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Weinstein rolls with Fraggle Rock movie

Discussion in 'Fraggle Rock' started by GelflingWaldo, May 13, 2008.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh I was just teasing Dr Tooth. I see a lot of movies that have people questioning my sanity.

    What confuses me, is the series is called "Avatar the last airbender", so to have its name stricken because of James Cameron is so odd. Especially for fans of the show. "well see, Im a fan of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar, which is different than James Cameron's Avatar"
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd also love to say that Jimmy Cameron actually stole the major concept of the film from the odd Osamu Tetsuka film Cleopatra... but unless he frequented X-rated cartoon showing movie houses in the 70's, that's not likely... the whole sending a crew via virtual reality bit... I don't recommend anyone actually look Cleopatra up, though... unless you're 20 something and morbidly curious. It's not a bad film, but it's very VERY weird. Some of the weirdness is just... out there and you can't unsee it. Ever. Though, the assassination of Caesar being a Kabuki play should be required viewing for anyone who wants anything to do with animation.

    As for Airbender... really... I would love to say it's a Nobel effort... but Shaggyman ruined it with his direction. I almost didn't think they were still making the film, and when I first heard James Cameron doing Avatar, I actually thought it WAS that movie. Again, it's one of those films that couldashouldawoulda been better, but too many problems arose with in it. At least they got the character names right, and they looked, for the most part like their cartoon counterparts. Seriously, I still don't see Mathew Broaderick being a fit for the lanky, Don Adams voiced, oblivious Clouseau-esque Inspector Gadget... and the only reason I'll except Rosie O'Donnel as Betty Rubble was that she did the laugh pretty good... still think Rick Moranis, as precious a comedic metal he is, was a bit too neurotic for Barney. But Robin Williams BECAME Popeye. he disappeared into the role. And uh... well, Shelly Duval IS Olive Oyle. And... that isn't a compliment. She really looks, sounds, and talks like Olive Oyle.

    Really, making these cartoon based movies is a crap shoot. You could get everything possibly right down to minor character names like Speed Racer, and still fail, or you could just slap together Underdog out of a generic talking dog movie and fail just as bad.
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I refuse to ever see Airbender, Garfield1 or 2, Chipmunks 1 or 2, Speedracer, Dragonball Evolution, or any of these other abomination efforts.

    However SOMETIMES they get it right. Like Addams Family(the first one) which to me hit it out of the park. I agree Popeye was rather good. As for odd foreign films, oh dude...trust me, you and most people wouldnt be able to handle even 5 minutes of the utterly bizarre surreal movies I've gotten off netflix:3 But I do like it when the bizarre experimental visuals fit into a wider framework that works well, like Pan's Labyrinth or The Fall.

    M Night I feel has a mighty amazing skill at tension and wonderment. I absolutely LOVE "Signs"(as much as I hated the ending and felt the cheesey green cgi alien ruined it) The birthday video tape scene in it is one of the all time scary scenes in a movie for me. Sixth Sense had its moments, and I liked what Unbreakable was going for, same with the Village.
    However its Lady in the Water where his direction and storytelling went way downhill. Lady in the Water, forgive the spoilers, but nothing happens. In fact the entire story and what will happen is explained in the first minutes of the film. "The Happening" should have been called "What Happened To My $10?"
    Im all for eco messages but man the "M Night Twist" was pretty lame in that. Airbender is him tackling a new genre but I just cant get interested in seeing that(or Clash of the Titans, or Prince of Persia or any derivitive of "300")

    Comic book movies that were just downright amazing are a LOT
    better than American cartoons and video games turned into live action films. From The Dark Knight, Constanttine, H---boy, Tank Girl and the first Blade to Ghost World, Road To Perdition and Watchmen...comic book turned live action movie have a much higher success rate of being amazing movies.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Comic book films can be great if done right. I still think Smurfs SHOULD have been tackled as a comic book movie, since it was a brilliant Eurocomic before the US got its hands on it and made it a cartoon series. There are so many subtleties they glaze over in the show that turned it into the annoying little bunch of characters that people remember. Having NOW read the comics, I['d say we would have been in for something a LOT better had Americans actually got them prior to this point. Speaking as a Eurocomics fan, of course. I hope Tintin gets it right.

    But when it comes to cartoon based movies, I tend to at least give credit if they actually WATCH them first and cast people who sorta look or act like the characters. I still think we should adopt the theatrical TV cartoon climate other countries have. How awesome would it have been if Nick allowed them to make a PG (at least) Invader Zim movie to close out the show, after pulling the rug out from everyone? How absolutely wonderful would it be to have a show that's airing currently, than some backhanded compliment poorly written live action parody of it 20 years later? Even if they have to be... ugh... Saturday afternoon matinees.

    That sort of thing is why a lot of people won't trust an FR movie. And that's the exact same thing I think we should all worry about if they DO get that other writer. This project should be treated as a FR SHOULD have been IF it were made 20 years ago when it was supposed to. Given the right climate, I'd also want to see a GOOD Sesame Street movie. Not just Elmo mugging the camera for 90 minute. There were parts of EIG that were actually quite solid... even going into developing Elmo as a character (something that can't be done on the show, for some reason :rolleyes: )... but when he talked to the kids in the audience like it was Elmo's World? Bad... bad bad bad...
  5. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    It sounds like a money thing. They know Fraggles is going to be a bit of a gamble money wise as it hasn't been around for so long and kids have no clue about them, they can't just bank on the nostalgia with a theatrical movie. Two years back Weinsteins were in a better position financially and could probably have taken the gamble which seems to be what most movie companies have done with these nostalgia brands - some seem to hit, some miss. Now the economy is down even more, the retro boat is starting to sail and there may be danger of missing it ... the one hope is probably that the Muppet movie could create some interest and investment in making this.

    If it's internal problems though and Henson have had enough maybe they equally want to just sit on it and make nothing until the Weinstein rights are up. I think we will see something, eventually from somewhere but maybe not for a while - maybe Henson will go to Oz with it like POTDC.
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree. This film has been in development since 2005, but only at Weinstein since 2008. That's a while, but not a terribly long time. Script revisions took a while so basically this comes down to company floundering for the better part of one year. And now more script revisions.

    There was a great momentum post-Muppet sale to get the Fraggles out there and earning. The plushes, the DVDs, the CD all came out in a steady stream. Sure, they were a hard sell at first, but they ended up being profitable enough to retain retail interest. I'm still bewildered why they were crazy enough to push back that beautiful glossy Fraggle book or the PVC figures. Mindstyle used the Fraggle image to sell their other wares, but never brought one Fraggley thing to market. I still feel they market this brand entirely wrong. Too high-end and exclusive when they should be as inexpensive and accessible as the Smurfs. Maybe the Hub viewings will increase interest in the Fraggles again. And where the frog did that proposed Doozer kid's show go?

    I love the Henson Company and their legacy of films, but I think they need somebody much more aggressive in a management position. There are too many press releases touting proposals that fizzle and become forgotten and too many misguided cinematic flops (Buddy, MirrorMask, Good Boy).

    I know we're all focused on Weinstein dropping the ball, but I still feel a Fraggle film should have been made well before it even got to them. Studios should have been chomping at the bit to buy up the rights, but there doesn't seem to be a mechanism in place to maintain that momentum they created. The Henson Company has seemed rather aimless. I am very excited about the Happytime Murders and hope that it's successful enough to get people excited about all things Muppety again.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yes, but no matter what happened, Henson ALWAYS needs a partner to do these films. They're not financially solvent enough to do everything themselves, and if they were, they would have DONE this movie by now. Remember, Good Boy and Buddy were under Sony's partnership. Henson desperately wants this movie... after all, Fraggles is the only strong, solid, family and kid friendly Henson brand NOT controlled by Disney or SW. They want to launch it as their signature brand. Look at the merchandising push it got recently... they have off brand Snuggies.

    Not only are you right, but the sad part is, if Weinstine worked on it 2 years ago, they would have lost funding halfway through, and even if it was finished, they'd sit their fat sullen butts on it like they're doing with Hoodwinked 2. The only option Henson has, and I agree is to get ANGRY with them or just sit on it until Weinstine loses the rights. Frankly, I just want them to completely go under already and have Henson move the project to Lionsgate.
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I get the need for partnering, but Henson should be able to strengthen their brands enough to make more companies woo them. I still don't get why things are the way they are with their branding and promotion. Why does Manhattan Toys make the weird-looking and expensive Fraggle plush rather than any number of other competitors? That's a good example. They should have Fraggle merchandising out the yin-yang by now...and at affordable prices. To me, the film development before and since Weinstein falls in this same weird little crevice.
  9. Mupp

    Mupp Member

    Sounds good to me.

    Also, kind of pathetic about Hoodwinked 2.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Catch 22. They won't make the movie until it's popular enough and that falls on merchandising... and bigger companies won't want to merchandise them until there's a movie. The general retail stuff isn't the greatest in the world, I have to admit. I like the wall clock and the uh... Shooter glasses... but no way am I wearing a snuggie (even if Bullwinkle, Kinnikuman and Inspector Gadget were on it), the beanies are for girls, and the plush... well, I like SOME of the plush, but you can only buy them in upscale local toy shops that sell only educational toys rich snobby parents buy their kids. No matter how you look at it, though... it IS a start. OH. The comics too. I forgot those.

    I'm sure if the movie WOULD get made and IF it ever comes out, we'd see a more accessible toy company do more affordable general retail plush and figures of some sort. And if they ever BOTHER getting the Doozers series off the ground (please tell me they're NOT waiting for any signs of the movie to get that out or we'll never see that either) that would help be a nice push. But so far, just some odd nostalgia based merchandise, the DVD sets that have been out forever (and I never got :mad: )and reruns on an obscure channel... there's not that much of a push. Though, I guess that's the best they can do. I really want them to go stronger with this stuff. I'd hate to see Henson's anchor license to be Dinosaur Train. It's not even Waldo CGI.
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    It's funny. There's an old story the fabulous Ms Prell once told me involving the first wave of Fraggle merchandise. :excited: Due to some snag in the system, Gobo and Red Fraggle plushes arrived in stores months before the pilot episode ever aired resulting in sluggish initial sales souring a lot of retailers to Fraggle merchandise. Some of this was remedied later on, but when I remember where I purchased my Fraggle stuff during in the mid 80's it was always mail-ordered or purchased directly from Muppet Stuff NY.

    I personally turned down loading up the Manhattan Toys Fraggles in my toy shop because they weren't attractive enough to warrant the price it would cost us. We'd have to sell them at $28 and buy them in bulk. Most of them would just sit there. People aren't willing to pay more than 14 bucks for a plush or puppet. The owner tried to get the Sababa ones waaaay back before my time, but they never responded to his requests. I think something internal besides quality and sales figures brought Sababa down. They made some beautiful and well priced pieces! Those would move like crazy here! So would $5-9 pvc figures. Project or no project.

    But toy companies just see the sales figures and don't take the time to understand why. Manhattan Toys, Mindstyle blindboxing and that Dr. What'shisface's T-shirts are the absolute wrong way to market the Fraggles and could be why Weinstein believes the movie needs to be edgy - - catering to the "high-end" exclusive market of well-to-do young adults instead of any and everybody. Go back to the Schleich people for fraggle's sake! Stores can purchase a case of Fraggles that would cost a couple bucks each and mark them up between $3-6. Heck, who wouldn't buy a Wembley figure for $5?

    Anyway, I digress. The fish smells from the head. Fraggle leadership starts with the Henson Company and I've seen great strides by way of the comics. It's that kind of savvy thinking that greases the wheels of brand awareness. I think they could do more of it with accessible product companies.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I keep seeing more and more places carrying the German made Schliech Smurf figures... even before talk of the movie started. If they could only get the license, I'm sure they could dust off some old molds (if they still have them) and make batches to sell in toy shops. Love for them to get Disney's go ahead to reissue Muppet ones as well. Even if they have them sold only in box sets... again, like the Smurfs.

    But it really smacks of what the general retail market is like. I'm wondering if they went with the high end stuff by choice. I'm sure the Mindstyle stuff was negotiated while they were doing the Jim Henson's City Creatures line... but was Manhattan the only company that actually wanted to go to them, or the only one Henson could get a hold of? Seems back in 2002-2005, Sababa got the Fraggles possibly as a parcel package with the rest of the Muppet line. If only someone at SW could have pulled a few strings and got Gund's attention... though, quite honestly, their larger plush cost just as much as the Fraggles... but at least Gund has varying sizes. If only Manhattan would make smaller ones in scale with the first Sababa wave, I'd buy those, definitely... As for the T-shirts... uh, were they for charity? I forgot if they were or not. Anyway, NOTHING can justify me spending that much for a shirt... heck, I barely ever pay over 10 bucks for one. If they could just get some Boober shirts into Kohls, I'm sure things would work out.

    The way things are going, Henson NEEDS to push out that Doozer series. It really looks like their anchor project (as far as Family stuff goes) is Dinosaur Train. At least, that stuff is easily accessible. Even if someone's willing to spend that much on a Fraggle Plush, upscale toy stores aren't all over the place. I'm lucky enough to see some of them, but they only have one or two Reds on a shelf.
  13. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Dinosaur Train is apparently the marketing darling Sid never was. It's successful, but I fear Henson is being seen as either kiddie fare or hard-R adult puppetry. Both are great, but it's the meeting in the middle that set Henson apart. I think the Fraggles fit somewhere in that middle.
  14. I think an edgy Fraggle Rock movie would be da bomb, yo!

    Check it, Mokey could, like, totally rebel against unhealthy foods 'cause those be whack. Afterwards, Boober can have this seriously dope discussion 'bout how peeps who don't look both way before they cross the street is just straight up trippin'. To cap it all off, Red can bust out some mad beats on her turntables while Gobo and Wembley drop a stoopid, phat rap about how the potty is your homie. When the fraggle crew head on back to their crib, they can rename the joint "Fraggle Hood." Now, doesn't that movie sound off the hook? Fo' shizzle, my nizzle!
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't even think Sid airs anymore. And that truly is a shame, since it at LEAST was digital puppetry. The toys weren't really all that good looking, and they weren't accessible (I only found them in TRU, over priced as usual) and even then, kids like dinosaurs a pretty big deal. I mean, it's nice to see a PBS kid's show staring dinosaurs that doesn't suck... but I'd hate Henson's core family brand go to a CGI cartoon that doesn't even employ any puppet techniques.
  16. beau

    beau New Member

    Sid still airs here in the PHX, I do believe.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Not much of an update on the movie, but Weinstoopid has finally decided to release Hoodwinked 2

    Of course, Cory stated this in his blog:

    Yeah... we're in good hands.. :rolleyes:
  18. ZeppoAndFriends

    ZeppoAndFriends Well-Known Member

    I sincerely hope that you are jesting.

    If not, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Gobo is the one with the turntables, not Red! :smirk:
  19. Daffney

    Daffney New Member

    So far, no progress.

    The last I heard about the Fraggle movie was that those silly willy Weinsteins put the film on an infinite hold. That tells us that they don't want to do this film, even after their edgy concerns on Cory's script.

    The movie's been stuck in development for almost six years now, and a script hasn't been approved yet? Now that's silly.

    I know it's been said and done, but the film's never gonna get made at this rate. Henson, jump ship and find a new studio! :crazy:
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    There is no way this is going to happen unless Henson does indeed find a GOOD studio. Weinstoopid has been dragging their feet for 6 years... they've been dragging their feet with the script for almost 3. We're talking about a studio that held a finished film (Hoodwinked 2) hostage for over a year, presumably to add farts and crotch bonk and poopoos to make the film "edgy." You know, something hip and trendy and like a certain fairy tale movie from 10 years ago like we all got tired of halfway through 2006. No telling what damage they would have done to the FR movie... like "Wembley should talk like how rap people talked in 1996 like we think all ethnic people currently talk" or "Boober needs to be gassy to make slow witted 2 year olds snicker for a second!"

    Seriously, this is the reason they went to a powerless indie studio in the first place. So they wouldn't make some lousy movie that should directly go to DVD so parents can buy it for their snot eating brats to be quiet for 90 minutes... you know, like every kids film since December with the exception of Rango.

    The Weinos mismanaged their own studio, and Henson has to pay for it. Time to move, guys...


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