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What Disney is getting from Henson...

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by BoyRaisin2, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Hi gang,

    On February 20 I e-mailed John Spelich, Vice President-Corporate Communications of Disney, about the Muppet buyout and I got a response today. Here it is:

    Thanks for your note.

    Sorry it took some time to get back, but we wanted to make sure we had as complete an answer as possible.

    In this transaction, Disney purchased all titles with Muppets content. This includes from television the three main Muppet series (Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, Muppet Babies), the Muppet-related segments (but not the Storyteller segments) of the Jim Henson Hour; the Muppet interstitials (Muppet Time / Muppetisms) and the three episodes of Little Muppet Monsters.

    From the movies, the deal included the Muppet Movie and the Great Muppet Caper as well as Muppet Meeting Films and the Henson company's ownership of all other Muppet movies.

    In terms of TV specials and direct-to-video, the transaction included Muppet-show related titles as well as The Frog Prince, Hey Cinderella, The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, Tale of the Bunny Picnic, and Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree.

    We can't specifically comment on the negotiations except to note that a number of different possibilities were examined, and the this transaction was one that made the most sense for both parties. You may want to contact the Henson company regarding your second question.

    Like you, we're big fans of the Muppets as well, and we're also well aware of the passionate dedication of Muppet fans worldwide. We hope to do right by the fans. Thanks for your interest.


    John W. Spelich
    Vice President - Corporate Communications
    The Walt Disney Company

    And here's my e-mail to him, in case you're interested:


    Are you able to tell me exactly what titles from the Muppet film and television library that Disney is acquiring? Of course, you'll get The Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight, but would you also be getting titles like The Jim Henson Hour and The Tale of the Bunny Picnic? I would just like to have a list of titles, please.

    Also, how come The Walt Disney Company is buying the Muppet characters, and not the Henson Company itself. It is shocking that the Henson family would actually sell the characters to Disney, but keep the rest of the Henson catalog. I am just curious that in the six months of negotiations, if the possible acquisition of the Henson Company (or the entire film and TV library) ever came up.

    Thank you.
  2. jediX

    jediX Well-Known Member

    Thanks for finding that out, boyraisin...that will really clear up a lot of uncertainty. All that's left of that is whether or not the performers will stay the same, which we can only assume, and hope, that they will remain the same as always. I'm sure there's much more, but this is a big help.
  3. dmx10101

    dmx10101 Well-Known Member

    Wow, He actually gave you a pretty personal answer instead of some cookie-cutter response. That letter though gives me a little bit more hope in Disney.
  4. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I never even THOUGHT of the Muppet Meeting Films.

    Nor do I ever THINK of the Muppet Meeting Films. :smirk:
  5. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of people have strong feelings about Disney, but you have to give the deal a chance I think. They're not stupid (with the possible exception of their CEO :p). They didn't just spend $60 milllion dollars so they could ruin something. We may not like everything they'll do with the Muppets but I don't think they are out to ruin them. Quite the opposite actually.
  6. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Well-Known Member

    A promising position, and I'm glad they expressed it. "Doing right by the fans" is important--if the people who have always loved the Muppets are satisfied with what Disney does with them, then who can complain?
  7. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    What???!!! No "Muppet Family Chistmas" was part of the deal? :concern: Dang... and I was REALLY hoping that Disney would re-release the un-cut DVD or air it on Disney channel this year! :cry: dang man....... :sympathy:
  8. GPrime1

    GPrime1 Well-Known Member

    He also doesn't mention "The Muppets Take Manhattan." I wonder if that means we'll never see another DVD release or a discontinuation of the current release. I remember back in the early '90s with Disney distributing Henson material, that "Manhattan" was also not part of the equation.
  9. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I imagine that includes the others then. You don't get MC and TMM but not MTM, that would be ludicrous (sp)
  10. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    Ahhh lol, Beauregard what does MC TMM & MTM stand for? lol :o :p :p and is "Its a VERY Merry MUPPET christmas Movie" part of the Disney deal too or no??!! :smirk:
  11. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I also notest that too! :sympathy: I do own the release's of Muppet Movie and Caper on video when Disney put them out on VHS in the 90's. I only reson I can think that Manhattan as NOT relesed by Disney is b/c its Columbia, thats what it sayz on my DVD any wayz. Also I forgot to ask.... will Disney also get Muppets From Space and Swamp Years too? or what? :excited: lol

    With "Muppet Fam Christmas" ... i don't think Disney or any movie studio will re-release it any time soon, remember.... Sesame Street :p is Sesame Work shop, The Fraggles :smirk: are Henson and The Muppets :) are Disney!
  12. DisneyNut

    DisneyNut Member

    If one thing comes out of this, it'll be availibiltiy. I'm sure Disney will market anything they've got, which is great because it's a rarity to see muppet stuff in your big chain stores. I hope they release a good set of the Muppet shows (with more then three shows to a disc) and I assume they will since, a friend has told me, they've ordered stores to pull them off the shelves. Plus, Disney has done great things with the Muppets already with the 3d shows at both parks. I think Disney and Henson had a lot in common and, as long as they let Henson continue to have input, they will create great things to come.
  13. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    ALL the Muppet movies are included - and absolutely anything with a Muppet in it. I think thats what the guy means. Nice work Kenny !!!!!!!!
  14. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. So I can understand, does "the Henson company's ownership of all other Muppet movies" means Henson's STAKE in MTM and MFS? Because Sony is the owner of those two movies and the other four are/will be in Disney control.

    BTW, I called JHC's LA office today and the woman on the phone said that the Kermit head WILL be removed from the JHC logo, but the big Kermit Chaplin statue is staying. :)
  15. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Yeah i would gather it means whatever of those movies the Henson Company actually owns. Basically Disney want ownership of ANYTHING Henson produced with a Muppet in it, hence purchasing some of those specials and the Muppet segments of JHH. They don't want anyone else to be able to show a Muppet or use the trademark without them getting paid for it. Y'know they didn't just go out and say "Hey, we'd really love to buy this cute little special called Tale Of The Bunny Picnic, we'll make millions from it". It's like there is a corporate reason there, it's a question of Muppet identity if you will.
  16. dmx10101

    dmx10101 Well-Known Member

    True, well said.
  17. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Here's an email I got from fanmail@henson.com

    It answers NOTHING and looks like one of those "automated response" things, but hey, it's nicely structured. Enjoy.

    Dear Boy Raisin,

    Thank you for your email about the recent agreement between The Jim Henson Company and The Walt Disney Company.

    The combination of The Walt Disney Company and Jim Henson’s Muppets was Jim Henson’s and Michael Eisner’s dream when they first discussed it in 1989. We are thrilled that the classic Muppet characters have found their perfect and permanent home, where they will live on and receive the kind of distribution and marketing performance that a smaller company like ours could not provide.

    The Walt Disney Company is the world’s premier family entertainment company, and we have every confidence that it will remain so. Having produced so many successful projects with us in the past [MuppetVision 3D, Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island and Bear in the Big Blue House among others], Disney is well aware of the unique nature of The Muppets and Bear and they will be wonderful stewards of these classic properties.

    The Jim Henson Company retains The Creature Shops, as well as the rest of our program library [including Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Farscape, Storyteller, Fraggle Rock, The Hoobs, Construction Site and more]. We intend to be very active exploiting these properties and creating new ones.

    Building the future for the newly reorganized Jim Henson Company, while helping Disney achieve long lasting greatness for the properties from our past, seems, as it did more than a decade ago when it was first proposed, like an ideal strategy.

    Over the years, The Jim Henson Company's team of performers, producers, writers, and artists has worked to create productions and products that have attempted to make a difference in people’s lives. What we've produced has been achieved with integrity, creativity, and a respect for our audience and our history. We look forward to continuing this tradition. Thank you once again for your email and your interest.

    The Jim Henson Company
  18. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    OK, according to Henson.com, it's actually their official "statement."
  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    The thing is it was Jim and Eisner's dream that the JIM HENSON COMPANY and the Disney Company came together, not just the Muppets. You also notice they use the term "stewards" which is like they are temporarily looking after them, but they own them. Not that i'm against them but these media statements are always twisted to say whatever they want to make people feel warm & squishy.
  20. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    True. If they wanted to follow Jim's dream to unite the Henson Co. with Disney, they should have done that in 2000 instead of falling into the arms of the Germans for $680 million. But live and let live.

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