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Your Thoughts: Ed Sullivan Muppets Magic DVD

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by Phillip, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

  2. Dr. Bombay

    Dr. Bombay Member

    After reading that review I'm thinking I'm going to purchase that DVD. I love classic Henson stuff. It's interesting to see where some of my favorite TMS and SS sketches originated.

    But I agree of your assessment of the cover of that DVD. It didn't look well planned at all!
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I can see how hard it would be to create a cover for the DVD. I'm sure there aren't many good source images. At least it is not misleading. They could have easily placed a modern Kermit on the cover with a couple of monsters and confused customers. It does look like a fan creation though. My main page composition took 30 minutes and it's probably just as good. Wasn't thrilled with it, but it doesn't appear the graphic artist took much time or care with the cover. Just goes to show you can't judge by the cover. ;) :)
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Reading Phil's review I am extremely excited about getting this. With an MSRP of $10 bucks, and for the first time a dvd solely devoted to rare archival footage(a first I beliece) this is really something special. I hope there is more to come, such as the TMS pilots, sam and friends, and other rare stuff.

    The dvd cover, of yeah it looks like a 5 year old whipped it up, but Im assuming this company putting it out wasnt afforded acess to modern Muppet pix or layouts...even tho JHC ok'd this, its an independent realease I think. Thats a first for a Muppet related dvd.
  5. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    I made my own cover a couple weeks ago when the official art was released...

    http://scarecroe.com/files/sullivan-dvd-01.jpg

    ...but it would appear that one sketch from which I took a screenshot didn't make it onto the DVD. Am I correct in assessing that the "monster piano" sketch with Kermit didn't make it?

    It's the one in the middle at the bottom of my fan art.
  6. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    I'm drooling over the pictures right now. :excited: I don't want to read the article till I play the DVD myself. But there's lots of good stuff there!

    BTW, Ryan on TP points out that Amazon has changed the release date to Sep. 2:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000AGQ2P/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/102-1592227-9191369

    Not sure why the change was made. Maybe they thought Muppet fans couldn't afford to buy all 3 DVDs in one week. Or maybe they plan to fix that admittedly goofy cover.

    I'm surprised (but happy) that the Big Bird clip and the prototype Cookie Monster clip are on here. I guess Henson worked it out with Sesame Workshop to allow this.

    I'm not sure why those last two sketches are called "extra features," since they seem to be just more sketches, nothing special about them. What I would have liked to have seen for an extra feature is the appearance of the Muppets on the 1992 Ed Sullivan Christmas special, where they performed an all-cast version of "It Feels Like Christmas." No one seems to have a complete copy of this. Or if the rights were tied up with Disney, fine--but I wish Disney had put this on their MCC DVD, then.

    Anyway, this is a MINOR quibble. I never thought in a million years I'd get to see this stuff released on DVD, so color me a thrilled Muppet fan. :smirk: Thanks for the update, Phil!
  7. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    This is the sketch that appears to be missing...

    http://scarecroe.com/files/sullivan01.rm
    right-click to save target to your hard drive
    video file is 2.5mb and requires RealOne Player


    Kermit plays "Tea For Two," and some other song I can't identify. I wonder which of the two caused the problem in securing rights.

    "Tea For Two" is on the Harry Belafonte DVD after all... and I can't imagine that being the song that was so hard to get the rights for.

    Anyone know what the other song is?
  8. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Fantastic skit. Thanks for sharing it. I thought that song was in the public domain by now. The thing about having all these songs is that they might have to drop some to pay for others. Maybe they saw it as a weaker skit. Don't see why. That's the only theory I can come up with. It is a shame. My thinking is that they could at least play the clip sans sound with the credits rolling over it.
  9. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    I doubt it had to do with dropping some to pay for others, especially in this case. I mean, how much can Tea For Two cost? Columbia paid for it.

    If I can get my hands on the remaining sketches, I'll digitize those and share em too. Hopefully it will garner additional interest in purchasing the DVD.

    Crap, which reminds me, I meant to include an ad for that at the end of the clip. I'll be changing that.
  10. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    That is AWESOME, Scott! Where on earth did you get that clip from? I assume it's not a special feature on the Harry Belafonte DVD.
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    The licensing 20 or so songs can get expensive. It's like dropping a thousand or two for each. That could get up to 40,000 for a ten dollar niche DVD. The Muppet Show eps are much easier to move and probably have fewer songs per disk. Come to think of it, that could be why there are only three eps per disk.

    I wouldn't think the song would be that expensive either, but I do know that licensing songs is a very serious business. When even singing Happy Birthday on the air costs upwards of two grand. There's really no other reason for the edit that I can think of. It's why cuts have been made in the past.
  12. scarecroe

    scarecroe Active Member

    I threw an advertisement for the DVD on the back of that clip with the intentions of encouraging those who might not have made a final decision on whether or not to make the purchase yet.
  13. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh I didnt even think about that aspect. I dont think twice about Sesame being anything other than Muppets. Most of America and the world sees Sesame Street as the Muppets...I guess as hardcore fans we see a distinction between "Muppet Show" Muppets and SS muppets. But its great they have those on there.

    Im curious...who the heck is gonna buy it? It will probably be in the family section, but kids these days arent much into Muppets, let alone rare archival stuff from the 60's. I sure hope they do though...I had heard JHC decided against releasing such a dvd knowing its a very niche market (seems Elmo and company are pretty much the Muppet dvds that sell).

    I have come to realize it is the older folks who seem to really have a strong passion at all for the Muppets, though Hot Topic is helping to change the perception, making it 'cool and hip' for the younger crowd.
    I await a time when the Muppets truly are back, not just all over the map but really back int he spotlight. As then, I can just imagine what kind of dvd goodness we shall see. At any rate, I cannot wait to get this, and am looking forward to this vastly more than the other two JHC dvd releases that week. (I did get the new Bear in the Big Blue House Seasons dvd which rocks...I passed on Sesame Karoke tho)
  14. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    You'd think so, but no. I actually think the divide is much bigger than you think and it's the other way around. In the states people make a lot less distinction between Muppets and Sesame because the relationship was always hyped a lot more and the two shows became such a big part of the American culture. Here in the UK, and other places in Europe that i've been there is a LOT more of a gap between people identifying Sesame as a 'Muppet' show. I think Kermit is really the only connection between the two most people make outside of the states, and nowadays not even that. Sesame is pretty much dead here now - it was buried for years in a graveyard slot and even Elmo's World that is on here isn't doing well against the homegrown kids shows. I think our pre-school original TV programming is so much stronger now than the stuff coming out of the USA that even your channels are full of it. It makes Sesame and Elmo seem bland and boring after all this time - it's about time they cancelled both of them, i'd rather see it go out on a high.
  15. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Amen sir, and it gets even more serious when celebrity guests start bursting into unexpected songs while live on air - i've seen plenty of cases of suicidal directors and producers on occasions like that.

    I think Chilly mentioned the rights issue between Henson and Sesame - it doesn't come into it so there would be no need for permission. Obviously being guest appearances the Ed Sullivan people are the ones holding the broadcast rights and i'd assume that at the time there was nothing in the guest releases that disallowed them releasing the stuff commercially.
  16. Ryan

    Ryan New Member

    Loved the advertisement, Scott.

    One thing that really bothers me is that this clip was released on another Sullivan tape (Best Of). This clip is also the dited version. In the orignal, he plays 3 songs, the first being with a Snerf.
  17. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder New Member

    It looks like a fantastic DVD, some of those sketches are so great! Thats a DVD that we would be extremely lucky to see in Australia, I doubt we ever will actually. I'm just going to get all the region 1 discs like this little beauty from now on.
    :)
  18. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    No, I'M not making a distinction. I'm just talking about the legal necessities. It's great that most of the nation, and Muppet fans, and maybe even Henson themselves, still see Sesame characters as part of the Muppets. But the fact is that if Sesame characters are used in a "regular" Muppet production these days, certain contracts have to be signed to allow that to happen.

    Or so it would seem anyway. Thanks for the update, Luke. It's kinda weird how that works out -- Sullivan's copyright holders own the rights to the guest appearances since it was on Sullivan's show, yet they still had to get the blessing of Henson (but not Sesame) to put out the disc. Or more to the point, we're told Henson gave their blessing for this disc to be put out -- wonder if maybe it could have been put out anyway even if they didn't give their blessing?
  19. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yeah that's what i meant - maybe they did get permission from one or both just for the sake of it but i don't see them in TV terms actually needing it to go ahead in putting out the matierial on the DVD. Quite possibly they needed it to use the term 'Muppets' in the title. I thought the "permission" had come from the Henson Foundation though and they focused mainly on the use of Jim. Strange.

    It would be nice to actually see the Sesame and Muppet characters in some crossover again, maybe that's whats been missing and what would help people forget about whatever distinction seems to have developed. Of course as you say there would need to be agreements worked out and when you are talking actual broadcast shows rather than just the odd guest appearances it could get pretty sticky in the legal department. Then again, i'd have to think that in these days of brand awareness and media strategists Sesame Workshop might actually prefer there to be at least some kind of established divide between themselves and Henson - they had that clause removed a while back to enable them to compete with JHC in all areas wheras before they were limited and had to stick to education.
  20. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Active Member

    So it won't come out until spet.2?


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