Muppet Evolution

November 20, 2011 7:45pm
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As you can probably tell from the last couple of posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about The Muppets coming out in theaters next week, and more so wondering exactly what to expect from it.  On one hand, I’m really excited to see that Disney is attempting to revitalize The Muppets after they’ve more or less sat in the corner untouched since 2004 … but on the other hand, I’m admittedly also a bit nervous of what the final product is actually going to be like – especially considering that I wasn’t all that impressed with The Green Album, the collaborative release of classic Muppet songs covered by modern artists that came out earlier this year.

It also makes me curious because I’ve stumbled upon various articles citing that some of the Muppet veterans like Frank Oz were unhappy with the direction that the script was going and didn’t want to be a part of it.

Now as for the comments, I’m trying not to read too much into them because I do still have a lot of respect for Frank Oz for also tacking on that he didn’t want to elaborate on it for fear of hurting the movie, so it’s not like he’s ready to cast them off and say “To hell with them!” but instead is clearly still attached, as would only be expected for someone who performed a character like Fozzie for 20+ years of his life!  In fact, it’s probably kind of weird to look on now and see somebody else performing “his” characters to boot, so it’s probably not even worth giving that angle another thought…

At this point I almost think I’m likening it to the perspective that a lot of folks have of The Simpsons lately because even though I’m still as much as a die hard fan as I always was growing up, there are a lot of folks that pretty much despise anything created after about season 7 and are convinced that whatever is airing now 15 years later is complete and utter crap.  And I have a hard time processing that because as much as I love Mr. Plow and Who Shot Mr. Burns? and all of those other classic episodes from the early ’90s, I also recognize as a writer that you have to constantly be trying new things and reinventing yourself or you’re never going to survive to produce your 500th episode 22 years after first going on the air!

I see the same thing happen over at Disney World all of the time, and although that one’s admittedly a little bit harder for me because I’m not always the greatest person with change myself, you have to allow something to grow and evolve over time or eventually instead of Disney World being this happy place where millions love to visit each year, it would become old and dated because the people who first saw the classics like Snow White and Pinocchio are 70 years old now!  Jim Henson first started working with puppets in 1955 and debuted The Muppet Show in 1975, making them 36 years old as the prepare to hit the silver screen again this week.  If we want The Muppets to survive and continue to contribute their fun brand of whimsical entertainment to the world, the powers that be need to be able to try new things and push them in different directions that may not have originally been considered decades ago when the characters were first conceived.

And for what it’s worth, whoever made the comment that Fozzie would’ve never stooped to the level of fart shoes must not be familiar with the bear that I grew up laughing at because really, aren’t “fart shoes” just whoopee cushions that you wear on your feet???

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