The Muppets legend Frank Oz has shared some frank words about Disney, who took control of the iconic felt-filled franchise in 2004. Since Disney bought the Muppets, we’ve seen two Muppets feature films, an ABC TV series, and a fair bit of content on YouTube.
Recently, we also heard that a live Muppets show is coming to the O2 Arena in London. Also, Muppet Babies is getting a relaunch on Disney XD, and the Disney Life streaming service is said to be hosting another revamped Muppets show.
Despite the fact that Disney have launched a lot of new Muppets productions in the fourteen years since taking control, Frank Oz is convinced that the Mouse House doesn’t fully ‘get’ the franchise. Oz, who puppeteered and voiced various iconic Muppets prior to the Disney takeover, said this:
“As much as Disney loves The Muppets and wants the best for The Muppets — and they truly believe they can do it — they don’t get it […] They don’t get the true rebellion and true affection underneath those characters.”
Oz hastened to add that the spirit of Muppets creator Jim Henson “is still there”, despite his misgivings about Disney’s handling of the franchise.
“By the way, I don’t mean to knock Disney, they really want to do a good job. They’ve never asked me, and they have not asked the performers how to do it,” Oz added. “If they just did that — the performers are so brilliant — instead of an outside person, let the performers lead. Then it would be a whole different deal. The audience would appreciate the purity of that.”
Oz is currently promoting Muppet Guys Talking, a feature-length documentary about the classic era, which is available to buy now.
More Muppets news as we hear it.