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The things some "fans" say...

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Duke Remington, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Among other things, didn't they replace certain members anyway?

    Replacing a human acting troupe is not like replacing cartoon voice actors or puppeteers. I mean, you can't replace Elvis, you can just get Elvis impersonators. Replacing the entire Marx Brothers with other comedians would barely mean they're the same troupe, replacing them with impersonators is just that... impersonators.

    Cartoon characters and puppets are special. They're not real, they're not alive, so they can never really die, get sick, or walk out on a contract dispute. They're immortal. Only the behind the scenes people change. The voices sound different, the personalities at worst are a little skewed, but they're essentially the same character.

    Heh heh... when you're an animation student everyone tells weird stories, most of them legends myths, rumors or exaggerations. Still, I wonder if the Windsor McKay "BAD LUCK!!!" speech at a party animators threw him was true.

    But Wayne was just awesome as the mouse. Now, I always loved Goofy cartoons and Donald Cartoons, but I didn't enjoy Mickey on that level. Somehow, when they did House of Mouse and Mouse Works, they really let the character loose. I sound blasphemous on this, but he's one of the few characters to have better newer media than some of his old stuff.... really, I can't stop talking about Three Musketeers!
  2. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Not exactly. When the fifth brother Gummo left, the younger brother Zeppo was brought in yes, but Zeppo didn't change his name to Gummo. Then people often think Zeppo was replaced by a new romantic lead, but actually Zeppo rarely played the romantic lead in the movies. So I wouldn't even say he was replaced.

    And frankly, Groucho, Chico and Harpo were the main brothers, and no one would have bought the idea of them being replaced.

    Tell that to classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans who refuse to watch the episodes where Raphael had a different voice actor. ;)

    Even the original Disney animators said you can't just change the voice and expect it to be the same personality.

    To say otherwise is kind of implying that voice actors or puppeteers are a dime a dozen and anyone could replace them. And that's simply not true.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I hate to be mean to Hal Rayle, but his Raph voice was terrible, his Miss Piggy wasn't all that good.... his Animal was only okay. On the other hand, I don't find the episodes where Greg Berg voiced Donatello as Jarring. Though i find it absolutely strange that the non-union voice actor (they considered using the originals, but there was some problems with the voice actor's union) that played Raph in the anniversary special was the closest sounding of all of the other Raphs. Leo was dead wrong.

    NOT if they have an intense casting session to find the perfect replacement voice. They don't just get people off the street, after all. Disney has been VERY consistent with recasts the past 20 years. Other than the fact they wanted to reboot Pooh with new voice actors, but they just couldn't find anyone better to play Pooh and Tigger than Jim Cummings, who's been doing those voices since House at Pooh Corner (at least New Adventures). They still have the same Donald since Nash passed away, and the same Goofy since Goof Troop. Only major recasts are for commercials, animated TV series, or video games due to how much they'd have to pay everyone. Warners on the other hand, they try very hard as far as the opposite is concerned. They don't want regulars to ask for more money, like they did with Mel. Though, the only time in Scooby-Doo Fred wasn't Frank Welker was A Pup named Scooby-Doo. Shaggyb bounced around and around to get back to Casey Kasem and back, though. But everyone else they kinda settled on at certain points.

    Implying they're a dime a dozen simply isn't true... but it's less jarring than a live action person replacement. THAT stuff is noticeable.
  4. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Only the behind the scenes people? It's because of those behind the scenes people that these characters are special.

    And you can have intense casting sessions, you can have talented replacements, but you can't escape the fact that they're different people and they create different personalities out of the original characters.
    Only to casual fans. ;)
  5. ISNorden

    ISNorden Active Member

    A lot of the Sesame Street Muppets were retired when their performers either died (e.g., Richard Hunt) or stopped working regularly on the show (e.g., Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson). The original Muppeteers gave those characters both a voice and a defining personality--something that takes a long time for other people to imitate well. Otherwise, Sesame Workshop would still produce new skits with Herry Monster, Count von Count, or Forgetful Jones as the main character; Hunt's and Nelson's signature Muppets wouldn't be limited to hidden-gem cameos every five or ten seasons.
  6. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    agreeing with Drtooth its much easier to replace/recast and behind the scenes voice actor than an onscreen one...and i feel saying that only the casual fans don't notice is a little unfair and your not giving them credit, people notice change whether it be a voice or actor.
  7. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Easier technically in some ways, but that doesn't guarantee the same level of quality, that's all.

    I agree and that's why it's actually not easier to replace behind the scenes actors. ;)
  8. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    not exactly because its not a whole new face they are getting used to just a voice...so the transition is acctually smoother...yes both have bumps but when you replace a whole new actor you risk the point of have to explain why they look different, when a voice you can say hey he sounds a little off wonder whats up
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I honestly find that bull... here's WHY:

    Who do you remember most being Porky Pig? Who does anyone remember being the character... Mel Blanc, right? Well, guess what? He wasn't the original Porky. He was the replacement for Joe Dougherty... and get this... Joe REALLY had the stutter!

    If character's don't get replaced or recast, they tend to die with the original performers. Then we have new characters, and EVERYONE hates the new characters and wants the old ones back. How can we have them back if we can't have them recast?

    Look at Sesame Street. Snuffy had a couple performers. Now, when Jerry stopped performing him, should the character have just vanished? No. In fact, I like Martin's better because he found a different voice and direction for the character.

    Now, I don't think Jim would have wanted Kermit to die with him. That's not who Jim was. And if the Muppets went on, we'd have a new host, and everyone would feel Kermit's replaced. The only person to ever really take something that big and beloved to the grave with him is Schulz, but that's because replacement comic writers are hit or miss when it comes to strips.
  10. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    We want to keep the Muppets alive, fine. But the newer projects did not do that. They actually did the opposite. So the idea that all the Muppets need to stay afloat is a new project really hasn't held up.

    And frankly it's amusing and strange that fans are being called traitors for the terrible crime of...liking Jim Henson's work best. Oh yeah...how dare they...lol

    I grew up with Jim Henson's Muppets. And they are very much alive for me and for many other fans, even younger ones. And I don't need a new movie to prove that to myself. If it happens, great. But it's not necessary for my fandom to survive. :)
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The problem with new projects ISN'T the lack of Jim's Kermit, but rather the lack of Jim's vision and Jim's leadership. We all know Jim was so much more than his characters... would anyone else have bothered with something like Dark Crystal or Labyrinth when they had a franchise that made money and was time tested?

    Recasting a character is one thing, but vision and leadership are quite another. Look at the sad state Henson is in right now. Other than a CGI show that doesn't employ any regular puppeteers as animators or voice actors, they're struggling to make a name for themselves. Had Jim been around, they would have had at least ONE big project perk them up. Disney was struggling to get back to the glory days after Walt died. And once they found their stride under Michael Eisner, he got cocky and everything went to pot again. And that's the best case scenario.

    I mean, recasting Mel Blanc for various Looney Tunes roles is one thing, but it took people like Chuck Jones to have a unique vision for those characters. Some of his last LT shorts made in the 90's even had some of that great old feel to them without Mel. But then again, even with Mel, the late 1960's Friz Freling shorts just didn't feel right. Some weren't even funny at all. MCC and MTI were both written by Jerry Juhl and had some of that feeling as well, even without Jim or Richard. The Muppets were always a team effort... so it's also a problem with writing and direction. The writers for MT didn't even find a direction for the show until the show was canceled.

    This thread is specifically about recasting a role, which is inevitable. No one lives forever, people leave because the role wasn't right for them. That happens EVEN when the original cast is around. But when the leader of something so massive dies/leaves, that's something you can never recapture.
  12. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    i dont think anyones calling anyone a traitor,for not liking something...but people can be pretty stubborn headed when it comes to accept change to their beloved tv show or movie verse and its not just Muppet fans, its all franchises...so comes the term fanboys and why every movie when a fan complains you hear "Stupid Fanboys".
  13. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    This is not about accepting change. These same fans have accepted change from the Muppets many times. The Muppets changed a lot from the '70s to the '80s and these fans had no problem with it. This is not about agreeing with changes, this is about recognizing that the current system has not been working.

    Some fans will have different opinions. There's a lot more Muppet fans in the world outside of Muppet Central. They don't deserve to have their fan status questioned by putting it in quotes as the title of this thread did. They're not being stubborn and they're not being stupid. That's just not fair. Is this what being a Muppet fan means now? Agree with us or get out? I hope not...
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Again, this is about voice recasting. MFS wasn't a bad movie because Steve was Kermit, it was because a bunch of internal problems with the script and directors and overall lack of vision under Henson's new management.

    Somehow, Disney only a had a couple misses... Cat Cora for one thing. But other than that, they had a very aggressive plan lately that had the very focus and vision the last batch of Henson produced Muppet projects (INCLUDING Oz). Muppet viral videos? Jim Henson would have so tapped into the Youtube/viral video market. That's the kind of visionary he was, and that's how much he loved new media. Since then Sesame Street took to it, albeit slowly, but Henson has been a hold out.

    Think about it this way, while the script of the new film was in production since before 2008, it got all the attention and focus of Disney's Muppet segment and it eventually came into being. With Henson, they've had 4 or 5 major projects since 2005 or so (POTDC even longer) that haven't even got to the pre-production phase. Vision and focus... that's two of the many things Jim brought to the table. And any project (other than Dino Train) they've had that actually went through disappeared in less than a few weeks. If Henson still owned Kermit and the gang, we wouldn't even see a new DTV movie for a few years. Look at how many scripts they were looking at after VMC that never got produced. heck, there were a bunch of better scripts and plots that could have been used instead of MFS.

    Disney was reluctant at first, but they went for a script some famous fans wrote and badgered them to do while they were doing another film with Henson's company providing puppets. They clearly saw something special, even just the famous names attached.

    Disney isn't Jim by any means, but at least they have the focus and disapline to get something done. What? We had like 3 small projects that didn't happen? And that's because they felt they weren't up to snuff for the first 2 and one couldn't have been done in time.
  15. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Let me clarify though, I'm not bashing particular voice castings. I'm just saying that fans preferring Jim Henson doesn't equal disloyalty. :)
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing...

    Some fans want to see more stuff, some fans don't. There's clearly a rift between the two. There are some with a fiercely negative attitude (not you specifically, but there are others), and that negative attitude seems to ruin the enjoyment of those that want to see something new.

    Like I said, many things are factors in why the latest projects were uneven. It takes time to bring things to a near normal level when someone leaves/dies.... and even then, they can only get close. Though, again, storywise I like the Mouseworks Mickey shorts over most of the original ones, and the 1960's revival Looney Tunes shorts were very hit or miss. Some people accept this and just want to enjoy stuff for what it is, some don't.

    Not liking them is one thing, but there are a LOT of very negative people who want all the new stuff to fail. I don't think any fan of anything wants anything new to fail, even if they don't like it, because they get shelved perminantly in mothballs.

    Still, I wish Disney would release more of the Classic Jim Henson based Muppet projects on DVD. Half of everything survives on fading VHS tapes and illegally bittorrented. How can you show a new generation how wonderful these things are if no one has access to them? That's partially where new stuff comes in.
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Some people here have mentioned fans saying that Kermit, Bugs, and Mickey shoudl have died with their performers. But unlike Kermit or Bugs, Mickey was recast while Walt was still alive (and Wayne Alwine took over while James MacDonald was still alive).
  18. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Oh I do agree, I think there are times when new stuff can help generate excitment for the old stuff. I'm all in favor of that. And if would save a heck of a lot of production time and money if they'd just release the projects that have already been done, lol. ;)
  19. Fraggline

    Fraggline Active Member

    I love Gonzo. What a patient alien.
    Anyway, about the quote on kermit's performers: I understand why a person would not like the change; in fact, change is not often one of my strong suits. However, I agree with Duke Remington--Steve Whitmire is an excellent performer for Kermit. Honestly, the idea that Whitmire would not be good enough almost makes me want to cry. In my opinion, he brings us the spirit of the Muppets that is cheerfully trying to preserve Henson's creativity and dreams.
    I hope that didn't sound too stupid. :p
  20. Fraggline

    Fraggline Active Member

    Wait a minute...maybe I was too ignorant. After all, the quote did say that Whitmire is talented. And I definitely have felt that a character has changed along with his/her performer. That's how I felt about Arthur when I watched the show.


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