I’m a big fan of The Muppets. I have been since I was very young. When The Muppets came out in theaters back in 2011, I had been highly anticipating its’ arrival for years. And I was not disappointed. I found myself enjoying every minute of the movie, and couldn’t wait to see it again. Even more than that, I couldn’t wait for more Muppets. I didn’t just want a sequel to this movie. I also found myself wanting more Muppet Show.
Muppets Most Wanted
And then in March of 2012, they announced that The Muppets would be getting a sequel. Muppets Most Wanted would be released two years later, in March 2014. It didn’t do as well at the box office as the last film, but that doesn’t really mean too much. The last film was really an anomaly in the history of the Muppets at the box office. Muppets Most Wanted is a good and goofy Muppet movie, not quite as good as The Muppets, but not off by much. I have the soundtrack in my car, and the songs get funnier with each listen. In fact, the movie was funnier the second time than it was the first time through. I was hoping that the magic and excitement of the first would repeat, but that wasn’t to be. Muppets Most Wanted has to be taken on its’ own terms, like all of the other films before it. It gave Walter a chance to show where he fits in with the rest of the gang.
As a friend of mine, Tom, put it so well: “MUPPET MOVIE & THE MUPPETS were about heart, GREAT MUPPET CAPER & MUPPETS MOST WANTED were about unfiltered wackiness, both things the Henson team have excelled at since 1969!”
Now that we’ve gotten companion movies (in a way) to The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, it’s time to get a companion movie to The Muppets Take Manhattan.
It’s time for The Muppets: Part 3.
For the first time in a while we have a year without a Pixar film. I tend to put all Pixar films on my anticipated film list every year, but The Good Dinosaur was delayed until 2015. That will mean two Pixar films will be on my list for 2015, however, and I’m very excited about that. I’m pretty excited about this year’s movies, however, with the end of The Hobbit capping the a year filled with Muppets, superheroes, robots and biblical epics.
About a year ago, Disney made the ultimate purchase. One that made my dreams of seeing more Star Wars films on the big screen possible. They bought Lucasfilm. It was this purchase that has actually completed a project that I am now convinced was the plan from the time they bought the Jim Henson Company back in 2004 for an undisclosed amount somewhere around $200 million. It was actually a much longer journey as Disney had originally purchased distribution rights to all of the Jim Henson Company productions way back in 1991. It took until September of 2008 before Disney finally rebranded the Muppets Holding Company as Muppet Studios, and placed it under new leadership.
With phase one complete, it was time to begin work on phase two: the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. This was a massive purchase costing $4.24 billion. Disney needed to get control of Marvel Productions, and this was one way that they could do so. They didn’t want to have any red-tape, even though they very likely had all of the rights they needed thanks to the acquisition of the Muppets.
Lastly, they needed the final piece of the equation. They needed the footage that was used from both Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. And the best way to do that? Spend $4.06 billion on the purchase of Lucasfilm. That brought in both franchises.
With the total cost being about $8.5 billion, Disney is very close to being able to achieve their ultimate goal: the release of Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies on DVD and Blu-ray. I had been thinking about the overall purchases that Disney was making, and one day it dawned on me that all of these things were connected. And with a little bit of research, I found that I wasn’t the only one to think of this.
From what I can gather, the only thing left standing in their way is a simple licensing of some footage from Ghostbusters from Sony Pictures. Unless they plan on purchasing the rights to the Ghostbusters franchise (which I’d have no problem with, as they seem to just do everything right with the franchises they acquire). There are also bits from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which belong to Paramount, among a few other things. It seems to me that we’re as close as ever, and so is Disney.
That’s a pretty large investment so far, though, and I hope that the eventual release of this classic masterpiece of animation works out for them, and they make back the billions they’ve spent in gathering the exclusive rights to the series.
As readers of this blog may already know, I’m a pretty big fan of The Muppets. I thought the last film, 2011′s The Muppets was a return to form, and the first that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed since 1999′s Muppets from Space. With the sequel The Muppets…Again! in production now, they’ve been making more appearances. It’s a great way to keep them near front of mind when the trailers for the new movie start to appear.
On April 28, 2013, at 7:30 PM ET/PT, The Muppets are going to make one of those appearances: stopping by the Duncan family’s home on Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie.
Since the announcement that Disney bought Lucasfilm, there has been a wide range of reactions to it, from the very optimistic and positive, to the stunningly negative and outrageous. There are many reasons to be optimistic though, and I feel there are no valid arguments against Disney at this point. Within the few years, Disney has made some pretty smart moves with their acquisitions. Let’s take a look at that to see why Star Wars is safe in the House of Mouse.
The sequel to 2011′s The Muppets, called Muppets…Again! (aka The Muppets 2) has begun production in London. It will be in theaters on March 21, 2014. The Muppets was one of my favorite movies of 2011, so I’m very excited for this one, even though I’m not a very big fan of the human cast members this time around.
It finds the Muppet repertory company enjoying a triumphant world tour, only to become tangled up with a criminal mastermind named Constantine, who is out to steal an enormous diamond—and who happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit.
“I always loved those classic jewel-heist capers from the ’60s and ’70s, so I was very keen to do a movie that had elements of that [genre] featuring the Muppets and comedy and songs,” says returning director James Bobin, who co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller.