"Disney doesn’t want me", Frank Oz pushed out. - “The soul’s not there”

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Overly Serious

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
@Dom Cruise Great post. There was a book years ago by Neil Postman called Amusing Ourselves to Death about modern media and its affects on our society. Had a tag line that stayed with me all these years: "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, not even with a whimper. But with the sound of canned applause".

I get the modern version would be "...with someone saying Smash that Like button".

Nearly every field of human endeavour has either been systemised or is under aggressive attempts to do so. By this I mean detailed protocol and formula for every role a person might play and those roles ever more tightly policed. Whether it be management, programming or... TV comedy. People don't learn anymore from making their own attempts and seeing how close they are to the desired result. In fact, they don't learn in that sense much at all anymore. They learn by following patterns and methodologies laid out for them. Why is this pushed? Because it makes people replaceable. If everyone's management style and tools are the same, you can boot an under-performing (or over-performing) manager and drop someone else in who will immediately pick up where the other one left off because the terms, the procedures, the tools are all the same. It also lets any individual avoid blame - if someone does things on their own initiative, then any failure is at their feet, or worse! the manager that allowed them to act on their own initiative. But if everything follows the methodology then it doesn't matter if the project overruns or the quality is poor, because nobody is at fault. And not being at fault is the overriding goal in any authoritarian society or culture. It's why authoritarian cultures produce such shitty products - the aim isn't to produce good ones, it's to minimise risk to oneself.

TV shows? Well I've never worked in the industry but I see the results and a lot of it feels like a followed formula. Especially with Netflix. Do this - it's what works. Don't do that - it's unapproved. People will laugh at this - they will laugh because they're supposed to, because they hear other people laughing.

The sound of canned applause.
 

Someone in a Tree

It's the ripple, not the sea that is happening
kiwifarms.net
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May 25, 2013
In Disney’s defense, no other studio seems to want to work with Oz either. It’s been a decade since he directed a movie.
 

Travoltron

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Aug 14, 2018
In Disney’s defense, no other studio seems to want to work with Oz either. It’s been a decade since he directed a movie.
Looks like he directed a documentary last year.

But I think The Stepford Wives remake hurt his career. It wasn't really his fault. All those actresses were bitchy divas fighting with each other and he lost control. Marlon Brando also bullied Oz on the set of The Score.
 

Blimp

The Adventures of Voyde Farstar - Part II
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Dec 10, 2019
Disney and Brian "Puppet Up is totally something dad would do" Henson already did this with a more load-bearing part of legacy Muppets via Steve Whitmire, who actually called them out to their faces, as opposed to softball sniping in an English newspaper. In addition to that not being mentioned in the interview, Frank was also conveniently-silent about this while Disney was still actively using him as Yoda, so he's obviously still not willing to entirely burn that bridge while there are royalties to collect, even though he and Steve absolutely have the same complaints. They also probably hate each other too, and assuredly got into slapfights over who is channeling Jim the most

Either way, it's pretty obvious Disney has had no clear vision on what to do with The Muppets nowadays, as Jim was the only one receiving actual visions, and Muppets Tonight is where the cracks start to show, although most of those are Disney-induced. It was the closest they came to a modernized 1:1 recreation of the OG Muppet Show, but it came out in the edgy 90's, which means that the biggest network hurdle is getting people to watch a primetime Muppet show again in the edgy 90's, because the average thought train back then was Muppets = Sesame Street = for babby, and Urkel seems to imply this

Somewhere along the line, Winnie the Pooh and the Muppets started emerging around us and it became kids' night. And we lost a lot of credibility

While TGIF has A) always been Disney's kids' night for households too poor for a premium cable package, and B) has never had any credibility ever, the fact remains that puppets, puns, and light innuendo just wasn't a big draw for newcomers that are used to the likes of WB, Fox, and UPN, and that was all it took for Disney to lose confidence and shelve it after 2 seasons and a goddamn clip show finale. Clifford was also a terrible host, and was probably where returning fans clocked-out, but Steve was also still clearly trying to make Kermit his own, and even after two movies, it was still too soon to make him a lead again. Otherwise, the remaining new Muppets were fine without being Cliffordized versions of old ones, and the framework for a good handful of seasons was there, but once Disney loses confidence, the money stops, and ABC had no end to cheaper rotating garbage to fill it's slot

The third attempt with Muppets '16 shows exactly what happens when Disney has full control over the IP, which is naturally when Steve snapped. The viral KERMIT AND MISS PIGGY ARE SPLITTING!??!!? articles got more talk than I remember the actual show getting, and half of it was a whole lotta bullshit about how Kermit getting with another fat pig with sharper features means fatshaming is alive and well in the Muppet universe. It also tended to overuse the human guests compared to prior shows, which the Greg the Bunny alumni probably would've warned them about if this wasn't the only paying puppet gig left

I don't plan to watch it, but reading the Wikipedia summary for Muppets Now makes it sound like an exec said "Hey, we should make a show about the Lipton frog and those other puppet guys we licensed for all those commercials" when padding D+ out
 

Scarlett Johansson

Hello, I'm Shelley Duvall
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
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Feb 4, 2018
Well I mean.......its Disney. My lawsuit is just the beginning. I've always maintained that had Jim Henson and Richard Hunt not passed away, this shit wouldn't be so messy.

BTW what really happened with Steve Whitmire?
 

The Valeyard

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Jul 16, 2017
Disney's next soulless Muppets product is a Halloween special for Disney Plus.
muppets-hm.jpg
 

Product Placement

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Dec 1, 2020
Looks like he directed a documentary last year.

But I think The Stepford Wives remake hurt his career. It wasn't really his fault. All those actresses were bitchy divas fighting with each other and he lost control. Marlon Brando also bullied Oz on the set of The Score.
He did Death at Funeral (UK original) after that, made $47 million on a $9million budget. Reviews were fine as well overall.

However that came out in 2007, in 2006 Disney hired him to make a new Muppet movie, but in 2008 it was passed on for the project that became the Muppets 2011. So not sure if that has soured him on making movies

Since then all been acting and making documentaries. No known failed projects as well.
 

Someone in a Tree

It's the ripple, not the sea that is happening
kiwifarms.net
Joined
May 25, 2013
Looks like he directed a documentary last year.

But I think The Stepford Wives remake hurt his career. It wasn't really his fault. All those actresses were bitchy divas fighting with each other and he lost control. Marlon Brando also bullied Oz on the set
Well I mean.......its Disney. My lawsuit is just the beginning. I've always maintained that had Jim Henson and Richard Hunt not passed away, this shit wouldn't be so messy.

BTW what really happened with Steve Whitmire?
I don’t think we’ll ever know all the details, but in an interview not long after he was dismissed, he basically said that he didn’t like the direction of the ABC show (fair enough) and believed that he should have had a shot at controlling the creative direction of the property, which, yeah, is a bit too much to ask in my opinion. The Henson family also called out Whitmire, specifically his claims that Jim Henson chose him to take over the role of Kermit. It could be that Disney is both a greedy corporation AND Whitmire is difficult to work with.
 

Travoltron

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Well... somebody with a history with The Muppets should have creative control instead of some random Mouse person.
That's part of what Jim Henson did, but also Muppets writer Jerry Juhl (also now deceased) was instrumental with the tone of the show.