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Why Disney? Or Episode One: The Phantom Mouse

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by danielromens, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. danielromens

    danielromens Well-Known Member

    Hey Kids, since we have so many varried opinions on the subject, I thought it would be fun to start a post for the Mouse Wars. I personally am quite anti Disney in regards to a Muppet sale and would looove to play devil's advocate to anything you can toss at me and I'm sure a few other's would too.

    Don't get me wrong I think Disney can do some good things here and there, but they can also put out some craptacular product as well. Bigger ain't always better, and either is quantity.

    In the words of Mils Lane, "Let's get it on!"
  2. danielromens

    danielromens Well-Known Member

    I'm going cheeseball and kicking off my own post.

    first swing for the Rebels.

    Three words people.

  3. silverbolt101

    silverbolt101 New Member

    the phantom mouse

    well here are my two cents , corparations like disney and even what henson co. has become , do not hve any respect for there greatest assets which would be there artists .the biggest piece of evidence to supprtr that would be the recent layoffs of animators at disney , and an even more startiling layoff of some of the most tallented puppet builders and designers at henson.I am talking about people with nearly thirty years of expirience.

    sure they say that moneys tight and they need to cut costs, but exactly how many of thier useless vice presidents and so called "creative executives" did they layoff?

    last count was 0.

    anyway while i agree that disney would kill the muppets, some one better sweep in and save them before that charlie rivkin kills them first.

    dreamworks or pixar i hope you are out there
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I have never been or will ever be much of a Disney supporter for anything, but...

    The allegations of Disney being a big corporation that exploits its characters for profit is true - but so do all other companies of its financial stature so that can not be the criteria to judge the sale. And the price tag of the Muppets is too high for anyone else but a large company so we are looking at a Disney, AOL, Viacom or possibly Fox buyout. Rivkin just doesn't seem to have the funds so he seems to be out of the equation.

    If you think that the other companies won't exploit the Muppets for gain, you are kidding yourself. It's the nature of the entertainment business. The question really is - what will the company do with the Muppets once they have been merchandised to death - Disney will likely keep them around for generations to enjoy while Viacom or Time Warner may hide them away.

    About the pan and scan debate - I'm with you there. It totally disgusts me how they have cropped MTI and MCC. But on the future upside - eventually things will turn to widescreen and the debate will be moot. We are thinking of long term here.

    I think it is best that a big American company owns them - it's what Jim wanted initially and will assure their longevity. And promotion is what Disney does best. Just my view.
  5. Bean Bunny

    Bean Bunny Well-Known Member


    * Animation
    * Consumer Division
    * Disney Archieves
    * ABC,ABC Family, ESPN Channels, Disney Channel, Toon Disney.
    * Lilo & Stitch. Nuff Said.
    * Kim Possible
  6. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Two words: Well said.

    Four more words: Don't mess with Texas.

    Three more words: I am bulletproof.

    Four more words: Not gonna do it.

    Hey, I'm kinda happy, I got my research paper done.
  7. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    To DreamWorks’ credit they do have a sizeable film and animation division. I just think they're too new for the Muppets. They haven't had enough time to really prove themselves as a company. They don't have a theme park either and after the lackluster results of Spirit (that I saw coming from a mile away) I don't think they'll be up for spending much money. Disney is the big fish here and I agree - as long as the Muppets are going to be bought by a big company they deserve the best.
  8. ZootandDingo

    ZootandDingo Well-Known Member

    Re: Bean

    I agree. Dreamworks seems like they would be the right place for Henson, but it's still too early to see if they will stick around or if they will go the way of the Orion. As cool as it would be to see Henson owned by Spielberg (you know how much of a stickler he is about filmmakers' creative rights), they just don't look like they can support an entire separate production company yet.

    I don't think whether or not if a studio owns a theme park really makes a difference nowadays, especially since Universal Studios' parks have ties with Warner, Columbia, King Features, Marvel, Geffen and Amblin (in other words, now Dreamworks), and Viacom; Disney/MGM Studios with Disney (gasp), MGM (gasp), Lucasfilm, and Fox; Paramount's parks with Viacom (of course) and Warner; and Warner Bros.' international Movie Worlds and their controlling interest in Six Flags.

    No matter who gets Henson, if any of the top brass has any brains, the Muppets would have no trouble finding a home at a theme park.
  9. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Since we're kinda on the subject, what IS Spielberg's relationships with Amblin and DreamWorks? Are they the same company? Is Amblin at Universal? Is Spielberg still with Amblin? I'm just kind of confused.
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Speilberg is one of the three partners of Dreamworks and I believe he still has a stake in Amblin, but it is seperate from Dreamworks. From what I've gleaned, no new projects come from Amblin. It's just the label that he used before teaming up with Geffen and Katzenberg. However, Amblin was in part responsible for the reissue of ET, but that's considered old material. There could be more to it, but that's all I know.
  11. danielromens

    danielromens Well-Known Member

    Again let me remind folks of what the good people at disney did around the original sale. If you recall a brochure ready "Disney's Muppets" was out for their arrival to the park. This is after Jim's Death and before a final sale. I'm sure they'll keep the name around huh?
  12. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    "Disney's Muppets" was being used in promotional material as well.
  13. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Yeah but lets put this in context, through the wonders of a little something called 'forward planning', if Disney were using 'Disneys Muppets' in that short a time after Jim's death, he would likely have known about it before he died.

    As for the Henson name remaining - i think its a little different now. At that time the Muppets were more a current brand, now they are considered a little more nostalgic and of course, Jim's name is still a big draw. I really doubt they'd ditch it as it now has a kind of legendary status. People seem to just want to badmouth Disney on their exploits of long ago (and thats fine with me) but you should consider some of the plus points too. They've just done superb work on the MTI DVD, actually producing new extra matierial, commentary etc for a film they could have just put out on its own. Does that not show they are attempting to treat the Muppets with some respect when they could have put the money into 'Pinochio 6' or whatever else they are producing themselves ?

    This is the kind of thing that p*ssed me off about the Jim Hill article - if there was ONE thing that showed that Disney were wooing the Henson company then it was the fact they actually worked with JHC for the first time in ages to produce new muppet matierial for that DVD but did it get a single mention ? Nope !
  14. ZootandDingo

    ZootandDingo Well-Known Member

    I apologize if this was already discussed at some point, but is that why Henson took action against Disney and thus killing the original deal? I know the deal was aborted for a variety of reasons such as the loss of Jim, but I'm curious what the Henson company's major complaint was?

    I thought when I first heard about it that the problem was Disney was starting to sell Muppet products in stores without the okay from Henson, but back then matters of business were not much to keep my ear glued to the television, so I can't say I bothered to learn much more than that at the time.

    What were the specifics of Henson's problem?
  15. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The bit I know about it concerns the sizeable slashing of Disney's asking price after Jim's death. Under the deal he had much creative control over the Muppets but could retire anytime. The deal hadn't been completed before he died and their was a lawsuit against Disney for changing their asking price. It was all rather tacky on Disney's part in my opinion. They still had to settle out of court so I'm sure they would have played their cards differently had they known the outcome. Henson Co had liquidated much of their licensing deals so that's why it was so hard for them to bounce back and why it was difficult to locate Muppet stuff. That's about all I know.
  16. Blind Pew

    Blind Pew Well-Known Member

    So true........ and if they merchandise them to death, believe me, I'll buy.
  17. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    Jim Hill wrote some really interesting stuff on the Disney/Henson relationship at www.laughingplace.com

    It gives a little insite into the buisness side of the relationship, and the ultimate downfall.
  18. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    I just wanna stay in my own li'l world where I can enjoy classic Disney and classic Muppets and nothin' bad ever happens. :)
  19. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    disney pros and cons

    disney pros:
    best darn looking new edgy 2d/2.5d animated features
    and 3d features. (who are the competition kidding...spirit, shrek, ice age, blechh!) disney has dug themselves out of that horrific cliched bad animation hole from the 90's(ie: the stale save the princess two talking sidekicks and a emperor...worked fine with aladdin...but then pocahontas, hunchback, mulan, hurcules...ugh)
    and into the more hip vein(ie: emperor's new groove rocked)
    So theyve shown they can finally change.

    cons: the absolute destruction of a property
    look what they did to the great nightmare before christmas merchandise. and we all know roger rabbit is really half time warner, being as virtually more than half the characters are
    looney tunes. As everyone would agree, limited partnership with Disney has worked and will work, but an all out buyout might not work. But after the emtv(eMpTyV?) fiasco, perhaps anything is better. Folks, were talking about the much anticipated glorious and triumphant return of the Muppets...which company is going to help make that happen?

    Finally, I do have my doubts about the others. Viacom has the cool as heck invader zim, and warner owns the matrix franchise.
    so that makes me happy...but would they have the skills to really push the Muppets into a glory not seen since the 80's?
    Fox has shown its maligned ill begotten tastes with sludge like greg the bunny, and the gillions of horrific 'reality' tv specials.

    I expect we'll find out whoever it is by year's end, and hopefully by mfest2(which Im hoping to hear about on here soon)

    :: beaker ::
  20. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    I get your point but I have to disagree with your comments about Shrek and Ice Age (I won't even see Spirit, though).

    Shrek fared even better at the box office than Monsters Inc (also a good film) and Ice Age made a mint as well - breaking records in its opening weekend.

    I don't predict that Lilo and Stitch will do that well - it just looks icky to me and I can't imagine myself buying a ticket and sitting through it.

    That being said, I agree that Disney is still the best bet for the Muppets. I just didn't agree with the other stuff you said. Everyone I've met enjoyed both Ice Age and Shrek. ;)

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