Almost 60 years after the debut of The Muppets and 24 years after their creator suddenly died, the Muppets are back…BIG TIME.
Variety says: ‘At the height of their fame, the Muppets were the Pixar characters of their time, headlining entertainment targeted to both children and adults.’
But, when their creator, Jim Henson, died suddenly in 1990, the Muppets struggled, and were left for dead, literally.
Before his death, Henson had been in prolonged talks with Disney to possibly sell his catalog. Disney was set to pay almost $150 million in cash and stock, but the deal never materialized.
By 2000, the Muppets had completely lost their draw to Pixar, whose movies, like the “Toy Story” franchise, appealed to both adults and kids.
In 2010, Disney finally bought ‘The Muppets’ from the Henson family for an ‘undisclosed sum’.
In 2011, believing that they could be a draw again, Disney released, “The Muppets,” a live-action film starring the Muppets and actors Jason Segel and Amy Adams. The movie grossed $165 million, and won an Oscar for Best Original Song “Man Or Muppet”, proving to Disney that the Muppets are still a BIG draw.
So they ok’d a sequel.
"Muppets Most Wanted" opens this Friday in theaters featuring all the Muppets you remember, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef… and an all star cast: Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais, Zach Galifianakis, Celine Dion and Lady Gaga.
While Disney may be getting credit for The Muppets now…you have to give credit where credit is due…to the man who created them.
Read more about Jim Henson HERE.
The Jim Henson company website.
Jim Henson's 'Creature Shop' website.
The Jim Henson Foundation website.