Disney owns many beloved characters, including characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Luke Skywalker, Iron Man, Darth Vader and Captain America. In 2004 Disney acquired the rights to “The Muppets”, including the beloved characters Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo The Great, to name a few. Ever since acquiring “The Muppets”, Disney has had a rough time reviving the brand for a modern audience, with the most recent series “Muppets Now” seemingly being cancelled after six episodes.
In February 2021, Disney released all seasons of the classic Muppet Show into the evergrowing Disney+ library. Also, in 2021, Disney released a brand new Muppet special loosely based on Disney’s theme park attraction “The Haunted Mansion”. I want to explain why Disney+ needs its own proper Muppet Show.
They Had One Which Fell Apart:
Remember all the way back in July of 2020 when Disney released the unscripted series “Muppets Now”? The series came out with little fanfare and felt more like a compilation of short videos you would see on YouTube channels like Smosh. “Muppets Now” fell flat on its face as many of the skits were rather bland and weren’t funny. “Muppets Now” was one of two Muppet series in development for Disney+. The other one, “Muppets Live Another Day”, was cancelled whilst in production.
Disney Has A Decent Relationship With The Jim Henson Company:
Sadly in the year 1990, we lost the great creative mind of Jim Henson, his works entertained millions of people around the globe, and his work still entertains millions today. Back in 1989, Disney hosted negotiations to become the parent company of The Jim Henson Company, however with Henson’s death in 1990, the purchase never happened. But, fourteen years after Henson’s death, Disney successfully acquired “The Muppets” from Henson’s family.
Even though Disney never acquire the entire Jim Henson Company, the two corporations have worked together on several projects, including ABC’s “Dinosaurs”, Playhouse Disney’s “Bear In A Big Blue House”, and most recently on Disney+’s “Earth To Ned” talk show. The Henson family are also used as consultants on modern Muppet productions.
Why It Matters:
“The Muppets” are going through a sort of renaissance as of late, with the original Muppet Show coming to Disney+ and last year’s “The Muppets Haunted Mansion” special. Disney hasn’t really done much with “The Muppets” in recent years, but if you look across at services like HBO Max and Apple TV+ who have revitalized other franchises Jim Henson helped create, those being “Sesame Street” and “Fraggle Rock”.
IP is highly in demand right now. Seemingly every company that operates a streaming service is snatching up whatever IP they can, whether that be Apple grabbing “Peanuts” and “Fraggle Rock” or Netflix licencing dozens of titles from Moonbug Entertainment (creators of Cocomelon). Disney has a vast IP library, and “The Muppets” have the potential to find a new audience within Disney+.
“The Muppets” are a well-known property that is still loved by millions of people, many decades after their creation and the death of their original creator. Jim Henson initially tried to sell his company to Disney so his characters would become as timeless as many of Walt Disney’s own creations. Unfortunately, Disney has failed to revive “The Muppets” for a new generation successfully, but I’m confident that if Disney (with the help of the Henson family) could successfully make a new comedy sketch show like the classic Muppet Show featuring guest stars like Tom Holland, Olivia Rodrigo and Adam Driver to name a few.
Unfortunately, this is all just a dream, and millions of Muppet fans around the globe will have to hope that Disney decides to play the music, light the lights and give Kermit and his pals another chance to return to their rightful place in pop culture.
What Do You Think? Does Disney+ Need Its Own Proper Muppet Show?