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Your Hope for the Future?

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by beaker, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    I'm not reporting any news, but MC doesn't seem to have a general modern Muppet thoughts section.

    At Muppetfest, a few others and myself had a very long and elaborate discussion on the future of the Muppets and JHC. Some forsaw a comeback by 2003, some saw Disney eventually buying the Muppets. While it was hoped for, I don't think any of us foraw JHC actually able to buyback JHC.
    I for one did not think we'd be here in 2004 with the Muppets still where they've been since the 90's.

    When I first joined MC in the Fall of 1998, we were all brimming with excitement. As two Muppet films were in production(well if grouchland counted) and there was much enthusiasm about the future. Heck a Dark Crystal prequel looked like it might even happen. Then EM.TV happened.
    Sesame got sold off, and while EMTV were behind some very awesome decisions in 2001 and part of 2002...still...the dream seemed to be on hiatus. The dream of the great Muppet comeback.

    The last time I felt hope was late 2002...an edgy Fox prime time show looked to be on the fast track, AVMMC showed the Muppets were moving toward a more envelope pushing light humor wise...and a buyout looked to be looming.

    Now where are we? While JHC buying back JHC was a bombshell...
    with UK closing down a lot of the offices, the NYC hq closing, the Fox show hopes fizzled out, and the main thing being a classic fairy retelling...
    where oh where have we gone?

    2005 marks the 50th anneversary of the Muppets. That's big...but where things stand right now, Im not sure how epic 2005 can even possibly be what with JHC's current financial and clout situation. Even if they had grand plans, I'm not sure how they'd be able to execute em.

    I wish their was rumors...I wish there was some big shocking announcement in the works. But as it stands, JHC seems like a tumbleweed convention, and I fear that mediocrity and being on this constant lifeline of 25th annv milking, tv appearences, merch, etc will continue indefinately.

    So far the only thing that has me excited JHC wise in 2004 is the merch, and Bear finally going out into the real world. Anyone else see any need for urgency here? I'm very curious as to all your thoughts on the future of our beloved Muppets, JHC, and where you think things are headed. Then again, one wonders what things would be like if Eisner had his way...would it be all that bad?
  2. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    I think the Muppets can pull it off.

    The Muppet Wizard of Oz, while probably a confusing decision, is still a good decision. I can see the Muppets doing a lot with it if they want to. While I do agree with what Kevin has said numerous times, I would prefer to see the Muppets as the Muppets, I also think The Muppet Wizard of Oz is a good idea. It MIGHT pave the (yellow brick) way for your edgy Muppet series. Steve Whitmire has even started rumors that there could be the tv series on the horizon for in the next couple of years. Maybe this could be their big 5oth Anniversary come-back.

    I think there's a lot of hope for the Henson Company... Mirrormask, The Muppet Wizard of Oz, Five Children and It... who knows what might come next?
  3. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E Well-Known Member

    I agree: the muppet wizard of oz is a good idea. No, scratch that, a great idea. I know that when this concept was first brought up here in the forum, it garnered some passionate hostility. But, if this movie comes to be, if executed right, it could prove to be very enjoyable. Remember, it'd be most likely the muppets "take" on the wizard of oz; which means a lot of caos, scenes/sequences that aren't in the original story, etc. Such as chickens instead of flying monkeys, the wizard's headquarters in a Penguin-inhabited lair (like Penguin's hideout in Batman), etc. The possibilities are endless, and the results could be hilarious.
    And if succesful, the film could very well send the JHC off in the right, and revitalized, direction. It could revwert back to the reason we fell in love with the muppets in the first place. IAVMMCM is good, but I feel that it loses some of that certain "muppety," carefree spark. Sure, Muppets Tonight is kinda edgy, but not so much so that it borders on the line of "too hip."
  4. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    I honestly think the Henson Company has the ability to give the quality entertainment it always has in the next few years. I wouldn't be surprised if they went above and beyond your every expectations of them. As much as you doubt them, I think they know what they're doing... at least, as far as a few things are concerened.

    I was highly dissapointed when they closed down the NYC HQ.

    But, I think they've made a wise decision as far as pursuing their future projects. Yeah, we lost out on an immediate release of the "Edgy" FOX series, but that's still a possibility.

    The Muppet Wizard of Oz, as Trekkie (hehe. like Trekkie Monster?) says, "if executed right" will be a very wonderful film. Dare I say the Muppets best project since Jim Henson passed away. It's all together possible that it could be. Everything's in the right place for it.
  5. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E Well-Known Member

    I admit: I have yet to see Avenue Q :o. NY is a four hour plane trip, and with school it's hard to find time to go.

    But, maybe next year if the things still playing. :)

    Hopefully, they'll find a way to take the show on the road sometime. But that'll probably be increasingly harder as long as it's very succesful on Broadway.

    AQ isn't like a regular show that could spawn a touring company. At least I don't think it could.
  6. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    is this because of my avatar?

    I actually haven't seen it either... I've just heard the soundtrack. Jackie says it's real good, though. She's seen it a few times.
  7. Amazing Mumford

    Amazing Mumford Well-Known Member

    MY opinion on the future...

    I know this probably isn't popular opinion here on MC, but I actually hope a company like Disney or Time-Warner buys the Muppets. Or, at least reaches a distribution agreement with them. The Muppets just need a company with more cash and clout than JHC to pump life into the franchise.

    The harsh truth is that a new Muppet series very likely wouldn't do any better in the long run than Muppets Tonight. Getting a decent rating from a TV movie with a TON of promotion (like IAVMMCM) is much different than building a consistent audience for a prime-time weekly show. The Muppets might be better suited for a cable channel than network TV--and Disney or TW could be invaluable partners in making that happen.

    If the Muppets are to make a "comeback," they need to do it relatively soon while the original fans are still interested. There might not be time to wait for JHC to get their finances in order.

    With that being said, they are doing some things right. The merchandising seems to be doing well. I recall years where there was NO new Muppet stuff in stores--now it's quite visible. The Wizard of Oz film--although I still have reservations about it creatively--will at the least keep the Muppets in the public eye. The decision to sell the NY HQ building was logical from a business standpoint.

    JHC really needs to pump all of its resources and creativity into the Muppet brand (and maybe Fraggle Rock) instead of producing generic films like Good Boy. That doesn't necessarily mean new Muppet feature films yet, but making sure Muppet productions (like Oz) are of the highest quality possible. Nothing will prevent them from being forever known as a "kiddie" brand if they release too many more lower-quality, straight to video projects like Kermit's Swamp Years.

    If JHC can do its part to ensure the quality of its products, the financial/exposure boost from a larger company could be enough to make the Muppets a hot property again. Then, they can explore the possibliity of a new series, new theatrical releases, etc. And, we--as Muppet fans--would certainly enjoy that.
  8. trekkie1701E

    trekkie1701E Well-Known Member

    It was just because you mentioned trekkie monster and, well, yeah :) ... there ya go
  9. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    Hehe. Trekkie Monster... heh. Trekkie Monster's funny.
  10. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member


    Well, except for the Disney part... as much as the Henson Company needs the money, Disney doesn't have a good reputation at all anymore. Roy Disney was recently forced into retirment, telling Michael Eisner he'd pull out too if he knew what was good for him. I think it's a bad sign when something like that has to be said to the CEO of The Walt Disney Company. It's just not a good idea for the Henson Company to get mixed into their problems right now.
  11. Amazing Mumford

    Amazing Mumford Well-Known Member

    That's a very good point. Disney is obviously having a lot of problems, so they might not be a good fit for the Muppets right now (or vice versa). Hopefully, they can get everything worked out in the near future, as they would be a good fit for the Muppets as far as reach and clout. Consider my post amended to say a "peaceful, united Disney company" or something like that.
  12. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I think the direction the JHC is going in is positive. Progress is not happening maybe as fast as fans would like, but indications are that work is going on behind the scenes. It's clear from the layoffs and office closings that the company was in dire straights and not on a financially sustainable path. Once they have the company's financial house in order and some new distribution deals in place I am sure there will be lots of more great work from JHC.

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