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Discussion in 'Fraggle Rock' started by GelflingWaldo, May 13, 2008.
The Fraggle film isn't going anywhere. Whinystein keeps making things worse.
They're obviously waiting to see how the "Muppets" movie fares at the box office. I think Muppet Show edge is what Weinstein was shooting for, but that's not quite the Fraggle brand of humor. Make no mistake, if the Muppets do well the Fraggles will follow. It's just a bit spineless of Weinstein.
I'm hoping that's all it is.
I think Smurfs movie is what they're aiming for in obnoxious 2003-ness kind of Shrektastic edginess.
Personally, I don't even call this news or an update. It's someone sticking their head out a window during a rain storm every five minutes and saying "It's raining still."
There is no doubt in my mind that Weinstine desperately doesn't want to do this movie. There is NO way this film can and will be made by them in the future, even the distant one. They blew their money, they blew their chance at this film, and Henson was mislead into thinking this wouldn't be some studio where boneheaded decisions make terrible movies with studio meddling.
The burps, farts, and hurt crotches they added to "enhance" Hoodwinked 2 (which explains why it was kept in the closet even when it was finished for over a year) only go to further my theory that this movie is going to the wrong place. Even if it did get made, all I can get out of edgy is white people's inclusion of unoffensive or once offensive "Hippidy hop" out of context to get an ethnic audience, overused movie and television lines we're all sick of hearing ("Hey! Let's make them all say 'Say hello to my Little Friend!' It's still fresh... and they're SMALL! BWAH HA HA HA HA HA! That's the knowledge you get when you finally pass film school the fifth time!"), and worst of all... the forced romantic relationship of human Marty Stu and Mary Sue that takes up 90% of the picture, while the actual "stars" just sit back and try to help woo them by saying their catchphrases! Why is that even a thing?
Yeah, if Henson wanted to make a shoddy, "edgy" take your ADD kids out of the house for 90 minutes on a rainy day piece of Marmaduke, they could have gone to every other studio on Earth... only difference is their movie would have been made by now.
Hey! Maybe if Fraggle Rock was a lame film franchise from the 1990's that ran it's course, maybe Weinstine would consider. Look! They have Scream 4 which came with little or no promotion until now and is coming out in a few weeks. yeah! What the world was clamoring for. Another lame slasher horror film that lost the satirical edge 20 minutes into the first one. And of course, there's always Spy Kids with NEW kids... ha ha ha! I hope those movies bomb and they go completely under.
APRIL FOOLZ... DA moVie is Happenning...
naw, I better come up with something more believable, right?
Aprillz Fuuulesl! The Weinstine brothers get replaced with slow witted monkeys who proceed to run the company better than they ever did...
Naw, still unbelievable.
You do know there's already a Scream 5 in the works right? BTW: Drtooth, what's your take on Hop?
I didn't care to see Hop, but hearing that "The Director of Alvin in the Chipmunks" (which should translate to us Henson fans as "the director that ruined Muppets from Space"... seriously, the Joel Schumacker of the Muppet franchise) was behind some of it. I don't even want to see a movie he caters.
The live action bit is even more of a turn off. I've been horridly burned, scarred, and disfigured by the Yogi Bear movie (or the crummy kiddy romantic film for girls with Yogi Bear sort of in it... curse my Hanna Barbera fanboyism... Both Scoobys and Flintstones I loved) to want to see ANY movies about woodland creatures trying to get some lame loser to woo a generic girl. And no doubt that's what most of the movie will be about.
Had it been all CGI I would have given it a shot. Though, I quite think considering the plot, Here comes Peter Cottontail did the same thing... but with Vincent Price in a comedic role (he had too few of them for my tastes)
BTW, Drtooth, here's the news that you're possibly not gonna love.
Nah, I don't dislike Hop, and I felt it was gonna do well..> Rango's been out a while now, and it's the only family film other than that. Family Films uring this time of year, no matter what they are, are always gold... at least for a couple weeks.
It's gonna be interesting when Rio comes out and see which one's gonna do better. I might just see Rio... I'm still kinda iffy.
But Seriously? Scream 5? The only horror franchises that earned the distinction of having a franchise of sequels were Freddy, Jason, and to some extent Chuckie, going to the point even little kids want to see them slaughter the red shirts they have for a cast. Scream started out as a tongue in cheek parody, and it quickly lost that mind frame during the course of the first movie. Jut as long as we don't get any more Scary Movies. Even when they were good, they weren't all that good.
I honestly think they have missed the boat on this one and they know it. I think Muppet movie and smurfs will suffer to but they may well still do respectfully. There is only so much the public can take of the whole retro thing ... even for the Muppets, being disneys big relaunch and probably the only chance the Mups will get, I'm so surprised they have let the momentum die down.
The retro thing sucks... I'll give it that. Anytime we want to get a decent relaunch, something crappy, like the Smurfs film, will drag down the other. The Smurfs was just a mindless cash grab, mangled by an indifferent studio that got the script written a week before shooting. Paramount had these BIG plans to make an honest to goodness Smurf movie trilogy. I wonder what happened for Sony, with the WORST animation studio in History to basically buy the license and sit on it, only to slap together a crapfest before the license expires? They clearly had no interest in making it, they know they're not going to make any money off of merchandising, they know everyone's gonna hate it... that's why they dumped it in the August death slot.
Difference between Sony and Disney is Disney actually WANTS the Muppets to do well. I mean, a movie as bad as the Smurfs will be (I'll sigh... still give it a shot) can kill a franchise, but it's something of disposable nostalgia... they can release a couple halfdonkeyed DVD releases and T-Shirts and just make it up that way. Smurfs will still be popular in Europe, at least Belgium. Now, with the Muppets, things are a little different. Sure, there's the merchandising angle, but Disney OWNS the Muppets. They didn't buy a license to do a movie, they bought the characters lock stock and barrel. Now, if Disney wants to make the investment pay off, and have these characters stand along side Mickey, Pooh, and Pixar in merchandising alone, this movie has to do well. The sake of future projects rests in the balance of the film. This isn't something they can take lightly and shove aside... they OWN these guys.
That's the problem with the FR movie. Henson no longer has Kermit and Piggy to help pick up/hold up their business. They have pretty much cleaned out their back catalog and put most, if not a good amount, of that out into the public on DVD. And there's no doubt in my mind Henson wants to make Fraggle Rock their tentpole, their Mickey Mouse. This movie was supposed to help this out, but things aren't working out well here. The worst part is it isn't all Henson, and mostly Weinstine. Henson tried very hard to hype this up, putting comics and clothing out there, but Wein just doesn't want to make the movie, and it shows. Now all Henson has is an Outsourced animated series about Dinosaurs voiced by Canadians. Sid to a lesser extent, but hey... at least they have Henson people working on it.
Now I'm asking myself why did Henson choose the Weinsteins as the distributor in the first place.
For one thing, Weinstein has shown very little interest in the film, and when they were interested they didn't get the Fraggles but wanted edginess.
Another thing, a good chunk of their films have, both past and present, been delayed (i.e. Piranha 3 Double-D has been pushed from September to the same day the new Muppet movie comes out [great idea guys ] and Apollo 18 has been pushed from April all the way to January!). The only mainstream stuff that are directly on schedule this year are Scre4m and that unnecessary Spy Kids 4, and those are big money grabbers. The Fraggles seem to be new to them.
We all don't want the Fraggle Rock film to end up like... that other film. Time will tell, hopefully.
The deal started before 2008, when Henson and Weinstine partnered up for these red hot piles of meh... that was before the economy tanked and Weinstine lost money, and before they blew the rest. At that time, there was a LOT of risk capable in the system, and a movie like FR would have befitted from their indie studio cred. Then they lost a crap load of money, feared they'd lose the rest and put the movie in development purgatory until they realized they didn't want it... they tried shopping around for other partners, and things looked great... then something happened, and Weisntine said "Hey! Let's get a new writer even though the script was approved 8 times already."
Now, if that was a stall technique or an actual wish to dumb the thing down to negative fifty is debatable...
But really... who the heck needs Spy Kids 4? Didn't the last one flop?
Have you seen any of them? Out of interest.
The differences between Disney owning Muppets and Weinstein just licensing Fraggle are true. But neither company will get anywhere with either movie unless they do some ground work to get people familiar with the brands and interested enough to go and see it. It's clearly not enough to expect the "retro boom" which people are obviously bored with, to bank roll it through the theaters. Sure for Fraggle they had Karen Prell perform Red at conventions and they had a fashion event but those were clearly aimed at the retro crowd. With Muppets they were doing great work with the viral videos and Letters to Santa, and Studio DC .. well, um, least said about that the better .. but they seem to have stalled. I wonder if there is someone at Disney who has deliberately taken their foot off the pedal with the Mupps and DO want them just to sit in a closet, because i would have expected them to have launched or be planning to launch a TV show to back up the movie. What other avenues for promotion are there going to be before the Thanksgiving premiere? Talk show circuit .. that doesn't target the right audience for a traditional all singing all dancing Muppet movie. Kids above pre-school age aren't used to puppets now .. if they were to see a Kermit in a happy meal they'd wonder if it was wildlife week.
I still think this is the calm before the storm with the Muppets. As far as the Fraggle film, the Dark Crystal sequel and a number of projects headed by the Henson Company, they received a whole lot of talk but no real action. That's how both Disney and Henson used to handle the Muppets, but now we're getting some silence with a bit of buzz here and there. Maybe this whole marketing campaign will launch with ComicCon and D23. We've heard reports of on-site Muppet attendance and interaction specifically about the picture. For some reason, I really believe Disney is doing this right. Film campaigns really are shorter than they used to be because if they're too long it gives the illusion that something has stalled the project or that somehow it's hit the theaters and en-route to home video. I know there's anticipation, but I don't think we'll be anxious for too much longer. Give it some time.
The Fraggle press, on the other hand, just seems to have been handled poorly. The commemorative book, the planned figures and the specially-made Red short were all extremely hyped and then shelved. We got some cute Sababa toys and then the license went to these inferior Manhattan Toy designs. The overpriced and strange Dr. Whatshisname shirts, posters and site never really panned out beyond self-promotion for his shop. I am glad that the Fraggles have landed in the comic books. That is one thing that has stayed solid for over a year now.
I see this new formula Disney has been using with the Muppets and if that pans out the way I believe it will, it should provide a better model for Henson, the Weinsteins and the Fraggle Rock movie. I guess we'll definitely start to see a shift after the Muppets at July's ComicCon. The Fraggles should follow that lead.
I understand that movie promotions will wait until May at the earliest (again, why put the trailer next to Prom or Jungle Cats when you have POTC and Cars 2... movies people will actually SEE!) But there needs to be slow and steady Muppet sides to start creeping into stores, especially Disney. We have some t-shirts, and I'm expecting a big merchandising boom by November, but a couple little Kermit plush bean bags or something. Plus, they REALLY need to start making virals again. Odd music rights are apparently keeping season 4 and 5 at bay, but how about re-releasing the old movies again? With more features? I'm sure those will drop closer to November.
Yanking the Boom Muppet comics license, however? What does that prove?
We lost the Red shorts due to the licensing agreement with Hit ending,l rushing out the complete series even before season 4, so that's that. The rest, what can I say, Catch 22. They can't start hyping up a movie that won't happen, and a movie won't happen until they hype the franchise back up. Same problem with the licensing. We get third party and designers because the main companies refuse to make merchandise if there isn't a movie, and there's no movie if the bigger companies don't hype things up for one. At least we got that one commercial T-Shirt at Target, but that and the comics are the only thing accessible.
BTW, what the heck happened to issue 3 of volume 2?
I didn't really mean the movie promotion for the Muppets, i meant exposure for the brand as a whole. The virals were a start but they really needed to move to Disney TV from there. I fully expect the movie to be great and i'm sure a lot of adults will go to see it just based on their memories of classic Muppet movies but will a few trailers do enough to get kids to want to go see a group of singing dancing puppets? Not a chance. I honestly don't get why they stopped, and didn't capitalise on the momentum they were building but i hope you are right. Actually i know that at a brand licensing event recently when Disney were showing The Muppets movie to potential licensors they were talking about a new TV show as well, but i really think it needed to have happened before, not after.
As for Fraggles. I'd love to see a movie. I'm not convinced the backing for it would be strong enough to support a theater movie rather than a TV movie, but i'd hope so. I think at the time Weinsteins were a worthy partner and it could have been good - i don't get why they wanted the whole edgy thing when they took on a classic property, sounds like the whole Puppet image was scaring them off and then the money troubles came. I actually liked the fables movies, for a direct to DVD they are quite high quality and well written. When you look at the popularity of stuff like Hoodwinked i actually would have thought they had more chance of doing well with kids than a Fraggle theatrical. I love the people at the Henson company, but so many of the great people have left and i really fail to see what JHC have done without the Muppets, when it was meant to be the thing that let them focus on all this stuff they could do if they didn't have to focus on Kermit & Co. Some of it has been poor, some it has been wildly out of touch with what really is popular now - the only thing that really remains strong is when they design and build puppets (and even that through a 3rd party company). Ideally they oughta do a big fantasy movie or start making pre-school UK kids stuff again, i don't think the answer to their problems is the Fraggles although its lovely to have them (well .. Red) back.
I honestly don't see the point of bypassing the theatrical stage (which is just a contractual obligation these days) to get to DVD. That's for lousy sequels to lousy animated movies. You can spend 5 bucks on production and make it back. A FR telefilm wouldn't even cover the cost of rebuilding all the puppets that need it, let alone making FR look good. I want theatrical ONLY for the same reason FTB and even EIG made Sesame Street look big, bustling, and full of life, rather than the sometimes deserted cul-de-sac it resembles. Imagine how lush and deep a movie budget would make the caves look.
If they can theatrically release movies based off of cartoons that haven't even been on syndication for 20 years, comic strips people haven't read since the Nixon administration, and some of that junk, a 1980's puppet series that has every episode available on DVD and rerun on cable that people who now have kids grew up with has a chance.
The problem IS the nostalgia crap. The Smurfs has caused irrevocable damage to this film, mainly due to the fact they swiped the basic plot of going out into the real world (again, one of the many reasons I HATE this version and wish Paramount did theirs) and when it undoubtedly flops, any chance of FR will go with it. And if in case it is a hit, the FR movie could be made, but almost EXACTLY like the Smurfs film.
And again, the worst part of Henson is that they want to make FR their staple. And they can't do that without a new project. Even the Doozer CGI cartoon seems to have gone completely under the radar.
That does seem to be the reason why the Weinsteins wanted to make the film edgy. (The plot of the Fraggle movie was revealed in May 12, 2008. Sony bought the film rights to the Smurfs in June, a month later.)
Looking back at their first project with JHC, the Unstable Fables films, they were all just kiddie CGI films. No digital puppetry. I think Willystein thought that CGI was Henson's only output so they may have a desire to make the FR film just like those three films.
What the heck happened with that is it'll be released next Wednesday, April 13, as TP posted the preview page images.
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