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Categorization

The conversation mostly stalled a bit last summer, and re-reading the conversation as well as looking at what has been added, there's some slight issues. Right now, I'm taking the initiative and fixing one, which was counting every item in Category:Muppet Babies Characters. Despite the arguments advanced about sales somehow defining who should be here, Muppet Babies the animated series (and books and comics and so on) was its own world and its silly to have Baby Piggy and Miss Piggy in the same category, and so on. I'm going ahead and categorizing Muppet Babies (puppets), since going by a universe/family theory, the puppet or photo puppet versions crossed-over to a limited extent (Manhattan, Family Christmas, Muppet Magazine).

I'm still not sure about the specials and some of the other stuff, though, and frankly I do still think it makes sense to apply it to individual characters, i.e. counting those who surfaced later in a Muppet Show-related project but not those who were just one shots (we do count one-shots only from later specials and movies, but that makes more sense since by then they were usually a clear Muppet Show family context). User:Lenny the Lizard has been adding characters from The Great Santa Claus Switch. Obviously Thog counts, but Thig and the various Elves were only used that once. The special isn't owned by Disney but by Sullivan's people, but I don't think that should be the prime criteria anyway. I'm also still not sure, despite both Kermit hosting and some cross-over, that it makes sense to count the likes of Caleb Siles and The Stepsisters, especially since there's a whole Tales from Muppetland Characters category for them to live in anyway. So I still would like to limit special characters to those who appeared more than once (whether as the same character, or as a utility puppet) especially since we're excluding Emmet Otter and the like despite Kermit hosting that one as well, mostly because Henson kept ownership of Emmet. Thoughts?

Finally, and this one (like Muppet Babies) I think is hard to argue, thinks like Tim Curry Muppet don't count. His only appearance, as such, was in the video footage included on the DVD, with Tim Curry, and clearly not a part of the Muppet universe (even in the way that nominally the likes of Andy Williams Muppets are, by virtue of actually appearing on The Muppet Show or with other Muppets, not just in a kind of behind the scenes joke in isolation). There probably aren't too many other examples like that (since most of the other caricature Muppets of that kind weren't used in public at all) but I think that's a clear case where the character is not part of "The Muppets" grouping. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:40, December 17, 2009 (UTC)

I think the easiest way to do it is to say anything from The Muppet Show on. That's really when the "universe" was established. —Scott (talk) 18:26, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Pre-Muppet Show Characters

The description says "characters who have appeared in the universe which began with The Muppet Show". Should we include the Muppet characters from any work prior to The Muppet Show (such as King Goshposh, Wally, Thig, Wilkins, Sam, The San Francisco Earthquake, or Taminella Grinderfall)? -- Brad D. (talk) 05:30, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I would say yes to those from the pilots. I'm a bit unsure about King Goshposh and Taminella. They were in a lot of pre-Muppet Show productions featuring Kermit, and I would consider The Frog Prince to be part of The Muppet Show universe as it heavily features Sweetums and Robin the Frog in addiiton to Kermit. Maybe some others should give their opinions on this subject. --Minor muppetz 22:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any evidence on their pages that any of them were grandfathered into the Muppet Show family of characters except maybe The San Francisco Earthquake who was in a pilot connected to the franchise. —Scott (talk) 23:05, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
When the Jim Henson Company transferred the rights and ownership of "The Muppets" to Disney, they included (according to their Henson.com listing) some pre-Muppet Show productions -- including the original "Tales from Muppetland" specials, both Muppet Show pilots, and The Muppets on Puppets. So I would count the characters from those productions as part of the franchise of "The Muppets". Whereas "Emmet Otter" and "The Christmas Toy" (although they originally included Kermit) are separate universes still Henson-owned and not part of "The Muppet" brand. -- Brad D. (talk) 23:37, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I can see that. So, just to be clear, we're saying that the characters that Disney calls part of their "Muppets Studios" subsidary are synonymous with "The Muppets" brand of characters that started with TMS and continued on through movies, Muppets Tonight and beyond. That Henson.com link doesn't include the full list anymore, but I'll include the Oct 2007 version below via Archive.org for future reference. The list includes The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, but not Frog Prince. —Scott (talk) 17:56, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
The current list on Henson.com seems identical to the archived one from Oct '07. Now they don't include every single production and bit of film produced by Henson that was transfered to Disney. For example The Jim Henson Hour (MuppeTelevision) is one omission, along with many of the smaller specials, videos and shorts. But the idea here is to capture that franchise of "The Muppets". That franchise is owned by Disney so the ownership of the production is a good guide for deciding who is part of that "family". "Musicians of Bremen" yes; "Christmas Toy" no. -- Brad D. (talk) 07:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a useful foundation guideline, but I'd suggest it shouldn't be the final arbiter; we can combine it with a "universe" approach. Christmas Toy, outside of the sale, led into Secret Life of Toys which is pretty clearly a self-contained universe of living toys, not Muppets putting on a show. The one-shot commercial folks and Sam and Friends (despite Kermit) fit in their own spaces and likewise not part of the family (as opposed to those who clearly were reused and became part of it, like Baskerville and so on). It's not made clear on any of our pages that I can find who owns Tale of the Bunny Picnic, for example, despite Bean's presence; but it is clearly a self-contained universe (not even Kermit as narrator), one where Bean ages as opposed to the ageless Bean in the "family contexts." This is where including all the bits and one-shots can get tricky, but it makes sense to me to basically just include any of those who appeared in later "family" productions (even as utility, admittedly). I didn't add the cats, but Earl in its current state seems a good example. Originated on Puppetman and clearly outside the family, but then reused as a bit player on Jim Henson Hour and elsewhere, so that qualifies him. So from Picnic, the Farmer and The Snail wouldn't count (just as it seems we're not counting Emmet Otter and clan), but Be-Bop and Mayor Bunnyparte would. That's complicated (especially since it usually deals with utility puppets rather than characters in their own rights), but that's also largely how Catgut and other characters from the early specials were handled whenever they popped up on The Muppet Show and it makes more sense in a universe/family way than just going by who presently owns what. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:15, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that can get confusing and complicated. Bunny Picnic was sold to Disney as part of The Muppets package because it had Bean Bunny in it. So by proxy, I would think all the characters from that special inhabit a universe accessible by The Muppets. Henson kept Christmas Toy and Secret Life however, so despite Kermit's appearance, they didn't think of those characters as part The Muppets. To answer Brad's initial question, all the "Tales from Muppetland" specials were sold by Henson as part of The Muppets package, so I think they should go here too. —Scott (talk) 01:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'm fine with that (though that means we really are excluding Emmet on pure sales/ownership grounds, not universe, still including any of his fellows who appeared on The Muppet Show as utility forest animals as part of this new category, and I don't think Henson themselves thought of who was "part of The Muppets" when everything was sliced up). Something Wendy and I discussed, though, was dealing with things such as groups or unseen characters. Wendy's done great work migrating articles, but with the unseen characters, I think it makes sense to keep them where they are unless they really are part of the larger universe/family outside of a one-time mention and the like. So Gags Beasley (who's been added to this category) and Bernie (who hasn't) would definitely qualify, but I'd say leave out Joe Bravo and the like, just as we're not adding in characters played by live actors or animals. Then there's bands; we mostly just deal with those in Category:Muppet Bands, but right now The Country Trio is listed as Muppet Characters, Muppet Show Characters, and The Muppets Characters, as are Jim, Frank, and Jerry, as are Lubbock Lou and his Jughuggers. Obviously we're not doing that with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, though there the individual members are at least as well known or better known than the aggregation. Within The Muppet Show category, I can sort of see double counting the two bands and their members, but I'm not as sure when applied to this new category which we're still feeling out. Thoughts? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:51, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that makes sense. I wouldn't lists bands as characters. They're groups, not individual personalities. We should put together a list, bullet-style, of the criteria for this category just to have it for reference. —Scott (talk) 02:00, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
A list would be very helpful; it's all buried in the discussion right now. So far I've migrated all of the Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, and Muppet Babies characters. -- Wendy (talk) 03:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's another one I'm not sure of, and why I'm iffy about just making this the "What was sold to Disney" category. Muppet Babies, like the Muppet Kids books, is clearly a different continuity/universe. I'd say just add Muppet Babies (puppets), which right now is just in Category:Muppets Take Manhattan Characters, since those versions did appear in main Muppet family productions, but otherwise, they're either alternate forms of the actual Muppets or they're Nanny and one-shot characters who really just exist there (Skeeter seems like a reasonable exception to make, even if not part of the main group, since she has appeared in assorted subsequent contexts). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:37, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Henson.com lists Muppet properties sold

found via Archive.org
  • The Muppet Show
  • Muppet Babies
  • Muppets Tonight
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Great Muppet Caper
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • The Muppets Christmas Carol
  • The Muppets Treasure Island
  • Muppets From Space
  • It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
  • Muppets Wizard of Oz
  • Muppet Classic Theater
  • Muppets on Puppets
  • The Muppet Musicians of Bremen
  • Valentine Special
  • Sex and Violence
  • The Muppets Go Hollywood
  • The Muppets Go to the Movies
  • John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together
  • John Denver and The Muppets: A Rocky Mountain Holiday
  • The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson
  • A Celebration of 30 Years
  • A Muppet Family Christmas
  • The Muppets at Walt Disney World
  • Of Muppets and Men

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