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Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Phillip, Oct 5, 2008.
Ya know... normally I hate math, but I REALLY like this!
Oh yes, absolutely! Very strange phenomenon to say the least.
You are right, it's true of every DVD now. It's just that it's further contributing to the problem as I see it.
Like I said, I have no problem with Disney bringing in new material to introduce kids to the Muppets. I do think showing the Disney kids with the Muppets can help. I just don't agree with the idea that kids need to see new things, before liking older things. That's not what I see from people.
Thanks for the discussion!
I haven't said anything yet because I've been so busy and dealing with health issues again but I thought this was much better than the first one, the Muppets acted like Muppets to me in this and that's what I was looking for.
Scooter and Beaker at the end where the icing on the cake.
This special made me happy and thats all that really counts.
Kids need to see new Muppet productions to generate interest in the old and in the brand in general. Wrong as we may think it is, the Muppets are generally viewed as a preschool brand currently. The assumption by many, many parents is that Muppets are the equivalent of Sesame Street and their kids are too sophisticated for that-- they watch Sponge Bob and DC and Muppets and Sesame are too simplistic and old fashioned. Note: This is not my view and I know we probably all know parents who don't think this way. But this is the default view of many parents who lack a proper appreciation for all things Muppet.
I think Disney is right to go after upper elementary and tween viewers for the Muppets. Separate them from Sesame in the minds of kids and parents. Create a little buzz. Maybe the kids will check out the old movies and TMS DVDs. Maybe they won't but they'll create enough audience demand for new projects. New projects will lead to new fans. As kids go from viewers to fans they will explore the old stuff. It takes time to build a new audience.
Thank you for posting these re-air times. I totally forgot to put it on the DVR but didn't think much of it as I didn't think much of the first one...but after reading all these great reviews, I MUST see it!
Alrighty, I don't really have the time to go through 13 pages of this thread, but having just watched the new Studio DC, I must say... BRAVO.
It was so much better than the first one. By leaps and bounds even. While I feel the first had good intentions, it's execution was terrible (IMHO). This time around however, everything was much smoother. The character interaction. The pacing. The overall set-up and storyline. It was all and all 100 tiems better than the first SDC. Plus, Fozzie had a much bigger role, which is always a good thing.
The only gripes I would have with the second SDC is that, once again, it was too short and left me wanting more. Half an hour would be great for a more regular show, but if they want to keep it as periodic specials, perhaps an hour would be better suited to highlight the Muppets a bit more.
Other than that I was a little disappointed at the lack of Bobo The Bear, Sam Eagle, & Rowlf. It was nice to see Scooter again, eve if he was missing any semblance of a neck, and wonderful to have the Electric Mayhem return once more, but what's the deal with the missing characters. Bobo I can kinda understand as he's a more recent Muppet addition, but no Rowlf or Sam Eagle!
All in all, I thouroughly enjoyed the second SDC and look forward to more to come.
I agree and disagree. I've experienced it myself, and also had the same debate over Fraggles. It is totally true that you can show a small group of kids TMS or Fraggle Rock and some of them will sit down and enjoy it. I think the case is though that these shows, being older and times having changed, not just in the world but also in terms of how TV for kids is put together (pacing, style, scripting, the need for licensing opportunities) they need to put out new stuff in the style kids are more used to watching in order to be able to make the brand have some kind of mass impact. There is then definitely a case they can air the classic stuff, especially the movies.
It does seem to be slowly working - comments on the first DC special were kinda mixed, but i've seen a lot of positive stuff written for this one. Disney aren't shoving the Muppets down the kids throats like they did with Hannah, Suite Life, HSM so there must be some gradual acceptance of Kermit and the gang! (especially Beaker, those kiddies luv them some Meep Meep)
I'm happy to see the Muppets doing anything, even if it is only to play off the current crop of Disney 'tween stars. I do think it's rather tacky that they introduce them as 'The Muppets' instead of 'Jim Henson's Muppets,' though.
I get you, I just don't think the world has changed all that much based on my observations of history. We just all have very sort memories, or none at all if we weren't there. I think the media has always tried to give the impression of how much times change, for dramatic effect and to keep things fresh, and make a new generations of consumers feel special. (I mean think about it. We can't ALL be "The Pepsi Generation!" No matter what the TV tells us. )
But in reality, people haven't really changed that much (and we all still listen to the media!).
And I will say I think the 2nd DC has been so well received because it was closer to the original Muppet spirit than other recent projects.
I just remembered that NetFlix has given the Muppets great exposure for both the Muppets Take Manhattan and the Muppet Show Season Three. Both have been prominently featured in web and print ads that advertise NetFlix.
I suppose Disney's thinking with DC is they've already got the core fans like us and they have most likely tracked the numerous younger fans already intrigued with everything that is Muppet. With DC they are reaching out to those younger Disney Channel fans that aren't biting at the recent Muppet offerings.
Again, I am all for more eyeballs and SDC is a great compromise in making that happen, yet I still hope that sort of thing is brief and temporary. I prefer just one Muppet world where all are welcome and entertained and believe that can happen. Disney could do a better job by plugging TMS season 3 in an ad or stick it in the bottom of the screen. Now that would make me very happy. That is ideal.
Agreed, that would give the impression that they aren't trying to separate the fans or show a preference to the old or new. And after seeing DC, some kids might be interested. (Yes I do admit that, lol, I'm just saying it's not the only way to do it. Old doesn't have to take a back seat to new.)
Just for clarification - It is my belief that old only has to take a temporary back seat to new in this Disney Channel market in order to gain these particular younger viewers who have already been exposed to some advertisements of the old and rejected it. Other than that I am with you. Nothing beats TMS, TMM and GMC in my book. Nothing.
Some kids are already interested in the Muppets no matter what. That is not what these DC specials are for. They are to pick up the potential "swing fans" or "previously disinterested" viewers in order to strengthen the Muppet fan base that will allow for greater opportunities to solidify the brand in the future. This is just one portion of a much larger push in many areas and age groups. If you have any better ideas that will actually work definitely forward them to the Disney marketing department, however this seems to be doing the trick.
I really do want to focus on the Muppets moving forward. Still, the remedy seems to marry this new DC stuff with advertising for the classic TMS stuff this portion of the Disney tween has previously passed up. The Disney Channel, Nick, MTV and others stick ads at the bottom of the screens and in crawls all the time.
Understood. It's just that, no offense to the newer projects from the '90s and now, but they did not bring the same large audience the Muppets once had. And I still say the older material has barely been given the exposure. So I am being skeptical, but optimistic.
I think it is best to "hit the reboot button" at the Segel Muppet movie deal, the YouTube/Muppets.com clips, Studio DC and the new Christmas special in the works. The Times article expresses a brand new push different than ever seen before with the Muppets (even in Jim's day).
The reason that I cite newer 90s projects as better ones for Muppet introductions to this new Disney tween market is merely from an aesthetic branding point of view. It's the sugar frosting to entice these previously disinterested viewers before biting into the richness that is the classic Muppets. The continuity of character likeness is very important to that market too. Whatever is going to move them forward so that everything will eventually rise to the surface. I prefer a lot of new projects rather than 90s ones, but seeing that ABC Disney already has full ownership rights to Muppets Tonight it is a no-brainer to sprinkle some of those on the Disney Channel.
Again, this is just for these particular potential straggling fans. We “lifers” know where the good stuff is and how wonderful it is. I really think this overall push is going to work so I have no worries we’ll get *all* the good stuff in time.
Those all may turn out to be great, and I hope they are. But again, Jim-era material was interntionally successful for years. Post-Jim material has not as yet achieved that (again no offence to them).
I'm just not sure about the message we're sending to young people. "We know what the really great material is. But since you refuse to listen, we'll indulge you and show you newer, untested material first to please you." We're kinda telling kids it's OK to reject history and older entertainment. But it's not; adults have to encourage kids to appreciate these things. (And again, there are so many kids who actually do).
The discussion's great but I have to drop out for now, hehe. Thanks!
I just don't think braining these young people over the head with what hasn't worked time and again isn't the solution. None of us can will these perceptions to be different. They must be coaxed.
This current multi-teared approach is new and aggressive, but Disney's rout with these younger potential viewers is rather safe. Risky is only good when it works. I'd rather the Muppets get big enough in all markets so they can have enough clout to take such risks. That can't happen if these currently turned off "yungins" see the Muppets as retro relics paired with stars they don't know and styled in clothing trends of the past.
I don't like it, but that doesn't change the way it is. If the Muppets were merely trolling for viewers I'd feel diffrently, but they are not. They are catering a bit more than is comfortable to some of us older fans. It is my hope that will pass soon.
EDIT: I personally applaud your very optimistic perception of the Muppet brand and I wish it were so. I think it can be that way soon. I don't see Disney's approach with tweens as particularly optimistic or pessimistic. I find it a pragmatic achievable goal and right now I think that's what the brand needs in that market.
Well OK I'll respond to this, hehe. Thanks. Well sometimes you have to have hope and optimism for things to happen. But being pragmatic is good too.
I'm just thinking, Kermit could have changed his Manhattan Melodies show to what the indifferent producers wanted. Instead, he waited until he found the right one.
It's just weird how you and I have different opinions about which approach has actually been tried before. My viewpoint is that the classic material is not given enough exposure, while the newer material hasn't been as successful. But you say the classic material does have exposure and just doesn't work. I mean, they can't both be true...can they? ::shrugs:: Hehe
And sometimes too much coaxing with kids leads to indifference too. Like that Tough Pigs article said, with the 1st DC, there was too much of a sense of, "See? These Disney stars like them! Don't you want to like them too?" It was too desperate.
But I really need to take a break, lol. It takes a lot of energy.
I know you aren't really intending to participate on this that much at the moment, but just to say, Henson did try TMS and Fraggle on channels at various times - generally it didn't go down too well. I think the shows are great, but they have dated a lot (especially TMS with the guest stars, and even MT). For some reason kids seem to still get into the original movies though, maybe because they are just stand alone things they can sit through. To be honest, they already have all their Hannah's, Suite Lifes, Camp Rocks to get into and they are all heavily replayed, with merchandise shoved down their throats too. I kinda wudnt blame them for not taking much notice of an episode of TMS or MT broadcast inbetween, i think thats why it really does need this Disney star/New material approach - not that it's upto the standard of Jims stuff by any means!
I won't pretend Disney's teen idols aren't hugely popular (and some are actually not that bad).
It's just that I keep thinking of MTM, where Kermit is frustrated that no ones wants his musical. At one point decides, "If you can't beat, join em" and tries to be something he isn't. Obviously it doesn't work (and the movie would have been hugely irresponsible to show otherwise). And Kermit later laments he feels like a phoney. It took some waiting but he finally finds a producer who wants to make the show the right way.
Lessons such as this should not just exist in movies, but in real life too. I don't want to encourage kids (or adults for that matter) to change their image in order to be accepted in life. And there's been too much of that with the Muppets lately. Even in these modern times, it matters how we chose to live our lives.
Again, no offence to the newer productions, but they did not attract the same large audience.
And it pains me that we're allowing the popular tastes of some kids to make us ignore the kids who do enjoy older entertainment. I'm sick of giving into popular kids and the adults they grow up to be. It's not worth it.
I didn't respond on it before but i do really agree with this comment. It does seem that what with Youtube, Muppets.com, the 2nd Studio DC and also from what i have heard of the Segal movie and seen of Letters From Santa, the projects that have showed more "classic" Muppet spirit do seem to be being better recieved. Segal is completely right about going back to their roots, playing themselves. There is some updating of the Muppets that might help them go down better with the kids, but as you say, they should still be themselves. I think it is just all about getting the mix right between old and new. They're getting there, slowly!
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