Frank Oz not Happy with Disney over the Muppets
Twitter can bring out a lot of feelings through conversations and posts and this past week was no exception. This time it was the legendary Frank Oz, who has performed the Muppet characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Cookie Monster, Bert, and Grover, who recently expressed his displeasure with how Disney has handled the Muppets since acquiring the rights to them back in 2004.
It all started when Frank recently posted about an encounter he had with AmEx, which prompted someone to ask if the Muppets had done an AmEx commercial. He reminded the poster that yes, they had done one about 40 years prior, when their creator Jim Henson was barely known. After the poster gets all excited that Frank had responded, the poster replies that he hopes that he hopes the Muppets survive this Disney Hollywood Studios Park makeover.
That was the opening that Frank took to voice his displeasure:
“So far the writers Disney has employed don’t know to write for The Muppets. I imagine their hubris makes them believe they can. But the characters need writing that has depth and honesty. I suppose a version of The Muppets will survive. But they won’t be true.”
Today, The Muppets Studio, LLC (formerly Muppets Holding Company, LLC) is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
In an article on Cinemablend, it is said that Disney returned The Muppets to the big screen in 2011 with a hit movie The Muppet Movie and to television in 2015, but their success didn’t translate to television. Unfortunately the show barely lasted a year and its reviews were mixed.
But knowing that the world absolutely adores The Muppets, Frank continues when he tweets, “That is why a version of them will survive, because of the wonderful affection the world has had for the characters in years past. The affection is not growing out of the present writing.”
Interestingly when he’s put on the spot asking if he would ever help Disney, Frank responded — to the delight of fans — that yes, indeed he would if the script were right, but makes a stipulation that the key performers must have the final approval on what their characters will say and do. “Which means I will never be asked,” he said.
Maybe Disney should listen to Yoda.