in front of a mural of the WB cartoon characters). The articles said that Noel's main profession is licensing his father's character voices. I guess the ownership of the voices was passed to him, and he now gets paid when WB wants to use the characters for something. I found the whole situation interesting.

    When I looked further, I found that he occasionally did voices on Tiny Toons, and when he did, it was very rarely doing Mel's characters. It seems that WB doesn't use the same voice actor every time for the characters.

    I agree with Jamie, the voices have been off lately. You'd think the studio could find people who could do better than some of the voice actors they use. But who knows.

  6. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member


    I agree with you because animation is solely focused on the voice. That is what matters most unlike puppetry which is a totally different art form. A voice is just a small part of the total puppetry performance.
  7. ZootandDingo

    ZootandDingo Well-Known Member

    To just elaborate on what Scott said, what Noel owns are thousands of hours of recordings that his father made throughout the 1980's in his home studio. Warner Bros. retains all rights on the characters, including the voices, but the actual recordings are Noel's property.

    Noel did try his hand at doing some of the voices shortly after Mel passed away, but his heart just wasn't in it. He thought there were plenty of other actors out there who could do them better, so he instead turned his energy to keeping his dad's legacy alive. Noel took all of the recordings that Mel made and created a unique computer studio. With it, he can create practically any possible phrase in any of Mel's voices. If you purchased a talking Looney Tunes product in the last four years and the voice sounds like Mel, odds are that Noel supplied the dialogue.

    I got to hang out with Noel about a year and a half ago at a Warner Bros. gallery show that I worked on and helped promote. He's a pretty cool guy, and he seems to just really get into discussing his father's work.

    Interesting enough, a journalist was covering the event for the newspaper, and she was asking Noel what he thought of sons picking up their fathers' characters, "like Jim Henson's son Brian doing Kermit the Frog now?" I had to politely tell her later that she didn't really do her research well.

    I agree that Warner Bros. has been doing a, for lack of a better word, sloppy job on keeping the characters consistent in recent years. The problem was for many years the studio was looking for one person to do all of the voices, and we just know that will never happen again to the same effect.

    I think perhaps the best ensemble Warner Bros. has used lately are the voice artists who worked on the short "Carrotblanca," but apparently they didn't seem to realize it themselves.

    I like the way the Jim Henson Company handled Jim and Richard's characters, where instead of trying to force a new person onto them they let new performers come into it more naturally. I think that's why hearing something like Bill's Rowlf isn't as jarring as, say, if Dave was suddenly drafted into the part in 1991.
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Biggest mistakes people make with the Muppets:
    That Kermit is voiced by Jim's son [Brian]
    That Disney owns them
    That they are the same as the Sesame cast or Muppet Babies
    That Piggy is voiced by a woman (many people still don't know)
    That there hasn't been a Muppet show since the early eighties.

    Just thought I'd list a few of the things that the laymen think that peeve me. :D
  9. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I must say when people think the main troupe are "Sesame Street" characters, it kind of annoys me, especially if it's an official news article.

    And for the past ten years, it was easy to say Disney didn't own the Muppets, but try to explain that some company called EM.TV (not MTV) owns them. Then try to explain in a few months that some other company (likely Disney) will own Henson.

    Good grief...
  10. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Noel Blanc Update

    Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for the update on Noel Blanc. I really figured that he just had no interest in voice work, was only letting his father train him to appease him, and had just gone off to do his own thing. The fact that he is keeping his father's memory and work alive is wonderful news. That made my day!
  11. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Brendan Fraser and New shorts update

    Fraser in action with Warners on 'Looney' feature
    Tue Jun 11, 2:36 AM ET

    Cynthia Littleton and Zorianna Kit

    LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Brendan Fraser has been tapped to star alongside Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and other Termite Terrace contract players in Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action/animated feature "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," directed by Joe Dante.

    In addition, the studio has committed to producing a series of Looney Tunes shorts that will run in theaters in tandem with high-profile Warners releases. The Warner Bros. Animation unit, headed by president Sander Schwartz, is also producing a new "Baby Looney Tunes" series to premiere this fall on Cartoon Network.

    The push to revive the Looney Tunes franchise has been a big part of the expansion of the Warner Bros. Animation unit during the past 18 months since Schwartz signed on as president. The division, which will produce the animation for "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," has stepped up its output with new animated series for the Kids' WB! service; direct-to-video productions, including a fresh "Scooby-Doo" adventure; and more Looney Tunes shorts for the studio's looneytunes.com Web site.

    Production on "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" is set to begin July 29 in Southern California and Las Vegas for a November 2003 release. The movie, set in a live-action world in which animated and real characters interact, begins on a studio backlot in Hollywood as the celluloid heroes embark on a comic adventure that takes them from Las Vegas to the jungles of Africa in search of Fraser's character's missing father and a mythical blue diamond.

    Larry Doyle wrote the script, which is being produced by Bernie Goldmann and executive produced by Chris DeFaria and Doyle.

    "The Looney Tunes are a perfect example of stylish wit that never dates itself," Warner Bros. Pictures president of worldwide production Lorenzo di Bonaventura said. "We're really pleased to welcome Brendan Fraser, with his terrific comedic timing and gift for physical comedy, to the Looney Tunes fold. And it's great to have this series of opportunities to bring Bugs, Daffy and Co. to theatrical audiences in both feature-length and short stories that highlight the humor, action and imagery that made these characters famous."

    As for theatrical shorts, the series now in the works will mark the first time since 1961 that the studio has had an in-house division dedicated to Looney Tunes production. Legendary animator Chuck Jones supervised the production of a handful of animated shorts during the past dozen years, including 1990's "Box Office Bunny" and 2000's "Little Go Beep," but those were handled largely outside the studio by Jones and did not receive the promotional and marketing support that the studio plans for the current Looney Tunes initiative.

    "It's an exciting and almost frightening thing for us to be working on Looney Tunes," Schwartz said. "The classics are still so popular on TV and through merchandising. The key for us is going to be maintaining the level of writing and wit and timing and all the elements that have made the (Looney Tunes) characters last for so many years."

    To handle the increased workload, Warner Bros. Animation has expanded its staff to nearly 400 employees this year, compared with less than 200 in March 2001 when Schwartz joined the studio after a successful stint as head of Columbia TriStar TV's animation unit. Warner Bros. Animation has benefited from the cutbacks in local employment of animators made in recent months by the Walt Disney Co. and Viacom's Nickelodeon. The 21st century version of Termite Terrace is a large complex in Sherman Oaks that was once home to a Robinsons-May department store.

    "We've been able to get some really great people. You can only get great product if you have really talented people," Schwartz said.

    And Looney Tunes isn't the only archival project that Warner Bros. Animation has its eye on. There's a wealth of characters to be revisited from the Warner Bros.-owned DC Comics library, Schwartz noted.

    "There are several thousand characters in the DC library -- many we know, and many we don't know," Schwartz said. "They're just ripe for development."

    Not surprisingly, Warner Bros. Animation also is involved in the studio's push to resurrect "Scooby-Doo." It helped provide much of the animation featured in the film that opens this weekend, and it is also producing two feature-length direct-to-video "Scooby-Doo" titles, plus the "What's New Scooby-Doo" series for Kids' WB!

    But as much as it looks to the past for inspiration, Warner Bros. Animation also is developing a slew of original properties for the Kids' WB! and Cartoon Network outlets. Among the series in the hopper for Kids' WB! this fall are "Mucha Lucha," a wacky comedy revolving around Mexican pro wrestling, and "Ozzy & Drix," a buddy-cop comedy based on offbeat characters from the studio's 2001 animated feature "Osmosis Jones."

    "We've had a tremendous partnership between Kids' WB! and the (Warner Bros. Animation) studio," said Kids' WB! executive vp Donna Friedman, who worked with Schwartz on several shows during his previous tenure at Columbia TriStar. "Sander's coming to the studio brought a whole new energy and spirit to the production. He's got a clear understanding of the kind of diverse, character-driven shows that have made us No. 1 with kids. 'Scooby-Doo,' 'Mucha Lucha' and 'Ozzy & Drix' are all very distinct in their own right, and we're very proud of them."
  12. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the news. Very interesting about the theatrical shorts since we've been talking about the lack of them the past few days.
  13. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Thats what I was thinking, and that's why I posted it here. I'm not holding my breath on them though. I have a feeling it will be another flash in the pan. Two or three shorts released, then the department will be shut down.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    I know this is pretty delayed, but here are some rebuttals

    Actually, Friz Freling had had a part in the Pink panther and sons show, it was made by Hanna Barbara, mainly because the studio that produced the original show had become defunct by 1980! (Shame, too. they were going to make a new Rocky and Bullwinkle show, with all involved in the first, until the studio shut down) As for making him talk, it isn't half as bad when Tom and Jerry talked in that terrible movie (Actually, Tom did talk [a line here and a line there] in the old cartoons, from time to time) But seeing the great Pink Panther on ladies errr.. underthings really chaffed my hyde!

    As for Universal, I totally agree with you guys on over sequalling Land Before Time. Though in all honesty, All Dogs only had Two sequals (one released theatrically, and one based on the cartoon series). Disney has perpetrated many "cheapquals" (a new coined phrase, see www.cartoonresearch.com for details) especially the dreade Cinderella 2 and Return to Neverland (though Corey Burton does a good job reprising Hans Conreid's role) and the innumerable, mind numbingly bad, endless sequals to the crittical and commercial flop "Air Dud, er.. I mean Bud" Though I did like Aladdin 3 (only because of Robin Williams) and Extreemly Goofy Movie (despite the celophane, transparent plugs of ESPN, a Disney owned comapny)

    Scooby Doo? Well, I'll meet you half way. Scooby did have numerous TV shows, some even without him (Scrappy going solo for a season) and I do like watching the show from time to time. But I sometimes think that (dispite this) his reapperance kinda seemed arbitrary, since it was't Hanna Barbaras best, or first series (Their first, Ruff and Ready has gone completely forgotten to those under age 30). This is one of those "seventies nostalgia" pieces that have come up in the 90's. (luckily it was Scooby and not Schoolhouse Rock again, somehow, I just hate the show and share BArt and Lisa Simpson's view on the show.)

    Cartoon Network! Yeah, the Powerpuffs have become really popular, but mainly it fell in the line of Pink Panther and Tweety as a "girl's show" when it is actually so much more. The show was created, again, by a guy in his 20's. It was in a student film called, forgive me, "Woop*** Stew." (Don't ask). I think this show is actaullt really funny, mainly because of the colorfull villians (which cartoons are lacking lately).

    Spongebob, Ren, Stimpy et al. Well, if you think about it, they do have a pretty good marketing. Spongebob stuff isn't hard to find (every store I've been in in the last month has at least one thing anoter store doesn't) Ren and Stimpy lost that after Nick got furious at the creators after numerous complaints from puritanic "decency" Nazis (the same people who let Jerry Spring on TV, but you can't even mention a "Booger" for some reason!) After a while, they just pretended it wasn't on the network, and despite showing up five weeks every other year, they hide reference to it any way. While Bevis and Butthead were abandoned by the creator, mainly beacause he grew sick of them, and made "King of the Hill" (far more sophisticated, but not as funny).

    Finally, Doug? Well, at least it's not the ;lame-0a-zoid, dumb, snooze and a half disappointment of "Sabrina, the series" The last show made under the DIC/Disney relationship. I could go on about that all day, but I don't have the time!
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    Thanks for the info. Some good news - some bad nes, but very interesting!
  16. ZootandDingo

    ZootandDingo Well-Known Member

    Re: ACTUALLY...

    If I understand my animation history correctly, the DePatie-Freleng studio didn't technically shut down, but rather was purchased by Marvel Entertainment in or around 1980.

    The only reason I bring it up is because the newly renamed Marvel Productions studio was responsible for a string of moderately-budgeted Saturday morning cartoons....including one about a troupe of baby versions of popular foam and felt characters.
  17. Bean Bunny

    Bean Bunny Well-Known Member


    They made such shows as "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends", "The Incredible Hulk", "RoboCop:The Animated Series", "Muppet Babies", "G.I. Joe", "Transformers", "Jem", and some other. I believe that Stan Lee become the chairman of Marvel Studio when they bought them.
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    DePatie Freling was bought by Marvel, huh? I never new that! But anyway, Zack, you were saying that Doug and Pepper Ann are dominating Toonn Disney? Well, I do like Doug and Pepper Ann, but not nearly as much as I like Talespin!! My favorite Disney shows were actually Disney Afternoon season 1991-92 (From Ducktales to Darkwing Duck). It's a shame that Doug and Pep aren't on The Disney Channel instead (replacing those Hack sitcoms The Smart guy and Boy Meets World, bleech) and leave Talespin alone. Unfortunately, they run some shows too many times a day, and stop showing good shows. I wish they'd neuter all 101 Dalmations, and stop milking Winnie the Pooh for more Money. I also wish they'd bring back Bump in the night as well, but what are you going to do?
  19. towels

    towels Well-Known Member

    Disney toons

    I have to say, IMO, the best recent disney toon was the Timon and Pumba cartoon. The outside the box gags and inside jokes that made Alladin 3 so much fun were very prevalant in this series.
  20. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Well-Known Member

    Dr Tooth

    You see my thoughs exactly! oh but by the way even thought Doug and Pepper Ann are littlered all over Toon Disney...i belive they are also on the Disney channle as well! shove crap on the Disney channle and then shove the same crap on Toon Disney! and tossing TaleSpin at that! I even emailed them about it in a kind way and asked if it would be placed back on and...they never e-mailed me back, TaleSpin is played when it's turn is on chiling with the villians on Sundays but does not have a daily showing or two daily...actualy it was three but they did one repeat of the same show a day when they did air it.

    Yes Timon & Pummba was Disney's last great show, Hercules was pretty good too,I'm ok with 101 Dalmations the animation is pretty bad thought but it's funny, I'm kinda sick of Pooh, but it is classic so the show is very good, but the kimpossable, ProudFamily, teachers pet, loyd in space crap makes me glad i was born when i was born, TV wise....But i'm gald i was born when I was born anyways;-)

    Zack)Rowlf the, whats with this olsen twins cartoon as well!!!Dog

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