I like the Muppets. A lot. I haven't seen the new movie yet, but I hear that it's really good. First, has anyone seen the new movie. How good was it. Second, do you think that Disney should make more Muppet-themed attractions, with the new movie and all? Personally, I'd like to see the Great Muppet Movie Ride in DHS. They do have quite a bit of space over there near Muppet Vision 3-D.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
First, no I haven't seen the new movie, but would like to. Second, there was a plan for the Great Muppet Movie Ride, but they fell through following Jim Henson's death and the failed Muppet merger. I guess, if the box numbers are good and the Muppets reach a high popularity again, Disney might reconsider putting a new attraction nearby.
I saw the new Muppet movie this past Wednesday. It was good and very nostalgic. My personal favorite muppets are Sam the Eagle, Rizzo the Rat, and Pepe the King Prawn. These three were hardly seen in the movie. Rizzo didn't have one line in the picture. Pepe only had a small part.
Having said that, though the movie let me down on that part, it was a good movie and hopefully one that will inspire a new muppet attraction. I love being able to go into the theater though and would hate to lose that part of the Muppets attraction. I have always loved how the Muppets spoofed popular shows and movies. There are tons of possiblities for attractions just with that. What better place to make fun of the movies than at Disney Hollywood Studios?
To me, the muppets showed how perfectly hilarious they could be with just the previews of them spoofing movies..."Breaking Prawn" anyone :)
There should definately be more muppet themed rides creating a muppet themed land. I think the reaction to this film should prove that more muppet attractions will be a welcome addition to Disney parks.
We were treated to wonderful spoofs as mini-trailers to the forthcoming movie. Can you just think of these characters as animatronics acting out your favourite movie and music scenes on "The Great Muppet Movie Ride" right in front of your eyes. I think it would be a major attraction, giving a much needed family dark ride to DHS. Hopefully the movie does well and merchandise flies off the shelves, so that this would-be attraction can gain traction once more.
I think a Muppet land would be a really good idea. You guys are right when you say that there are an unlimited amount of possibilities for a muppet ride. If you had Muppet Land, Lucas Land, and Pixar Place, it might make DHS the top park in the resort.
Another vote for TGMR. It is in need of an update anyway - what a perfect excuse to bring in the Muppets. Muppets 3D needs updating anyway, so if anything is to come out of the Muppets movie, perhaps the Muppet theatre will experience some much needed TLC.
In the UK the movie is released in February! Got a bit of a wait...
From James Rao
Posted November 28, 2011 at 3:19 PM
I know it's blasphemy, but I don't like Muppets. Never was a fan. Besides, I blame Muppets for ruining the Star Wars films. First Lucas fell in love with Kermit so he created Yoda. Next, all heck broke loose in Return of the Jedi with Muppets and furry Muppet-like abominations running amok. Before you could get the bad taste of that lousy film out of your mouth, there was Jar Jar Stinks as big as life and twice as stupid (it should be noted that the series started to head back up into the watchable category with the last 45 minutes of Clones and most of Sith). Anyway, the progression into utter ruin (defined as "Return" and "Menace") started with a green sock named Kermit.
So, no, I don't want to see any Muppets in the parks. Ever. I would rather see more space at DHS devoted to Pixar than to Muppets. Sorry.
I really enjoyed the new Muppet movie. It was very nostalgic and a great way to introduce a new generation to the Muppets. I would like to see Disney bring back the Muppet Show (maybe even have it in DHS also a dark ride would be great.
From James Rao
Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:22 AM
Understood, James, but if Muppets had not existed then Lucas would have done things differently. The progression into the realm of kid-friendly characters all started with a Muppet named Yoda. If there was no Yoda-Muppet, there would be no Salacious Crumb, no Muppet-like Ewoks, and ultimately, no Jar Jar Binks. Muppets killed Star Wars.
From steve lee
Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:49 AM
The fallacy in your argument, James, is the implication that without the puppeteering skills of Henson and company, Lucas would have come up with a better idea. I just don't see how you can make that assessment. Clearly Lucas had an eye on the booming toy market, so he was going to veer in that direction either way. By utilizing Henson's company, we at least got a respectable character out of it in Yoda as opposed to a dwarf with questionable make-up (for the record, I make no excuses for the Yoda puppet in Episode I. It looked horrible, though I think a good chunk of the blame there lies on the fact that Lucas didn't seem to understand that you can't just light for greenscreen and expect everything to come out hunky-dory. Every make-up artist on the planet has a story about how a brilliant prosthetic was ruined by inappropriate lighting, but even with that consideration I didn't think the "younger" Yoda was on par with the Yoda of Empire).
Now, your logic states that the success of Yoda in Empire led to the Ewoks (I'm going to disregard Salacious Crumb and the other Henson creations in Jedi since they were largely superfluous). The Ewoks would have been an issue either way. I don't see how different looking characters would have resulted in a different narrative. Cute teddy bears or not, they were going to be annoying characters (and let me take a parenthetical tangent just to curse you for making me half-heartedly defend the Ewoks). It's not the *look* of the characters that was ever the problem. Yub-yub was going to happen either way.
Your further implication that the creation of Yoda somehow led to Jar Jar Binks is, at best, specious. While I can follow the logic that "cute" characters like the Ewoks led to increased merchandise sales, thus increasing the temptation to put such characters in the prequels, I don't think that line of reasoning is quite enough to damn Yoda and the Muppets in hindsight (and just as a clarification, Yoda is a puppet. He is not a Muppet). If Jar Jar was the blatant marketing gimmick, why was it Darth Maul's face on every piece of Episode I merchandise?
***A quick aside on Lucas' hypocrisy - for years he's gone on about how he never understood how Boba Fett, a character with about 10 minutes of screentime, managed to become so iconic. I guess he managed to get over it since he had no qualms selling Episode I with a character with even less screen time.***
To make a long story short (too late), I disagree whole-heartedly with you pinning the failings of the Star Wars films on the Muppets. The only Muppet who failed Star Wars was George Lucas himself.
From James Rao
Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM
Puppet/Muppet... while I am sure there is a distinction, they are all the same to me, socks with glued-on eyes (Jabba the Hutt was also a "puppet", incidentally, and another failure on Lucas' part).
Steve, I do appreciate your interest in the topic, and the dressing down you delivered to me, but I stand by the notion that the after-market success of the kid-friendly Muppet/Puppet creatures, and the failure of anyone around Lucas to stand up to him and say "Dear God, NO!", led to the creation of Jar Jar Stinks, the absolute lowest point in Lucas' creative life (even worse than his involvement in Willow and Howard the Duck). The progression, in my twisted mind, is abundantly clear.
As for Ewoks, the original plan was for them to be Wookiees, which would have been a huge improvement to the story. However, and again, the success of the booming Muppet/puppet inspired action figure market gave Lucas the freedom to "go kiddie" which he did with gusto, verve, and a horrendous "Yub Nub" song. While marketing gurus will play off the dedication of more mature fans such as you and me, in Lucas' mind, cool characters like Darth Maul are an afterthought, while kiddie creations like Jar Jar are an act of pure marketing genius.
If I cut myself none of these memories hurt as much....
Steve you have to understand that James is scared of Muppets but James is right about what they did to the Star Wars franchise! Yoda was not cool until he was CGIed!
Muppets are not all bad in the Sci-Fi universe. Muppets lead to Farscape! One of the best Sci-Fi TV shows of all time. Dominar Rygel XVI has to be one of the coolest Sci-fi characters of all time too!
From steve lee
Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:34 AM
Hold on, now. I didn't say a single negative thing about the Muppets or Henson. I think Henson is probably the closest a lot of us got to having Walt Disney alive in our lifetimes. James is the one who's anti-Muppet, not me.
The made for TV Ewok movies, incidentally, are nowhere near as horrible as the Star Wars Holiday Special. The creators of the SWHS inhabit a special circle of hell expressly created for them, the designer of the E.T. video game, and the producers of any and all Highlander sequels.
James, I think the most important thing that we can all agree on is this bit from your last post:
"and the failure of anyone around Lucas to stand up to him and say "Dear God, NO!"
Absolutely true where the prequels are concerned. Even when people gave him critical feedback, it doesn't seem like Lucas listened (for example, Spielberg allegedly strongly advised against the casting of Jake Lloyd over Haley Joel Osment. I guess Lucas saw something in Jingle All the Way that we all missed). And as he gets older, that seems to have mixed with a certain amount of spitefulness towards his fans (adding the much maligned "nooooo" into the BR of Jedi, changing Boba Fett's voice for continuity reasons that actually make no sense).
If we can at least agree on the point that Lucas needed someone to act as a filter, I think we can let our disagreement regarding the Muppets and their impact on Star Wars slide. Deal?
From James Rao
Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Steve, our tongue-in-cheek disagreement is at an end. Lucas is his own worst enemy. I concur.
Mike, I appreciate the support and I do admit a certain amount of "puppet fear", but I disagree that Muppets and sci-fi (or the even worse "Syfy") ever worked. Farscape was an awful show... and it was awful because of Muppets, not in spite of them.
Muppets have their place in children's programming, and Jim Henson should be given the appropriate kudos for his inventions, but keep those talking socks out of my sci-fi and out of my theme parks!
From steve lee
Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:13 AM
James, as an avid watcher of Farscape...
Yeah, I have to agree that it had a lot of awful to it. There was some great stuff in there, but it's very difficult to watch without rolling my eyes at some of the awfulness.
From James Rao
Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM
We agree again. There is nothing worse than a good idea destroyed by awfulness.
Which leads me to your comment about Highlander. I totally agree that the sequels were horrendous, but even the original, great idea or not, was diminished because of the "acting talents" of Christopher Lambert (that's, "Lam-burt" not the highfaluting "Lam-bere" as he would have us believe).
Sesame Street was meant for kids. The Muppets was meant for a more mature audience.
The problem of late has been that the Muppets have been trying to play to the kiddies and forgetting about their target audience. And to make matters worse, up until this movie, the last several Muppet movies have been Muppets playing other characters instead of themselves. With all of the great personalities that have been nurtured for the Muppets, I cringe when Kermit has to play the Scarecrow (or whatever) from Wizard of Oz.
Facts are that puppets doing adult things is funny and will remain funny.....just ask the producers of Avenue Q.....the format works....if you dumb it down, only the dumb will enjoy it.
From James Rao
Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM
Matt, there is a clear delineation between Disney and Six Flags of which no one who regularly visits this site would disagree. It would be more appropriate to say MUPPETS are to PUPPETS what DISNEY RESORTS are to THEME PARKS. Comparing Disney and Six Flags would be akin to comparing Muppets and sock puppets. While there are similarities, one is a vastly inferior version of the other.
Regardless, Muppets may be the kings of the Puppet World, but since I place little value on puppets as a whole, what does your point really mean? Are you trying to say that if you prefer Disney over Six Flags you should prefer Muppets over sock puppets? Okay... great.
In the same way that TH says there can never be too many Hippos I think you can never have too many Muppets. I've been reading all the posts made on this thread with great interest. Have to say that, while I love the Muppets, the Star Wars thing left me a bit cold. I like parts of the original three movies but the prequels ( like most prequels ) were blatant commercialism with no real substance. Loads of CGI and very little else. But they made money so a lot of people obviously don't share my view. I guess that's the beauty of all of this : we all like different things. Now if they could shoe-horn the Swedish Chef into Return of the Jedi.............
Crazy old Mr. Rao says "A curtly knife from the Swedish chef" I say "So you can't get enough Muppets, James?" By the way, Jar-Jar Stinks was NOT a muppet creation. And you can't prtend that Star Wars-ewoks-Jar-Jar would have made those movies any good
From James Rao
Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:12 AM
43 is not that old, youngster!
1) I CAN get enough of the Muppets, but I love using them as the butt of any joke.
2) My point was that Jar Jar was the end result of Lucas' love of childish things, like Muppets.
3) Yes, Return of the Crappy Jedi would have been a much better movie if Ewoks were replaced by Wookiees. Admit it.
Finally, before I posted a dissenting opinion your discussion thread had 12 posts, including yours. Now you are up to 43 and counting. You're welcome.
I'm indifferent about both Star Wars and Muppets, so I say this with no ill will towards either, but blaming Muppets for the faults of Star Wars is a really weak argument. Could you not blame any cute, child friendly marketable character as much as the Muppets? Yes. But for many decades in film, using animatronic and puppets in movies were common, cute or not. Whatever happened in Star Wars is Lucas' fault, and no other brand should be blamed, because it doesn't make sense.
From James Rao
Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:54 AM
In an opinion piece, I can blame whomever or whatever I will. And when dealing with talking socks, leaps of logic are allowed. I mean, we're writing about Muppets here... does it have to make sense?
Tongue-in-cheek guys, live a little.
(Up to 45 now, Matt. You like me, I know you do... I believe we have a Rainbow Connection...)
I do love the Muppets (*sorry James*) but I do NOT want them to take over DHS. I think one ride is sufficient as long as it is a new and more updated version. If they did take over the Great Movie Ride, then I would use the Muppet theater for something new and completely different. I don't want to see them in every ride. If they did take over, then the next thing we know, Electric Mayhem will be the cover band for Rockin' Rollercoaster
From James Rao
Posted November 30, 2011 at 1:18 PM
Let me ask you this: at DHS would you rather have a new Muppet attraction or a new indoor, inverted coaster that recreates the door hangar sequence from Monsters, Inc.?
Delusional old Mr. Rao says "Would you rather have a Muppets ride or a Monsters Inc. Coaster" I say "That has nothing to do with this debate! Monsters Inc. is my favorite pixar movie, so I'll go monsters, but Muppets are great. I assume you like Monsters inc. because it has no puppets.
By the way, Manny said"You've been dissed on your own thread. Welcome to the club." I say "That was my evil plan all along. Mean old Mr. Rao dissed me so many times, I now own that club, plus the record!"
By the way, you know who you are, please don't respond to the last message. I'm running out of words to describe _____ old Mr. Rao
From steve lee
Posted November 30, 2011 at 2:34 PM
Kind of a loaded question, James. You tell us exactly what the concept is for the Monsters Inc. attraction, but a "Muppet attraction" is the alternate option. If we're talking about the doorway-coaster vs. a Muppet meet and greet/play area, clearly we're all going to lean towards the coaster. But if it's a choice between a new dark ride (for example, let's take the dark ride suggested a few weeks back where the Muppets invade and distort classic dark ride sequences) and a Monsters Inc coaster, I'm taking the dark ride. The type attraction is always going to trump the theme for me (as long as the theme is well done, of course).
Finding Nemo is one of my least favorite Pixar films, for example, but the show at Animal Kingdom is so incredibly well done I can put aside my "meh" feelings about the source material and enjoy it for the superior attraction it is. On the flip side, no amount of love for the X-Men characters will make Storm Force Accelatron a good attraction (but imagine in this scenario that you're only pitching Storm Force as "an X-Men themed ride." We'd all sign up for that one, wouldn't we?). As much as I hated "Avatar," it's not like I'm going to ignore that area of Animal Kingdom when it comes around, just as I'm sure there are plenty of folks ignorant of the Harry Potter franchise who nevertheless queue up for Forbidden Journey.
Now, I'm not asking you to play Junior Imagineer and come up with a Muppet ride concept. I'm just pointing out that a cut and dry "this vs. this" scenario is far too general to get a true consensus.
From James Rao
Posted November 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM
I figured all I had to do was mention the word "coaster" and the young whipper-snappers in this discussion would start salivating. Padawan Matt proved me right. Only discerning TPI veterans such as you would pause to consider things, Steve.
On the other hand, I would take a Monsters Inc. indoor coaster over a Muppets dark ride any day of the week, but with different source material, I would lean dark ride as well.
And Matt, how about "Venerable". That's a good word to describe a grizzled old man such as me.
Ah... But I'm the smart one here, grizzled veteran. I hate coasters. In fact, I've never ridden one. Don't tell anybody, but when I was 7 I wimped out on the barnstormer. As for you mahna mahna old Mr.Rao. DANG IT! The sensor is working! This isn't over.
PS matt I have been dissed so many times on here I can't count them ok so back to what I was saying the operation on the hotel Is going smoothly it seems like there almost done with the building i think they might even be done with it cause the paint is on the building and the rocks of radiator springs part of the area is ready so just wanted to report that
Dude you can't even ride a rollercoaster WDW has safe rides if that's your concern and yes I would prefer monsters Inc coaster than muppets I think its time disney makes new rides avatar is coming fantasyland expansion almost done and the new resort almost done as well but theres something missing
Now I feel dumb. I'm so much older now. I'm already 13. If we're talking a family coaster, a la snow white dwarfs coaster, then I'd probably give it a shot. If we're talking everest-like, then at least the monsters have some respect in disney.
Change the Muppets dark ride to a coaster where you're basically Gonzo getting shot out of a cannon... come to think of it, just change the theming of Rock n' Roller Coaster to this AND put in the Monsters Inc. coaster.
2) Thanks for taking the time to get such a photo-realistic copy of my image for Santa's machine.
3) I hated disappointing that girl elf, she was HOT.
4) Tell Santa to ease up a bit on the hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup... I don't think the reindeer are going to be able to lug his fat a$$ around this year!
However, Muppet Annihilation is not my goal. In fact, I don't mind the ONE Muppet attraction at DHS today. No, I like that it sucks in tens of people who won't bother me at Star Tours or Toy Story Mania for the next 20 - 30 minutes. I just don't care to see more Muppet abominations added to the park. Pixar or Star Wars is the way to go for expansion at DHS, and anyone who has a different opinion is just flat out wrong.
We are going to be there the 11th through the 17th. We are SO excited. I have never been there when it was decorated for the Christmas season. Say some prayers for us. We usually fly, but this year we will be driving. I have been having visions of National Lampoon's Vacation dancing in my head.
I love the drive to Orlando. Three days of family time and anticipation. Pick out a few choice dining spots from one of the popular food shows (Triple D or Man V Food), book hotels with good indoor pools, and enjoy!
Back to the topic....Muppets still blow chunks! ;)
See, now this is why I love you guys on here. Not only do we share information, but we do it with quite a lot of laughs. By far, this is my favorite site to share and read our love of theme parks on :)
Now that I got all the mushy stuff out of the way; James, that probably is something along the lines that Daniel did talk about in the Bible. Right along with being stuck on it's a small world. That has evil and torture written all over it.