The Muppets don’t need saving. Disney has already saved them from the worst fate of all: obscurity.
There, I said it. I feel better now.
Amongst many Disney and Muppet bloggers, I must be some kind of felt pariah. I’m not at all oppossed to multiple performers for each and every single Muppet out there?
Because no one remembers what the originals sounded like or acted like. Not my 2 1/2 year old daughter. Not my brother or my mother-in-law. No one but the fans.
And you know what? We’re not exactly the most numerous folks on the planet. Sure, DVD sales have been good, but The Muppet Show was great and there was an incredible nostalgia factor. But for most folks, the Muppets are a thing of their past, not their future.
Now I’m no Disney apologist. I work for a multi-national media conglomerate who happens to compete with Disney in just about all their core businesses. But Disney is in charge of the Muppets now, not Jim Henson.
Jim is dead, folks, and things change when the old guard is gone. The new stewards of the Muppet brand, and that’s what they have – a brand, know they’ve got to get a whole new generation of kids and adults thinking about them again. It’s the old “out of sight, out of mind” thing.
The only consistent, persistent reminder that the Muppets still lived on since Jim’s passing Disney-MGM’s Muppets 3-D attraction. Sure, there was Muppets tonight, but it was short-lived.
But now all that is changing. Disney is putting these characters back into the mainstream with incredible gusto and energy. And yes, wouldn’t it be grand if there were one and only one Fozzy or Rowlf or Kermit.
But we could always have the alternative, no Muppets anywhere at all except our memories. And maybe that’s how some of us would like it; if we can’t have the ideal Muppets situation, we’d just as soon they didn’t exist at all.
I’m not one of those people. I think the salvation of the Muppets is in their presence in the entertainment landscape to begin with.
So write your letters and sign your petitions, but don’t lose your love for the Muppets. Criticize Disney’s decisions if you want to try and affect a change in their tactics, but don’t fault them for having an aggressive Muppet strategy. The two are linked, but very different.
The Muppets have been saved. If you want to see them saved differently, we can agree to disagree. Keep doing what you’re doing – more power to you.