Sunday, October 23, 2005

Will the real Kermit the Frog please stand up?

Yesterday Sam (he's the cutie in the pic to the left), my grandson who's 2, wanted to see Miss Piggy on my computer, and rather than go to the usual, I decided to search for something different to let him see. I stumbled upon a site called, and it had an article about how Disney, who now owns the rights to the Muppet characters (that's scary enough as it is) since apparently Jim Henson's company kinda split apart. I've included a quote here that tells pretty much the gist of the article:

You see, Disney paid a lot of money for the Muppet characters, and now they want to step up their campaign to get the Muppets back into the public eye. That's fantastic, and that's what we all want. Unfortunately, the way they want to do that is to have Kermit appearing simultaneously in different places. There'll be a Kermit performing on a Disney cruise line, and a Kermit greeting customers at the World of Disney store in New York, and a Kermit making an appearance on a local news show in Kansas City. And then somewhere in the world, hopefully, is a Kermit that's performed by Steve Whitmire. You remember Steve Whitmire, right? The guy who performs Kermit?

I, for one, as a 30+ year HUGE Muppet fan, longer really if you count how much I loved Rowlf the Dog on the Jimmy Dean Show when I was a kid, am thoroughly incensed and offended by this new venture. Muppets are real, at least to those of us who really love them, and they are individuals. Here is another quote that explains it better than I can:

One of the things that I like best about the Muppets is that they can appear out in the real world -- on talk shows, or awards shows -- and they're treated like they're real celebrities. That creates this amazing double-vision feeling, tickling our suspension of disbelief in a uniquely pleasurable way. Just by being there, the Muppets are poking fun at the show they're appearing on, turning the real world of show business into a parody. In order to do that, the Muppets need to be "real" to the audience. Kermit needs to be Kermit, not just some puppeteer playing Kermit.

If you are a Muppet lover and agree, please do the following: First go to the Touch Pigs site at and read the whole article. Then click on this link,, and get more information and addresses so you can write a letter to protest this.

I know this may seem like a silly cause to many people, but I raised three children, one in the 70s, one in the 80s, and one in the 90s, and now a grandson, all of whom have loved and learned from the Muppets, and who will always have special childhood memories of all of them, and I personally have derived so much joy and laughter from them over the years. I own all the Muppet movies (Muppet Christmas Carol is our family favorite and we always watch it several times over the holidays), and my grandson watches at least one of them every single time he is at my home. One of his early words as he was learning to really talk was Hupmits, which was how his little 15 month old mind said Muppets. He is now a little over 2 and can clearly say Muppets, and Muppets Space (his favorite), and can identify by name all of the main characters, including Pepe, Rizzo, Gonzo, and all the rest. The Muppets are a part of our family history going into the third generation, and I cringe to think of them being commercialized in a way that destroys their unique individuality. Jim Henson must be shaking his head in disgust . . .


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