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D23 EXPO presentation to reveal what Muppets have planned for 2010 & beyond

D23 EXPO presentation to reveal what Muppets have planned for 2010 & beyond

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For those of you out there who have been grousing about the Marvel acquisition deal – saying, in essence that “ … Disney’s going to ruin those characters just like they did the Muppets” … Well, you clearly haven’t been paying attention to what Kermit & Co. have been up to this year.

The Muppets made news literally on November 17, 2008, when a trio of Whatnots (who looked suspiciously like Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira & Al Roker) took over the Today Show for a half hour. Using the lockout of this morning news show’s human hosts as a clever way to promote the opening of FAO Schwarz’s Muppet Whatnot Workshop.

Muppets on the Today Show
Copyright 2008 NBC Universal. All Rights Reserved

Then – on December 17th – the Muppets came through again in a big way for NBC. As Miss Piggy & pals appeared in the new holiday special, “A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa.” Which not only won its time slot but also got nominated for an Emmy. The Peacock network was reportedly so impressed with this new holiday special’s performance that it’ll be running “Letters to Santa” again this year with an eye toward possibly making “A Muppets Christmas” a holiday perennial.

Nathan Lane and the Muppets in Muppet Letter to Santa
Copyright 2008 Disney. All Rights Reserved

FYI: If you’d like your very own copy of “A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa,” Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is releasing a version of this holiday special on September 29th. This single-disc DVD will feature over 15 minutes of bonus features, including never-before-seen deleted scenes from this television special as well as an all new documentary-style featurette entitled "Searching for Santa Claus."

Speaking of Muppet merchandising, Miss Piggy made the round in February of 2009. Popping up on “Today” & “The View” to promote her new book, “The Diva Code: Miss Piggy on Life, Love, and the 10,000 Idiotic Things Frogs Do.”

Miss Piggy's Diva Code book
Copyright 2009 Hyperion. All Rights Reserved

Meanwhile over on the Internet, Beaker was causing a sensation with his newest viral video, “Ode to Joy.” Which – to date – has had more than 6.2 million views and has since gone on to win a Webby.

Beaker and Jimmy Fallon
Copyright 2009 The Barbarian Group. All Rights Reserved

Then when you factor in how well those Muppet comic books that BOOM! Studios has been churning out have been selling …

Muppet Boom Comic Cover
Copyright BOOM! Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved

It’s clear that Kermit & Co. are approaching critical mass. That the Muppets are about to step back into the spotlight in a big way.

Don’t believe me? Then check out that Seth-Rogen-as-Rowlf-the-Dog skit that Saturday Night aired back in April. Or – better yet -- that Kermit-the-Frog dress that Lady Gaga wore back in July.

Lady Gaga wears her Kermit dress and hat

And how Kermit & Miss Piggy just performed last week on this Summer’s No. 1 TV show, “America’s Got Talent.”

Yeah, the Walt Disney Company certainly seems to think that the Muppets are now due for a big comeback. Which is why Parks & Resorts built an entire promotional campaign for the Disneyland Resort around this beloved set of characters. FYI: The first ads featuring footage that was shot in the Park last month should begin airing on television in October.

In the coming months, there’ll be great new pieces of merchandise hitting the market (like eFX Inc. ‘s “Muppet” Photo Puppet Replicas) …

Kermit and Rizzo
Photo by Nancy Stadler

… And in 2010, there’ll be another television special and a Muppet theatrical release and new Whatnots going up for sale at FAO Schwarz and …

Look, if you really want to know what’s going on with the Muppets in 2010 & beyond, then you have to make your way to the D23 EXPO this coming Sunday. Where – starting at 1 p.m. in the Walt Disney Studios Theater – Lylle Breier (who’s the senior vice president & general manager of Special Events & the Muppets at the Mouse House) will be taking the stage. And with the help of a celebrity or two, Lyelle will reveal what the coming years has in store for Kermit & Co.

Trust me, folks. This is really going to be one “sensational, celebrational, Muppetational” presentation. So if you’re a Muppet fan, you really owe it to yourself to inside of the Anaheim Convention Center this coming Sunday afternoon.

Just be sure to save me a seat down front, okay?

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  • I missed the Letters to Santa special last year, so I'm glad it'll be shown again.  =)

  • Your story was featured in DisMarks! Here is the link to vote it up and promote it: http://dismarks.com/GeneralDisney/Jim_Hill_D23_EXPO_presentation_to_reveal_what_Muppets_have_planned_for_2010_beyond

  • I really want to hear more about the Jason Segel Muppet movie.

  • So, Disney's investing still more principal into Michael Eisner's mistake, hmmm? So that Kermit can pal around with a pop star whose idea of entertainment is to bleed out her bra, hang herself onstage and thank "God and the gays" for her award?

    Have people lost their minds at Disney? They certainly have at whatever passes for the Muppets crew now. That appearance at the VMAs last night was bizarre and embarrassing. Add to that the fact that a guy who writes R-rated comedies and who exposed himself onscreen is now writing the next Muppet movie because he has a weird fetish for puppets, and we have a very clear idea of the judgment of the people now running the once-wholesome, once-iconic Disney. Disney didn't use to just stand for big boxoffice and shareholder profits. It stood for something, something good and noble and - dare I say it? - pure.

    All these buyouts and pitiful publicity grabs just demonstrate to one and all that Disney's in trouble. It's heart-breaking and outrageous, and not in a good way.

    As a stockholder, this makes me very sad. And very angry. And looking to sell my stock. If anybody wants it.

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